Thesis topic proposal
Optimization of special batch distillation methods


Institute: Budapest University of Technology and Economics
mechanical engineering
Géza Pattantyús-Ábrahám Doctoral School of Mechanical Engineering

Thesis supervisor: László Hégely
Location of studies (in Hungarian): Department of Building Service and Process Engineering
Abbreviation of location of studies: EPGET

Description of the research topic:

a.) Antecedents:
Publications in international journals and conferences, project works, BSc and MSc theses and the research projects No. K-106268 (2013-2016) and K-120083 (2016-2019) funded by the Hungarian Scientific Research Funds (NKFI-OTKA).

b.) Aim of the research:
The aim of the research is to study and optimize special batch distillation methods (batch extractive distillation, batch heteroazeotropic distillation) applied to the separation of azeotropic mixtures by computational modelling. The optimization of batch processes is a dynamic optimization problem that cannot be solved by the built-in optimizers of professional flow-sheet simulators. Thus, there is a need for the development of external optimization modules that can be coupled to the flow-sheet simulator. The aim of the research work is to develop derivative-free optimization methods that are able to optimize special batch distillation methods with moderate computational effort. The applicability of the method can be extended to include multiple objective functions or off-cut recycle. The results of optimization can be validated by laboratory experiments.

c.) Tasks, main items, necessary time:
• Study of the previously collected literature (4 months)
• Review of new literature (3 months)
• Getting acquainted with the available programs and codes (2 months)
• Algorithm development and calculations (15 months)
• Multi-objective optimization (6 months)
• Optimization of off-cut recycle (6 months)
• Laboratory experiments (6 months)
• Writing of the thesis (6 months)

d.) Necessary equipment:
Professional and in-house software (partially available, partially to be developed or im-proved).
Laboratory distillation column (available).
e.) Expected scientific results:
• Development of optimization methods of moderate computational intensity for the optimization of batch distillation processes.
• Comparison of the different methods.
• Extension to multi-objective optimization.
• Optimization of off-cut recycle.
f.) Literature:
L. Hegely, P. Lang: Optimisation of Batch Extractive Distillation Process with Entrainer Recycle, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 2017, 40, 2101-2106.
L. Hegely, P. Lang: Optimization of a batch extractive distillation process with recycling off-cuts, Journal of Cleaner Production, 2016, 136, 99-110.
L. Hegely, P. Lang: Optimization of Entrainer Feeding in Batch Extractive Distillation, Computer-Aided Chemical Engineering, 2014, 33, 1177-1182.
L Hegely, V Gerbaud, P Lang: General model for studying the feasibility of heterogeneous extractive batch distillation, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014, 53 (45), 17782-17793.
L Hegely, P Lang, V Gerbaud: Off-cut Recycle for Batch and Batch Extractive Distillation Separation of a Multicomponent Azeotropic Mixture, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 2013, 35, 967-972.

Recommended language skills (in Hungarian): English
Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2018-10-19

All rights reserved © 2007, Hungarian Doctoral Council. Doctoral Council registration number at commissioner for data protection: 02003/0001. Program version: 2.2358 ( 2017. X. 31. )