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Title: A generalised modular framework for the the synthesis of nonideal separation and reactive separation processes
Author: Rahim Ismail, Soraya
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 2454
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis presents a systematic approach for the synthesis of azeotropic separation and combined reactive/separation systems, utilising a mass and heat transfer phenomena based representation. The developed framework does not explicitly prepostulate process alternatives but instead investigates them as mass and heat exchange possibilities. The building block of process alternatives is based on a mass/heat transfer module between two properly defined streams consisting of two parts: a mass/heat exchange block, whereby mass and heat transfer takes place between streams, and a pure heat exchanger, where only heat is exchanged and matching streams do not come into contact. In this work, the module is developed focusing on nonideal separation and separation reactive mass transfer phenomena. Gibbs free energy based constraints are derived and introduced in each block, to determine the direction of mass transfer for each component and ensure feasibility of both phase change and reactive mass transfer. Phase and reaction equilibria are not necessarily reached in the mass/heat transfer module but are instead utilised to define the limiting case. Process operations are viewed as sets of mass and heat exchange, such that a set of properly connected blocks can be realised as process alternatives. The synthesis model is formulated as a mixed integer nonlinear optimisation problem, for which a decomposition strategy is developed for its solution. The main feature of this representation is that with no prepostulation of process units, different structures and mass transfer patterns, rather than detailed designs, are captured. In the first part of this work, the proposed framework is developed for the synthesis of homogeneous azeotropic separation systems. For this class of systems, it is shown that sequencing and entrainer selection can be addressed in a single optimisation problem. Modelling aspects towards the synthesis of heterogeneous systems are outlined. The approach is further developed to encompass combined reaction and separation processes, where it is illustrated that process alternatives including hybrid process units, such as reactive separation units, as well as conventional separation and reaction units, can be generated within the framework. An application of the framework to an industrial methanol case study is also presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available