Optimization of multistage olefin/paraffin membrane separation processes through rigorous modeling
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AuthorZarca Lago, Raúl; Ortiz Sainz de Aja, Alfredo; Gorri Cirella, Eugenio Daniel; Biegler, Lorenz T.; Ortiz Uribe, Inmaculada
In this work, we explore the capabilities of an NLP optimization model to determine the viability of facilitated transport membrane processes intended to replace traditional distillation currently employed for propane/propylene separation. An NLP optimization model for multistage membrane processes has been formulated, introducing the mathematical description of the facilitated transport mechanisms in the PVDF‐HFP/BMImBF4/AgBF4 membranes previously developed by our research group. For the first time, a simultaneous optimization of the process and the membrane material (i.e., carrier concentration) has been performed, thanks to the implementation of the governing equations for the fixed site and mobile carrier mechanisms. Once the model is solved in GAMS it returns the optimal membrane area, carrier loading and permeate pressure of each stage based on Net Present Value Cost (NPVC) minimization. Different process flow sheets were evaluated and the results show prominent reductions on NPVC for facilitated transport multistage processes when compared to distillation.