Dynamic optimisation and control of batch reactors.

N Aziz, Tennessee State University


Batch reactor is an essential unit operation in almost all batch-processing industries. Different types of reaction schemes (such as series, parallel and complex) and different order of model complexity (short-cut, detailed, etc.) result in different sets of model equations and computer coding of all possible sets of model equations is cumbersome and time consuming. In this work, therefore, a general computer program (GBRM - General Batch Reactor Model) is developed to generate all possible sets of equations automatically and as required. GBRM is tested for different types of reaction schemes and for different order of model complexity and its flexibility is demonstrated. The above GBRM computer program is lodged with Dr. I.M. Mujtaba. One of the challenges in batch reactors is to ensure desired performance of individual batch reactor operations. Depending on the requirement and the objective of the process, optimisation in batch reactors leads to different types of optimisation problems such as maximum conversion, minimum time and maximum profit problem. The reactor temperature, jacket temperature and jacket flow rate are the main control variables governing the process and these are optimised to ensure maximum benefit. In this work, an extensive study on mainly conventional batch reactor optimisation is carried out using GBRM coupled with efficient DAEs (Differential and Algebraic Equations) solver, CVP (Control Vector Parameterisation) technique and SQP (Successive Quadratic Programming) based optimisation technique. The safety, environment and product quality issues are embedded in the optimisation problem formulations in terms of constraints. A new approach for solving optimisation problem with safety constraint is introduced. All types of optimisation problems mentioned above are solved off-line, which results to optimal operating policies. The off-line optimal operating policies obtained above are then implemented as set points to be tracked on-line and various types of advanced controllers are designed for this purpose. Both constant and dynamic set points tracking are considered in designing the controllers. Here, neural networks are used in designing Direct Inverse and Inverse-Model-Based Control (IMBC) strategies. In addition, the Generic Model Control (GMC) coupled with on-line neural network heat release estimator (GMC-NN) is also designed to track the optimal set points. For comparison purpose, conventional Dual Mode (DM) strategy with PI and PID controllers is also designed. Robustness tests for all types of controllers are carried out to find the best controller. The results demonstrate the robustness of GMC-NN controller and promise neural controllers as potential robust controllers for future. Finally, an integrated framework (BATCH_REACT) for modelling, simulation, optimisation and control of batch reactors is proposed.

Subject Area

Chemical engineering

Recommended Citation

N Aziz, "Dynamic optimisation and control of batch reactors." (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAIU157980.