CAT-SAVE - The research of a noval system for chemical reactors based on thermodynamic models

Project: Research project

Description

The research of a novel system for chemical reactors based on thermodynamic models opens up unavailable possibilities for the optimization in chemical production processes and
is the starting point of the project. The problem in CAT-SAVE is that in the interior of continuous chemical reactors, in which transitions occur during the reaction, thermodynamic
conditions as well as compositions of the process stream are subject to such strong local and temporal changes, that it is currently not possible to determine the states within the chemical reactor on the basis of measurable entry and exit conditions via software sensors. This poses a considerable risk with regard to product quality and process reliability. In particular, exothermic processes often have temperature peaks inside a reactor, which destroy catalysts and components or adversely affect their service life. Therefore, a new approach is
required for the process industry in the area of sensor technology, which makes it possible, on the basis of exact thermodynamic models, to predict the progress of the reaction in the plant. Since the chemical production technique is often a multicomponent mixture with up to more than a hundred individual components, the modelling for the sensor system within the reactor is very complex, since the phase equilibria of the multicomponent mixture must also be modelled with the reaction progress. Based on this problem the following objectives arise:
- In the project CAT-SAVE a sensor-based method should be investigated with the help of a real chemical reactor of a petrochemical production plant, which allows to calculate the pressure, temperature, phase conditions and compositions of a process flow within a multi-phase reactor. The necessary real process sensors provide only the process parameters of the input and output currents.
- Real-time visualization of the key parameters
- Destructive temperature peaks as well as undesired by-product formation should be avoided
- Plant throughputs should be optimized precisely, taking into account material life and catalyst life cycles
- Increasing the throughput-related catalyst life cycle by up to 10% in the reference plant
- The method should be easy to reproduce in other processes.
Planned results: simulation model of the condensation unit of the reference
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/01/1830/06/19