Optimization: A Perspective on Improving an Ethylbenzene Production Design

Marchant, Derrick C. (2015) Optimization: A Perspective on Improving an Ethylbenzene Production Design. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Adam E. Smith from Chemical Engineering, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

The goal of optimization in a chemical process or system involves improving an existing design or a combination of devices. In the case of an established process such as the ethylbenzene production process investigated here, the optimization involves improving an established process and choosing the best available case within a set of constraints that also considers maximizing the economic bottom line. An objective function must be selected for an optimization problem which defines the achievable goal. The objective function of the optimization process presented here is to minimize the estimated annual operating cost (EAOC). An EAOC takes in to account all the necessary variables that add up to the yearly operating costs of a chemical process such as utility and raw material costs. The secondary objective function presented here is maximizing the net present value (NPV) which is directly related to minimizing the EAOC. The NPV takes in to account the recurring costs of plant operation over a plant’s expected lifetime. Both objective functions are assessed and considered. By defining a number of constraints and decision variables related to the objective function, an optimization problem becomes a dynamic and creative exercise. The report included contains an evaluation of defined constraints, decision variables, and proposed changes and an optimized design utilizing the engineering resources available. The optimized design focuses on making a catalyst change to maximize the efficiency of the reactor section and also on changing the raw material feed to directly reduce the raw material cost of operation. Safety of the plant’s operation follows a full economic analysis and detailed process description of the optimized design.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Marchant, Derrick C.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. in Chemical Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Adam E. Smith
Thesis Advisor's Department: Chemical Engineering
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Depositing User: Derrick Derrick Cochrane Marchant Derrick Cochrane Marchant
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 16:55
Last Modified: 12 May 2015 16:55
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/389

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