Application of Homotopy Continuation Method for Robust Simulation of Distillation Columns
Zumach, F.
Guirardello, R.
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Zumach F., Guirardello R., 2017, Application of Homotopy Continuation Method for Robust Simulation of Distillation Columns, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 57, 1063-1068.
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The production method most commonly used for obtaining bioethanol is the fermentation of sugarcane, which has been proved as one of the best raw material for the ethanol production. The alcohol produced from this process must be distilled to attain the minimum specifications required by the regulations. The hydrated ethanol fuel must be concentrated between 95.1% (v/v) and 96.0% (v/v) to be commercialized, and distillation is the most frequently used method to carry out this separation process. Despite distillation being the most frequently used method to carry that separation, this process has a high energy consumption, in the separation process due to the excess water. Also, the modeling of the distillation column sometimes has numerical difficulties, due to convergence problems in solving the nonlinear equations. Therefore, this work has as its objective the development of a rigorous model of a distillation column for the production of the anhydrous ethanol. The models generated in this study are implemented in the modeling language EMSO simulator; a free simulator that has full graphical environment and allows users to work with both dynamic and stationary processes. Given the difficulty in the numerical resolution of the nonlinear equations, in this work it will be applied the method of Homotopic Continuation. This method consists in creating an easy resolution system and gradually getting better initial estimates by varying a parameter that continuously transforms the easy problem in the original problem. In such way, the method has better convergence properties and is globally convergent.
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