June 2001

Process Optimization

Crude distillation unit online optimization

A stochastic model provides optimal results to the advanced control system

Hou, K., Hu, S., Li, Y., Shen, J., Tsinghua University

A generic online optimization system for a crude distillation unit has been developed. The system is integrated with the advanced process control (APC) system and has been successfully implemented in the industrial unit of the Lanzhou Petroleum refinery in China. It is based on a rigorous model of the crude distillation process and employs a stochastic optimization model to provide accurate optimal results to the APC system. Fluctuations of stochastic variables, such as feed flow and top pressure of the distillation column, are considered in the stochastic optimization model. Therefore, the optimization results ensure satisfaction of all constraints for possible variations of

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