April 2012

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Operational optimization for mixed-refrigerant systems

Use rigorous simulation to improve process efficiency

Li, K., Xu, Q., Lamar University; Zhang, J., Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University

Refrigeration systems are among the most critical operating systems in the chemical processing industry. A refrigeration system generally works by removing heat from low-temperature streams and transferring it to higher-temperature streams through vapor-compression cycles at the expense of mechanical work, magnetism, laser or other means.1 Since a refrigeration system can cool down a process stream far below the ambient temperature, it is indispensable to cryogenic cooling and separation operations in many chemical industries, such as the large-scale production of ethylene, oxygen, nitrogen and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Refrigeration systems may employ a single compound as the refrig

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