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Combining Expert System with Process Simulation for Waste Minimization in Batch Plant Operation
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The issue of environmental sustainability has prompted the batch chemical industries to switch from end-of-pipe treatment to waste minimization as their top priority in combating pollution. However, the multi-scale nature of batch operation has posed challenges in implementing waste minimization. First, batch process often involves chemistry that is complex and poorly understood. As a result, waste minimization options through byproduct suppression or recycling of valuable components may be overlooked. Second, as batch operation delivers its product in discrete amounts, the waste flowrate, composition and other properties could vary considerably with the execution of each operation within the cycle time. This needs to be accounted for when formulating a strategy for minimizing waste. Third, the substantial involvement of process operators would make batch operation highly susceptible to unplanned waste discharges caused by human errors. All these factors have motivated us to develop a methodology, which is robust and efficient in identifying waste minimization opportunities in the batch plants.

About the journal
JournalThe 2006 Annual Meeting