October 2005

Special Report: Improving Process Control

Multiunit refinery optimization

By taking an unconventional approach, the problem was substantially simplified

Korchinski, W., Advanced Industrial Modeling Inc.; Cai, J. H., Li, Z. G., Shen, Y. M., Tao, X. H., Sinopec Shangahai Gaoqiao; Tao, X. W., Zhang, Z. Q., Zhou, H. J., Honeywell Co. Ltd.

Real-time optimization was applied to a significant portion of an oil refinery. Two things make this application unique. First is that the scope includes three RFCC units, a delayed coker and two crude/ vacuum units, which are physically located in five control rooms – an usually large application by any standard. Second is the disciplined methodology we used in selecting the appropriate variable set and economic envelope. Rather than taking a conventional approach and building a detailed real-time flowsheet model of the process units, we were able to simplify the problem substantially and solve a compact but economically important problem. Refinery description. Sinopec Shanghai Gao

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