Introducing the Concept of Roving Pumps in the Synthesis of Multipurpose Batch Plants

Research paper by Shaun Engelbrecht, Thokozani Majozi

Indexed on: 04 Feb '18Published on: 22 Jan '18Published in: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry


Presented in this article is a novel technique for the exploitation of a unique feature of multipurpose batch plants, so-called Roving pumps. The discretized nature of batch processes allows for the allocation of pumps to different units and tasks depending on pump availability over the time horizon of interest. A MILP formulation is proposed to determine the optimal number and allocation of pumps within the batch plant while simultaneously synthesizing the plant and optimizing the production schedule with variable material transfer times. It is shown by way of an example that it is possible to decrease the number of pumps required for operation from seven to two pumps, while another example demonstrates a decrease in the number of pumps required from eleven to three. It is, therefore, possible to reduce capital and maintenance costs by implementing the formulation while still achieving or improving on existing throughputs.

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