Process Design with Dynamic Superstructures

This paper focuses on chemical process design and layout optimization based on a novel approach. As originally conceived, conceptual design and systematicprocess design assume both prices and costs as fixed. Conceptual design does not account for well-known price fluctuations such as electric energy price and raw material costs. This classic approach to process design may find a sub optimal solution since it neglects the economic dynamic changes occurring in a defined time horizon. This manuscript modifies the viewpoint and considers the daily fluctuations of electric energy price inside the conceptual design activity, in order to maximize the so-called economic potential. A straightforward case study, based on an energy intensive chemical process, shows the benefits and the opportunities of this approach. The mathematical model is based on the implementation of dynamic superstructures that call for a MINLP formulation. Finally, the manuscript presents and discusses some numerical results.