Special Issue "Process Design, Integration, and Intensification"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi

Chemical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: process design; integration; sustainability; optimization; intensification
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dominic C. Y. Foo

Process Design and Integration, the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Malaysia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: process design; process integration; pinch analysis; optimization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the growing emphasis on enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of industrial plants, process integration and intensification are gaining additional interest throughout the chemical engineering community. Some of the hallmarks of process integration and intensification include a holistic perspective in design and the enhancement of material and energy intensity. The techniques can apply to individual unit operations, multiple units, a whole industrial  facility, or even a cluster of industrial plants.

This Special Issue on “Process Design, Integration, and Intensification” aims to cover recent advances in the development and application of process integration and intensification. Topics include, but are not limited to, methods and/or application in the following areas:

  • Systematic approaches to mass, energy, and property integration
  • Unit and system intensification
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Mitigation of environmental impact
  • Techno-economic studies of emerging processes (e.g., shale gas monetization, biorefining)
  • Integration of renewable energy in industrial processes
  • Inherently safer design
  • Metrics for assessing integration and/or intensification
  • Eco-industrial parks

Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi
Prof. Dr. Dominic C. Y. Foo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1100 CHF (Swiss Francs). Please note that for papers submitted after 30 June 2019 an APC of 1200 CHF applies. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable design
  • Mass intensity
  • Energy intensity
  • Process design
  • Inherently safer design

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Hybrid Approach for Optimisation and Analysis of Palm Oil Mill
Processes 2019, 7(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020100
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
A palm oil mill produces crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and other biomass from fresh fruit bunches. Although the milling process is well established in the industry, insufficient research and development reported in optimising and analysing the operations of a palm [...] Read more.
A palm oil mill produces crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and other biomass from fresh fruit bunches. Although the milling process is well established in the industry, insufficient research and development reported in optimising and analysing the operations of a palm oil mill. The performance of a palm oil mill (e.g., costs, utilisation and flexibility) is affected by factors such as operating time, capacity and fruit availability. This paper presents a hybrid combined mathematical programming and graphical approach to solve and analyse a palm oil mill case study in Malaysia. The hybrid approach consists of two main steps: (1) optimising a palm oil milling process to achieve maximum economic performance via input-output optimisation model (IOM); and (2) performing a feasible operating range analysis (FORA) to study the utilisation and flexibility of the developed design. Based on the optimised results, the total equipment units needed is reduced from 39 to 26 unit, bringing down the total capital investment by US$6.86 million (from 18.42 to 11.56 million US$) with 23% increment in economic performance (US$0.82 million/y) achieved. An analysis is presented to show the changes in utilisation and flexibility of the mill against capital investment. During the peak crop season, the utilisation index increases from 0.6 to 0.95 while the flexibility index decreases from 0.4 to 0.05. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Reaction Selectivity Using CFD-Based Compartmental Modeling and Surrogate-Based Optimization
Processes 2019, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7010009
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract
Mixing is considered as a critical process parameter (CPP) during process development due to its significant influence on reaction selectivity and process safety. Nevertheless, mixing issues are difficult to identify and solve owing to their complexity and dependence on knowledge of kinetics and [...] Read more.
Mixing is considered as a critical process parameter (CPP) during process development due to its significant influence on reaction selectivity and process safety. Nevertheless, mixing issues are difficult to identify and solve owing to their complexity and dependence on knowledge of kinetics and hydrodynamics. In this paper, we proposed an optimization methodology using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based compartmental modelling to improve mixing and reaction selectivity. More importantly, we have demonstrated that through the implementation of surrogate-based optimization, the proposed methodology can be used as a computationally non-intensive way for rapid process development of reaction unit operations. For illustration purpose, reaction selectivity of a process with Bourne competitive reaction network is discussed. Results demonstrate that we can improve reaction selectivity by dynamically controlling rates and locations of feeding in the reactor. The proposed methodology incorporates mechanistic understanding of the reaction kinetics together with an efficient optimization algorithm to determine the optimal process operation and thus can serve as a tool for quality-by-design (QbD) during product development stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessArticle Intensification of Reactive Distillation for TAME Synthesis Based on the Analysis of Multiple Steady-State Conditions
Processes 2018, 6(12), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6120241
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract
Our previous study reported that operation in multiple steady states contributes to an improvement in reaction conversion, making it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the reactive distillation process for tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME) synthesis. This study clarified the factors responsible [...] Read more.
Our previous study reported that operation in multiple steady states contributes to an improvement in reaction conversion, making it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the reactive distillation process for tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME) synthesis. This study clarified the factors responsible for an improvement in the reaction conversion for operation in the multiple steady states of the reactive distillation column used in TAME synthesis. The column profiles for those conditions, in which multiple steady states existed and those in which they did not exist, were compared. The vapor and liquid flow rates with the multiple steady states were larger than those when the multiple steady states did not exist. The effect of the duty of the intermediate condenser, which was introduced at the top of the reactive section, on the liquid flow rate for a reflux ratio of 1 was examined. The amount of TAME production increased from 55.2 to 72.1 kmol/h when the intermediate condenser was operated at 0 to −5 MW. Furthermore, the effect of the intermediate reboiler duty on the reaction performance was evaluated. The results revealed that the liquid and vapor flow rates influenced the reaction and separation performances, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Process Modeling, Design, and Optimization with an Experimental Study of a Solar-Driven Humidification and Dehumidification Desalination System
Processes 2018, 6(9), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6090163
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Solar energy is becoming a promising source of heat and power for electrical generation and desalination plants. In this work, an integrated study of modeling, optimization, and experimental work is undertaken for a parabolic trough concentrator combined with a humidification and dehumidification desalination [...] Read more.
Solar energy is becoming a promising source of heat and power for electrical generation and desalination plants. In this work, an integrated study of modeling, optimization, and experimental work is undertaken for a parabolic trough concentrator combined with a humidification and dehumidification desalination unit. The objective is to study the design performance and economic feasibility of a solar-driven desalination system. The design involves the circulation of a closed loop of synthetic blend motor oil in the concentrators and the desalination unit heat input section. The air circulation in the humidification and dehumidification unit operates in a closed loop, where the circulating water runs during the daytime and requires only makeup feed water to maintain the humidifier water level. Energy losses are reduced by minimizing the waste of treated streams. The process is environmentally friendly, since no significant chemical treatment is required. Design, construction, and operation are performed, and the system is analyzed at different circulating oil and air flow rates to obtain the optimum operating conditions. A case study in Saudi Arabia is carried out. The study reveals unit capability of producing 24.31 kg/day at a circulating air rate of 0.0631 kg/s and oil circulation rate of 0.0983 kg/s. The tradeoff between productivity, gain output ratio, and production cost revealed a unit cost of 12.54 US$/m3. The impact of the circulating water temperature has been tracked and shown to positively influence the process productivity. At a high productivity rate, the humidifier efficiency was found to be 69.1%, and the thermal efficiency was determined to be 82.94%. The efficiency of the parabolic trough collectors improved with the closed loop oil circulation, and the highest performance was achieved from noon until 14:00 p.m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessArticle Adsorptive Properties of Poly(1-methylpyrrol-2-ylsquaraine) Particles for the Removal of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals from Aqueous Solutions: Batch and Fixed-Bed Column Studies
Processes 2018, 6(9), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6090155
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
The adsorptive properties of poly(1-methylpyrrol-2-ylsquaraine) (PMPS) particles were investigated in batch and column adsorption experiments as alternative adsorbent for the treatment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in water. The PMPS particles were synthesised by condensing 3,4-dihydroxycyclobut-3-ene-1,2-dione (squaric acid) with 1-methylpyrrole in butanol. The results demonstrated [...] Read more.
The adsorptive properties of poly(1-methylpyrrol-2-ylsquaraine) (PMPS) particles were investigated in batch and column adsorption experiments as alternative adsorbent for the treatment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in water. The PMPS particles were synthesised by condensing 3,4-dihydroxycyclobut-3-ene-1,2-dione (squaric acid) with 1-methylpyrrole in butanol. The results demonstrated that PMPS particles are effective in the removal of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in water with adsorption being more favourable at an acidic pH, and a superior sorption capacity being achieved at pH 4. The results also showed that the removal of EDCs by the PMPS particles was a complex process involving multiple rate-limiting steps and physicochemical interactions between the EDCs and the particles. Gibbs free energy of −8.32 kJ/mole and −6.6 kJ/mol, and enthalpies of 68 kJ/mol and 43 kJ/mol, were achieved for the adsorption E2 and EE2 respectively The removal efficiencies of the EDCs by PMPS particles were comparable to those of activated carbon, and hence can be applied as an alternative adsorbent in water treatment applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Input Shaping Predictive Functional Control for Different Types of Challenging Dynamics Processes
Processes 2018, 6(8), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6080118
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Abstract
Predictive functional control (PFC) is a fast and effective controller that is widely used for processes with simple dynamics. This paper proposes some techniques for improving its reliability when applied to systems with more challenging dynamics, such as those with open-loop unstable poles, [...] Read more.
Predictive functional control (PFC) is a fast and effective controller that is widely used for processes with simple dynamics. This paper proposes some techniques for improving its reliability when applied to systems with more challenging dynamics, such as those with open-loop unstable poles, oscillatory modes, or integrating modes. One historical proposal considered is to eliminate or cancel the undesirable poles via input shaping of the predictions, but this approach is shown to sometimes result in relatively poor performance. Consequently, this paper proposes to shape these poles, rather than cancelling them, to further enhance the tuning, feasibility, and stability properties of PFC. The proposed modification is analysed and evaluated on several numerical examples and also a hardware application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Simultaneous Energy and Water Optimisation in Shale Exploration
Processes 2018, 6(7), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6070086
Received: 5 May 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
This work presents a mathematical model for the simultaneous optimisation of water and energy usage in hydraulic fracturing using a continuous time scheduling formulation. The recycling/reuse of fracturing water is achieved through the purification of flowback wastewater using thermally driven membrane distillation (MD). [...] Read more.
This work presents a mathematical model for the simultaneous optimisation of water and energy usage in hydraulic fracturing using a continuous time scheduling formulation. The recycling/reuse of fracturing water is achieved through the purification of flowback wastewater using thermally driven membrane distillation (MD). A detailed design model for this technology is incorporated within the water network superstructure in order to allow for the simultaneous optimisation of water, operation, capital cost, and energy used. The study also examines the feasibility of utilising the co-produced gas that is traditionally flared as a potential source of energy for MD. The application of the model results in a 22.42% reduction in freshwater consumption and 23.24% savings in the total cost of freshwater. The membrane thermal energy consumption is in the order of 244 × 103 kJ/m3 of water, which is found to be less than the range of thermal consumption values reported for membrane distillation in the literature. Although the obtained results are not generally applicable to all shale gas plays, the proposed framework and supporting models aid in understanding the potential impact of using scheduling and optimisation techniques to address flowback wastewater management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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Open AccessPerspective Natural Products Extraction of the Future—Sustainable Manufacturing Solutions for Societal Needs
Processes 2018, 6(10), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6100177
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
The production of plant-based extracts is significantly influenced by traditional techniques and the natural variability of feedstock. For that reason, the discussion of innovative approaches to improve the manufacturing of established products and the development of new products within the regulatory framework is [...] Read more.
The production of plant-based extracts is significantly influenced by traditional techniques and the natural variability of feedstock. For that reason, the discussion of innovative approaches to improve the manufacturing of established products and the development of new products within the regulatory framework is essential to adapt to shifting quality standards. This perspective of members of the DECHEMA/ProcessNet working group on plant-based extracts outlines extraction business models and the regulatory framework regarding the extraction of traditional herbal medicines as complex extracts. Consequently, modern approaches to innovative process design methods like QbD (Quality by Design) and quality control in the form of PAT (Process Analytical Technology) are necessary. Further, the benefit of standardized laboratory equipment combined with physico-chemical predictive process modelling and innovative modular, flexible batch or continuous manufacturing technologies which are fully automated by advanced process control methods are described. A significant reduction of the cost of goods, i.e., by a factor of 4–10, and decreased investments of about 1–5 mil. € show the potential for new products which are in line with market requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Design, Integration, and Intensification)
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