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# Simulation of

Recycle Streams
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 2
Outline
O
Sequential modular approach for
simulating a recycle system
O
Tips for converging recycle loops
O
Recycle systems modelling with
HYSYS
O
Some notes for Recycle model
O
Heat exchanger network modelling
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 3
The Onion model
Reactor
Separation &
recycle
Heat exchange
network
Utilities
(Linnhoff et al., 1982;
Smith 1995, 2005)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 4
Introduction
O
Reasons why recycle stream(s) is
needed (Felder & Rousseau, 2000):
-
Unconsumed reactants can be reused to
minimise fresh intake (chemical reaction
rarely proceeds to completion)
-
Catalyst recovery
-
Dilution of a process stream
-
Control of process variable
-
Circulation of a working fluid
O
Recycling is often the cause of
unconverged flowsheet simulation.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 5
Types of recycle
streams
Material
recycle
Heat
recycle
Tube
Shell
Cold inlet Hot outlet
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 6
Sequential modular
(SM) approach
Individual equipment blocks may
require iterative solution algorithms
Overall process solution is sequential & not
iterative
(Turton et al.,
1998)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 7
Simulation of recycling
system with SM
A B C D E F
Recycle stream
Unit operation
in simulator
Tear recycle stream
r
1
r
2
(Turton et al., 1998)
Guess a number for r1
Calculate r2
r1 and r2 must be the same!
If not, try with another value
again!!
Tear the recycle stream
into two
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 8
Simulation of recycling
system with SM
O
Basic algorithms in handling a recycle
stream:
-
Before the Equipment C is solved, some
estimation of stream r must be made a
tear stream occurs.
-
Stream r
2
, we can solve the flowsheet all
the way to Stream r
1
by using sequential
modular approach.
-
Compare Streams r
1
and r
2
.
-
If r
1
& r
2
agree within some specified
tolerance we have a converge solution
-
Or else, r
2
is modified & simulation is
repeated until convergence is obtained.
Modelling of
Modelling of
recycle system
recycle system
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 10
Tutorial 5
isomerisation process
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In an isomerisation process, component A is
converted to component B. No by product is
formed.
O
The mixture from the reactor is separated into
relatively pure A (which is recycled) & relatively
pure product B.
O
No by-products are formed and the reactor
performance can be characterised by its conversion.
O
The performance of the separator is characterised
by the recovery of A to the recycled stream (r
A
) and
recovery of B to the product (r
B
).
(Smith, 2005)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 11
Mass balance
equations
O
Given the following variables:
-
m
i ,j
= molar flowrate of Component i in Stream j
-
X = reactor conversion (given by question)
-
r
i
= fractional recovery of Component i
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Mass balance equations for each unit may be
written as:
-
Mixer:
-
Reactor:
-
Separator:

m
A,2
= m
A,1
+ m
A,5
m
B,2
= m
B,1
+ m
B,5
m
A,3
= m
A,2
(1 X)
m
B,3
= m
B,2
+ Xm
A,2
m
A,4
= m
A,3
(1 r
A
)
m
A,5
= r
A
m
A,3

m
B,4
= r
B
m
B,3

m
B,5
= m
B,3
(1 r
B
)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 12
Strategy with SM
approach
O
Calculation sequence in SM: CCCCC.
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However, problem is encountered at the mixer, as
the flowrate & composition of the recycle are
unknown.
O
Strategy using SM approach:
-
Tear the recycle streams
-
Add a recycle convergence unit/solver in the tear stream.
-
Estimate the component molar flowrates of the tear stream.
This allows the material balance in the reactor and
separator to be solved, & provide the molar flowrates for
the recycle stream.
-
The calculated and estimated values of the tear stream are
compared to test whether errors are within a specified
tolerance.
(Smith, 2005)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 13
Data given
O
Given the following values:
-
m
A,1
= 100 kmol; m
B,1
= 0 kmol
-
X = 0.7
-
r
A
= 0.95; r
B
= 0.95
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Assume the flowrate of component A and B in the
recycled stream (stream 5) as follow:
-
m
A,5
= 50 kmol
-
m
B,5
= 5 kmol
O
Setting at the recycle convergence unit/solver
iteration stops when the scaled residue is smaller
than a specified tolerance (1 x 10
-5
for this case).
Scaled residue is given as:
(Smith, 2005)
value Estimated
value estimated - value Calculated
residue Scaled =
For an accurate answer. As small as
possible!! Small difference between
calculated and guess value!!!
R2
R1
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 14
Recycle simulation
Time for exercise!
Time for exercise!
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 16
Strategy to converge
recycle loops
O
Few simple steps to converge recycle
systems faster & easier regardless of
the no of equipment modules and
streams:
2. Provide estimates for recycle streams
4. Avoid over-specifying mass balance
5. Check for trapped material
6. Increase number of iterations
O
Lets visit them one by one
(WinSim, 2002)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 17
1. Analyse the
flowsheet
Determine if any
recycle stream exist.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 18
1. Analyse the
flowsheet
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The feed streams condition is given.
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If we calculate the flowsheet straight
through (from Units 16), which
stream(s) do we need to specify in order
to complete the calculation?
O
What if we change the calculation
Splitter
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 19
2. Provide estimates for
recycle streams
O
Once recycle streams (or tear
streams) are determined,
enter estimates for its T, P,
flowrate & composition for
each recycle stream.
O
Example 1: Stream 3 has
the same composition &
flowrate as the feed stream.
We should have a good guess
for its T & P, since it is the
outlet from a heat exchanger.
O
estimating the recycle
stream, we may also guess
the reactor inlet stream.
Example
1
Example
2
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 20
O
Substitute Short Cut Distillation for
rigorous distillation columns.
O
If a rigorous distillation column is in the
flowsheet, converge it as a stand-alone
unit first.
O
Decouple heat recycle(s) use utility
exchanger to simplify the problem first
3. Simplify the
flowsheet
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 21
O
In the 1
st
trial to determine if a process is
feasible, there is no need to include every
valve, utility stream flowrates, etc.
O
A flash unit with recycle requires multiple
iterations before it is solved simplified
to get the same answer with no recycle.
3. Simplify the
flowsheet
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 22
4. Avoid over-specifying
mass balance
O
Stream splitting model is frequently
used to set the rate of a purge/recycle
stream.
O
Example: setting a flowrate for
Stream 8 may prevent the recycle
from converging unless you happen to
make a lucky guess.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 23
Which is the best
option ?
O
Set the flowrate of the recycle stream
(S9)
O
Set the flow fraction of the recycle
stream (S9)
O
Set the flow fraction of the product
stream (S8)
GOOD
BETTER
BEST
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 24
4. Avoid over-specifying
mass balance
O
In a distillation train, specifying product
rate for each columns may be over
constraining the overall mass balance for
the flowsheet.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 25
5. Check for trapped
material
O
Components in the
middle boiling
range are building
up in the system
(does not exit the
flowsheet).
O
In the example
flowsheet, water
is trapped.
GAS
PHASE
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 26
5. Check for trapped
material
O
When you have an unconverged recycle
loop, check the material balance
summary first to see which components
have the largest error.
O
Which direction is the error making
more flow or less leaving the process than
entering?
O
Review the recycle convergence
history for the last few iterations:
-
Are the flowrates and errors oscillating?
-
Is there a steady increase/decrease of the
unconverged components?
-
It may be necessary to change process
conditions or change the location of 1 or more
product draw-offs.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 27
6. Too few iterations
O
Many flowsheets will converge easily
within 5 to 10 iterations.
O
If you have a recycle loop, which is
unconverged after 10 iterations but is
approaching convergence, be sure to
update the recycle stream guesses
for T, P, flowrate and composition.
Simulation of
Simulation of
recycle system
recycle system
with Aspen HYSYS
with Aspen HYSYS
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 29
Tutorial 6 (from
Tutorial 3)
Lets standardise
the specification
for key
components:
Ethylene in
bottom: 0.0015

n-octane in
distillate: 0.2800
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 30
Tutorial 6 (from
Tutorial 3)
Main
product (n-
octane)
This should
be recycled
to the
reactor
Unconverte
d raw
material
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 31
purge streams
Procedure:
1.Add a stream splitting model (Tee)
2.Right click Tee, select Transform/
Rotate by 270
3.Double click Tee, select Stream 4
for inlet; and enter 6 & 7 for
outlet streams.
4.In the Parameters page, set 0.9 for
the flow ratio of stream 6.
5.Change the direction of stream 6 by:
6.Save file as Tutorial 5.
Stream
splitter
model: Tee
90%
recovery
Question: why a
purge is
needed?
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 32
pressure
Procedure:
2.Change the direction of the
Compressor: right
3.Double click the Compressor,
select Stream 6 for inlet;
and enter 8 for outlet & Q-
103 for energy streams.
4.Double click stream 8 &
specify the outlet pressure as
20 psia.
20 psia
15 psia
Compresso
r
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 33
temperature
95.6
C
93C
Procedure:
2.Change the direction of the
Cooler: right click/Transform/
Rotate by 180
3.Double click the Cooler, select
Stream 8 for inlet; and enter
9 for outlet & Q-104 for
energy streams.
4.In Parameter page, set Delta P
as 0.
5.Double click stream 9 & specify
the outlet temperature as 93C.
Cooler
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 34
Procedure:
2.Change the direction of the Recycle:
right click/Transform/ Rotate by 270
3.Double click the Recycle, select
Stream 9 for inlet; and enter 10
for outlet.
Recycle unit this
serves as the
convergence unit that
was demonstrated in
the earlier tutorial
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 35
connect the recycle
Procedure:
1.Right click Stream 1 & choose Break
connection
3.Double click the Mixer, select Streams
10 & 1 for inlet; enter 11 for
outlet.
Mixer
Double click the Reactor,
select Streams 11 for
inlet.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 36
Simulation results
Product
streams
Working session
Working session
1. Add a splitter for recycle &
purge
2. Adjust the stream T & P
3. Add a recycle model to
connect the recycle stream
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 38
Recycle model
O
Most simulators (e.g. Aspen Plus,
ChemCad, DESIGN II, PRO/II) will not
show the convergence unit in the
flowsheet. However, the tear stream
concept applies in all sequential
modular softwares.
O
Exceptional for HYSYS, where
recycle convergence unit(s) are
positioned by the user and appear
explicitly in the flowsheet.
(Seider et al.,
2003)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 39
Convergence setting in
Recycle model
O
The sensitivities values (that the users enter) serve as
a multiplier for HYSYS internal convergence
tolerances (default setting).
O
Example: the internal tolerance for T is 0.01 and the
default multiplier is 10 absolute tolerance used by the
Recycle convergence algorithm = 0.01 x 10 = 0.1.
Therefore, the assumed T and the calculated T must be
within 0.1C of each other if the Recycle is to converge.
O
A multiplier of 10 is recommended for most
calculations.
O
Values <10 are more stringent; i.e., the smaller the
multiplier, the tighter the convergence tolerance.
Variables Internal
tolerance
Vapour Fraction 0.01
Temperature 0.01 C
Pressure 0.01 kPa
Flow 0.001 kmol/s
(relative tolerance)
Enthalpy 1.00 kJ/s
Composition 0.0001
Entropy 0.01
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 40
Nested vs.
simultaneous options
O
Nested option
(default):
-
Recycle being called
whenever it is
encountered during
the calculations.
-
Use when there is
single recycle
operation, or
multiple recycles
which are not
connected.
O
Simultaneous option:
-
All recycles to be invoked at the same time
once all recycle streams have been
calculated.
-
Use when there are multiple inter-
connected recycles.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 41
Common convergence
methods
Direct
substitution
(approach used
in Tutorial 5)
Wegstein
method
O
All recycle convergence in simulators implement
direct substitution & Wegstein methods.
O
Direct substitution an initial value is estimated,
the calculated value then becomes the value for
next iteration.
O
Wegstein method accelerates the convergence of
iteration.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 42
Wegstein acceleration
O
The direct substitution iterations
are linearised.
O
A straight line equation is written
for 2 iterations:
G(x) = ax + b
where a = slope of the line
G(x
k
) & G(x
k-1
) = calculated values
for iteration k & k-1; x
k
& x
k-1
=
estimated values for iteration k &
k-1.
O
The intersection is required with the equation: G(x
k-
1
) = x
k-1
O
Substitute & rearrange the equations yield:
O
Substitute Q = a/(a 1) gives:
x
k-1
= Qx
k
+ (1 Q) G(x
k
)
( ) ( )
1
1

=
k k
k k
x x
x G x G
( )
k k k
x G
a
x
a
a
x
1
1
1
1

(Smith, 2005)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 43
Wegstein acceleration
O
Significant of Q:
-
Q = 0, direct
substitution is used.
-
Q < 0, acceleration is
used
-
0 < Q < 1, damping
occurs.
O
Typically, Q is bound between -20 & 0 to
ensure stability & reasonable rate of
convergence.
O
Other acceleration methods may be used when
equations being solved are highly non-linear &
inter-dependent, e.g. dominant-eigencvalue,
Newton-Raphson, Broydens quasi-Newton
methods.
(Seider et al.,
2003)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 44
Wegstein acceleration
O
HYSYS determines the actual
acceleration (Q) to apply based on the
amount of change between successive
iterations. The values for Q
max
& Q
min
set
bounds on the amount of acceleration
applied.
O
Tips: If the recycle is oscillating, a
slightly larger value for Q
max
can be
used to damp the direct replacement.
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 45
Example from Tutorial
5
O
If Wegstein method is applied after 2
iterations:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )( ) kmol 39.8602 6838 . 40 3986 . 0 1 75 . 42 3986 . 0 1
3986 . 0
1
= + + = +
=

k k
x G Q Qx
a
a
___ __________
_________
_________ slope
1
=
=
= =
+ k
x
Q
a
2850 . 0
7500 . 42 50
6838 . 40 7500 . 42
=

Simulation of heat
Simulation of heat
exchanger
exchanger
network
network
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 47
The Onion model
Reactor
Separation &
recycle
Heat exchange
network
Utilities
(Linnhoff et al., 1982;
Smith 1995, 2005)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 48
Tutorial 7 (from
Tutorial 6)
1. Lets
standardise the
specification for
key components:
Ethylene in
bottom: 0.0015
n-octane in
distillate: 0.3500
2. Set the inlet
stream temp to
30C.
3. Disconnect the
stream from the
mixer (right click &
select Break
Connection).
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 49
Heat recovery
potential
2. Add a Heater & rotate it by
90.
3. Connect Stream 1 & energy
stream Q-105 to the heater.
Connect its outlet to the
mixer.
4. Set the heater outlet temp to
93C & P to 0.
needed.
Heater
5. Heat removed from
the cooler (~27 MJ/h)
can be matched to
the energy needed
by the heater (~131
MJ/h).
1.Move the
fresh feed
stream
here
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 50
The final heat
integrated flowsheet
Simulation
starts from
here
However, both
streams are
unknown!
Can we solve this without a Recycle convergence
unit?
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 51
Remember what we
have learnt before
A B C D E F
Recycle stream
Unit operation
in simulator
Tear recycle stream
r
1
r
2
(Turton et al., 1998)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 52
Tear stream
1. Delete the cooler (E-100) &
its energy stream. Replace it
with a Heat Exchanger
(rotate it by choosing Mirror
recycle stream to the tube
side. Set P = 0 for both shell
& tube sides.
2. Disconnect raw material
stream from the heater.
Connect it to the shell side of
outlet stream too).
imaginary
inlet stream
to the heater.

Heat
exchang
er
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 53
Tear stream
Specify the imaginary stream to
match the specification of
Stream 1 via Define from
Other Stream. Note: pressure
& composition are more critical
than temp (due to the
existance of the heater)
The imaginary
stream is
exactly the
same as the
inlet stream
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 54
Final flowsheet
1. Remove the imaginary
inlet stream of the heater.
2. Connect the shell outlet of
the heat exchanger to the
heater.
Time for exercise!
Time for exercise!
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 56
Tutorial 8: flash separator
(self learning)
(Seider et al., 2003)
H82CYS - Computer System Simulation of Recycle Streams 57
Tutorial 8: flash separator
(self learning)
O
Consider the flash separation process
in the figure, with 3 simulation cases
(different % bottom).
O
Thermodynamic model in HYSYS: SRK
O
-
Compare & discuss the flowrates &
compositions for overhead stream by each
of the 3 cases.
-
Modify Case 3 of to determine the flash
temperature necessary to obtain 850 lb/hr