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Resource conservation and optimization via process integration
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The process industries are characterized by the enormous use of natural resources such as raw materials, solvents, water, and utilities. Additionally, significant amounts of wastes are discharged from industrial facilities. As the world moves toward sustainable progress, that is, meeting the demand of the current generation without affecting or compromising the new generation, future process facilities must focus on resource conservation and pollution prevention. The purpose of this work is to introduce a new process integration methodology for the conservation and optimization of resources in the process industries. The work is also geared towards reducing waste discharge from the processing facilities. The optimal management of fresh resources and waste disposal requires the appropriate allocation, generation, and separation of streams and species. Material recycle/reuse/substitution, reaction alteration, and process modification are some of the main strategies employed to conserve resources in the process industries. The overall problem addressed in this dissertation can be stated as follows: Given is a process with a number of streams (sources) that are characterized by certain criteria (e.g., compositions of certain compounds, targeted properties) where these streams can be utilized in a number of process units (sinks) if they satisfy given constraints on flow rate, compositions, and/or properties. Additionally, interception devices may be used to adjust stream criteria. The objective is to develop targeting procedures and synthesis tools for the identification of minimum usage of fresh resources, minimum discharge of waste, and maximum integration of process resources. The devised methodology addresses four classes of problems: Â Targeting techniques using direct recycle strategies Â Recycle and interception procedures for single-component systems Â Recycle and interception procedures for multi-component systems Â Property integration for direct recycle strategies The framework provided by this dissertation couples traditional mass integration with groundbreaking property integration techniques to target, synthesize and optimize a plant for maximal conservation of resources. In particular, this work introduces new techniques such as material recycle pinch analysis, simultaneous recycle and interception networks, and property-based allocation. Additionally, graphical, algebraic, and optimization approaches are developed and validated with case studies in order to illustrate the applicability of the devised procedures.
Gabriel, Frederico Burjack (2004). Resource conservation and optimization via process integration. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from