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A Series 01 Relerence Books and Textbooks

Consulting Editor


1. F/uid Cata/ytic Cracking with Zeolite Cata/ysts, Paul B. Venuto and E.

Thomas Habib, Jr.
2. Ethy/ene: Keystone to the Petrochemica/ /ndustry, Ludwig Kniel, Olal
Winter, and Karl Stork
3. The Chemistry and Techn%gy of Petro/eum, James G. Speight
4. The Desu/furization of Heavy Oi/s and Residua, James G. Speight
5. Cata/ysis of Organic Reactions, edited by William R. Moser
6. Acety/ene-Based Chemica/s from Coa/ and Other Natura/ Resources,
Robert J. Tedeschi
7. Chemically Resistant Masonry, Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr.
8. Compressors and Expanders: Se/ection and App/ication for the Process
/ndustry, Heinz P. Bloch, Joseph A. Cameron, Frank M. Danowski, Jr.,
Ralph James, Jr., Judson S. Swearingen, and Marilyn E. Weightman
9. Meterjng Pumps: Se/ection and Application, James P. Poynton
10. Hydrocarbons from Methano/, Ciaren ce D. Chang
11. Form F/otation: Theory and App/ications, Ann N. Clarke and David J.
12. The Chemistryand Techn%gyofCoa/, James G. Speight
13. Pneumatic and Hydrau/ic Conveying of So/ids, O. A. Williams
14. Cata/yst Manufacture: Laboratory and Commercia/ Preparations, Alvin B.
15. Characterization of Heterogeneous Cata/ysts, edited by Francis
16. BAS/C Programs for Chemica/ Engineering Design, James H. Weber
17. Cata/yst Poisoning, L. Louis Hegedus and Robert W. McCabe
18. Cata/ysis of Organic Reactions, edited by John R. Kosak
19. Adsorption Techno/ogy: A Step-by-Step Approach to Process Eva/uation
and App/ication, edited by Frank L. Slejko
20. Deactivation and Poisoning of Cata/ysts, edited by Jacques Oudar and
Henry Wise
21. Cata/ysis and Surface Science: Deve/opments in Chemica/s from Meth-
ano/, Hydrotreating of Hydrocarbons, Cata/yst Preparation, Monomers and
Po/ymers, Photocata/ysis and Photovoltaics, edited by Heinz Heinemann
and Gabor A. Sornorjai
22. Cata/ysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Robert L. Augustine
23. Modern Control Techniques for the Processing Industries, T. H. Tsai, J.
W. Lane, and C. S. Lin
24. Ternperature-Programmed Reduction for Solid Materia/s Character-
ization, Alan Jones and Brian McNichol
25. Catalytic Cracking: Catalysts, Chemistry, and Kinetics, Bohdan W.
Wojciechowski and Avelino Corma
26. Chemical Reaction and Reactor Engineering, edited by J. J. Carberry
and A. Varma
27. Filtration: PrincipIes and Practices, Second Edition, edited by Michael J.
Matteson and Clyde Orr
28. Corrosion Mechanisms, edited by Florian Mansfeld
29. Catalysis and Surface Properties of Liquid Meta/s and Alloys, Yoshisada
30. Catalyst Deactivation, edited by Eugene E. Petersen and Alexis T. Bell
31. Hydrogen Effects in Catalysis: Fundamentals and Practical Applications,
edited by Zoltán Paál and P. G. Menon
32. Flow Management for Engineers and Scientists, Nicholas P. Chere-
misinoff and Paul N. Cheremisinoff
33. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Paul N. Rylander, Harold
Greenfield, and Robert L. Augustine
34. Powder and Bulk Solids Handling Processes: Instrumentation and
Control, Koichi linoya, Hiroaki Masuda, and Kinnosuke Watanabe
35. Reverse Osrnosis Technology: Applications for High-Purity-Water
Production, edited by Bipin S. Parekh
36. Shape Selective Catalysis in Industrial Applications, N. Y. Chen, William
E. Garwood, and Frank G. Dwyer
37. Alpha Olefins Applications Handbook, edited by George R. Lappin and
Joseph L. Sauer
38. Process Modeling and Control in ChemicaUndustries, edited by Kaddour
39. Clathrate Hydrates of Natural Gases, E. Dendy Sloan, Jr.
40. Catalysis ofOrganic Reactions, edited by Dale W. Blackburn
41. Fuel Science and Technology Handbook, edited by Ja,mes G. Speight
42. Octane-Enhancing Zeolitic FCC Catalysts, Julius Scherzer
43. Oxygen in Catalysis, Adam Bielanski and Jerzy Haber
44. The Chernistry and Technology of Petroleum: Second Edition, Revised
and Expanded, James G. Speight
45. Industrial Drying Equipment: Selection and Application, C. M. van't Land
46. Novel Production Methods for Ethylene, Light Hydrocarbons, and Aro-
matics, edited by Lyle F. Albright, Billy L. Crynes, and Siegfried Nowak
47. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by William E. Pascoe
48. Synthetic Lubricants and High-Performance Functional Fluids, edited by
Ronald L. Shubkin
49. Acetic Acid and Its Derivatives, edited by Victor H. Agreda and Joseph R.
50. Properties and Applications of Perovskite- Type Oxides, edited by L. G.
Tejuca and J. L. G. Fierro
51. Computer-Aided Design of Catalysts, edited by E. Robert Beeker and
Carmo J. Pereira
52. Models for Thermodynamic and Phase Equilibria Calculations, edited by
Stanley 1. Sandler
53. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by John R. Kosak and Thomas A.
54. Composition and Analysis of Heavy Petroleum Fractions, Klaus H. Altgelt
and Mieezyslaw M. Boduszynski
55. NMR Techniques in Catalysis, edited by Alexis T. Bell and Alexander
56. Upgrading Petroleum Residues and Heavy Oils, Murray R. Gray
57. Methanol Production and Use, edited by Wu-Hsun Cheng and Harold H.
58. Catalytic Hydroprocessing of Petroleum and Distil/ates, edited by Miehael
C. Oballah and Stuart S. Shih
59. The Chemistry and Technology of Coal: Second Edition, Revised and
Expanded, James G. Speight
60. Lubricant Base Oil and Wax Processing, Avilino Sequeira, Jr.
61. Catalytic Naphtha Reforming: Science and Technology, edited by
George J. Antos, Abdullah M. Aitani, and José M. Parera
62. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Mike G. Sea ros and Miehael L.
63. Catalyst Manufacture, Alvin B. Stiles and Theodore A. Koeh
64. Handbook of Grignard Reagents, edited by Gary S. Silverman and Philip
E. Rakita
65. Shape Selective Catalysis in Industrial Applications: Second Edition,
Revised and Expanded, N. Y. Chen, William E. Garwood, and Francis
G. Dwyer
66. Hydrocracking Science and Technology, Julius Seherzer and A. J.
67. Hydrotreating Technology for Pol/ution Control: Catalysts, Catalysis,
and Processes, edited by Mario L. Oecelli and Russell Chianelli
68. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Russell E. Malz, Jr.
69. Synthesis of Porous Materia/s: Zeolites, Clays, and Nanostructures,
edited by Mario L. Oecelli and Henri Kessler
70. Methane and Its Derivatives, Sunggyu Lee
71. Structured Catalysts and Reactors, edited by Andrzei Cybulski and
Jaeob Moulijn
72. Industrial Gases in Petrochemical Processing, Harold Gunardson
73. Clathrate Hydrates of Natural Gases: Second Edition, Revised and
Expanded, E. Dendy Sloan, Jr.
74. Fluid Cracking Catalysts, edited by Mario L. Oeeelli and Paul O'Connor
75. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Frank E. Herkes
76. The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum, Third Edition, Revised
and Expanded, James G. Speighl
77. Synthetic Lubricants and High-Performance Functional Fluids, Second
Edition: Revised and Expanded, Leslie R. Rudniek and Ronald L.
78. The Desulfurízatíon of Heavy Oí/s and Residua, Second Edition,
Revised and Expanded, James G. Speight
79. Reaction Kinetics and Reactor Design: Second Edition, Revised and
Expanded, John B. Butt
80. Regulatory Chemicals Handbook, Jennifer M. Spero, Bella Devito, and
Louis Theodore
81. Applied Parameter Estimation for Chemical Engineers, Peter Englezos
and Nicolas Kalogerakis
82. Catalysis of Organic Reactions, edited by Michael E. Ford
83. The Chemical Process Industries Infrastructure: Function and Eco-
nomics, James R. Couper, O. Thomas Beasley, and W. Roy Penney
84. Transport Phenomena Fundamentals, Joel L. Plawsky
85. Petroleum Refining Processes, James G. Speight and Baki Ozüm
86. Health, Safety, and Accídent Management in the Chemical Process
Industries, Ann Marie Flynn and Louis Theodore
87. Plantwide Dynamic Simulators in Chemical Processing and Control,
William L. Luyben


Lubricant Additives: Chemistry and Applications, edited by Leslie R.

PR CESSltt and e

WiUiam Le Lu n
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania



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This book is dedicated to Nathaniel, Trevor and Elizabeth Beatrice
(Bops). Their granddad hopes they always do their best and leave
the world a little better place than it was when they arrived.
Dynamic simulation has been used by chemical engineers for over a half
century. The earliest studies used mechanical and electrornc analog computers to
study dynarrnc processes such as batch distillation, chemical reactors and feed-
effluent heat exchangers. It took many hours to program and set up analog com-
puters, and their maintenance was a never-ending jobo The relatively small number
of amplifiers limited the number of differential equations that could be used in the
model, so only small-scale systems could be studied. A typical distillation colunm
simulation (100 to 200 ordinary differential equations) required a large-scale and
very expensive analog facility. However, despite the costs, most of the chemical
and petroleum companies invested in equipment and manpower to operate 1arge
and well-staffed computing groups in their engineering research centers. The pay-
off in improved design and control justified the large expenditures.
With the advent of the digital computer in the 1960s, 1imitations on prob1em
size were re1axed by many orders of magnitude. Systems with thousands of differ-
ential equations could be studied. Programming difficulty decreased, but a new set
of numerica1methods had to be learned and developed as essential too1s fOl' suc-
cessfu1 simulations. The limitation became computing speed. The increases in
computer speed over that last 30 years has been phenomenal, to say the least. So
we can now tackle quite comp1ex plantwide dynamic simulations.
The dynamic models used in the early days were almost always "home
grown." The engineer wou1d sit down and write out the equations describing the
system (algebraic and differential), using the fundamental laws and principIes of
physics and chemistry. One of the major benefits of deriving the mode1 was the
insight it provided into the behavior and stmcture of the process.
The 1970s and 1980s saw the growth of commercial process sinlUlation
software that could analyze the steady-state behavior of chemical processes. Fi-
nally in the 1990s, the in crease in computer speed permitted the development of
commercial dynamic simulators. At the begim1ing of the new millennium, the cur-
rent state of simulation reflects the widespread use of commercia1 simulators in
both industry and lmiversities. The most widely used sinlUlators are HYSYSTM
fi:om Hyprotech Inc. and AspenPlus™/AspenDynamicsTM from Aspen Teclmol-
ogy. Both ofthese simulators include dynamic analysis capability.
The importance of investigating both the dynamic and the steady-state per-
formance of chemical plants has been recognized fOl' many years. This concept of
"simultaneous design" was one of the central features of the pioneering wOl'k in
process control by Page Buckley of Du Pont. In the past, the traditional capstone

vi Preface

design course in most lUüversities only expIored the steady-state aspects ofproc-
ess designo This Iinüted treatment is rapidly giving way to a more comprehensive
study ofboth dynamic controllability and steady-state economics.
The steady-state simulation aspects of using commercial software are fairIy
well covered in textbooks and vendor tutorials. However, the dynanüc aspects
have received only sketchy coverage. There is no structured way for students and
young engineers to learn how to use these commercial dynanüc sirnulation pack-
ages to develop and test dynamic pIantwide contTOl structures.
Learning how to use the dynanlic simuIators is a somewhat painful and slow
process. The number of exampIes provided in vendor tutorials is small, and the
processes are limited in scope. The documentation and help screens can often be
unclear and offer littIe guidance. On-line technical assistance is usually not avail-
able to students, so lUlless a very knowledgeable faculty member 01' graduate stu-
dent is avaiIable, students can struggle with dynanüc simulations. Of course, time
is one commodity that senior students have in very short supply. They have linl-
ited time to invest in leaming the ins and outs of sirnuIators since the typical de-
sign project must be completed in onlya few months.
The purpose of this book is to help students and inexperienced engineers
learn how to rapidly and effectively use dyl1anüc simuIators. Usil1g dynanüc SinlU-
lators requires more than just lmowing the software. It requires the application of
some good solid engineering principIes. Remember the old saying "garbage in,
garbage out!"
The engineering steps that are necessary in moving from a steady-state
simulation to a dynanlic simulation are presented in this book. TIlese include siz-
ing equipment, getting the "plumbing" correct, sizing c¿ntrol val ves, developing a
basic regulatory control structme and tuning controlle[s. The development of a
plantwide basic regulatory control scheme requires 100Ji;:ing at the big pictme and
recognizing that all the units must "dance together." W,e must make sure that the
structme balances the stoichiometry of the reactions by adjusting the flowrates of

the fresh feed streams. Of course inert components mu~t have a way to leave the
system so that they do not acclUnulate and degrade the pp..fonnance ofthe process.
Once the overall scheme is in place, it is often mpre efficient to look at the
individual units to do the controller tuning since simuUttions of a single lmit l'lUl
much more quickly than the simulation ofthe whole pl~nt. The secret to success-
fi.Il simulations is "divide and conquer." I
Dynamic simulators can handle many of the impprtant unit operations, but
not all. However, the list of process wüts whose dynamifs can be accurately simu-
lated grows each year. The fieId is a rapidly changing O~le, so new capabilities are
offered with each new version ofthe software. :
A nlU11ber of case-study examples are provided !in this book. They range
from a sinlple single lmit with two or three controllers t9 complex, intercollilecting
lmits in a plantwide system with dozens of controlleI[S and a complex control
structme. These case studies cover a broad range of systems. The accompanying
CD contains the HYSYS and AspenDynamics files oflall the cases. It also COl1-
Preface vii

tains MS® Word files that give aH the figures in the book. These can be useful in
your reading because they are in color and because you can enlarge the figures in
order to see more detail.
It is hoped that this book will serve as an effective learning t001 for students
and inexperienced engineers and serve as an introduction to dynamic simulators.
The intent is not to develop experts who 1mow all the nitty-gritty details of the
simu1ators and use aH the beHs and whistles. For examp1e, there are typically three
different ways to do a task. We on1y cover what 1 have found to be the simplest
and most intuitive.
There are also many advanced capabilities offered by the sinmlators, includ-
ing writing your oW11models. We do not attel11pt to cover any of these advanced
ftillctionalities. The goal ofthis book is to provide a solid starting point for inexpe-
rienced engineers and to give students a good working knowledge ofthe basics.
1 would like to thank Cris Muhrer, Bryon Manor, and Oliver Sl11ith of Air
Products for their tutoring in AspenDynamics and AspenP1us. James Goom of
AspenTech provided technical help with several aspects ofusing AspenDynamics.
1 thank Joe Sieben of Hyprotech for his he1p in app1ying HYSYS. Brad Price and
Paul Bader ofLehigh University provided inva1uable assistance with software and
hardware issues. Thanks are also due to the l11any senior students at Lehigh Uni-
versity who have suffered through the pain of 1earning dynamic simulators. Their
struggles are what have prompted the writing of this book.

Willial11 L. Luyben


Part 1 - Fundamentals 1

Chapter 1 - Introduction ---'--~--~_'_~-~~"'~:':~:~~~~.=-,,,*.,,-=~~~,::J 3

Chapter 2 - Moving from Steady-State to Dynamic Simulations 9
Chapter 3 - Tuning Controllers /Lidl
1,1.10;20 1 03J

Part n-Single-Uní! Dynamic Simulations r 1/ ,!,¡' 39

Chapter 4 - Tank Process 41

Chapter 5 - Blending Process 87
Chapter 6 - CSTR Reactor Process 105
Chapter 7 - Plug-Flow Tubular Reactors 125
Chapter 8 - Distillation Columns 155
Chapter 9 - Heterogeneous Azeotropic Distillation 181
Chapter 10 - Reactive Distillation 199

Part ID - Multi-Unit Dynamic Simulations 225

Chapter 11 - Pressure-Swing Azeotropic Distillation Columns 227

Chapter 12 - Heat-Integrated Distillation Columns 249
Chapter 13 - Tubular Reactor with Gas Recycle Process 271
Chapter 14 - Reactor/Column with Liquid Recycle 283

Part IV - Complex Plantwide Processes 301

Chapter 15 - Hydrodealkylation Process 303

Chapter 16 - Alkylation Process 329
Chapter 17 - Ethyl Benzene Process 357
Chapter 18 - Methyl Amines Process 375
Chapter 19 - Concluding Topics 403

Index 427


hapter 1

1.1 Status
Dynamic simulation has become increasingly important as processes be-
come more complex and are designed and operated closer to constraints. The use
of intemlediate buffer tanks has been greatly reduced because of envirmmlental
and safety concems. Increasing yields and suppressing the fomlation of undesir-
able and environmentally unfhendly by-products are often achieved by using
complex flowsheets with many recycle streams. Increasing energy costs keep
pushing design engineers toward more heat integration. All of these trends make
dynamic control more difficult and dynamic simulation more inlportant. It is vital
that all the unit operations of a complex flowsheet be able to "dance" together in
the face ofthe inevitable disturbances. These include production rate changes, feed
composition variability, transitions to different product specifications and rapid
ambient temperature changes during storms.
Ideally the dynamics of the process should be considered at the very early
stages ofthe development of a process. Certainly at the pilot-plant stage, trade-offs
between design and control should be explored, and basic regulatory control struc-
tures should be developed and tested. The engineeting time expended at the early
stages can reap enormous economic benefits later in the project in terms of rapid,
trouble-free startups, reduced product-quality variability, less-frequent emergency
shutdowns, reduced enviromnental contamination and safer operation.
Forttmately our ability to perform plantwide dynamic simulations has also
increased. 111ere are several commercial software packages that have dynamic
capability. The two most widely used are "HYSYS" from Hyprotech Inc. and
"AspenPlus/AspenDynamics" from Aspen Tec1mology. These two simulators will
be used in this book. Although these simulators are far from perfect (we will high-
light some of the weaknesses and "bugs" as we go through this book), they do
provide a reasonably effective tool for studying process dynamics. Unfortunately,
there are a variety of bugs in each new version of the software, but these are
gradually being elinlinated.
We will only illustrate the development of convetltional single-input-single-
output control Strllctures that use linear proportional-integral (PI) controllers.
However, dynamic simulators are needed to test any control structure, whether it is
4 Chapter 1

a conventional PI structme or more advanced control structmes such as "Model

Predictive Control" (MPC) , nonlinear control or adaptive control. The dynamic
simulators provide a rigorous non linear model ofthe process, which we hope cap-
tmes the true behavior ofthe process.

1.2 Need
Learning how to use steady-state simulators is reasonably well covered in
several textbooks and vendor tutorials. The recent CD-ROM by Lewin et al.
(ISBN: 0-471-44254-2) provides a good introduction to use ofsteady-state simula-
torso However, learning how to use dynamic sinmlators is not covered thoroughly
in the existing textbooks. The purpose ofthis book is to fill this gap in the educa-
tional phase ofthe tec1mology.
There are some significant steps that must be taken and vital infonnation
that must be available to go fi"om a steady-state sirnulation to a dynamic simula-
tion. The details ofthese steps are covered in this book, and they are illustrated by
a number of case-study examples.
A second need that this book filIs is making available a number of case stud-
ies. These range from very simple systems to complex flowsheets. The simple
systems are useful for learning how to get started in using dynamic simulators.
The complex systems are useful in illustrating how to apply the concepts of plant-
wide control to a realistic process. Control researchers should fmd these complex
case studies useful in providing a challenging process on which to apply their
newly developed advanced control methods.

1.3 Scope
One effective pedagogical approach to learning how to use dynamic simula-
tors is to start with a very sin1ple dynamic system (for example, a single tank).
This simple process has two or three control valves and the same number of con-
trollers. It requires that we learn the basic operations of moving from a steady-
state simulation to a dynamic simulation.

1.3.1 Equipment Sizing

Sizing equipment is necessary so that the dynamic capacitance of the

equipment (tank sizes, column liquid holdups, heat-exchanger volumes, etc.) is
available to the simulator. It is not necessary to have all the details of the mechani-
cal design of the equipment. Some good estimates of the gas volumes and liquid
holdups in a system are all that are necessary to predict realistic dynamic re-
Introduction 5

Sorne equipment sizing (for example, ·clistillation columns) is provided by

the simulators. But many components are not automatically sized. In this book, we
use simple heuristics to set the sizes of surge tanks, separators, colmTIll bases, etc.
Conceptual equipment sizing is covered in Chapter 2.

1.3.2 Plumbing

The dynamic simulators provide two modes of simulation: "flow-driven"

and "pressure-driven." The latter type is strongly recommended, especially for
students. It is a much more accurate representation of the real process in which
hydraulics and fluid mechanics are of vital importance. Pmnps, compressors and
control val ves are important parts ofthe designo
Por realistic dynamic simulations, the "plmnbing" in the flowsheet must be
correctly designed so streams can flow from one mlit to the next. This is a major
area ofweakness ofmany students (and professors). They leam the theory offluid
mechanics in their undergraduate course, but their plumbing skills are typically
pOOl'. Por example, students ofien put a control valve in the suction of a pmnp or
put two contTol valves in a liquid-filled lineo Controlling flow through a compres-
sor cannot be achieved by putting a valve in the discharge lineo Compressors are
volmnetric devices that pmnp "actual volmne per minute" flows at suction condi-
tions. The most realistic approach to controlling flow through a compressor in the
simulator is to manipulate work to the compressoL This corresponds to changing
compressor speed.
A crucial part ofthe plunlbing is control valve sizing. This means setting the
percent val ve opening and the pressure drop ayer the val ve at steady-state design
conditions. Most val ves are designed to be 50% open at design conclitions. How-
ever, valves that must be able to provide significant increases in flow (for exam-
pIe, a valve on the cooling water to the jacket of an exotherrnic chemical reactor)
must be designed to have smaller design openings.
The design pressure drop of a valve is one of the classical exanlples of the
ever-present tradeoffbetween dynamic controllability and steady-state economics.
The higher the valve pressure drop, the more the flow through the valve can be
changed (improved rangeability). This translates into better control because more
"power" is available to handle dist11l'bances and valve saturation is reduced. How-
ever, larger valve pressure drops require punlpS 01' compressors with higher clis-
charge pressures, which means higher energy consumption. Since gas compres-
sion is much more expensive than liquid pumping, control val ves are ofien elimi-
nated in gas systems by the use of variable-speed compressor drives (typically
steam turbines).
This plumbing material is of vital practical importance in the design and op-
eration of the real plant, and it should be part of the simulation. This material is
covered in Chapter 2.
6 Chapter 1

1.3.3 Installing Controllers and Tuning

Once the process equipment is established, controllers and strip-chart re-

corders must be added to the process flow diagram (PFD) in the simulation. The
detailed mechanics of doing this are different in the two simulators. The "drag-
and-droP" approach is the usualmethod. Each controller requires several specifi-
cations to begin the simulation:

l. Initial values ofthe signal from the process sensor (the PV signaJ) and
the signal to the control valve (the OP signal) must be made available.
Thís requires establishing the ranges of the sensor/transmitter that is
generating the PV signal and establishing the range of the controller
output signa!. If the controller output signal is going to a valve, this
range is Oto 100%. Some ofthe manípulated variables are set directly
from the controller (for example, reboiler heat input or coolant tem-
perature). In that case, the maximum and mininlUm values of the en-
ergy flow or the maximul11 and minimum coolant temperatures must
be specified.
2. The conect "action" of the controller must be specified: direct or re-
3. The controller ttming constants must be set. Tlming oflevel and flow
controllers is a "plug-in-the-numbers" operation, which requires no
dynanlÍc testing. On the other hand, most temperature and composi-
tion loops require dynamic testing (for exanlple, the simple relay-
feedback test) to develop controller tuning constants. It is important to
use realistic lags andlor deadtimes in the tel11perature/composition
loops so that the predicted performance is not overly optimistic. Using
reasonable and conservative measurement lags in the temperature and
cOl11position loops helps to guarantee that effective control is possible
in a real plant environment, not just on the sil11ulator.
4. Strip-chari recorders are useful in following the dynamic changes oc-
cuning in the many variables. The variables to be observed need to be
selected, and all the chart properties (axis scales, labels, etc.) must be
These issues are covered in Chapter 3.

1.3.4 Case Studies

The rest of the book presents a series case studies. The approach is to start
with very simple process units that require 0111y two or three controllers. Then
units with several controllers are considered. The complexity of the processes is
Introduction 7

progressively increased until the flowsheets represent typically complex industrial

processes. Each example is deve!oped and discussed in detail. Simulations in both
HYSYS and AspenDynamics are given for each example.
Chapter 4 studies a simple tank process in which we controlliquid level and
tank pressure by manipulating the flow of liquid and vapor leaving the tank for
disturbances in the flow entering the tank. All the steps of converting from steady
state to dynamics are covered in exhaustive detail. Controllers are installed and the
simulation is runo Strip-chart recorders are installed so that we can see the dynamic
transients in the variables of interest. We also discuss the case in which there is
onlya liquid stream leaving the tank.
Chapter 5 considers another simple tank process in which there are two feed
streams of differing compositions that are blended in the tarik. In addition to con-
trolling level, we control the composition of the stream leaving the tank by ma-
nipulating one ofthe feed streams. The steps in installing dynamic elements (dead-
times and lags) in the cornposition loop are illustrated. Controllers are tuned using
the relay-feedback test. Performance is evaluated in the face of disturbances.
In Chapters 6 and 7 corumon reactor systems are studied: a continuous
stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) and a plug-flow reactor (PFR). The key issues in reac-·
tor systems are temperature control and heat transfer. Several alternative heat-
transfer models are available: direct heat-transfer rate Q, specified coolant tem-
perature or specified coolant flowrate. These altemative models differ in the two
simulators. The choice of what model to use is important in achieving realistic
dynamic simulations of reaction systems.
Unit operations with a larger number of loops are presented in Chapters 8
through 10. Distillation column control is one of the most important areas of proc-
ess control. Even a simple single-feed, two-product distillation column has six
controlloops: feed flowrate, pressure, base leve!, reflux-drum leve! and two other
variables (typicalIy one flow and one temperature on sorne tray in the column). A
conventional distillation example is given in Chapter 8, a heterogeneous
azeotropic distillation column is discussed in Chapter 9 and two reactive distilIa-
tion columns are studied in Chapter 10.
Chapters 11 through 14 give examples of somewhat more complex proc-
esses with two units connected by recyc1e streams. Two-column distillation sys-
tems are discussed in Chapter 11 (pressure-swing azeotrüpic distillation) and
Chapter 12 (heat-integrated columns). Chapter 13 explores a tubular reactor sys-
tem with gas recyc1e, and Chapter 14 studies a similar reactor with a liquid recyc1e
stream coming frorn a distillation column.
In Chapters 15-18 complete multi-unit plantwide process structures are con-
sidered. There are several interconnected unit operations with dozens of control-
lers to be installed and tuned. In addition to having educational content, these
cases should be useful to process control researchers by providing sorne realisti-
cally complex processes on which new control approaches can be tested.
Chapter 19 wraps up a few loose ends and discusses sorne advanced meth-
ods and hardware issues.
8 Chapter 1

1.4 Software Stability and Bugs

Both dynamic simulators are powerful tools and pelmit us to fairly easily
explore the dynamics of chemical processes. They provide reasonably accurate
models of a variety of industrially important unit operations.
However, they are far fi'om perfect. Sometimes the software crashes for no
apparent reason, and enor messages such as "The program has peiformed an ille-
gal operation and will be shut down" are given. This software stability problcm
seems to improve with each version ofthe software, but its occurrence is stillmore
fi'equent than it shoulcl be. The user should save the file quite fl'equently in orcler to
avoicllosing infom1ation.
Software bugs are also more numerous than one would like. Things that
should work sometimes clo not for no apparent reason. These problems shoulcl be
reporting to the software companies through their technical support or hot lines.
As the software is improved over the next several years, these problems should
occur less frequently, ancl this will malee clynamic simulations easier and more
The software usecl in this book is HYSYS.plant (version 2.4.1, Build 3870)
and AspenPlus/AspenDynamics (version 10.2.2).

1.5 Conclusion
In tbis chapter we have set the stage for the remaining chapters. The status
of dynamic simulation, the aclclitional information neecled ancl the scope of the
book have been cliscussecl. We are reacly to dig into the details of clynamic sinmla-
It shoulcl be emphasized that the goal of this book is provide an introduction
to the use of commercial dynamic simulators. We clo not attempt to provicle all the
voluminous material to transfom1 the reacler into a simulation expert. This requires
many months of time ancl effort. Only the simple basic operations that are needed
to get startecl in dynamic simulation are discussed. The commercial simulators
offer many aclvancecl feahrres that can be usefül after the engineer leams the ba-
sics. We hope this book is helpful in getting you off the ground in the important
and fascinating activity of dynamic simulation.
hapter 2

oving from Steady-State

to Dynamic Simulations

2.1 Steady-State Simulation

This chapter discusses the several steps that must be taken to convert a
steady-state simulation into a dynamic simulation. It is assumed that a flowsheet
has been synthesized and converged. A large amOlmt of information is necessary
for getting to this stage. The list of data and specifications inc1udes:

1. Flowsheet topology (types and positioning oftmits)

2. Reactor types, sizes and conditions (temperatures, pressures, cata-
lyst amOlmts, heat-transfer area, cooling or heating medium, etc.)
3. Reaction kinetic data.
4. Physical property data.
5. Phase equilibrium data.
6. NWllber of stages in a11 staged-operations (disti11ation colul1ms, ab-
sorbers, liquid-liquid extraction columns, etc.) and operating condi-
tions (pressures and temperatures).
7. Heat-transfer rates, minumml approach temperatures, overa11 heat-
transfer coefficients, flowrates of COOlUlg or heating medium alld
areas Ul a11 heat exchangers,
8. Flowrates, temperatures, pressures and compositions of a11 process

Not a11 of the tmit operations that are useable in the steady-state sUllulators
are supported in dynamics. The flowsheet sometimes must be modified to handle
these lUllitations.

10 Chapter2

2.2 Information N eeded for Dynalnic

The steady-state simulation does not need infounation that has no effect on
steady-state results. These items inc1ude colmnn diameters, sizes of all surge ves-
seIs, sizes of control valves, etc. However, the dynamic simulation does need this
infounation because the dynamic response of a process unit depends on the size of
the equipment. The capacitance ofthe system (its time constant) is dictated by its
size (volume or mass) relative to the flux (flowrate, heat-transfer rate, etc.). There-
fore all equipment must be sized (at least approximately) before dynamic simula-
tions can be performed.
The other important aspect of the flowsheet that must be specified in order
to conduct a dynamic simulation of a process is the plumbing. This inc1udes in-
stalling pumps, compressors and control valves.
There are two types of dynamic simulations: "flow-driven" and "pressure-
driven." In this book we will only consider pressure-driven simulations. Although
they require more information, they are more realistic of the real operation of a
process. Pressures and pressure drops throughout the system must be set up so that
material can flow fiom high pressure to low pressure. Pumps and compressors
must be installed where needed. Control val ves must be placed in appropriate 10-
cations and sized.
Al10ther important aspect of dynamic simulators is their use of approXÍl11ate
physical property relationships instead of the rigorous methods used for steady-
state simulations. Using more simple re1ationships decreases the computing bur-
den and speeds up the simulations. The ratio of "process tinle" to "computer time"
is impOliant, particularly for plantwide simulations that can have very large time
constants (hours 01' days). However, the use of approximate properties introduces
some enor in the dynamic simulations.
The earlier versions of HYSYS permitted the user to select rigorous 01' ap-
proximate properties. The latest version (HYSYS.Plant 2.2) only uses rigorous
methods. AspenDynamics (Version 10.2) pennits the user to select which proper-
ties to use, with the default being approxinlate properties. This choice is done by
looking at the Exploring Simulatiol1 view in AspenDynamics. Click the "Globals"
icon in the Contents of Simulation view. This brings up the Table Globals. Go to
GlobalPropMode and select "rigorous" 01' "local."
In this chapter we will discuss equipment sizing, phmlbing and control valve
sizing. In the next chapter we will cover how to install controllers and other dy-
namic control e1ements.
Steady State lo Dynamic 11

2.3 Sizing Equipment

In order to conduct dynamic simulations, all equipment must be sized. This
sizing does not have to include aH the detailed mechanical designo At the concep-
tual design level, we only need to have approximate estimates of equipment vol-
umes. In the following sections, we discuss the rough-cut sizing of some of the
most important unit operations. The list is by no means complete, but it covers
many ofthe COlmnon lUlÍtS that occm in many flowsheets.

2.3.1 Distillation Columns

The vohU11e of a distillation COllUllU depends on its diameter De and length

Le. Both are easily calculated.

A. Length: A typical tray spacing is about two feet. So ifthe collUlm has N T
trays, the height of the tray section is 2NT (feet). However, the collUlln requires
some additional height to accoillmodate reflux and feed entry locations and to
provide smge vollUne in the base, particularly if thennosiphon reboilers are used.
Therefore we nonnally increase the length ofthe collmm by about 20%:

This approxinlation assumes that we are using actual trays. Ifthe simulation
uses theoretical trays, which is typically the case, an adjustment in the length
should be made so that the actual volume of the vessel with real trays is used.

Le (ft) = 2.4 (NT)theoretieallEfficiency

This use of theoretical trays also requires an adjustment in the weir height of the
trays so that a realistic estinlate of the total liqlúd holdup on the actual trays is
used. Weir heights are nonnally oue to two inches on actual trays. So the weir
height specified in the simulation should be adjusted upwards by dividing by the
Tray efficiency depends on several factors, but the most in1portant is relative
volatility 01' ease of separation. Components with large differences in boiling
points (high relative volatilities) exhibit large changes in compositions fi'om tray to
tray in the column. This results in low tray efficiencies (vapor and liquid are not in
phase equilibritU11). Components with small differences in boiling points produce
small changes in compositions fi'om tray to tray, so efficiencies are high. In the
absence ofbetter data, some hemistics can be used to estimate efficiency. Relative
volatilities around a=l.l give almost 100% efficiency. Relative volatilities around
a=2 give efficiencies in the 80% range. Relative volatilities arOlmd a=4 give effi-
12 Chapter 2

ciencies in the 50% range. These estimates can be used to adjust column heights
and tray weir heights.
The other aspect of tray height calculation is the type of intemals. Instead of
using trays, the column may use packing. Structured packing is widely used, par-
ticularly in vacuum cohm1l1s, because of its lower pressure drop per theoretical
tray. Corre1ations are given in many references (for example, Kister, H. Z. "Distil-
lation Design" McGraw-Hi11 Co.,1992) for packing height per theoretical tray, and
these should be used if appropriate. The tray model can be used with the number
oftrays selected to match the lllunber oftrays provided by the specified height of
The liquid holdup (weir height) must also be adjusted if packing is used.
One of the biggest differences between packing and trays is the sma11er liquid
holdup in packed towers. This makes the dynamic response of a packed column
faster than a trayed colun1l1, which means that disturbance rejection is worse in
packed colun1l1s than in columns with trays.

B. Diameter: The diameter of a colmnn is set by the maximum vapor veloc-

ity. This ofien occurs at the top of the colmnn where the pressure is the lowest,
which gives the lowest vapor density. However, ifthe feed is subcooled liquid, the
maximlUl1 vapor rate can occur just below the feed tray because of the extra vapor
needed to bring the feed up to the temperature of the feed tray. Changes in molar
heats of vaporization, temperature and molecular weights can move the location of
the worst-case tray locatioll to other positions in the colmnn. The steady-state
simulator vapor profiles should be checked to find the tray with the maxllnlUl1
vapor velocity.
A simple way to ca1culate the maxin1Um a110wable vapor velocity is to use
the "F-Factor" parameter.

F-Factor == ~nax -J Pv
In English Engineering lmits, the velocity V max has units of fi/sec and the
vapor density Pv has units oflb/fi3 . In SI lmits, velocity is in m/sec and density is
in kg/m3 . An F-Factor of 1 in English Engineering units or l.22 in SI units can be
used to determine the diameter ofthe column.
From the steady-state columll profiles, se1ect the tray with maximmn vapor
velocity from the given vapor flowrate and density.

HYSYS: In HYSYS these parameters can be obtained by going into the

subflowsheet enVir0l1l11ent. Use the Performance page tab to look at the vapor
flowrates on a11 trays. Ifthe largest vapor rate occurs at the top, double elick on the
"To Condenser" stream. Read the mas s flowrate from the "Conditions" view and
the vapor density from the "Properties" view. If the maximlUl1 vapor rate occurs
on an intemal tray, double eliele on the main tower section and look at the Per-
Steady State to Dynamic 13

fOlmance page tab. The Summary view gives the flowrates on aH trays in either
mas s units or actual volumeüic lmits (select the appropriate Flow Basis).

AspenPlus: In order to get vapor densities on all ü·ays, before running the
steady-state case, expand the block used for the colunm and under "RepOlt" check
the "include hydraulic parameters" box. Then run the case. Look in the colunm
block lmder "Profiles" at the Hydraulics page tab. The volumeÍlic flowrates and
den sities are given in whatever lmits you select.
To illusü·ate this calculation, let's take a numerical example. Suppose we
have a colunm in which the maximul11 vapor rate is 5572 1b/hr (2527 kg/hr) and
the vapor density is 1.8241b/ft3 (29.26 kg/m3). Using the recoml11ended F-Factors,
the maximul11 vapor velocity is
F-Factor 1
~nax = ¡;:-- r;-;;:::;-; = 0.74 ft/ sec
-V Pv ,\,,1.824
v = F-Factor 1.22
~ =
0.226 l1J/sec
max ¡;:--
"I/Pv ,\,,29.26

The volul11eÍlic flowrate is (5572 lb/hr)(ft311.824 lb)(hr/3600 sec) = 0.849 ft3/sec

(0.024 m3/sec). Therefore the cross-sectiona1 area ofthe colunm is
Area = 0.849 ft3/ sec = 1.147 ft2
0.74 ft/sec
The area is related to the diameter by
So the calculated diameter is [(4)(1. 147)hr]o.s = 1.21 ft (0.369meters).
Similar calculations are automatically perfomled in both HYSYS and Aspen-
Plus, but the results should be checked to confirm their validity. In the steady-state
l110de of HYSYS, go to the collmm environment and double click the l11ain tower
section. Then go to the Rating page tab and click the Quick Size button. The cal-
culated diameter willappear. These calculations seem to be erratic for smaller
colul1ms. In AspenPlus, go to the block of the colmllil, and click the Tray Sizing
box. The required colmllu diameters calculated for each tray are displayed, and the
largest is selected.
These sizing calculations give us a rough idea of the size of the colmllil,
which is accurate enough for dyuamic control studies. The active ü·ay area and the
downcomer area are ignored, as are the details of the tray design (e.g., umllber and
size ofholes of a sieve tray). At the conceptual design stage we need only enough
rigor to provide reasonable estimates oftime constants.
14 Chapter2

2.3.2 Separators (Flash Tanks)

Separators are tanks that have both liquid and vapor streams leaving the unit.
Their fi.mction is to disengage the two phases and provide liquid surge capacity.
Therefore the vapor velocity must be kept low enough so that liquid entraimnent is
small. The F-Factor can be used to ca1culate the minimum diameter ofthe vessel.
We use a more conservative F-Factor (0.5 in English Engineering units) so that
effective separation ofthe two phases is achieved.
We also must check to see if the liquid holdup is adequate. The normal heu-
ristic is to provide at least five minutes ofholdup. This means the volume ofliquid
in the tank (normally with the interface at 50% ofthe tank height, assuming a ver-
tical cylindrical vessel) should be five times the vohunetric flowrate of the liquid
leaving the tank.
To illustrate the ca1culations, we consider a flash tank operating at 48.9°C
(120°F) and 3l.7 bar (460 psia). The vapor leaving the tank is 613 kg/br (1251
lb/hr) with a vapor density of 46.3 kg/m3 (2.89lb/ft3). The liquid leaving the tank
is 1635 kg/br (3604 lb/hr) with a liquid density of 460 kg/m3 (28.7 lb/ft3). The tank
is a vertical cylindrical vessel with an aspect ratio (length-to-diameter ratio) of
First we will calculate the required diameter based on the vapor velocity. The
maximum vapor velocity, using a 0.5 F-Factor, is

Vmax = F-Factor
r::- 0.5
= O 294 ft/ sec
-V Pv -'1/2.89
The volumetric flowrate is (1251 Ib/hr)(ft3/2.89 lb)(hr/3600 sec) = 0.130 ft3/sec.
Therefore the cross-sectional area of the tank is
Area = 0.294 ft3/ sec = 0.442 ft2
0.13 ft/sec
Thus the tank diameter must be at least [(4)(0.442)/n:]0.5 = 0.75 feet.
Now we need to check the liquid holdup requrrements. The volumetric
flowrate ofliquid is (3604lb/hr)(ft3/28.7lb) (lrr/60 min)= 2.09 ft3/¡nin. To have 5
minutes holdup of liquid with the tank half full, the volume of the tank should be
(2)(5 min)(2.09 ft3/min) = 20.9 ft3. With an aspect ratio of two, the relationship
between volume and diameter is
Volume = !!-. D 2 L = !!-. D 2 (2D) = !!-. D 3

Therefore the diameter is 2.37 ft. Since this is larger than that ca1culated from the
vapor F-Factor, we specifY a tank with a diameter of 2.5 ft and a length of 5 ft.
Note that we have used vertical tanks in all the examples aboye. IfhOlizontal tanks
are used, the ca1culations must be modified to accommodate this change.
The dyuamics ofheaters and coolers (and column reboilers and condensers) are
usually assumed to be fast compared to the composition and flow dyuamics. In
Steady State to Dynamic 15

AspenDynamics, these units are assumed to be instantaneous. In HYSYS, heater

and coolers can be given a volume parameter, so some simple dynamics can be

2.3.3 Surge Volumes

Tanks and surge volumes are required whenever liquid is to be pumped. The
reflux drum and the base (or reboiler) of a distillation column are examples. From
a steady-state economic design point of view, capital investment is minimized by
making these vessels as small as possible. However, from a dynamic point of
view, we want to have lots of surge capacity so that disturbances in flowrates can
be attenuated and we don't lose liquid levels.
The commonly used heuristic for surge vessel sizing is to provide about 5 min-
utes of liquid holdup with the vessel half full. This is based on the total flowrate of
liquid into the vessel. Ifthe liquid level is at 50% for the steady-state conditions, it
will take 5 minutes to completely drain or fill the vessel ifthe inflow or outflow go
to zero.
For example, suppose the total flow fi'om a distillation colm1111 reflux dlUm
(distillate plus reflux) is 5577 lb/hr with a liquid density of 29 lb/fi3. The size of
the reflux dnun should be
(5577lb/hr)(ff /29Ib)(hr/60 min)(lO min) = 32 ft3
In HYSYS, the volmne can be directly entered by going to the column sub-
flowsheet, double clicking the Condenser, clicking the Dynamic page tab and en-
tering the volunle. In AspenPlus, before going into AspenDynamics, the size of
the reflux dnun must be entered using the Dynamics button of the column block
and going to the Condenser page tab. The details of this operation are illustrated in
the distillation column example given in Chapter 8.
To calculate drum diameter and length from the knOW11 volume, an aspect ratio
(LID) must be knOW11. Aspect ratios of various vessels vary from 1 to 4, but for
surge vessel a value of2 is typical.

Volume = D 2 L = Jr D 2 (2D) = Jr D 3
Surge volume is also used in decanters, which are vessels used to separate two
liquid phases. The settling velocity of the droplets of the discontinuous heavy liq-
uid phase in the continuous light phase depends on the density difference between
the two phases. Large holdup times (20 to 30 minutes) are typically used in de-
canters to make sure there is good phase separation.

2.3.4 Heat Exchangers

The volumes of both sides of the heat exchanger must be calculated if these
contribute significant dynamics. For a tube-in-shell heat exchanger, these volumes
16 Chapter2

can be quickly estimated fi-om the known heat-transfer area that has been calcu-
lated in the steady-state simulation from the specified heat duty, overall heat-
transfer coefficient and temperature differential driving force.
Let the known total heat-transfer area be AOlol (in eithe1' m 2 01' ft2). Let the tube
length be L and tube diameter D (m or ft). The circwnferential heat-transfer area
of each tube is
A tubc == reDL
The number oftubes required is
N - Atota! _ Atota!
tubes - A - DL
tube re.

The total vohmle inside all the tubes is

Vtubes - Ntubes [ -4-,
JL -_ (reDL J[' reD JL -_ (4
2 'J

Thus the calculation ofthe volume inside the tubes requires that we know the heat-
transfer area and that we select a tube diameter.

Vtubes == ( ~ JAtota!
Typical tube diameters are 25 to 50 nml (1 to 2 inches).
For a numerical example, suppose the required heat-transfer area is 625 ft2
and a tube diameter of 1 inch is selected. Then the tube volwne is

Vtubes == ( 4)Atotal == ~-4-l25 ==

Now we need to ca1culate the volume of process material in the shell side.
This is the total volume ofthe shell minus the volwne ofthe tubes. The shell vol-
wne depends 011 the layout and spacing of the tubes, but at the conceptual design
stage we do not need to go into all the nitty-gritty details. A simplifying approxi-
mation can be made that works pretty well for most tube-in-shell designs. We as-
swne that the shell volume is equal to the tube volwne.

The approximate ca1culations discussed aboye are applicable to tube-in-shell

heat exchangers. There are many other types ofheat exchangers, and the appropri-
ate sizes and holdups should be used for these units.
Steady State to Dynamic 17

2.3.5 Furnaces

The volmue ofthe process material inside the tubes of a fired fumace must be
estimated so that the dynamics of the unit can be inc1uded in the simulations. The
result of the steady-state simulator is usually just a required heat-transfer duty in
the fhmace. How can this duty be converted into a furnace size?
Robert Moore (private communication, March 2001) has provide some typi-
cal furnace size information from a natural-gas/steam refonuing reactor/fumace.
The fumace duty is 688x106 Btu/hr. The total volume inside the tubes in the radi-
ant section (363 tubes, 6 inch diameter, 49 feet long) is 3500 fi3 and in the convec-
tive section (724 tubes, 4.5 inch diameter, 64 feet long) is 5200 fi3. The total vol-
ume ofthe furnace box is 45,000 fi3, which means the volul11e on the firing side is
45,000 - (3500 + 5200) = 36,300 fi3.
Therefore, the following rough estinlates of the volumes of theprocess and
cOl11bustion si des of a fired fumace can be used:
Process inside tube volmue = 14 fi 3/l 06 Btu/hr
Total furnace vohmle = 66 fi3/l06 Btu/hr

2.4 Plumbing
One of the most striking featmes of almost all chemical and petroleum plants is
the tremendous amount of piping. Pipe racks are full of pipes of aH diameters,
rmming between pieces of equipl11ent and between different processes in the plant.
In dynamic simulations, we normally do 110t need to be concemed with the details
of the piping layout. Unless a pipe is quite long, piping dynamics are usually fast
compared to equipment dynamics. However, ifthe deadtime caused by a long pipe
is significant, the pipe should be included as a dynamic unit in the simulation.
However, it is important to get the phunbing cOilllections between lll1Íts cor-
rectly positioned and conectly designed. Water does not flow uphill, so there must
be pressure differences for material to flow f1-om one location to another. Pmups,
compressors and val ves must be positioned and sized to provide the required
variations in process flowrates. Tanks or liquid surge vohmles must be instaHed to
provide NPSH (net positive suction head) requirements for all pmups and to at-
tenuate flowrate disturbances.

2.4.1 Liquid Pumping Systems

Figure 2.1 shows a typicalliquid flow system with the required tank, plll11p and
val ve. Liquid from the tank is pmllped up to a higher pressure by a centTifugal
pmnp. The material flows through a heat exchanger and a reactor. There is pres-
sure drop through these müts, and these pressure drops must be specified (or cal-
culated). There is also pressure drop through the control val ve, which is located at
the point directly before the process material enters the downstream tanlc
18 Chapter2

Figure 2.1 - Typical liquid Plumbing

P = 1 bar

P = 5 bar

LW=lbar LW = 1 bar

Pump Reactor Control

Exchanger Valve
LW p =7 bar

Note that the control valve is located afier the pump, not before the pump. Putting
a valve in the plilllp suction doesn't work because the pump NPSH requirements
would not be met. So the First Law ofPlul11bing is



The Second Law ofPlumbing is:


Note that ifthe flow is split into multiple streal11S (a tee in the line or a "splitter" in
the sil11ulation), there can only be one valve in each lineo Figure 2.2 illustrates
S0l11e good pltill1bing and S0l11e forbidden plul11bing arrangel11ents.
The plumbing systel11s considered aboye used centrifilgal pmnps. If positive
displacel11ent plill1pS are used, val ves should not be installed to regulate flow. The
speed ofthe plill1p or its length of stroke are used to set the flowrate ofliquid.

2.4.2 Gas Compression Systems

COl11pressors are used in gas systel11s to provide the required pressures for flow
through equipl11ent and val ves. Because COl11pressors are volumetric devices, they
pump a constant volmne per time at suction conditions if operated at constant
speed. Therefore, putting a valve in the discharge piping of a cOl11pressor does not
change the al110unt of material flowing through the COl11pressor. It just increases
the cOl11pression ratio and the work. The Third Law ofPlul11bing is


Steady State lo DYl1amic 19

Figure 2.2 - Liquid Pumping Systems

A. Good Plumbing

B. F orbidden Plumbing

However, throttling the suction of a compressor does affect the amount of material
going through the compressor. The pressure drop over the valve reduces the pres-
sure at the compressor suction, which reduces the gas density. Thus less mass is
compressed for the same volul11e.
111ere are three basic ways to control flow through a compressor, as shown in
Figure 2.3. Suction throttling, bypassing (spill-back) or varying speed can be used.
The last is the most energy-efficient, but requires a variable-speed drive. Steal11
turbines are ofien used in these applications. The control valve on the high-
pressure steam supplied to the hu'bine sets the cOl11pressor speed. Of course, the
issue of cOl11pressor surge preventionmust be addressed in real applications. With
reciprocating compressors, the flowrate is adjusted by varying speed, stroke dis-
tance or minimunl compression volunle in the cylinders.
In dynamic simulations, the compressor variable-speed operation can be ap-
proximated by having the output signal from a controller (flow, pressure, tempera-
ture, etc.) adjust the work to the cOl11pressor.
20 Chapter 2

Figure 2.3 - Gas Compression Systems

A Good Plumbing

Process Gas Compressor

High Pressure

Steam ---C::i::l-~r1--~t=11


B. F orbidden Plumbing

~~ Compressor

2.5 Control Valve Sizing

Once the locations of all control val ves have been established, their sizes must
be specified. This boils down to setting their percent opening and their pressure
drop lmder design conditions.
We can design for a small pressure drop over the valve or a large pressure drop
over the valve. The former is favored by steady-state economics. The pump or
compres sor head is lower, a smaller motor can be used and motor energy con-
slilllption is less.
However, as we illustrate in Section 2.5.1, our ability to change the flowrate
from the nominal steady-state value depends on the design pressure drop over the
valve. The higher thc dcsign pressure drop, the larger the achievable flowrate
changes. This translates into better dynamic control because larger changes in the
flowrates ofmanipulated variables can reject disturbances more quick1y.

2.5.1 Effect of Design Pressure Drop

For a numerical example, we consider a liquid pmnping system sketched in

Figure 2.1. The feed tank operates at a pressure of 1 bar. Design conditions call for
pmnping 10,000 kg/hr of liquid with a density of 800 kg/m3 through a heat ex-
Steady State to Dynamic 21

changer, a tubular reactor and a control valve into a vessel operating at a pressure
of 5 bar. The volmnetric flowrate is (10,000 kg/hr)(m3/800 kg)(hr/60 min) = 0.208
The pressure drop through the heat exchanger is 1 bar at the nonnal design
flowrate. The design pressure drop through the reactor is also 1 bar. The pressure
drop througll'the control valve and the pmnp discharge pressure are design vari-
ables. The higher the valve f1P, the higher the pmnp head.
Let us take two cases. In the frrst, we use the common (but poor) heuristic that
the pressure drop over the valve at design should be 50% of the system pressure
drop. Putting it another way, the heuristic is to set the control valve f1P equal to the
sum of the pres,ure drops through aH other parts ofthe piping system. In our ex-
anlple, the heuristic would set the valve f1P at design to be 1 + 1 = 2 bar.

Case 1 - Design f1Pv = 2 bar: The pump discharge pressure is the static pres-
sure of the vesse1 into which the liquid is flowing (5 bar) plus the pressure drops
over the heat exchanger and the reactor (1 + 1 = 2 bar) plus the pressure drop over
the control val ve. So in this case the pump discharge pressure is 5 + 2 + 2 = 9 bar.
For simplicity we assmne that the pump curve is flat, so this discharge pressure is
constant for all flowrates through the pmnp.
A simple equation describing the flow through a control valve is
F = ¡(x) C v ~ ¡j,Pv
where F = flowrate through the valve, fcs) = fraction of the valve opening, Cv =
valve size coefficient and f1Pv = valve pressure drop. We assmne that the valve is
50% open at designo The control valve (Cv) is sized at design conditions.
Cv = F = 0.208 m 3/mín = 0.294
fix)~f:,Pv 0.5~2 bar
Now let us fmd out how much the flow through this system can be increased.
We call the maximum flowrate F max . The pressure drop through the heat ex-
changer and the reactor vary with the flowrate through the units. We assmne tur-
bulent flow, so pressure drop is proportional to the square ofthe flowrate.

l Fdesign

So at the maximmn flowrate the pressure drop through the heat exchanger and
reactor will be

@Fm ",
= f:,R
. l F;Tlax
J= (
1+ 1 F;Tlax
{ 0.208 )

The pressure drop over the control val ve (which is wide open so f(x) = 1) wiH be
22 Chapter2

;I..?, - [ F;nax F;nax J2

J2 -- ( (1)(0.294)
V@F",,, - fcx)C¡,
The sum ofthe heat-exchallger, reactor and valve pressure drops plus the static
pressure in the second vessel is equal to the pump discharge pressure, which is
fixed at 9 bar for this design case.

(2)( F;nax
)2 + ( 0.294
Fmax )2 + 5 = 9

Solving for the maximum flowrate gives 0.263 m 3 /min. ll1is means that the
flowrate can be increased 26% aboye the steady-state flowrate of 0.208 m 3/¡mn.
This rangeability may be fine for some applications. However for others, much
larger increases in flowrates may be required. One important example is the cool-
ant flowrate through the jacket of an exothenmc chelmcal reactor. In this applica-
tion, dynamic transients in the heat generation rate may require that the flowrate of
coolant be doubled or tripled.

Case 2 - Design ~Pv = 5 bar: To illustrate that more upward rangeability can
be achieved if more pressure drop over the control valve is used at the design
stage, let us consider another case. The design valve pressure drop is increased
from 2 bar to 5 bar. The design conditions are now:
Pump discharge pressure = 5 + 2 + 5 = 12 bar
Control valve size:
ev = F = 0.208 nhmin = 0.186
j(x)~;l..Pv 0.5~5 bar

The pressure drops and pressure conditions at the maximum flowrate with the
valve wide open are:

(2)( Fmax
)2 + (F;nax
)2 + 5 = 12
Solving for the maximum flowrate gives 0.305 m 3 /lmn. This means that the
flowrate can be increased 47% aboye the steady-state flowrate of 0.208 m 3/min.
This increased rangeability permits the system to handle larger disturban ces with-
out running into valve constraints. This improvement in control has a cost in a
higher pump head, which means higher energy costs.
It is worth noting that the down-side rangeability is also improved by using
higher valve pressure drops. Control val ves do not provide effective control be10w
about 10% opening. Let us compare the minimum flowrate Fmin obtainable with fcs)
= 0.1 for each of the cases considered aboye.
Steady State io Dynamic 23

Case 1: (2)(' F;"in )2 + ( Fmin 'J2 + 5 = 9 =? Fmin = 0.0577 m3/min

0.208) (0.1)(0.294)

F., 2 ( )2 + 5 = 12 =?
Case 2: (2)(~
) + (0.1)(0.186) 111111
F ' = 0.0488 m /min

Thus the flow can be reduced to 28% of design in Case 1, but to 23 % in Case 2.
hl a typical plantwide simulation there are dozens of control val ves. At the con-
ceptual design stage we do not want to spend a lot oftime doing detailed control-
valve sizing calculations. We need to be able to quicldy pick some reasonable
pressme drops so that a basic regulatory control stmctme can be developed and
The larger the valve pressme drop selected, the better the control. This is par-
ticularly true when we are trying to get the dynamic simulation offthe launch pad.
My experience has been that pressme drops in the range of20 to 50 psi (2 to 4 bar)
provide effective control. This is probably too high for gas systems because ofthe
higher cost of compressing gas compared to pwnping liquids. Afier the control
structme has been developed, you can go back and explore in more detail the inl-
pact ofreducing valve pressme drops on control perfol1nance.
There is one important aspect of control valve design that should be mentioned.
fu reallife, we use both air-to-open and air-to-close val ves, depending on how the
valve should fail. The action of the valve dictates the actio11 of the controller (re-
verse or direct). However, neither ofthe dynamic simulators, in their present ver-
sions, allow air-to-close val ves. All val ves are air-to-open. Hence the engineer
must remember this lirnitatio11 when translating control structure and, controller
action from a dynamic simulation to a real plant control system.

2.5.2 Changing Control Valve Size or Pump Head in the Dynamic Mode

When you are running the dynamic simulation, you ofien fínd out that the con-
trol valve is hitting a constraint, i.e., going wide open 01' opel'ating almost shut.
This requires that a change be made in the size of the valve or the pressme drop
available over the val ve. So you need to make a change in the equipment designo
You could go back to the steady-state mode and make this change. However,
switching back and forth between steady state and dynamics is 110t as "seamless"
as it should be and can take a fair amOlmt of time. Therefore you may want to
change control valve sizes and/or pwnp head while in the dynamic mode. fu HY-
SYS, this requires simply double clicking the valve or pwnp icon and changillg
the nlUllerical value of the val ve Cy or the pwnp power (on the Dynamics page tab
ofthe valve or the plilllp).
24 Chapter2

The procedure in AspenDynamics for resizing a valve is similar. Right click the
valve icon and select "Fonns" and "AH Vmiables". The valve size coefficient
"COmax" can be changed.
Changing pwnp head is a little less intuitive. AspenDynamics uses a typical
pump curve as the default. To specify a value for power, the procedure is:

1. Right click the pump icon, se1ect Fomls and then Configure.
2. Change the "use performance curves" to "false".
3. Change "specified electrical power" to "fixed'.
4. Enter a numerical value for power.

2.6 Conclusion
This chapter has discussed some basic concepts and tools needed to convert
from a steady-state simulation to a dynamic simulation. Equipment sizing is an
impOltant part ofthis effort. Getting the fluid mechanics (plumbing) correctly de-
signed is vital for cOlTectly modeling what actuaHy occurs in the real plant in
terms of flows and pressure drops. Some common elTors in plwnbing are given.
Control valve design (specifying control valve pressure drop) is also impOltant for
effective and robust control.
Chapter 3
Tuning Controllers

In this chapter we discuss the vital question of controller tuning. A typical

plant has dozens of controllers, all ofwhich must be specified (which algorithm to
use: P, PI, PID, MPC, nonlinear, etc.) and tuned (selecting controller tuning pa-
rameters, for example gain, integral time, derivative time, etc.). The algorithm
selection and tuning of some ofthese loops is trivial. For others this is not the case,
and these are the controllers that require a logical, effective controller-tuning pro-
cedure, which is also easily applied. Such a standard method is presented in this
chapter. Examples ofits effectiveness are given in subsequent chapters.
The discussion in this chapter and in the entire book considers only conven-
tionallinear PI controllers in a decentralized (single-input-single-output) environ-
ment. While there have been many industrial applications of model predictive
control (MPC) and enumerable academic papers published in the area ofMPC, the
use of conventional PI controllers is still widespread. In fac, many of the MPC
proponents now take the position that MPC should be applied on top of a basic
regulatory PI control structure. What MPC offers is on-line economic optimization
and constraint control. So an important goal of all dynamic simulation is to de-
velop an effective base-Ievel PI regulatory control structure.
In this chapter we discuss tuning methodology. We do not go into the me-
chanics of installing and connecting controllers in the simulation software. This
will be covered in detail for HYSYS and AspenDynamics starting with the exam-
pIes in the next chapter. Suffice it to say at this point that we can use different
types of controllers, specifY transmitter ranges, size control valves, bring up face-
plates, and so forth. .
y ou will noÍice throughout this book that we routinely use PI controllers.
You may wonder why more use is not made of PID controllers. In theory, control
performance can be improved by the use of derivative action. However, in practice
the use of derivative has some significant drawbacks:

1. Three tuning constants must be specified.

2. Signa1 noise is amp1ified.
3. Several types of PID control algorithms are used, so you must be
careful that the right algorithm is used with its matching tuning
26 Chapter3

However, there is another important consideration in simulation work con-

ceming the use of derivative action. It is more conservative to only use PI control-
lers in the sin1Ulation. The simulation is an approximation of the real plant. Ifhigh-
performance controllers are required to get good dynamics from the simulation,
the real plant may not work weIl. On the other hand, if a 10w-perfom1ance PI con-
troller works well on the sin1Ulation but doesn't work as well in the plant, we still
have the flexibility to go to PID control to improve things. The basic philosophy is
make sure we make conservative estimates and approximations in the mode1 and
simulation so that we improve our odds that the real plant wiIl operate as we want
it too

3.1 Tuning Flow, Level and Pressure Loops

3.1.1 Flow ControHers

The tuning offlow contTollers is usuaIly a no-brainer. The majority offlow control
loops feature an orifice-plate sensor, a differential-pressure transmitter, a PI con-
troller and a control val ve. The dynamics of flow measurement are fast. The time
constants for moving control val ves are smaIl (several seconds unless very large
val ves are involved). Therefore, the controller can be hmed with a sma11 integral or
reset time constant 'tI. A value of 'tI = 0.3 minutes works in 1110St flow contro11ers.
The value of controller gain should be kept modest because flow-
measurement signals are sometime noisy due to the turbulent flow through the
orifice plateo A value of contro11er gain ofK" = 0.5 is ofien used. Derivative action
should not be used.
In a real plant application, filtering of the flow signal is also recommended
because of the noise. In a simulation, noise is not a problem. However, the equa-
tion-based integrator in AspenDynamics appears sometimes to have stability prob-
lems in flow contTol loops unless a sma11 amOlmt of filtering is used. Fortunately
this is easy to do in AspenDynan1ics. Ifyou go to the Configure view ofthe con-
troller and click the Filtering page tab, a filter time constant 1:F can be specified. A
good number to use for a flow loop is 1:F = 0.1 minute. We will go through a11 the
details of setting controller ttming constants in the next chapter for a specific sim-
ple example.
So the plug-and-chug controIler ttming constants for a typical PI flow COll-
troIler are:
Kc = 0.5
TI = 0.3 minutes
TF = 0.1 minutes
Tuning 27

There are a few flow controlloops in which the process configuration is dif-
ferent than that discussed above and for which the recornmended tlming does not
work. The most important example is a flooded condenser. The flowrate of vapor
into the heat exchanger is sometimes controlled by manipulating a control valve in
the liquid condensate line at the heat exchanger exit. This may seem like an odd
arrangement. Why not just flow control the liquid condensate? At steady state, the
vapor flow into the condenser is equal to the liquid flow out. But dynamically this
is not true. The vapor flowrate depends on the rate of condensation, which de-
pends on the heat-transfer area available for condensing. The area is changed by
covering or exposing more ofthe tube length (ifthe condenser is vertical) or more
ofthe tllbes (ifthe condenser is horizontal).
Filling and draining ofliquid take time, so the dynamics ofthis flow loop are
slow. The tuning of this type of flow controller requires experimental identifica-
tion. Derivative action is ofien beneficial.

3.1.2 Level Controllers

Most level controllers should use proportional-only action with a gain of 1

to 2. This provides the maximum amOlmt of flow smoothing. Proportional control
means there will be steady-state offset (the level will not be retumed to its setpoint
value). However, maintaining a liquid level at a certain value is ofien not neces-
sary when the liquid capacity is simply being used as surge vohune. So the rec-
ommended ttming of a level controller is

K e =2

There are several exceptions to this recommended ttming of level control-

l. Reactor level control because level impacts reaction rates. How-
ever, proportional-only level control can still be applied in reactors
if a higher value of gain is used (Kc = 10).
2. Colwnn bases when level-sensitive thermosiphon reboilers are
3. Distillation colwnn reflux drums where level is held by reflux and
distillate flow is manipulated to control a temperature or composi-
tion. In this setup the level control should be tight since the level
loop is nested inside the temperarnre loop.
4. Distillation column base where level is held by reboiler heat input
and bottoms flow is manipulated to control a temperature or com-
position (for the same reason as in Item 3).
28 Chapter 3

3.1.3 Pressure Controllers

Most pressure controllers can be fairly easily tuned. The process time con-
stant is estimated by dividing the gas volume of the system by the volunletric
flowrate of gas flowing through the system. Setting the integral tinle equal to
about 2 to 4 times the process time constant and using a reasonable controller gaill
usually gives satisfactory pressure control. Of course the gaill used depends on the
span of the pressure transmitter. Some simple step tests can be used to find the
value of controller gain that yields satisfactory pressure control. Typical pressure
con1ro11er ttming constants for colUll1l1s and tanks are Kc = 2 and 1:1 = 10 minutes.
Pressure contro11er settings in very fast loops such as compressor controls have
much smaller integral times.

3.2 Inclusion of Lags

Once the simple controllers are tuned, we are left with a significant number
of other controllers that require more detailed engineering. These are typically
temperature and composition controllers. These loops have significant dynamic
lags aml/or deadtinles, so arbitrarily tight tuning is not physically possible. The
existence oflags in the control loop, even ifthey are sma11 compared to the domi-
nant process time constant, can have a significant impact on perfonnance. The old
process-control adage is "It is not the first tinle constant that is important; it is the
second that limits contro11er tlmillg." This occurs because the closeness ofthe fre-
quency response plot to the (-1,0) point at a phase angle of -180 degrees is what
dictates closedloop perfonllance. A first-order system has a minimum phase ang1e
of on1y -90 degrees.
Any real physical system has many lags. Measurement and actuator lags al-
ways exist. In simu1ations, however, these lags are not part of the unit models.
Much more aggressive tuning is ofien possible on the simulation than is possib1e
in the real plant. Thus the predictions of dynamic perfOlTIlanCe can be overly opti-
mistic. This is poor engineering. A conservative design is needed.
Realistic dynamic simulations require that we explicitly include lags aml/or
dead tinles in all the important loops. Usually this mean s controllers that affect
product quality (temperature or composition) or process constraint (safety, envi-
romnental, etc.).
Table 3.1 sunnnarizes some recOlmnended lags to inelude in several differ-
ent types of controlloops.
The inelusion of these important dynamic elements is illustrated through the
examples given in subsequent chapters. Both HYSYS and AspenDynamics have
dynamic transter fimction elements that are easily installed in the control loop.
Tuning 29

Table 3.1 - Typical Measurement Lags

Number Time Constant Type
Temperature Liquid 2 0.5 First-Order Lag
Gas 3 1 First-Order Lag
Composition Clu'omatograph 1 3 to 10 Deadtime

Multiple transfer fllnctions can be installed in series in AspenDynamics.

However, the installation of more than one transfer ftmction in series does not
work in HYSYS in some cases. Another problem in HYSYS occms with the dead-
time element. Iftime is reset to zero, the deadtime element becomes inactive, i.e.,
its output signal does not change.

3.3 Relay-Feedback Testing

If we have a controller that needs tuning and after we have inserted reason-
able lags and deadtimes, we need a quick and simple method for identifYing the
dynamic parameters that are important for designing a feedback controller. The
relay-feedback test is a tool that serves this pmpose well. The results ofthe test are
the ultimate gain and the ultimate frequency. This infoD113tion is usually sufficient
to pennit us to ca1culate some reasonable controller tuning constants.
The method consists ofmerely insetting an on-offrelay in the feedback loop.
The only parameter that must be specified is the height of the relay h. This height
is typically 5 to 10% of the controller-output scale. The loop starts to oscillate
arOlmd the setpoint, with the controller output switching every time the process-
variable (N) signal crosses the setpoint. Figure 3.1 shows the PV and OP signals
from a typical relay-feedback test.
The maximum amplitude (a) of the N signal is used to ca1culate the ulti-
mate gain Ku from the equation:

= 4h

The period of the output N cmve is the ultimate period PI<' From these two pa-
rameters, controller tUlling constants can be ca1culated for PI or PID controllers,
using a variety of tlming methods proposed in the literature that require only the
ultimate gain and ultimate frequency, e.g., Ziegler-Nichols, Tyreus-Luyben, etc.
30 Chapier3

Figure 3.1 -Input and Output from Relay-Feedback Test

K = 4h =~=75
u aTe O.l7Te .

0.1 .

~PV o


~OP o·
·0.5 .

·1 t:.======:t==~===:t=====::::i
5 Time (minutes) 10 15

The test has many positive features that have led to its widespread use in real
plants as well as in simulation studies:

l. Only one parameter has to be specified (relay height).

2. The time it takes to nm the test is short, particularly compared to the ex-
tended periods required for methods like PRESo
3. The test is closedloop, so the process is not driven away frOl11 the set-
4. The information obtained is very accurate in the fi"equency range that is
important for the design of a feedback controlIer (the ultimate fre-
5. The impact ofload challges that occur during the test can be detected by
a change to aSyl11l11etric pulses in the manipulated variable.

AlI these features make relay-feedback testing a useful identification too1.

In Chapter 5 we will illustrate the application of the relay-feedback test to two
simple examples. Relay feedback testing can be done in both HYSYS and As-
penDynamics. However, it is much more conveniently done in HYSYS because it
is built right into the controller module. You simply click the Tuning button on the
controller faceplate, select Autohming and click the Start Autotuning button. The
loop will start to oscillate. After several cycles, the hming is stopped and S0l11e
recol11mended settings fOl' a PID controller are suggested. We will illustrate in
several examples how effective the HYSYS recol11mended tuning paral11eters are
compared to other alternatives.
Tuning 31

The autotw1e test sometimes does not work properly in the cWTent version of
HYSYS. Instead of switching when the error signal changes sign, the switch is
delayed. This produces a sequence of curves with increasing amplitude. Ifthis bug
occurs, you can perform the test by setting lin1its on the controller output and us-
ing a large value of gain. Output limits are specified on the Advanced window of
the controller face plateo
It is important to note that you should record the PV signal to the controller and
OP signals from the controller. The PV signal is the signal afier any lags and dead-
times. A common mistake is to record the original process signal (temperature,
composition, etc.) before the lags and read the amplitude ofthis signal. This wiIl
not give the correct ultimate gain. The correct amplitude is that from the signal
that the controller sees, i.e., the PV signal.
Using the relay-feedback test in AspenDynamics requires more effort and is
less reliable than in HYSYS. The steps are:

l. Lefi click the controller icon to highlight it and right click.

2. Select Forrns and then AH Variables.
3. Scroll down to Gain al1d change the value to a large nW11ber.
4. Specify integral time to be a large number.
5. Scroll down to OPmax and OPmin.
6. Change their values to get the appropriate percent change for h (5%).
7. Click the run button and record the OP and PV signals.

1t sometimes takes a little trial and error to fmd a value of gail1 that works effec-
tively. Ifthe value is too sma11, the loop does not oscillate. Ifthe value is too large,
the mm1erical integrator gets into difficulty. The result is either an error message
or the integrator takes such tiny steps that the simulation essentially comes to a
Knowing the ultin1ate gain Ku and ultimate period Pu permits us to calculate
controller settings. There are several methods that require only these two parame-
terso The Ziegler-Nichols tuning equations for a PI controller are:
K c ==K u /2.2
TI == Fu /1.2
These tlming constants are frequently too aggressive for many chemical engineer-
ing applications. The Tyreus-Luyben tuning method provides more conservative
settings with increased robustness. The TL equations for a PI controller are:
K e == KlI /3.2
TI == 2.2Pu
There are many other ÍUl1Íng methods, but many of these require more infonnation
about the process. The IMC tunii1g mIes usually provide good control, but thl'ee
process parameters must be known. The process is assumed to be approximated by
a fll'st-order lag and deadtime transfer firnction.
32 Chapter 3

K p e -Ds
G = -'----
If the gain K¡" deadtime D and openloop time constant 1: are known, the IMC tun-
ing equations for a PI controller are:

A = max(1.7 D, 0.2T)
KK =2T+D
e p 2A
TI = T+ D/2

The parameter A. is the closedloop time constant.

It is sometimes possible to determine the three process parameters frOl11 a sin-
gle relay-feedback test (Luyben, Ind. Eng. Chem. Research 2001, 40). They can
also be obtained by nmning additional identification tests, such as the step test
discussed in the next section.

3.4 Step Testing

Process parameters can be estimated from the response of the system to a
step change in the controller output signal. The controller is put into manual, and a
sma11 step change in the OP signal is made. The shape ofthe resulting response of
the contro11er input signal (PV) can be used to estimate the three process parame-
ters: gain, time constant and deadtime. These are illustrated in Figure 3.2.
Step testing is intuitively appealing. However, it has some important disad-
vantages compared to relay-feedback testing. It is an openloop test, so the process
is driven away from the non11al setpoint. The nonlinearity of the process can ad-
versely influence the calculation ofthe parameters, particularly the process gain.
It is possible to perfol11l both a step test and a relay-feedback test to get more
accurate process infol11lation. The step test gives a good value for the deadtinle.
Then the two additional process parameters (gain and time constant) can be calcu-
lated such that they give the ultimate gain and ultimate 1iequency obtained 1iom
the relay-feedback test.
Suppose we do a step test and find deadtime D. Then we run a relay-
feedback test to get Ku and Pu. The ultimate frequency is Cú,¡ =2n1Pu. At the ulti-
mate frequency, the phase angle ofthe process transfer fimction (arg G) is -180
degrees ( - 11: radians). For the deadtime/lag process, this means that
arg G = - ffiuD - arctan( ffiu 1:) = - 11:
Tuning 33

Figure 3.2 - Step Test Results for First-Order, Deadtime Process

Gain = r~) = 0.5

&V With L'lOP =1

Time constant = 2

o 6 10
Time (minutes)

Solving for the process time constant gives

T = (lICDu) tan(rc - w,¡D)

At the ultimate frequency, the magnitude of the process transfer function (1 GI )is
equal to the reciprocal of the ultimate gain Ku, which is known. So the process
gain can be ca1culated.
K =--'-----------
P Ku

3.5 Cascade, Ratio and Override Control

Both simulation software packages pennit the user to use many types of con-
trol structures. These will be illustrated in many ofthe example case studies.

3.5.1 Cascade Control

The cascade control structure is illustrated in Figure 3.3. Two controllers are
used: a primary controller and a secondary controller. The setpoint of the secon-
dary controller comes from the primary contToller (it is the output signal of the
primary controller).
This is a standard feature in both simulators. In HYSYS, double c1icking the
controller icon (or c1icking the Tlming button on the face plate) brings up the con-
troller view. Select the Connections page tab. On the left side ofthis view there is
a box called "Remote Setpoint Source." The drop-down alTOW can be used to se-
34 Chapter3

lect the controller from which the secondary controller is receiving its setpoint
signal. This controller then has three altemative modes that can be selected on the
faceplate (or in the controller view window): manual, automatic (local setpoint)
and cascade (remote setpoint). We illustrate the details ofthis procedme in subse-
quent chapters.

Figure 3.3 - Cascade Control


/ Secondary

TT .......~
OPT ~ SPF Controller
TC .......>; /
N r :

..:.......... 1
ic I<;........·~j FVF


In AspenDynamics, when a control signal is being atlached to a controller

input, there are two choices: PV signal and Remote Setpoint. This secondary con-
troller can be operated in any ofthe three modes by c1icking the appropriate butlon
at the top ofthe controller faceplate.
Of comse, in tuning cascade loops, the secondary controller should be tuned
first. This controller is ofien made proportional-only because offset in the secon-
dary loop is not important.

3.5.2 Ratio Control

Ratio control can be achieved by using a remote-set controller whose setpoint

signal is generated by multiplying another flow signal by a constant. Let's take the
common example of ratioing the flowrate of one stream (the manipulated stream)
to the flowrate of another stream (the wild stream). See Figure 3.4.
The flowrate signal from the wild stream is fed into a multiplying element.
The gain of this "ratio" controller is set to be the desire ratio of the two flows. As-
penDynamics has a multiplier block that is ideal for this ratio calculation. HYSYS
has a spreadsheet that can be used for this kind of calculation. The ratio controller
output signal is fed into a flow controller as the remote setpoint signal to this flow
controller. The flow controller manipulates the flow of the wild stream.
Tuning 35

Figure 3.4 - Ratio Control

Wild )
[ji] Cascade

*. . . . . .~
Ratio l· ...>: /

(Remote Set)

=•••••••••• ~ ...••••••••»:
~ PlFJ.
~ ~

réJ eL
3.5.3 Overrride Control

Ovenide control uses high and low selectors to change the structure of the
control system. As illustrated in Figure 3.5, several signals are fed into a selector.
These signals are usually the OP signals from two or more controllers. The selec-
tor output signal is either the highest or the lowest of all the input signals. The
signal from the selector goes to a valve or the setpoint of a cascade controller.
Thus the selector is picking which controller should be setting the val ve. This
variable-structure control is a very powerful but simple way to achieve constraint

Figure 3.5 - Override Control


TT ....... ~/

141-(,....·.... ···..... ····........~


t"~7-¡1~--t~¡~-- '"~ 1
:<.......... ¡ p(L ,--..:..---,

l ......................................»:
'-' Bottoms

36 Chapter3

HYSYS has a Selector block, which can be added to the process flow diagram
(PFD). On the Connections page tab, all the input signals are specified. On the
Parameter page tab, the mode of the selector is seto It can find the minimum, the
maximum, the average, the median or the sum of all the inputs.
AspenDynamics provides the same capability. Under Dynamics, select Con-
trol Models and drag the HiLOSe1ect on to the PFD. Connect the two input signals
and the output signal. Highlight the icon by left c1icking, Right c1ick and select
Forms and then All Variables. On this view you can specifY the type of selector
(high or low) and see the values ofthe input and output variables.

3.6 Split-Range Control Valves

Split-range val ves can provide effective control in sorne process configura-
tions. They are conceptually the opposite of ovenide control. In ovenide control,
one valve can be manipulated by one of several controllers. In split-range valves,
one controller can manipulate several valves. In the mathematical sense, the sys-
tem is not "square" (more manipulated variables than controlled variables).
One important example is heat-exchanger bypassing to control temperature as
sketched in Figure 3.6A. One control valve is installed in the bypass line around
the heat. exchanger and a second valve is installed in the line going through the
heat exchanger. The action ofthese two valves are in different directions. To con-
trol the ternperature of one of the exit streams, one valve should close as the other
Let's take a specific case to illustrate the ideas. Figure 3.6A shows a bypass
systern in which we are heating a cold stream with a hot stream. Sorne of the cold
stream is bypassed and blended with the stream leaving the heat exchanger. The
blended ternperature is controlled by manipulated two split-range valves. We as-
sume that the safe failure situation would be to not heat the cold stream. Thus the
valve in the bypass line should fail open (air-to-close valve), and the valve in the
heat-exchanger line should fail closed (air-to-open valve). The ternperature con-
troller would be set up in the plant to be reverse acting: as the PV signal goes up,
the OP signal goes down. Increasing temperature closes the heat-exchanger valve
and opens the bypass val ve.
However, as mentioned in Chapter 2, the dynamic simulators only permit air-
to-open val ves. So the control structure used in the simulation must be sornewhat
different than that used in the real planto
In HYSYS the situation can be handled by using two temperature controllers
with the same PV and setpoint, but with different OP values and different actions.
One controller sets the bypass valve and is direct acting. The other controller sets
the heat-exchanger valve and is reverse acting. See Figure 3.6B.
Tuning 37

Figure 3.6 - Split-Range Valves

Heat Exchanger:
:<............ ············· .. ······ ...... ·A
_ r::::l .

A-Reo! i >11 I~ Fl..,······~··1

BypaSS~ =<;....................................... ::ot
B. HYSYS Simulation :<.............. ..
Aok A
---:-!-$)1 ---nr--;:;
He1at EXChange1r I


c. h-j¡~nQ)!mlIDÜ;;S Simulation
:<.............................................. ~ Rev.

Heat Exchanger ; •

! )1.
~ [IT} .... ·..>[~l.... Sphtge
'~;J--) R7

- - : Dlrect
~= = :.(: ............................................'!t:

AspenDynamics has a block called Split-Range, which can be used to achieve

split-range valve action. As shown in Figure 3.6C the output signal from a tem-
perature controller is fed into this block, which has two output signals. One goes to
one valve and the other to the second val ve, and they can be set up with different
actions (reverse and direct) and different ranges. Ifthe temperature controller has
direct action, the signal from the direct-action output ofthe split-range block goes
to the valve in bypass line, and the signal fi:om the reverse-action output goes to
the valve in the heat-exchanger lineo A specific example of the use of split-range
valves is given in Chapter 12.
A comment rnight be useful on heat-exchanger bypass designo The heat ex-
changer has both hot and cold streams. We can control the exit temperature of
only one ofthe streams. Suppose we know which ofthe two stream temperatures
we want to control. There still remains the important design choice of which
stream should be bypassed. Sometimes this decision is made by considering me-
chanical problems (valves in high-temperature service are expensive and high
maintenance). However, in the absence of other considerations, the heuristic rule
is to bypass the stream whose temperature we want to control. The basis for this is
simple: very tight temperature control is achievable when we are blending two
streams. The other configuration has the dynamic lags ofthe heat exchanger in the
38 Chapter 3

3.7 Conclusion
In this chapter we have discussed sorne of the tools and techniques that are
required to get a control systern configured and ttmed. Level and flow loops usu-
ally require no ttming. Ternperattrre and cornposition loops need dynanüc identifi-
cation, and the relay-feedback test is useful for this jobo The inc1usion ofrealistic
lags and deadtirnes in these loops is needed to guarantee conservative designs.
Several advanced control strucUrres can be easily incorporated in the dynamic
sirnulati ons.
The detailed procedures for installing and using these elernents are illustrated
in the examples in subsequent chapters.
a 11
ingle nit ynamic
i ulations
Tank Process

The remaining chapters in this book present detailed case studies of dynamic
simulations of a wide variety of processes. hl this chapter we begin with the sim-
plest possible dynamic process, a tank with inlet and outlet streams. There are two
or three controllers required to operate even this simple unit: a level controller and
a flow controller (and in sorne cases a pressure controller). fu a detailed, step-by-
step procedure, we cover moving fi.-om a steady-state simulation into a dynamic
simulation and installing controllers and strip-chart recorders. The steps are pre-
sented using both HYSYS and AspenDynamics.
The primary process considered is a separator vessel with both vapor and
liquid exit streams. Later in this chapter we alsodiscuss a tank with only a liquid
exit stream. Although the second system seems more simple than the first, there
are sorne subtle modeling differences between the two simulators that make tlle
liquid product tank somewhat more complexo

4.1 HYSYS Simulation

4.1.1 Steady-State Conditions

Figure 4.1 gives the PFD from HYSYS, and Figure 4.2 gives the workbook
with aH stream conditions shown. A liquid feed stream is fed into a 2.13 m 3 verti-
cal cylindrical tank (1.1 m diameter, 2.2 m length). Feed flowrate is 100 kg-
molelhr of a mixture of 10 mol% ethane, 20 mol% propane, 30 mol% isobutane
and 40 mol% n-butane at 70°C and 20 bar. The feed stream flashes as it drops
pressure through control valve VI. The separator tank operates at 5 bar and is
adiabatic. The steady-state temperature is 27.5°C. The liquid stream leaving the
tank goes through a pump and control valve V2. The vapor stream leaves through
control valve V3.

42 Chapter4

Figure 4.1 - Separator Flowsheet

v V3




Figure 4.2 - Workbook Stream COllditiolls

The plumbing has been inserted in the system. This would not be necessary
ifwe only wanted to look at the steady state. Ifwe do not add the control valves,
when we try to switch into the dynarnic mode, the HYSYS "dynamic assistant"
will advise us to insert valves to achieve a pressure-driven simulation. It is good
practice (and good training) to do the plumbing before switching into dynarnics.
The feed control valve VI has been designed for a 15 bar pressure drop. The
liquid control valve V2 and the vapor control valve V3 have been designed for 2
bar pressure drops. Make sure you have sized each ofthe control valves and speci-
Tank 43

fied their percent open. Double c1ick the valve icon and go to the Dynamics page
tab. Figures 4.3A, B and C show this for the three val ves. Specify the percent open
(usually 50% unless higher flowrates are required), check the Check Valve button
and c1ick the Size Valve button. This will calculate the C v size coefficient for the

Figure 4.3A - Vi

Figure 4.3B - V2
44 Chapter4

Figure 4.3C - V3

The dynamic specification for the plUnp must also be specified. Double
c1ick the pwnp icon and click the Dynal11ics page tab (see Figure 4.3D). Click the
Pressure Rise and the Efficiency buttons. This willl11aintain the same plUnp pres-
sure head as flowrates change during the dynamic simulation.

Figure 4.3D - Pump

Tank 45

4.1.2 Tank Sizing

The volume ofthe tank has been specified to be 2.13 m 3 . To converge the
steady state, this value would not have to be knOW11. However, to run the dynamic
simulation, it is vital.
The tank is sized by looking at two criteria. First, the superficial vapor veloc-
ity must be low enough for good vapor/liquid disengaging. This means the cross-
sectional area ofthe vessel must be large enough. Second, the holdup ofliquid in
the tank must be sufficient to provide the required surge capacity. We provide 10
minutes ofliquid holdup with the tank 50% full ofliquid.
To check the vapor load, we look at the vapor flowrate (1752 kglhr) and its
density (10.6 kglm3 ). The vollU11etric flowrate is

(1752 kg/hr)(m3110.6 kg)(hr/3600 sec) = 0.046 m 3/sec

As discussed in Chapter 2, we use an F-Factor of 0.5 (English units) or 0.61 (SI

units) for separators. Therefore the superficial vapor velocity should be no greater
0.61 mi
Vrna, = r;-;::--;; = 0.187 sec
So the cross-sectional area of the tank, based on the vapor load, should be

(0.046 m 3/sec)(sec/0.187 m) = 0.245 m 2

This corresponds to a tank diameter ofO.559 m.

Now we must ca1culate the tank size based on liquid holdup requirements.
The liquid flowrate is 3500 kglhr and its density is 548 kglm3 . This gives a volu-
mehic flowrate of

(3500 kglhr)(hr/60 min)(m3/548 kg) = 0.1065 m 3/min

For 10 minute of liquid holdup, the liquid volume should be 1.065 m 3 , and the
total tank vollU11e is 2.13 m 3 . Assurning a LID aspect ratio of 2, the diameter can
be ca1culated from

This gives a diameter of 1.11 m. Since this is larger than that required for the va-
por load, we select the larger ofthe two.
46 Chapter4

The size ofthe tank is specified on the Dynamics page tab, as shown in Fig-
ure 4.4. The percent liquid level is 50%.

4.1.3 SwitchÍng to Dynamics

When the steady state is converged and the plumbing has been specified,
c1ick the Dynamics button on the top tool bar. The dynamic assistant will suggest
that some changes be made in some specifications so that the flow-driven simula-
tion is correctly set up, as shown in Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.4 - Tanks Sizing

The control stmcture we choose for this system is:

1. Flow control the feed with valve VI.

2. Control tank level with valve V2.
3. Control tankpressure with valve V3.
Tank 47

Figure 4.5 - Dynamic Assistant Changes

This might be a good place to mention the procedure for switching back to
the steady-state mode from the dynamics mode. You may want to do this if you
want to change the structure of the flowsheet or use different equipment sizes or
conditions. Ideally one would like to be able to move back and forth seamIessly.
However, when HYSYS switch es ii"om dynanucs to steady state, it does not return
you to the initial steady-state conditions that you had when you originally moved
from steady-state to dynanlics. The values of some of the variables are different,
and some ofthe variables that are specified (the variables fixed to satisfy the avail-
able degrees of freedom) have changed from the original steady-state case. For
example, suppose you have specified in the steady-state mode the purities in a
distillation column ofthe distillate and bottoms streams. These two specifications
will give zero degrees of freedom in the steady-state mode. If you switch to dy-
namic mode and then switch back to steady-state mode, the degrees of freedom of
the column will be given as -2 (too many variables specified). The condenser and
reboiler duties have been specified in the switch from dynanlics to steady state.
48 Chapter4

You must go to the column flowsheet and de1ete these two energy streams before
the column can be reconverged in the steady state to the COrrect specifications.
One way to overcome these re-initialization problems is to save the original
steady state case as a different file to which you can always retum.

4.1.4 Installing ControUers

The procedure for adding a controller is outlined below.

1. Click the Controller icon on the pallet and, with the right mouse but-
ton held down, drag it on to the PFD.
2. Double c1icking on the controller icon brings up the controller win-
dow. The first page tab is Connections, shown in Figure 4.6.

Figure 4.6 - Controller Connections Page Tab

3. Click the Select PV button to specify the unit or stl'eam and the vari-
able to be controlled. For example, to select the PV fol' the flow con-
troller for the feed, we select the stream "F" and the variable "molar
flow" as shown in Figure 4.7. If a controller is to get an extemal set-
point signal, there is a box (Remote Setpoint Source) in which the
Tank 49

source of tbis signal is specified in a cascade aITangement. See Fig-


Figure 4.7 -Selecting PV Source

4. Select the target of the OP signal (the place where fue controller
output signal is sent). Figure 4.8 shows the OP signal goes to VI.
Figure 4.9 shows the cOllilections page view with both fue PV and
OP cOlmections specified.

Figure 4.8 - Selecting OP Target

50 Chapter4

Figure 4.9 - Connection Page Tab with PV and OP Selected

5. The second page tab is Parameters and is shown in Figure 4.10.

This is the most important part of the controller specifications. In
this view you define many of the controller parameters. First se-
lect the action ofthe controller (reverse or direct). The flow con-
troller would be reverse acting since an increase in flow should re-
sult in moving the valve VI toward the closed position (increasing
PV decreases OP).
6. SpecifY the range ofthe sensor/transmitter. For the flow controller
we select a range of O to 200 kg-molelhr, which is twice the
steady-state value. For the level controller, the range is Oto 100%
liquid level. For the pressure controller, we select a range of 3 to 7
bar (around the operating pressure of 5 bar).
7. Check the values ofthe process variable, the setpoint and the per-
cent valve opening. Sometimes the PV signal is not initialized
properly lmtil the integrator is started. This occurs in sorne level
loops. When this situation arises, keep the controller on manual
until the integrator has been started (see the next section).
Tank 51

Figure 4.10 - Controller Parameter Page Tab

8. SpecifY the controller tuning constants: gain Kc, integral time 'tI
and derivative tinle 'tD. To achieve a propOliional-only controller,
delete whatever number is in the integral box ("empty" should ap-
pear). For the flow controller we specifY a gain ofO.5 and an inte-
gral time of 0.3 minutes. See Figure 4.11.
9. Put the controller into manual or automatic. If the controller re-
ceives its setpoint from another controller, c1ick the "Remote" SP
Mode button on the Connections page tab.
10. The final step is to c1ick the Faceplate button at the bottom of the
window. This places a faceplate on the workspace, as ShOW11 in
Figure 4.12. 1 usually line up all the controller faceplates at the top
of the screen for easy viewing. The values of the process variable
PV and the controller output OP are displayed as horizontal bar
charts. The red arrow at the top of the PV display is the setpoint
value. To change the setpoint, when the controller is on automatic,
double c1icking on the PV display opens a window where you can
enter the desired value. When the controller is on manual, double
c1icking on the OP display opens a window where you can enter
the desired value ofthe signal to the valve.
52 Chapter4

Figure 4.11 - Flow Controller Tuning

The faceplate indicates if the controller is on manual or automatic, and the

controller can be switched from one to the other by using the dropdown arrow, as
illustrated in Figure 4.12. Clicking the Tmling button on the faceplate opens up a
window showing the Parameters page tab. From this view the tlli1ing constants can
be changed.

Figure 4.12 - Controller Faceplate

Tank 53

The autotuner can be also be started :fi:om this window. However, since the
level and flow controllers require no tuning, the autoumer is not needed in this
example. Its use will be illustrated in the composition controller used in the blend-
ing process considered in the next chapter. For the same reason, we wait until the
next chapter to illustrate the installation oftransfer functions.
The other two controllers are installed in a similar malmer. Figure 4.13
shows that the source ofthe PV signal for the pressure controller is selected as the
Vessel Pressure in the Separator. As shown in Figure 4.14, the OP target ofthe
pressure controller is valve V3. The Parameters page tab is shown in Figure 4.15.,
The action of the pressure controller is direct. A pressure trallsmitter range of4 to ..
7 bar is specified. The tuning of the pressure controller is selected empirically to
be a gain of2 and all integral time of2 minutes. The latter tuning constant is based
on a estirnate of the vapor time constant. The vapor volumehic flowrate is 2.76
m 3/min. The total tank volume is 2.13 m 3 . So the vapor time constant is about 1
minute. An integral time of2 minutes is reasonable for this process.

Figure 4.13 - Selecting Pressure Controller PV

The PV of the level conh·oller is the Liquid Percent Level of the Separator
(see Figure 4.16). Figure 4.17 shows that the action of the level controller is direct,
and propOliional-only action is selected (the Ti value is "empty") by deleting the
number in the integral time. A gain of2 is specified.
The final PFD with the flow, pressure and level conh·ollers is given in Fig-
ure 4.18. The three conh·oller face plates are positioned at the top of the screen.
54 Chapter4

Figure 4.14 - Specifying Pressure Controller OP

Figure 4.15 - Pressure Controller Parameter Page Tab

Tank 55

Figure 4.16 - Level Controller PV Selection

Figure 4.17 - Level Controller Tuning

4.1.5 Installing Recorders

We need to be able to see how vatiables are changing with time. Strip-chart
recorders or data-loggers are useful for this purpose. In addition we can output a
file of the time history of a simulation for plotting using software packages such as
Matlab or Excel.
56 Chapter4

Figure 4.18 - PFD with Al! Conírollers


F v10ut



The steps for installing and defining the properties of a reeorder are:

1. Cliek Tools on the top menu bar and elick DataBook (see Figure
2. On the Variables page tab, elick msert. Select the variable to be
recorded. For example, to record the flowrate of liquid from the
tank, we select under Object the "L" stream, as shown in Figure
4.20. Under Variable, we select Molar Flow. Then elick the OK
button. To add the level in the separator, we elide msert again and
select the Liquid Percent Level in the Separator (see Figure 4.21).
You insert all the variables you want to record.
Tank 57

Figure 4.19 - Opening Databook

Figure 4.20 - Inserting Flowrate Variable

Figure 4.21 -Inserting level Variable

58 Chapter4

3. Click the Strip Chart page tab. This ope11s the view shown in Fig-

Figure 4.22 - Add Strip Chart

4. Click Add butt011. This installs a data logger. You may have sev-
eral stripcharts.
5. Specify which vruiables in the list 011 the right you want to record
011 this strip chart. The example shown in Figure 4.23 has 011e strip
chart, DataLoggerl, for which four of the Active boxes are
checked in the right cohunn, so these four variables will be plotted
011 this strip chart.

Figure 4.23 - Check Active Variables

Tank 59

6. Clicking View brings up the suip-chart window.

7. Right click on the sUip chart window and select Graph Conu·ol.
This opens the window shown in Figure 4.24. The properties of
the sUip chart can be adjusted: colors, scales, labels, etc. Figure
4.24 shows the General page tab in which the colors can be speci-
fied. For example, if you don't like the black background color,
double click the "Background Colour" box. This opens the view
shown in Figure 4.25 in which you can select a color.
8. Figure 4.26 shows that the time axis can be specified. The scales
for the vertical axis (vruiable values) can be specified by clicking
the Axes page tab.

Figure 4.24 - General Page Tab of Graph Control

Figure 4.25 - Select Color

60 Chapter4

Figure 4.26 - Setting Time Axis

9. One important thing to do is to c1ick the Set-up Logger button.

The default values ofthe number of samples stored (300) and the
sampling interval (20 seconds) usually need to be changed to
accommodate more data and more frequent sampling, particularly
for fast processes. Values around 3600 and 5 seconds work well
for typical simulations. See Figme 4.27.

Figure 4.27 - Logger Setup

Tank 61

In addition to seeing the data fiom a dynamic run on a strip chart, these data
can be saved in a file and exported to sorne other program for plotting or analysis.
Go to Tools and Databook, and the11 open the Stlip Charts page tab. Highlight the
data logger of interest a11d c1ick the Historical button. Atable of all the time data
011 the strip chart appears. The data can be saved as a file or you can use Edit on
the top tool bar to copy the data and paste them into another programo We will
illustrate this operation in the 11ext chapter.
The stlip charts in HYSYS have a very useful featlU"e. Ifyou move the ClU"-
sor to a point 011 a ClU"ve, the values of the variable and the value of time at that
point are displayed. This is particularly useful when running a relay-feedback test.
It makes it easy to pick off the ultimate period (the time between peaks) and the
amplitude ofthe PV signal (halfthe difference between the maximum and míni-
mum values).

4.1.6 Running the SimuIation

Now that all the elements are ready to go, the integrator can be started.
Clicki11g the green button on the top tool bar starts the integrator. Before doing this
you may want to change the display interval since the default value is one minute.
Go to Simulation at the top ofthe screen and select Integrator. A window opens up
(see FiglU"e 4.28A) on which you can set the Display Interval (5 to 10 seconds).
You can also set the current value of time and specifY the time you want the inte-
grator to stop (End Tinle). Figme 4.28B illustrates a case in which the integrator is
stopped at 15 minutes.

Figure 4.28A - Integrator Figure 4.288 - Setting End Time

62 Chapter4

The nonnal procedure is to start the integrator and closely observe what the
controller outputs are doing on the faceplates. If everything is at steady state and
correctly connected, the values of all vmiables should just stay constant. But there
may be sorne momentary transients. When the process has lined out at the desired
steady state, save the file. If you need to start again from these conditions, go to
File, select the file name, click Open and specifY Reload.
HYSYS and AspenDynarnics have different ways of dealing with initial
conditions and "rewinding" to sorne previously saved conditions. In HYSYS you
must save the file mld reload. As discussed later in this chapter, in AspenDynam-
ics you can take Snapshots (store all the state vmiables at sorne point in time) and
rewind to any initial conditions you have saved.
To illustrate the use ofthe strip chart, we make a step change in the setpoint
of the feed flow controller at time equal 15 minutes from 100 to 120 kg-mollhr.
Then at time equal 60 minutes, the flow controller setpoint is dropped to 80 kg-
mol/hr. Figure 4.29 shows how the vapor flow V, the liquid flow L, the liquid
level and the pressure P vary with time. The proportional-only level contr·oller lets
the level float up and down as rate changes occur and provides good flow smooth-
ing. The PI pressure controller retums the pressure to the setpoint within about 10
minutes (the pressure scale is Oto 7 bar). This loop could be retuned iftight pres-
sure control were important.

Figure 4.29 - Step Increase in Feed Flow

Tank 63

The HYSYS strip charts are not very suitable for making good figures. The
time scale is not given in integers, and only one ordinate scale is displayed. To see
a different axis, light click the strip chart and click Select Curve.To get good plots
fi'om the data, the file can be saved to a file and then plotted using other software.
This is illustrated in the next chapter.

4.1.7 Tank with Only a Liquid Exit Stream

The separator tank considered aboye had both liquid and vapor streams leav-
ing the vessel. In many processes we have tanks with only a liquid streanl. Unfor-
tunately HYSYS requires that a tank must have both vapor and liquid exit streams.
So we must install a vapor line and place a control valve in this lineo Of course, the
flowrate ofthe gas is zero, so the valve cmUlot be sized in the nonnal way. Other
problems arise when the dynmnic simulation is mn because HYSYS as sumes that
the liquid is at its bubblepoint. This results in chmlges in the pressure in the tank as
temperature andJor composition change.
To illustrate this situation, Figure 4.30 gives the PFD of a process with only
a liquid stream leaving the tank. A liquid feed stream is fed into a 196 ft3 vertical
cylindlical tank (5 ft dimneter, 10 ft length). Feed flowrate is 100 lb-mole!hr of a
50/50 molm' mixture ofpropane and isobutane at 150°F and 269 psia. The liquid
stream leaving the tank goes through a pump and a control valve.
Since HYSYS requires that a tank have both liquid and vapor exit stremns,
we must install a vent line and a control valve in the simulation. We will speci:fy
that this valve is shut.
The feed and product control valves (VI and V2) have been designed for a
40 psi pressure drop in this example. To size the valve in the vent line (V3), dou-
ble click the valve icon and go the Rating page (see Figure 4.30). Speci:fy the valve
opening to be 0%, enter a nominal pressure dl'op (5 psi) mld enter an arbitrary Cv
value (500).
When the Start Integrator button is clicked in this tank example, a message
appears requesting you to do something about the fact that the temperature and
pressure specified for the contents of the tank do not cOlTespond to bubblepoint
liquid conditions. Three altemative initial conditions are suggested, but the rec-
ommended action is to increase the temperature of the liquid in the tank. The
sirnulator makes the temperature cOlTespond to the bubblepoint temperature of the
liquid mixture in the tank at the specified pressure.
As the integrator runs, the temperature in the tank will chmlge to the level
that satisfies the energy balance, so the pressure will change. In this tank exmnple,
the initial pressure specified was 229 psia in the tm1k with a temperature of 150°F.
The sirnulator increased this temperature at the beginning of the runo When the
final steady-state conditions are obtained, the tank temperature retums to 150°F,
but the pressure drops to 207 psia. Of course, this changes the pressure drops over
the control val ves. So the feed flow controller OP signal moves from 50% to 40%
64 Chapter4

because the pressme drop over the feed valve increases as the tank pressme drops.
The level controller OP signal moves from 50% to 74% because the pressme drop
over this valve decreases. This is the final steady-state condition with bubblepoint
liquid in the tank. As discussed in the next section, AspenDynamics treats the is-
sue oftanks \vith bubblepoint liqlúds in a completely different way.
Tbis startup transient can be annoying. In the next chapter we overcome tbis
problem by feeding a small inert gas stream to the tank and using a pressme con-
troUer. However, in some processes tbis artificial "fix" is l1l.1l.1atmal and lmdesir-
able. Another altemative is to make sme at the steady-state sirnulation stage that
the liquid in the tank is at a temperatme that is precise1y the bubblepoint tempera-
ture at the pressme specified.

Figure 4.30 - Tank with Only Uquid Stream

M _

vent ~t

P1 4
Tank 65

4.2 AspenDynamics Simulation

The same separator tank process is now simulated using AspenDynarnics.

4.2.1 Steady-State Conditions in AspenPlns

Figure 4.31 gives the steady-state flowsheet in AspenPlus. It is identical to

the HYSYS flowsheet. The tank is the only dynarnic element in the process. Dy-
narnics of the separator can be ignored by specifying the tank to be "Instantane-
ous" in the drop-down list shown in Figure 4.32 when the Dynamic view is
clicked under the "Sep" block. Of course we want to inc1ude the dynamics, so we
select either "Horizontal" or "Vertical" and input the length and diameter of the
vessel (see Figure 4.33).

Figure 4.31 - Flowsheet in AspenPlus

Separator Tank

When the steady-state flowsheet has been converged with the correct
plumbing, the Dynanúcs button on the top tool bar is c1icked. See Figure 4.33. If
the Dynanlics button is not showing, go to the View button, select Toolbar and
c1ick the Dynamics box. The blocks in the flowsheet that contain capacitance have
buttons in the Setup view that are labeled Dynanlic. The button will show red if
additional inf0l111ation is needed to go into dynamics.
66 Chapter4

Figure 4.32 - Dynamic

Make Dynamic


Figure 4.33 - Specify Tank Size

IB'íAl 2
é-íAl 4
lB íAl6
IB'íAl 7
IB-tz¡] F
S"lA} v
El ¡ID Block~
Btz¡] SEP
! !..·_eJ Input
o Hculve:
(!J Oynamic
--f!J B!ockOptiom
, ~Re~ulb
, '©JSlIeam Ae:;ul$
, IB·[2¡]V3
!1l D Aeactions
!B r;J :onvelgence
Tank 67

When all of the dynamic data have been entered, nm AspenPlus to converge
the steady-state flowsheet. Then click the Pressme-Check button on the top tool
bar. Ifthe plumbing is properly designed and sized, a message wiH appear that the
flowsheet is ready to go into a pressme-driven dynamic simulation (see Figme

Figure 4.34 - Pressure-Driven Simulation

One of the confusing factors in working with Aspen is the several files that
are generated. Three files are produced in steady-state AspenPlus. Suppose we caH
om simulation "sep." AspenPlus wiH generate a "sep.apw" file, a "sep.bkp" file
and a "sep.appdf' file. The "bkp" file is the one to save because it can be used as
new versions of the software are released. Two other files are produced when we
go into AspenDynamics. These are "sep.dynf' and "sepdyn.appdf." The latter has
aH the physical properties for the dynamic simulation.
AH these files can cause some confusion, but just remember to save the bkp,
the dynfand the " ... dyn.appdf' files. The HYSYS file management is simpler.

4.2.2 Exporting to AspenDynarnics

Go to File and elick Export. SpecifY that you want to save the file as a pres-
sme-driven simulation (see Figme 4.35). Of comse, save the steady-state apw and
bkp files. Now close AspenPlus and open AspenDynamics. Open the "dynf' file.
If everything is in order, it should load with no enors. Sornetirnes an enor
message appears that sorne parameter values are missing. This occms when some
ofthe blocks are not in the "available" list. Go back to AspenPlus, go to Setup and
elick the Reports Options button. Then click the Block page tab. Clicking the In-
elude Blocks button shows aH the blocks that are available. Ifthey are not alllisted
in the right column caBed Selected Blocks, use the double "»" button to move
them aH over to the right. Then export the file to AspenDynamics as a pressme-
driven simulation.
68 Chapter4

Figure 4.35 - Save as Pressure-Driven Dynamic Simulation

Dblend Deg-rd1
Destr Deg-rd2
Destr1 D final steady state
DDehyd Dgood2
Ddist3 Dhintdis
Ddpe" Dh"d Pressure

Three windows appear when you open a file in AspenDynamics: the flow-
sheet, the Explore-Sim window and a message window as shown in Figure 4.36.
The flowsheet comes up with some basic default controllers already in-
stalled. For this tank example, a tank level controller (LC!) and a pressure control-
ler (PC2) appear. The pressure controller is fully configured with its PV signal
coming from the tank (vessel pressure) and its OP signal going to control valve
V3. The leve! controller output is not connected because there is a block (the
pump) between the tank and the valve. We must make the output connection on
the level controller to valve V2 and install a flow controller on the feed stream.
Before doing anything, it is good idea to make an Initialization nm to make
sure that everything is set up correctly and the equation-based integrator is work-
ing. As shown in Figure 4.37A, se!ect "Initialization" from the drop-down menu
on the top tool bar and click the Rlm button, which is located just to the righí. If all
is set up correctly, the message shown in Figure 4.37B appears. Then use tlle drop-
down menu to retum to Dynamics.

4.2.3 Installing Controllers

Additional controllers are installed in the following way:

1. Click Dynamics in the Exploring.Siln window (top left comer of

screen). See Figure 4.38.
2. Click ControlModels. This opens a list of severa! elements that
can be added.
3. Right eliele the PID icon_ Hold the mouse bution down and drag
a controller to the flowsheeí. Releasing tlle mouse drops a control-
ler at the location ofthe cursor. Drag and drop as many controllers
as youneed.
Tank 69

Figure 4.36 - Initial Default Controllers

¡___ H ___________________ : V3


Separator Tank.

Figure 4.37A - initialization Run

70 Chapter4

Figure 4.37B -Initialization Run Completed Successfully

Figure 4.38 - Installing New Controller


Separator Tank

New Coníroller Block Installed

Tank 71

4. Click Stream Types on the Exploring.Sim window under Dynam-

ics. See Figure 4.39.
5. Right click the Control Signal icono Hold the monse bntion
down and drag a line to the flowsheet. CONTINUE TO HOLD
THE MOUSE BUTTON DOWN. In a few seconds, a number of
bIne arrows will appear on the blocks and streams in the flow-
sheet, as shown in Figure 4.39. These are the possible locations
where the control signal can be connected.
6. Move the cursor anow to the location you want and release the
mouse button. For example, suppose we want to install a control
signal line from the feed flow F to the flow controller. We move
the cursor anow to the arrow pointing out of the stream F. When
we release the mouse button, a window opens from which we
must select the variable desired, as shown in Figure 4.40. We se-
lect "STREAMS("F"). F", which is the molar flowrate.

Figure 4.39 -Inserting Control Signals


Separator Tank
72 Chapter4

Figure 4.40 - Selecting Molar Fiow of Stream "F"

7. When the first connection has been made, a munber of different

blue arrows wiIl appear as shown in Figure 4.41. These are the
possible destinations for the control signa!. Move the cursor to the
blue alTOW at the location you want and c1ick. For the PV signal
for the flow controller, we c1ick the blue alTOW pointing to the
c011troller. A window opens up (Figure 4.42) from which we can
select either the PV signal or the RemoteSP signa!. The fOffi1er is
selected for this example. For a cascade control system, the output
of the Plimary controller is connected to the secondary controller
as the RemoteSP. Figure 4.43 shows the PV signalline installed
011 the flow contToller.

Figure 4.41 - Connecting Destination of Control Signal

1- - -- -- - - - -- - --- - - - --- - -,

Separator Tank


~ ~ ~1./1V2 ,,1, •
Tank 73

Figure 4.42 - Select PV Input to Flow Controller

Figure 4.43 - PV Control Signal Conneded

,-----------------------, V3
,, ,I

Separator TanJ::


8. Installil1g a control signal from the level controller output to valve

V3 is done in the same "drag-and-drop" manner. Figure 4.44
shows the frnal flowsheet with the three controllers cOl1l1ected.
9. Double clickil1g a controller icon brings up a faceplate, as shown
at the top of Figure 4.45 near the top of the screen. The faceplate
shows the PV, OP and SP signals as bar charts and with numelical
values. There are al so several buttons at the top for switchil1g the
controller :fi:om manual to automatic and for configming and tun-
74 Chapter4

ing the controller. Clicking the left-most button puts the controller
on automatic. Clicking the second button from the left puts the
controller in manual. Clicking the third puts the controller in cas-
cade (remote setpoint).
10. The fourth button (Configure) opens a window with several page
tabs. Figure 4.45 shows the views given for the flow controller
when the Tuning page tab, the Ranges page tab and the Filtering
page tab are elicked.
11. The first thing you should do is eliele the Initialize bar at the bot-
tom of the window. This inserts values for the PV and OP signals,
default values for transmitter ranges and some default controller

Figure 4.44 - Flowsheet with Al! Controllers Installed


: __________ w ____________ V3

Separator Tank

Procedure= Fe
El Reactor:
'Seripl: :---->-0------,
6l {iJ Sepalato!~ : :
.~ ;t~rii~l$igti~
i--~ Hea]5l1eam
, ~MatelialSt¡aam
~ Polymer5tleam

ffi .. Sy~temLlblary
Lf5:I Component Li~l~

12. On the Tuning page tab, select direct or reverse action. The flow
controller is reverse-acting. The selection of direct or reverse con-
trol action is probably the most important item in setting up a con-
Tank 75

troller. If you have the wrong action, the loop will drive the con-
trol valve to a limit. The conventional flow-controller tuning con-
stants are specified on this page tab.
13. Click the Ranges page tab and change the transmitter ranges ifyou
do not like the default values chosen. Reasonable spans for tem-
perature transmitters are 100 to 200°F. Flow spans are usually
twice the steady-state flowrate. Pressure spans are usually about
50% ofthe absolute pressure.
14. The output ranges can also be specified. For signals going to con-
trol valves, the range is O to 100%. For signals goil1g to energy
flows, the range is from the mil1imwn energy flow (OPmin) to the
maximwn energy flow (OPmax). The sign convention must also
be taken into account. Remember that energy added to a unit is
positive in AspenDynarnics. Energy removed is negative. So for
heat removal, the OPmin is a negative nwnber and the OPmax is
zero. For heat addition, the OPmin is zero and the OPmax is a
positive nwnber.
15. The Filteling page tab can be used to filter the PV signal if de-
sired. The nwnerical integrator seems to have fewer problems if a
small (0.1 minute) filter is used in flow loops, probably because
the flow transmitter and valve are treated as instantaneous in the

The pressure controller tuning and ranges are ShOWf1 in Figure 4.46. The
controller is direct-acting. A pressure transmitter range of 3 to 7 atm has been
specified, and tuning constant entered (Kc =2 and 'el = 2 minutes).
The level controller tuning and ranges are ShOWf1 in Figure 4.47. The con-
troller is directing and proportional-only with Kc = 2. The proportional-only action
is achieved by speci:fYing a very large value for integral time.
When the all the controllers are installed, clicking the Run button (se e Fig-
ure 4.44) will start the integrator. When the process lines out at steady state, you
can reset time back to zero by pausing the n.m, making an initialization run and
rewinding (see Figure 4.48). This becomes the initial conditions for the simulation.
We give more details ofrunl1ing the simulation and storing initial conditions 1ater
in this chapter.
76 Chapter4

Figure 4.45 - Controller Modes and Page Tabs


Tuning Filtering

Figure 4.46 - Pressure Controller

Tank 77

Figure 4.47 - Level Controller

Figure 4.48 - Initialization Run

4.2.4 Installing Plots

The procedure for installing plots is:

1. Go to Tools on the top tool bar. Click New Plot on the list that
opens up. A plot window appears.
2. Left c1ick the stream or unit containing a variable you want to
plot. Then light c1ick, select Forms and c1ick AH Valiables. Figure
4.49 shows the plot window and the All Vmiables window for the
feed stremn F.
78 Chapter4

Figure 4.49 - Plot and AlI Variables Windows

3. Left elide the variable you want to plot. Then left elick again and
hold the mouse burton down. The molar flowrate is se1ected in
Figure 4.50.
4. Drag the variable to the strip-chart and drop it (release the mouse
button). Figure 4.51 shows that a vertical axis has been installed
with the feed flow. Several variables can be plotted on the same
plot with different scales.
5. Right elide the plot and select Properties. Figure 4.52 shows the
various page tabs that appear. Labels, axis scales, colors of lines
and other properties can be customized to your liking.
Tan" 79

Figure 4.50 - Select Fiow

Figure 4.51 - Variable Installed in Plot

o 1 3.:1 5 6
Time Hours
80 Chapter4

Figure 4.52 - Plet Preperties

Each variable can have its OWl1 scale by specifYing this option in the Axis-
Map page tab. Figure 4.53 shows the Axis page tab view on which the scales for
all the vatiables are specified. If you want a fixed scale, remove the check in the
box to the lefi of"Reset axis ratlge to data." Figme 4.54 shows the Runtime page
tab view on which the ratlge oftime can be specified.

Figure 4.53 - Setting Axis Scales Figure 4.54 - Setting Runtime

Text can be added to the plot by right c1icking the plot and selecting Modify.
Then c1ick Add Text. This opens the window ShOWl1 in Figure 4.55 in which text
material can be placed on the plot. Afier you have typed in what you want and
clicked the "OK" button, the cursor is positioned where you want the text placed
on the plot and c1icked. This featme is convenient for labe1ing curves.
The plots generated in AspenDynanucs are much better than those generated
in HYSYS. The main reasons are the reasonable time scales and the multiple
scales. AspenDynanlics gives integer values of time (1, 2, 3, .. , hours). HYSYS
gives time scales that at'e fractions ofminutes or hours, which makes it difficult to
read time.
Tank 81

4.2.5 RUllning the SimuIation

There are several buttons on the top toolbar that make rUlming the simula-
tian, pausing and rewinding easy. Figme 4.44 shows five buttons to the right of
the window showing "Dynamic." The first is the Run button. The third is Pause,
and the fifth is Rewind.
With faceplates for a11 the contro11ers displayed, select Initialization and
click the Rlll1 button. If everything is okay, a message will appear telling you the
TIll1 is completed. Now select Dynamics and click the Rlll1 button. The integrator
should start, and if everything is insta11ed cOlTectIy, a11 the controller outputs
should remain constant. One common elTor is to have the wrong action on the
controllers, so check this carefü11y before starting the integrator. If the system is
not stable and diverges, click the Pause button and then the Rewind button. Select
the initial conditions file and click Rewind. This wi11 retUll1 you to the original
Once the simulation has come to a steady state that you like, pause it and se-
lect Initialization from the dropdown list given in the window to the left ofthe Run
button. Then c1ick the Run button. This sets time equal to zero and stores the val-
ues of a11 vatiables. This can be saved and then used as the initial conditions for
later TIll1S.
Switch back to Dynamics. Rewind to the hutialization Run just generated
and save the file. A number of useflll things can be done by taking "snapshots"
(storing the values of a11 variables) at a given point in time.
y ou may want to stop the integrator at some point in time. This is done by
going to Rlll1 at the top ofthe screen, clicking Integrator, clicking "Pause At.oo Fig-
ure 4.56 shows the window that opens. You can specifY a value of time at which
to stop the integratar.
82 Chapter4

Figure 4.56 - Setting Time to Pause

Another important topic in nmning the file is "Communication Time." As-

penDynamics integrates all state variables continuously,but it only looks at these
values at discrete points in time to update the values of variables shown on plots
and controller faceplates. Control action is continuous but this is not reflected in
the variables displayed in the graphical user interface (GUI). For processes with
fast dynamics, the Communication Time should be reduced from its default value
ofO.Ol hours. It can be adjusted by going to Run at the top ofthe screen and c1ick-
ing Run Options. Figure 4.57 shows the window that opeas. Changing the com-
munication time to 0.001 hours is often necessary, particularly when running re-
la y- feedback tests.

Figure 4.57 - Setting Communication Time

Figure 4.58 illustrates the use of plots. Two plots are ShOW11. One shows the
flowrates ofthe feed, liquid and vapor streams. The same vertical scale is used in
this plot. The second plot shows the tank level and pressure, each having its oW11
Tal1k 83

The disturbances are positive and negative step changes in feed flowrate at
time equal 0.25 hours and 1 hour, respectively. Notice that fue PI pressure control-
ler retums the pressure to the setpoint value (5 atm), but fue P level controller lets
fue tank level float up and down. The P action gives gradual changes in the liquid

Figure 4.58 - Step Increase and Decrease in Feed Flow

: ...... , .... i······,····"- •••• •••••• '•••••• i• • • i
: ······:·····T····r···~~'·····T"····:······:······1

.......!....... :.......¡- ...... :
: , ,
,:rr~~l::' ,,,
----. -- ---
sin r~

. . . LI~E;L¡L
JI j:LJ 1~ 1~ ;..: : ': : : ,
' , , , , , ,
T, \:rJl,:,r~·
rIfIfIIli Time Hours
~ ~ ······r·····'······r·····'······,······1·····r·····:
0.25 0.5 0.75 1
Time Hours
1.25 15 175

4.2.6 Tanlk with Only a Liquid Exit Stream

The separator tank considered aboye had both liqrnd and vapor streams leav-
ing fue vessel. In many processes we have tanks with only a liquid stream. Aspen-
Plus and AspenDynamics permit the use of a tank with only a liquid outlet. This
block is fOlmd in the Mixer page tab in AspenPlus.
To iHustrate fuis situation, Figure 4.59 gives the AspenPlus flowsheet of fue
same process considered in Section 4.1. 7 in which only a liquid stream leaves the
tanlc To set up the tank, we c1ick the Dynamic view, open the Vessel page tab and
specify vertical tank (not instantaneous). Clicking the Initial Condition page tab
opens the window shown in Figure 4.60 in which the Liqtúd volume fraction is
84 Chapter4

specified to be 0.5. We also need to open the Input view of the tank (see Figure
4.61) and specifY the Va1id phases to be "LiqlÚd Only."

Figure 4.59 - Tank with Only Uquid Exit Stream

Figure 4.60 - Specify Uquid level

Tank 85

The tank pressure specified in AspenPlus is maintained constant during the

dynamic simulation. The liquid is not at its bubblepoint pressure for fue tempera-
ture in the tank. The physical situation in which this would occur is when the tank
pressure is held constant by a ventlbled pressure control system. This is different
than the model used in HYSYS, which as sumes bubblepoint pressure. If the cor-
rect model for fue process should have bubblepoint pressure in the tank, a separa-
tor block can be used in Aspen with the valve in the vapor line kept shut.

4.3 Conclusion
In this chapter we have covered all the basic steps and methods in moving
from a steady-state simulation flowsheet into a dynamic simulation. Providing
equipment size data, adding controllers and installing strip charts are essential
steps required. Starting and stopping the simulation and saving initial conditions
have been covered. The details of the procedures have been illustrated using a
simple single tank example for both dynamic sinmlation software packages.
Controller tuning and the use oflags and deadtimes were not covered in this
chapter because they are not required in level and flow control loops. In the next
chapter we consider another simple process in which more controllers are in-
volved. A composition controller is used, which requires the use ofmeasurement
lags and relay-feedback testing.
hapter 5
Blending Process
The previous chapter covered most of the details of developing, starting up
arrd running a dynamic simulation. A very simple tank level and pressure control
example was used. In this chapter we extend our coverage slightly to include a
compositioll controller that requires a rigorous tuning procedure. The process corr-
sidered is a blellding tank with two feed streams. There are several controllers
requirecl to operate even this simple unit: a composition controller, a level control-
ler, a pressure contToller alld two (or three) flow controllers. We move from a
steady-state simulation into a dynamic sil11ulation, insta11 controllers and strip-
chart recorders, install a deadtime in the composition loop, tune this controller and
evaluate performance. These procedures are presented using both HYSYS and

5.1 HYSYS Simulation

5.1.1 Steady-State Conditions

Figure 5.1 gives the flowsheet PFD from HYSYS. Two liquid feed streams
are fed into a 1000 ga110n tank. One stream is 100 lb-mole/hr of ethanol at 90°F
and 150 psia. The second streal11 is 600 lb-mole!hr of n-pentane at 90°F and 150
psia. The tank operates at 110 psia and with a liquid level of 50%. The composi-
tion of the liquid leaving the tank is 14.17 mol% ethanol and is controlled by ma-
nipulating the fi"esh feed of ethanol.
There is also a small flow of nitrogen into the tank. In the second tank con-
sidered in the previous chapter, we kept the vapor flow fi"om the tank at zero, so
the liquid in the tank had to be at its bubblepoint pressure for the temperature set
by the energy balance. This resulted in a tank pressure that changed with tank
temperature, which affected control valve pressure drops. To avoid these prob-
lems, the sma11 stream of inert gas is fed to the tanlc, and the pressure is controlled
in the tank by manipulating the valve (V4) in the vent stream fi"om the tanlc We
are essentially simulating the coml110nly used vent/bleed pressure control system.
The flowrate of the nitrogen is set at 7 lb-mole/hr.

88 Chapter 5

Figure 5.1 - Blending Process Flowsheet


V1 v10ut

inert v30ut

v20ut wk

The phmlbing has been inselied in the system. Valves VI, V2, and V3 are
designed to be 50% open with 40 psi pressure drops. The val ve on the vent line V4
is designed to be 20% open and discharge into a vent header operating at 20 psia.
The Dynamics page tabs are opened to size the control val ves and specifY there
can be no back flow (check val ve). The dynamic specification of constant head for
the pmnp must also be set on the pump Dynamics page tab.
The flowsheet is ready to switch to the dynamic mode.

5.1.2 Installing Controllers and Transfer Functions

Figure 5.2 shows the PFD with all the controllers installed and a deadtime
element in the composition loop. The procedure for adding controllers was pre-
sented in detail in Chapter 4. The control structure has the following loops:

l. Pentane feed FFP is flow-controlled by controller FC (reverse act-

2. Tank level is controlled by controller LC (direct acting).
3. Tank pressure is controlled by controller PC (direct acting).
4. The composition of the stream leaving the tank (Tkout) is con-
trolled by contTOller CC (reverse acting). The OP signal changes
the position of valve VI, which manipulates the flowrate of the
fi:esh ethanol feed stream FFE.

The tmlÍng constants ofthe level and flow conlrollers are the standards dis-
cussed in Chapter 3. The pressure controller in this example is not critical, so we
pick some reasonable tmling constants (Ke = 2 with a pressure transmitter range of
Oto 200 psia, and integral time '[1 = 5 minutes).
The new feature in this example is the deadtime element. Many composition
measurements are achieved by the use of chromatographic analyzers. These de-
vices have inherent deadtimes, which significantly affect controller performance.
Blending 89

In this example, we assume a composition analyzer deadtime of 3 minutes, but in

sorne difficult measurements, the deadtime can be much larger.

Figure 5.2 - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed

v20ut wk

The procedure for installing a transfer function is the same as that for install-
ing controllers, which was presented in detail in Chapter 4.

l. Drag a transfer function from the pallet and drop it on the PFD.
2. Double clicking the transfer function icon opens the left window
shown in Figure 5.3.
3. The Connectian page tab is used to select the input signal (PV) and
the output signal (called the transformed PV target, PV'). The input
connectian is selected as the campasition of ethanol ("Comp Mole
Frac (Ethanol)") in the stream leaving the tank ("Tkout"), as shown
in Figure 5.4. The output connection is specified as the PV signal
going into the composition controller. Note that the connection
between the output of the transfer function and the input to the
composition controller input must be made from the controller
connection window. Trying to make the connection from the
transfer-function window doesn't work because the controller PV
is not listed as ane ofthe available signals.
90 Chapter5

Figure 5.3 - Deadtime and Compositiol1 Controller

Figure 5.4 - Selecting PV tor Composition Controller

4. Clicking the Parameter page tab opens the window shown in Fig-
ure 5.5. The PV Min and PV Max are specified to be the same as
the range used in the controller. In this example, the steady-state
composition is 0.1417 mole fraction ethanol. We select a composi-
tion transmitter range of Oto 0.25 mole fi·action.
5. The left column on the Parameter page has several types oftransfer
functions. To install a deadtime, click DeJay. First-order 01' second-
order Jags can be illstalled by clicking Lag 01' 2nd Order.
6. Clicking DeJay opens the window shown in Figure 5.6. Click the
DeJay box undel' Active Transfer Ftillctions, and specifY the gain
(1) and the delaypel'iod (3 minutes).
Blending 91

Figura 5.5 - Specifying Ranga of Deadtime Transfer Function

Figure 5.6 - Selecting Delay Element

7. Click the Face Plate button to bring up a faceplate that shows the
PV and PV' signals.

The initial conditions of these transfer function blocks are 110t nrunediately
displayed on the faceplate. The integrator has to be started. It is a good idea to
leave the composition controller on manual when you first start the integrator.
HYSYS has a bug in the deadtiIne element. Ifyou reset the tinle to zero, the
deadtime element is disabled (its output signal does 110t change). Therefore do not
change the tiIne. This makes it inconvenient for making plots. You have to copy
92 Chapter 5

the history file into sorne other plotting software, and subtract the initial time to
get a plot that starts at zero time.
Another problem with HYSYS shows up when you try to put transfer func-
tions in series. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. For example, iftwo
lags are installed in series, the first lag seems to work okay, getting the correct
input and output signals. However, the signal that the second lag sees is not the
same as the output of the first lag. This problem makes it difficult to put multiple
elements in series in a control loop. For example, you cannot put a selector or
surnmer block in series with a lag. Later versions of HYSYS should eliminate this

5.1.3 Relay-Feedback Testing

Now the composition controller must be tuned. First we install a strip chart
that records the PV and OP signals from the composition controller. A cornmon
error is to record the original variable before the transfer function. If lags are used
in the loop, using the amplitude ofthis incorrect signal gives an error in the ca1cu-
lated ultimate gain because the lags attenuate the signal.
One of the most convenient features in HYSYS for controller performance
evaluation is the Autotuner. It automatically implements the relay-feedback test.
Sinlply click the Tuning button on the controller faceplate. Going to the Parame-
ters page tab and clicking the Autotuner button opens the window shown in Figure

Figure 5.7 - Autotune

Blending 93

y OH can select the type of controller (PI or prD) and the amplitude of the
change in the controller output (default value is 5%). Clicking the Start AutoÍlmer
button launches the relay-feedback test. Figure 5.8 shows the PV and OP values of
the composition controller. The loop starts to oscillate. Afier several cyc1es the
testing stops, alld some suggested PID settillgs are displayed. For the composition
cOlltroller in this example, the recommended settings fOl' a PID controller are Kc =
0.295, 'tI = 11.3 and 'tD = 2.5l. We compare the perfomlance ofthese settings with
other alternatives in Section 5.3.

Figure 5.8 - Relay-Feedback Test Results

The amplitllde of the OP signal is specified as 5% of scale, so the OP signal

changes from 45% to 55%. The results ofthe re!ay-feedback test in Figure 5.8 are
used to tind the amplitud e of the PV signal and the period of the oscillation. The
period is about 9 minutes, so Pu = 9 minutes. The amplitude of the PV signa! is
about 0.006 mole fiaction ethanol. This must be expressed as a percent ofthe full-
scale reading ofthe composition transmitter, which is Oto 0.25 mole fraction.
94 Chapter 5

a = (0.006)100 = 2.4%

Then the ultimate gain can be calculated.

K =~= 4(5) =2.65

11 al[ (2.4)l[

Knowing Pu and Ku , we can use one of the tuning methods proposed in the
literature. The most well knoW11 are the Ziegler-Nichols tuning rules. These ofien
give c1osedloop damping coefficients that are too sma11 for many chemical engi-
neering processes (too oscillatory). The Tyreus-Luyben tuning rules are more con-
servative and better suited for most (but not a11) chemical processes. These rules

The TL settings for the blending process are Kc = 0.8 and 1:¡ = 19. A comparison
ofthe perf0l111anCe of severa! tuning methods is given in Section 5.3.

5.2 AspenDynanlics Simulation

The same blending process is now simulated using AspenDynamics.

5.2.1 Steady-State Conditions in AspenPlus

Figure 5.9 gives the steady-state flowsheet tor the blencling process in As-
penPlus. It is identical to the HYSYS flowsheet except for the addition of a control
valve in the inert feed lineo AspenDynamics requires the insertion of a valve on
this line to achieve the pressure-driven dynamics.
When the steady-state flowsheet has been converged with the correct
plumbing, click the Dynamics button on the top tool bar. The tank is the only
dynamic element in the process.
Blending 95

Go to the Tank block and click the Dynamic button. The tank can be speci-
fied to be instantaneous or to have dynamics. To choose a dynarnic tank, select the
Vertical (or Horizontal) option anci specifY a vessel diameter. Note that the volurne
of the tank has already been specified in the tank setup.
When aH of the dynarnic data has been entered, click the Pressure-Check
burton on the top tool bar. If the plumbing is properly designed and sized, a mes-
sage will appear that the flowsheet is ready to go into a pressure-driven dynanric
Go to File and then Export. Specify that you want to save the file as a pres-
sure-driven simulation. Close AspenPlus and open AspenDynamics. Open the
"dynf' file.

Figure 5.9 - AspenPlus Steady-State Flowsheet

Blending Process

5.2.3 Installing Conü"oUers and Transfer Functions

The flowsheet opens up with some basic default controHers already in-
stalled. For this blending tank example, tank level and pressure controllers appear
(see Figure 5.10). The pressure controller output is cOIU1ected to the valve in the
vapor line (V4). The level controller output is not cOlU1ected because there is a
block (the pump) between the tank and the val ve. The additional controllers are
installed in the nonnal way, as discussed in detail in Chapter 4. The fmal flow-
sheet with all controlloops installed is shown in Figure 5.11.
96 Chapter 5

111e procedure for installing the deadtime eJement is:

1. Click the Control Models under Dynamics in the Explore Sim

window. We did this earlier to select controllers.
2. One of the items on the list is Deadtime.
3. Drag aneI drop a deadtime element onto the flowsheet.
4. Drag a conh'ol signal to the flowsheet and install it between the
Tkout stream and the deadtime. Select the ethanol mole fi"action in
the Tkout stream asthe source of this signallille. Select the input
ofthe deadtime block for the destination ofthis signalline.
5. Install another signal between the deadtime and the composition
controller. Select the deadtime block output as the source of this
signal lineo Select the PV input to the composition conh'oller for
the destination of this signalline.

Figure 5.10 - Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers

6. Left click the deacltime icon and then right click.

7. In the window that opens, select Forms and then AlI Variables.
8. In the next window that opens (see Figure 5.12), specifY the dead-
time (3 minutes in this example).
Blending 97

Figure 5.11 - Flowsheet with AII Controllers and Deadtime Installed


~ , ¡~----- ¡-------------------¡ BIending Process
:t? ¡ ¡V4
:i~~ I

P1 : V3

It should be noted that the values ofthe input and output signals ofthe dead-
time are not initialized to the correct values until the Run button is c1icked. In Fig-
ure 5.12 the input and output match the steady-state ethanol composition (0.1417
mole fraction ethanol). Multiple lags and deadtimes can be installed in series in

Figure 5.12 - AII-Variables tor Deadtime

5.2.3 Relay-Feedback Testing

Running the re1ay-feedback test in AspenDynamics requires more effort

than in HYSYS. The procedure is the following:
98 Chapter 5

l. Record the PV and OP signal ofthe controller being tested on a plot.

2. Click the icon of the controller and right click. Select Forms and AH
Variables. The window that opens for the cOl11position controller is
shown in Figure 5.l3A.
3. Go down the OPl11in and Opl11ax in the list and set these values to give
the desired height of the relay (usually +5% and -5% of the controller
output scale). If the controller is not l11anipulating a valve but an energy
streal11 or a temperature or a flowrate, you must calculate the appropriate
high and low lil11its for the contro11er. For the composition controller, the
steady-state OP is 50% and the fu11 scale range is 100%. So the controller
OPmin is set at 45% and the Opmax is set at 55%.
4. Go up on the list to Gain and specifY a large value, perhaps 100.
5. Make the Integral Time a large nUl11ber (99999) so the controller is pro-
6. Start the integrator and see if the loop breaks into an osci11ation. If it does
not, doubIe the vaIue of Gain in the controller All Variables window.
You may aIso have to make very 8ma11 changes in the setpoint to disturb
the loop enough to get it oscillating. Increase the contro11er gain until the
loop 8tarts to oscillate with the setpoint at the steady-state value.

Figure 5.13A - AII-Variables Form of Controller

Blending 99

If you make the gain too large, the integrator may fail and give an error message
(see Figure 5.13B). The equation-base integrator used in AspenDynamics does not
handle step changes well, and making the gain very large means abrupt changes.

Figure 5.13B -Integrator Failure Error Message

You should also reduce the "Communication Time" parameter (discussed in

Chapter 4, Section 4.2.6) from the default value of 0.01 hours to something more
suitable for the dynamics of the loop you are testing. A common heuristic is to
have the Conllmmication Time at least a factor of ten smaller than the lÜtinlate
periodo Most temperature and composition dynamics require a Conll11unication
Time of about 0.001 hours for good plots.
The trial and error aspect of relay-feedback testing is a weak point in As-
penDynamics. The expert user can make things somewhat easier by using what
are called Scripts 01' Tasks, but the use ofthese more advanced methods is beyond
the scope of an introductory book.
Figure 5.14 gives results for the composition controller. A gain of 100 gave
reasonable relay-feedback results without crashing the integrator. The amplitude
of the PV signal and the ultimate period are the same as found in the HYSYS
100 Chapter 5

Figure 5.14 - Relay-Feedback Test

5.3 Tuning and Performance

Now that we know how to install a control system and mn the relay-
feedback test, we are ready to illustrate the effects of various disturbances and the
effectiveness ofvarious controller-tuning methods on our simple blending process.
The original recorder plots frOl11 the two simulators and plots generated fi'om the
copied or stored data using Matlab and Power Point are presented below.
Three disturban ces are considered:

l. At time equal 0.5 hours, the setpoint ofthe pentane fi'esh feed flow COll-
troller (FC) is changed fi'om 600 lb-mole/lu' to 400 lb-mole/hr.
2. At time equal 4 holU's, the setpoint ofthe compositioll controller (CC) is
changed fi'om 0.1417 mole fi'action ethanol to 0.16 mole fi'action.
Blending 101

3. At time equal 8 hours, two step changes are made: pentane flow to 600
lb-mole/hr and ethanol composition to 0.1417 mole Ji'action.

Three sets of controller tuning constants are evaluated:

l. TL settings for a PI controller: K c = 0.8 and 1:] = 19.

2. HYSYS reconu11ended settings for a PID controller: I<C = 0.295, 1:J =
11.2 and 1:D = 2.49.
3. Empirica1: K c = l.0 and 1:] = 12.

Figures 5.l5A, B and C compare these three tuning methods using As-
penDynamics strip-charts. Both the PV and the OP signals ofthe composition are
plotted. Figure 5.16 illustrates the use of exporting the data to Matlab and using
this software to generate the plots. The TL and the HYSYS settings are compared.
Fina1ly, in Figure 5.17 the Matlab figures are copied and pasted into Power Point.
Now we can easily modifY any of the labels, add text, change line thickness and
type, etc.
The procedure for exporting files is straightforward.


l. Click the Tools button on the top menu bar.

2. Select Databook, and click the Strip Charts page tab.
3. Click the Historical button.
4. The data from the strip chart selected can be saved as a "dmp" file and
then read into whatever plotting software you use.


l. Right elick the plot.

2. Click "Show as History".
3. Highlight the table (eliele at the top and elick at the bottom while
holding the Shift key down).
4. The data can then be copied and pasted into a file 01' into whatever
software you like to use.
102 Chapter 5

Fig. S.1SA - Empírical Tuning

Figure 5.1SB - TL Tuning

Blending 103

Fi.gure 5.15C - HYSYS Tuning

Figure 5.16 - Matlab Plot

104 Chapter5

Figure 5.17 - PowerPoint Plot

Blending Process: Controller Tunfn~: K¡;=l, Im,Jj=12; WO.7, TJ1Uj=17

I: ~~:¡-.......VT¡ • • • j~:::::
0.11 0
: : j:
:------+----+--..-;.., : :
+,_ _ _+ ___:!:-_ _-l.
Time (hours)

l 4j

... '"

;fif11e (hours)

5.3 Conclusion
In this chapter we have covered sorne additional basic steps and rnethods in
rnoving frorn a steady-state simulation flowsheet into a dynamic simulation. Add-
ing dynamic elernents (lags and deadtimes), using the re1ay-feedback test and tun-
ing critical controllers have been illustrated. The procedures have been illustrated
on a simple single-tank blending example for both dynamic simulation software
packages. In the next chapter we consider another single-unit process in which
chemical reactions are considered.
Chapter 6
CSTR Reactor Process
The previous chapter considered a single tank that nllxed together two
streams. No reaction occurred and no thermal effects (heating or cooling) were
considered. In this· chapter and the next, we expand our treatrnent to consider re-
acting systems. Reactors are the heart of many chenllcal processes, and dynamic
simulation of these critical units is absolutely essential for the safe and profitable
operation ofthe entire plant.
There are a tremendous number of different types of reactors that are used
cornmercially. Sorne have fairly benign dynarnics, but many offer very challeng-
ing control problems. Reactors in which exothermic, irreversible reactions take
place are the most challenging because of the potential for temperature runaways.
Reactors with low per-pass conversions are particular1y sensitive because there is
plenty ofreactant around to fuel a runaway. Many ofthese reactor s are open1oop
unstable, so a feedback controller is required to achieve stable operation.
Environmental pollution resulting from safety valve or rupture disk venting
should be minirnized. The potential safety hazards from explosions, decomposi-
tions and fires must be high-priority items for consideration in the design and op-
eration of a chenllcal plant. The chenllcal and petroleum industries have experi-
enced a number of devastating fires, explosions and enllssions of toxic material
during the last century caused by chemical reactors. Many of these could have
been prevented by betier design and operation. Therefore reactor dynarnics and
control are probably the most vital parts of dynamic simulations.
We cover continuous stirred-tank reactors (CSTR) in this chapter and plug-
flow tubular reactors (PFR) in the next. Both HYSYS and AspenDynamics simu-
lators are used. The two simulators handle reactors in significantly different ways,
and it is vital to understand the capabilities and lirnitations of each and to be aware
ofthe fundamental dynamic models that are "under the hood."

6.1 CSTR Process Studied

The specific numerical example chosen to illustrate many of the principIes
of CSTR reactor simulation is the reaction of aniline and hydrogen to form cyclo-
hexylarnine (CRA):
C6H7N + 3H2 -¿ C6H 13 N.

106 Chapter 6

Although the chemistry is real, the kinetics are assumed and are not based on real
kinetic data. Probably the most difficult and error-prone aspect of simulation, both
steady state and dynamics, is getting reaction kinetics correct. The data in the lit-
eratme uses different units, different bases, different composition dependency, etc.
The highly nonlinear relationships used in kinetic expression, particularly tem-
perature dependence, make the results extremely sensitive to any mistakes in con-
verting units ofthe reaction rates. The situation is not helped by the fact that each
sin1Ulator has its own conventions and requirements.
The assumed reactor conditions are 595 psia and 250°F. The liquid-phase
reaction occurs in a 1200 ft3 vertical cylindrical vessel in which the liquid level is
80%. See Figure 6.1.
The reaction kinetics are picked in each simulator such that the aniline con-
version is 76%. The activation energy is set at 20,000 Btu/lb-mole (11,111 cal/g-
mole). In HYSYS the reaction rate basis is lb-mol/hr/ft3 and the reaction is flrst
order in the molar concentrations (lb-mol/ft3) of each ofthe reactants.

where VI? = reactor liquid volume (ft3). The temperatme dependence ofthe specific
reaction rate k is assumed to be given by

le = 10 8 e ----:RT
where T is temperature (R). In AspenDynamics the reaction rate basis is kg-
mol/sec/m3 , the molar concentrations are in kg-mol/m3 and specific reaction rate
giving the 76% conversíon is
le = 2 xl O4 e ----¡¡;¡:--
The pure reactants are fed into the reactor in two fresh feed streams. The
aniline fi-esh feed is 100 lb-mol/hr at 650 psia and 100°F. The hydrogen fresh feed
is 400 lb-mo1/hr at 650 psia and 100°F. The per-pass conversion of aniline is 76%.
The reaction is highly exothermic (82,000 Btu/lb-mole ofCHA), so the sys-
tem must be designed for adequate heat-removal capacity. This translates into a
large heat-transfer area. The steady-state heat-transfer rate is 5.l3xl06 Btu/hr.
Unforhmately both ofthe simulators handle heat transfer in a somewhat su-
perficial way, which does not make obtaining realistic dynamic results easy. There
is no explicit consideration ofwhether 01' not the reactor geometry will provide the
assumed heat-transfer area. You must exercise some caution in using these mod-
CSTR 107

Figure 6.1 - CSTR Process

HYSYS Models: Xhe CSTR model in HYSYS has two options: use a dírect
heat-transfer rate Q or use a cooling (or heating) fluid with a given heaHransfer
area and overall heaHransfer coefficient. The second option assmnes the cooling
medium is in a cooling jacket and the jacket is perfectIy mixed. This is an impor-
tant assumption. It applies in reactors with circulating-coolant systems. This COl1-
figuration features a large flow of coolant that círculates through the jacket or
coils, and this circulating stream is coolecl in an external heat exchanger or by the
aclditíon of a colcl make-up stream.
Thus the clifferentíal temperature driving force fOI heat transfer ís the reac-
108 Chapter6

tor temperature minus the temperature of the cooling fluid in the jacket, which is
the temperature of the coo1ing fluid leaving the reactor jacket. The coo1ant
flowrate is the manipulated variable.

I'1T = ~·eaclor - TeDo/antOut/el

AspenDynamics Models: The CSTR mode1s in AspenDynamics provide

three options: (1) the direct Q approach, (2) specifying a coolant temperature and
(3) specifying a cooJant in1et temperature and approach L'lT. In the second option, a
temperature controller can manipulate the coolant temperature. This option can be
used when vaporization or condensation of the cooling (or heating) fluid is occur-
ring and the fluid is apure component. The common application is when steal11 is
being used to coo1 (or heat) a reactor.
In the third option in AspenDynal11ics, a tel11perature controller can 111a-
nipu1ate the coolant flowrate. This option is different than that in HYSYS in that a
log-mean temperature difference (LMTD) is used that consielers both the in1et
coo1ant temperature anel the exit coo1ant tel11perature.

(T - T ) - (T - T )
I'1TUvI = reaclor e(oo/~tIn/et _ T reaclor :coo/antOlIl/el

In ~actor. coo/anan/el

T;'cactor - TeDolanlOutle!

Thus the AspenDynal11ics model of the jacket or coil cooJing assumes plug flow
of the coolant. The HYSYS model, 011 the other hanel, assumes the jacket is well
l11ixed at a ulliform temperature.
There are oiher basic differences in the CSTR moelels between the simula-
torso One is the number of streams leaving the reactor. HYSYS requires both va-
por and liquid out1et cOlmections. The version of AspenP1us used in this book
(10.2) 0111y permits one exit stream. This restriction is removed in Version 1I.
Sign conventions for heat flows are hanelled different1y also. In HYSYS,
heat duty can be defined as either cooling or heating. In AspenDynamics, heat
removed fiom a block is a1ways negative and heat adeled is always positive. These
conventions affect the selection of the action of the controller (reverse or direct)
and the output ranges ofthe controllers that set heat duties.

6.2 Simulation ofCSTR Using HYSYS

Figure 6.1 shows the steady-state PFD for the process with the pllUl1bing.
The workbook with the conditions of a11 streams is also shown. Figure 6.2 gives
the PFD with a11 controllers installeel. AlI con1ml val ves are 50% open at design
conclitions anel have a 30 psi pressure e1rop. The two flow controllers are reverse-
acting with conventiona1 flow-controller tuning. The leve1 controller is P on1y and
direct acting. A gain of 10 is used because ho1e1up affects reaction rates.
CSTR 109

Figure 6.2 - CSTR Control Structure

The pressure controller is direct acting anci is tuned by estimating the gas
time constant. The flowrate ofvapor leaving the CSTR is 577 lb/hr and the density
is 0.262 lb/fi3, giving a volumetric flowrate of 36.7 fi3/min. The total vohmle of
the tank is 1200 fi3 but it is 80% full ofliquid. To be conservative we use the total
vessel volU111e to calculate the time constant.

1200ft 3 .
~---- = 32 111m
36.7 ft 3 Itnin
So an integral time of 30 minutes is used in the PI pressure controller, which is
direct acting. A pressure range of 500 to 700 psia is specified, and the controller
gain is set equal to 2. We could go through a detailed hming procedure for the
pressure controller, but precise pressure control is not vital in this application.

6.2.1 Direct Q Model

The simplest model assumes direct manipulation ofheat transfer. A tempera-
ture controller is used to control reactor temperature by manipulating a heat-
removal rateo Therefore the output of the temperature controller is not a percent
but a heat-removal rateo
To select this direct Q option, click Tlming 011 the temperature controller
faceplate and click the Control Valve button in the lower right comer of the win-
dow (see Figure 6.3). This opens the other window shown in Figure 6.3. The Di-
rect Q button is clicked, and the maxinml11 and minimlU11 heat-removal rates are
specified. In the example, the steady-state heat-iTansfer rate is 5.l3x10 6 Btu/hr.
110 Chapter 6

The maximum heat-transfer rate is selected to be 20x106 Btujhr so there is plenty

ofheat-removal capacity to catch temperature runaways.
It is important to note that we have specified "Cooling" in our set up ofthe
CSTR. So positive vaIues of Q mean more heat is removed. This means that the
temperature controller should be direct acting. In AspenDynamics, heat transfer
rates are positive ifheat is added and negative ifheat is removed. Therefore the Q
in this CSTR is negative. The range of the "control val ve" in AspenDynamics is
defmed as -20x10 6 to O. Thus the temperature controller must be reverse acting.
This is an impOliant example ofthe sometimes subtle differences between the two
simuIators that greatly impact the success ofthe simulation.

A. Inserting Measurement Lags: A second-Ol'der measurement lag (TRF-l) is

inserted between tile tank and the temperature controlIer by dragging-and-
dropping a transfer function from the palIet on to the PFD. A second-Ol'der lag is
selected by opening the transfer-function window, going to the Parameters page
tab and clicking 2nd Order in tile list of choices in the left columll. See Figure 6.4.
Click the box for the 2nd Order to activate the transfer fUl1ction. Setting both the
gain and damping factor equaI to Ul1ity gives two first-order lags in series. We
demonstrate the effect ofthe measurement time constant 1::111 Oll the perfonnance of
the temperature control below. Time constants of 1 minute and 2 minutes wilI be
studied. These are probably larger than would be expected in a liquid temperature
measurement system, but the results demonstrate some important concepts.

B. Relay-Feedback Tests: The results of a relay-feedback test are shown in Fig-

ure 6.5 when the two first-order lag time constants are each 1::111 = 1 minute. The
height ofthe relay is 5% ofthe 20xl0 6 Btu/hr span ofthe controlJer output signal.
Notice that both the reactor temperatme (the sharp peaked curve) and the contTol
ler PV signal (the smoothly rounded curve) are displayed along with the controlIer
output (in 106 Btu/hr).
The ultimate period is estimated to be P u = 8.5 minutes. The amplitude of
the PV curve is about 1.6°F. Since the range of the temperature transmitter is
specified to be 200 to 300°F, the vaIue of a is 1.6%. The uItimate gain is calculated
to be
K =~= 4(5%) =49
u aTe (1.6%)Te .
The recommended controlIer tuning constants generated by HYSYS are Kc =
1.54, 1::1 = 8.33 minutes and TD = 1.85 minutes. The TL settings are Kc = 1.54, TI =
18.6 minutes.
A similar relay-feedback test fOl' the case with measurement lags of 1::m = 2
minutes gives an ultimate gain of 4.8, ultimate period of 7.1 minutes and reCOl11-
mended HYSYS settings of K c = 0.684,1::1 = 19.4 minutes and 1::D = 4.32 minutes.
The TL settings in this case are Kc = 1.5, 1::1 = 15.6 minutes.
CSTR 111

Figure 6.3 - Specify Maximum Heat Removal and Direct Q Model

Figure 6.4 - Specify Second-Order Lag

C. Performance: Simulation results are given in Figures 6.6A and B. The distur-
bance is a step change in the setpoint of the temperature controUer from 250°F to
252°F at either time equal 5 or 10 minutes. Figme 6.6A is for the 1-minute lags
case. The HYSYS and TL hming results are quite similar. Figme 6.6B is for the 2-
minute lag case. The HYSYS settings produce a closedloop unstable system. The
TL settings are stable, but fairly oscillatory.
112 Chapter6

Figure 6.5 - Relay-Feedback Test

These results illustrate the importance of keeping aH the lags in the control
loop as small as possible. These lags can be in temperature measurement or in the
heat-removal equipment. An irreversible exothermic reactor with modest conver-
sion can be openloop unstable. The numerical example in this case study is unsta-
ble if the temperature controller is put on manual. Try it. Any delays in detecting
temperature changes or in manipulating heat transfer make the control perform-
ance significantIy worse. In fact, ifthe lags are too large, the reactor is uncontrol-

,Figure 6.6A - Direct Q Results with 1 minute lags

CSlR Process: Direct Q; t m=1; TL and HYSYS tuning


~lSl -

Time (min)

::::A::::::::~ . '-'-'-'~-'-'
~:::~I:---~-ªi~:: ;:4Il'[SXS;

<>,:::::-tl -----------------------------+----------------------- ____ o_o"

H -----~

Time (min)
CSTR 113

Figure 6.6B - Direct Q with 2 Minute Lags



The third cmves shown in Figure 6.6B are fo1' the case when a proportional-
only controller is used. The gain is set at half the ultimate gain (Kc = 2.4). The
dynamic response using P control is much beiter than using PI. Of course, the P-
only controller does not dtive the temperature exactly to the setpoint (252.2°F in-
stead of252°F).
It is inte1'esting to note that the "offset" for this openloop lIDstable system is
negative, i.e., the ftnal value ofthe change in the controlled variable is larger than
the change made in the setpoint. The steady-state elTor ("offset" 01' "droop") fOl'
openloop stable systems with proportional-only control is positive (the controlled
variable does not reach the setpoint).

Openloop unstable systems give a servo response where the controlled variable
goes beyond the setpoint. The steady-state ratio of I1T/I1T sct is greater than one.
This highly exothennic process is provides an example 01' a "conditionally
stable" process. If the value 01' the controIler gain is made too small, the system is
closedloop unstable. If the value 01' the gain is made too large, the system is again
closedloop lIDstable. These conditionally stable systems present challenging con-
trol problems.

6.2.2 Heat-Transfer Modei

The direct Q model studied in the previous section is convenient to use, but
is not realistic. It does not take temperature di1'1'erences or heat-transfer meas into
consideration. Providing adequate heat-transfer mea and reasonable differential-
tempe1'ature driving forces are the keys to achieving good control of chemical re-
actors. The altemative model available in HYSYS permits signiftcantly more real-
ism in the simulation. The heat-transfer area and overall heat-transfer coefficient
114 Chapter 6

can be specified. The controller manipulates the flowrate of the cooling (or heat-
ing) fluid. Reat is transferred fi"om the reactor into the cooling fluid. Only sensible
heat changes in the cooling fluid are permitted, so a phase change (for example,
generating or condensing steam) cannot be modeled.
The heat-transfer model in HYSYS assumes that the cooling fluid is per-
fectly mixed in the jacket. This means that the ~T for heat transfer is the differ-
ence between the reactor temperature and the cooling mediwn exit temperature.
As we have already mentioned, the model in AspenDynamics uses plug flow cool-
ing fluid and a log-mean temperatlli"e difference. This is an important difference
between the two simulators.

A. Setting Up the Temperature Controller: To select the heat-transfer option,

clicle Tuning on the temperature controller faceplate and click the Control Valve
button in the lower right comer of the window. Then clicking the "Prom Utility
Fluid" button opens the other window ("FCV for qr") ShOWl1 in Figure 6.7.
A number of variables must be specified to fix the design, but no1: all the
variables ShOWl1 in the window can be set independently. It is 110t obvious frOl11 the
information in the window which variables to specifY.
The heat-transfer rate (5.13xl06 Btu/hr) and the reactor temperatme (250°F)
are knoWl1. If cooling water is used, the heat capacity of the cooling fluid is 18
Bh¡Jlb-mole-0F. The reactor volwne is 1200 fe. If the aspect ratio is LID = 2, the
diameter of the reactor is

D= ·(2V)1I3
- = (2X1200)1I3 =9.14ft
re re

and the length is 18.28 ft. The tank liquid level is 80%, so the circumferential heat-
transfer area is
(0.8)reDL = (0.8)re(9.14)(18.28) = 420 ft2

Assuming an overall heat-transfer coefficient of150 Btu/hr-ft' _op, the differential

temperahlre difference between the reactor and the cooling water can be calcu-
~T = R = 5.13x10 = 81.4 o F
UA (420)(150)

This means that the temperahlre of the cooling water in the jacket is 250 -
81.4 = 168.6°F. Finally, if the inlet cooling water temperature is specified (90°F),
the flowrate ofthe cooling water can be calculated.
F cw = Q 5.13x10 6 =3626lb-mol/hr
e p (TcWout - TcrVin ) (18)(168.6 - 90) ,
Assuming the thickness of the jacket slli"rounding the walls of the reactor is 6
CSTR 115

inches, the jacket holdup is (420 W)(1I0.8)(0.5 ftX62.3 Ib/W)(lb-mol/18 lb) = 909
We select the maximum cooling water flowrate to be 10,000 Ib-mo1/hr, al-
most three times the steady-state value. Entering these parameters in the window
shown in Figure 6.7 completely specifies the heat removal system.

Figure 6.7 - Heat-Transfer Model Using Utility Fluid

% maximum tlow

The output signal from the temperature controller is a percent of maximum

flowrate, not a heat duty as in the direct Q model case.
The reactor temperature is 250°F and the entering cooling water temperature
is 90°F, so the total available temperature differential available for heat removal is
250 - 90 = 160°F. With the area and overall heat-transfer coefficient available, the
required temperature differential is 81.4°F. Thus we are using up about half ofthe
available LlT under steady-state conditions. The ratio of steady-state LlT ss to
maximum LlTmax is an important indicator ofthe controllability ofthe reactor. The
smaller the ratio !':..Tss ,the better the control. This is because there is more "mus-
ele" available to quickly change heat-transfer rates and reject disturbances.

B. Tuning Temperature Controller: The temperature controller manipulates the

flowrate of the cooling medium, not heat duty directly, so new relay feedback tests
must be run on the temperature controller.
The relay-feedback test is run for two values ofmeasurement lag: T m = 0.5
and 1 minute. When lags of2 minutes are used, the system is unstable. Results are
given in Table 6.1
116 Chapter 6

C. Performance: Using PowerPoint plots, Figures 6.8A and B give results for a
+2°F step change in the tell1perature controller setpoint for two values of ll1eas-
urell1ent lag. The ll1al1ipulated variable is the coolal1t flowrate. The cOl1trolled
variable plotted is the controller PV signal after the two lags, 110t the reactor tem-
The TL settings are significantly better than those recomll1ended by HY-
SYS. Remember also that a sill1pler algorithm is used (PI versus PID). The larger
the ll1easurement lag, the longer the transient settling time of the systel11.
A comparison ofthese results with Figme 6.6 shows the difference between
manipulating Q directly and manipulating coolant flowrate. Oue would expect the
additionallag associated with the cooling jacket to make the dynamics of the sys·-
tem usiug the heat-transfer model worse than the dynamics using the direct Q
model. The closedloop time constant is indeed larger for the heat-transfer model.
The peak overshoot temperature is significantly larger for the heat-transfer model
(255°F for the TL settings with 1 minute lags) cOll1pared to the direct-Q model
(253.7°F). Therefore the use of this more realistic model is a more conservative

Tabla 6.1 - Tuning Results

Measurement Lags (two) 'tm (minutes) 0.5 I

Ultimate Period (minutes) 26 36

Ultimate Gain (c1imensionless) II 6.9

HYSYS Tuning
ICe 1.72 1.02
'tI (minutes) 25.8 38.6

'to (minutes) 5.74 8.59

TL Tuning K, 3.4 2.2
1:[ (minutes) 58 79

6.3 Sünulation of CSTR in AspenDynamics

As discussed earlier, there are three heat-removal options in AspenDynamics. We
study each of these in this section. Figme 6.9 gives the steady-state AspenPlus
flowsheet with three identical reactors except for their heat-removalmodels. The
vessel size and control valve designs are the same as used in the simulation dis-
cussed in the previous section.
CSTR 117

Figure 6.SA - 0.5 Minute Measurement Lags

CSTR Process: Coolant Flow; TVJ).m=O.5; TL and HYSYS tuning;P

Time (min)

Tirn~ (min)

Figure 6.88 - 1 Minute Measurement Lags

es'm Process: Coolant Flow; I!1Pm=l; TL anJ HYSYS lUlIÍllg;P


Time (min)

111e selection of the heat-transfer model is made in AspenPlus by clicking

Dynamics in the reactor block and opening the Heat Transfer page tab. The three
options are shown in Figures 6.10 to 6.12.
118 Chapter 6

6.3.1 Direct Q Model

This model is the same as that in HYSYS. Heat is removed from or added to
the reactor directly. There is no consideration ofheat-transfer area or temperature
differentials. You must keep in mind that the AspenDynamics sign convention is
heat removed is negative and heat added is positive. The heat transfened in this
example is negative. This l11eans that the range of the coniTol valve "Q" must be
set up with the lower limit at the l11axil11um negative heat-removal rate and the
upper limit at zero. The temperature controller action must be reverse: an increase
in PV (higher tel11perature) gives a decrease in OP (more heat removaJ).
Thc heat-transfer rate calculated in AspenPlus is - 4.98x10 6 Btu/hr, so this
is the initial value ofthe temperature controller output. Notice that this is slightly
lower than the 5.l3x10 6 Btu/hr calculated by HYSYS. The minimum OP value is
set at - 20xl06 Btu/hr, and the maximlIDl OP value is zero. The temperature con-
troller is reverse acting.

Figure 6.9·- Flowsheet with Three CSTR Heaí-Transfer Models

CSTR 119

6.3.2 Coolant Temperature Manipulation Model

This model assumes that the temperatme of the cooling or heating fluid can
be set by the tel11peratme controll er. Thus the capacitance of the jacket or coil is
assumed negligible. In reality the cooling fluid tel11peratme cannot be changed
instantaneously, so it is important to include lags in the temperatmeloop that ac-
count for these neglected dynamics.
This model is well suited for systel11s with condensing or vaporizing pure
fluids where jacket pressure control is equivalent to setting jacket temperature.
Steal11 generation and heating are the most common examples. Jacket dynamics in
these situations are usually fast.
For the numerical case studied, the reactor temperai1Jre is 250°F, and a cool-
ant temperature of 150°F is specified. AspenDynamics calculates the required UA
from the known Q (- 4.98x10 6 Btu/hr) and the known L'l.T (250 - 150 = 100°F).
This UA is 49,800 Btu/hr-°F. There is no consideration ofwhether or not this UA
is possible with the given reactor geometry.
The output signal ofthe temperature controller is a coolant tel11perature. The
controller is reverse acting. The range of coolant tel11peratures is specified 100 to
120 Chapter 6

Figure 6.11 - Coolant Temperature Modal

6.3.3 LMTD Model

This model assumes that the cooling fluid travels in plug flow through a
eoil. A lag-mean temperature differential is used. The ~T at the eold end is the
difference between the reactor temperature and the inlet cooling fluid. The ~T at
the hot end is the difference between the reactor temperature and the outlet cooling
During the steady-state design phase in AspenPlus, you specify the coolant
inlet temperature (called Medium temperature in Figure 6.12) and the temperature
approach (the ~T at the hot end, reactor temperature minus cooling fluid exit tem-
perature). AspenPlus then calculates the required UA and the flowrate of coolant.
After expOlting the file ¡nto AspenDynan1Ícs, the value of UA can be
changed by opening up the AH Variables window for the reactor block. Of course,
the flowrate of the coolant and its exit temperature must also be changed to
achieve the same heat-transfer rateo
For the numerical case studied, the jacket heat-transfer area was calculated
earlier in this chapter to be 420 ft2 and a U of 150 Btu/hr-oF-ft2 was assmned.
Therefore a UA of 63,000 Btu/hr-oF is used in the LMTD model. With a coolant
inlet temperat1ITe of 90°F, the reqlúred coolant exit temperature is 218°F and the
flowrate is 38,900 lb/hr. The temperature controHer output signal is a cooland
flowrate. The range is specified to be from O to 150,000 lb/hr. The temperature
controller is direct acting.
Note that the exit coolant temperature is aboye the boiling point of water at
atmospheric pressure. The coolant used in this fairly high-temperature reactor
would be high-pressure tempered water or a high-boiling oil.
CSTR 121

Figure 6.12 -lMTD Heat=Transfer Model

6.3.4 AspenDynamics Setup, Tuning and Performance

The file is exported from AspenPlus into AspenDynal11ic, and the PFD
opens as shown in Figure 6.13. Only the direct-Q model has a default temperature
controller installed. The nom1al procedures of installing the flow controllers, tel11-
perature controllers and 1ags on each of the tln'ee reactor systems give the fmal
PFD shown in Figure 6.14.
The normal flow-controller tuIling is used on the six flow controllers. The
three level controllers are proportional-only with gains of 10. Two frrst-order lags
with l-minute tinle constant are installed in each tel11perature contTOlloop. Each of
the three tel11perature controllers are tuned by using relay feedback tests. The
height of the relay is set at 5% of the output range. Different gains are used for
each reactor to achieve oscillations. If the gain is made too large, the integrator
stops and gives the l11essage shown at the top of Figure 6.15. Table 6.2 gives re-
RUlliling a relay-feedback test takes quite a bit oftrial and error in this reac-
tor systel11 since the system is quite nonlinear. However, reasonable estimates of
tuning constants are obtained. The test for the LMTD model (cstr3) is shown in
the lower part of Figure 6.15. The COllllmmication Time is shortened to 0.001
homs for this faidy fast process.
122 Chapter6

Fig. 6.13 -Initial Window in AspenDynamics

Simulation results are shown in Figure 6.16. As expected, the Direct Q and
the coolant temperature models give about the same results because the dynamics
ofheat transfer are assumed to be instantaneous. The LMTD model results show a
poorer, but probably more realistic performance.

Figure 6.14 - Controllers Installed

CSTR Proce••
I FCA1 !V1



CooIant Tem : ___ J---~-'-~--,-,¿"--j

: fCA2 I C!lTA2
:- ----->O --- --- - ___ o l... _KJr::__________ J V6

,.. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ • • • • 4 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ..,

,, ,,
·l------>Óo:~--------j : :---~--,-~--.>-ó"--j

::------>o""----~:r ----I~,'
I fCH3
l~~,DR' c::,_:j_~
~~ '_·______·u _:' ,... "
,'_' : __ __"'_'____ E_"'

CSTR 123

Figure 6.15 -Integrator Error Message


("IJ ------------- ---


t ..... --------,-- - -, --- - ,- . ----------
:;2¡(¡ ,/-

~ N _____________ ~-------------~- ____________ , __

@ I : f\. I
01 ___ __________ : ____________ _ : - _____________ : __________ __ _

,, ,,
, ,
0.5 1 1.5
Time Hours

Table 6.2 - Temperature Controller Tuning

Reactor Model Direct Q Coolant LMTD

cstrl cstr2 csh"3

Manipulated variable range - 20x106 to lOO to Oto

250°F 150,000
O Btu/hr

Relay-feedback test h ± lx106 Btu/hr ± 7.5°F ± 7,500


P u (min) 3.8 4.3 5.4

K" 54 170 46

Conh'oller tuning (TL) Kc 17 53' 14

T¡(min) 8.5 lO 12

*AdJusted to 20
124 Chapter6

It is interesting to compare the testing and simulation results found with As-
penDynamics with those found with HYSYS. The only direct comparison that can
be made is with the Direct Q model. The ultimate gain and ultimate and ultimate
frequency results are significant1y different, probably due to the difficulties associ-
ated with running the re1ay-feedback test in AspenDynamics. However, a com-
parison ofFigure 6.6A (HYSYS) with Figure 6.16 (AspenDynamics) shows that
the responses are similar.

6.4 Conclusion
The CSTR process is an important unit in many chernical plants, and re1i-
able dynamic simulations are vital for safe and profitable operation. In this chapter
we have studied the simulation of the CSTR process. The different models and the
significant differences between HYSYS and AspenDynamics have been dis-
In the next chapter we studyan equally important and wide1y used reactor:
the plug-flow tubular reactor. This type of reactor is more difficult to model, has
more complex dynamics and provides challenging design and control problems.

Figure 6.16 - Temperature Control Performance

hapter 7
Plug-Flow Tubular Reactors
In this chapter we illustrate the dynamic simulation oftubular plug-flow re-
actors using both cornmercial simulators. Many industrial processes use tubular
reactors, particularly those in which a solid catalyst is required. The typical tubular
reactor has a vessel that is packed with solid catalyst. Ifthe reactor operates adia-
batically, the catalyst fills the entire cross-section ofthe vessel and reactor diame-
ter is not an issue, except for fluid velocity considerations. Ifthe reactor is cooled
(or heated), the catalyst is usually packed inside a number of small-diameter tubes
located inside the shell of the vesseL The cooling (or heating) fluid is outside the
tubes in the shell, and heat is transferred between the process fluid and the cooling
fluid. Tube diameter is an important design parameter because of its conflicting
effects on pressure drop and the ratio ofheat-transfer area to reactor volume.
The important difference between CSTR reactors and tubular reactors is the
distributed nature of the latter: temperature and composition vary down the length
ofthe tubular reactor, and they also vary with time. This makes the models and the
dynamics more complexo The models available in HYSYS and AspenDynamics
are significantly different and have different options.
The plug-flow assumption is ofien used, but it is sometimes inaccurate. This
is pmiicularly true in cooled tubulm· reactors because radial gradients may exist.
This is one ofthe reasons for using small-diameter tubes. It also is the reason for
the standard practice of minirnizing scale-up problems by using the same diameter
tubes in the cornmercial reactor (multiple tubes in parallel) that were used in the
pilot-plmlt reactor (one tube).

7.1 PFR Process Studied

The numerical case considered is the chlorination of propylene. Basic reac-
tion rate data and operating data are given in Smith ("Chemical Reaction Engi-
neering," 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1981, p. 229). There are two parallel gas-
phase reactions. The first forms allyl chloride mld HCL
C3H6 + CZ 2 -7 CH 2 = CH - CH 2 CZ + HCZ
The second forms 1,2 dichoro propane.
C3H6 + CZ 2 -7 CH 2 CZ- CHCl- CH 3
126 Chapter7

Reaction rates have a first-order dependence on the partial pressures of the

reactants. Using English Engineering ullits in HYSYS, the reaction rates are given
in lb-molJhr-ft3, with temperature in Rankin, activation energy in Btullb-mole and
pressure in atmospheres.
R 1 -- k 1Pe3 Pel2 -- (2 . 06 X 10 5 e -27200/(RT) Fe3P
el 2

R2 -k
P P -(117
2 e3 en - . e
-6860/(RT)ln P
Fe3 el2

In AspenPlus and AspenDynarnics, reaction rates must be in kg-mol/sec-m3 , pres-

sure in Pascals, activation energy in cal/g-mol and temperature in Kelvin.
- (8992
R1 -- k1Pe3 Pe/2 - . X
10-12 e -1511l/(RT) In
F e3 Pen

R 2 -- k 2Pe3 Pen -- (5 . 107 X 10-12 e -3811/(RT) ),D P

r e3 e/2

The reaction takes place in a pipe, which is 2 inches in diameter and 15 feet
long. The inlet gas fed to the reactor is 0.85 lb-molJhr at 392°P and 29.4 psia with
a composition 80 mol% propylene and 20 mol% chlorine. Pressure drop through
the reactor is 3.7 psi at design conditions. The physical property package used is
Ifthe reactor is operated adiabatically, the temperature of the gas leaving the
reactor is predicted by HYSYS to be 716°P and the chlorine concentration is 9.89
mol% (50% conversion). Several cases are considered in the following section
with varying types and amounts ofheat transfer. In these cases the outlet tempera-
tures are different, as are the conversions of chlorine. A control valve on the gas
feeding the reactor is designed for a 20 psi drop when 50% open at design
flowrate. A flow controller manipulates this valve to control feed flow. A valve on
the exit line from the reactor is used to hold pressure in the reactor. This valve is
designed for a 10 psi pressure drop when 50% open at design flowrate.
To illustrate the use of tubular reactors with and without catalyst, we con-
sider both cases. The kinetics given aboye are used in both cases. The steady states
are identical (for the same net volume, accounting for the volume occupied by the
catalyst), but the dynamics are different because ofthe thermal capacitan ce ofthe
solid packing.

7.2 Simulation ofPFR Using HYSYS

There are two models available in HYSYS. The first has direct manipulation
of the heat-transfer rate Q. The second uses a cooling (heating) fluid that ex-
changes heat with the process fluid. The flow ofthe coolant is co-current with the
Tubular Reactors 127

process. This is the only flow pattem option in HYSYS. If the reactor contains
catalyst, this can be included in the model. The temperature of the process fluid
and the solid packing are assumed to be the same at aH axial positions.
HYSYS uses a "lumped" model ofthe distributed tubular reactor even in the
steady state. The default value for the munber of lumps is 20. You should explore
the effect of this parameter on the model predictions. Reactors with large axial
changes in tel11peratures and/or compositions require more lumps for accurate
modeling. This effect is seen in Table 7.1 for the steady-state adiabatic case ofthe
example being studied.

Table 7.1- Effect of Number of Lumps on Predicted Exit Conditions

Number of Lumps Outlet Temperature (OF) Chlorine Concentration (mol%)

20 726 9.30
40 720 9.64
60 718 9.75
80 717 9.80
160 716 9.89

As more lumps are used, the distributed nature of the process is more accu-
rately modeled. The lumped model exhibits "nwnerical diffusion," which malees
the predicted temperature increase as fewer lumps produce more backmixing. It is
clear that using about 60 lwnps gives fairly good results, at least at steady state.
However, the more lwnps used, the slower the simulation runs. In the simple ex-
amples in the previous chapters, computer time has not been an issue. As the com-
plexity of the process increases, the time it takes to generate results can become
important. In fact this factor ofien lirnits the size ofthe process that can be practi-
caHy handled. A 20-lwnp model is used in aH the simulations discussed below.
The munber oflumps used is specified by double clicking the PFR icon and
opening the Reactions page tab (see Figure 7.1). The Number of Sections is set at
20 in PRFl.
As we wiH see in Section 7.3, the adiabatic steady-state output temperature
predicted by AspenPlus is considerably different than that predicted by HYSYS.
So the conservative engineer should always have a healthy skepticism conceming
the accuracy ofthe results of any dynamic simulation.
128 Chapter7

Figure 7.1 - Number of Lumps in PFR Model

7.2.1 Homogeneous Reaction

A. Direct Q: Figure 7.2 shows the three cases considered with the homogeneous
reactions, i.e., no catalyst in the reactor. Figure 7.3 gives the workbook with
stream conditions. The first two cases (PFRl and PFR2) use the direct Q model. It
is not clear how the heat-transfer duty is distributed among the lumps. The first
reactor (PFRl) is run adiabatically, so there is no ternperature control. In the sec-
ond reactor (PFR2) heat-removal is manipulated directIy. Two 0.5 minute first-
order lags are installed in the temperature controller loop. The flow controller uses
the standard tuning. The pressure controller has Kc = 1 and 'tI = 2 minutes with a
pressure transmitter range of lOto 60 psia.
The direct-Q model is specified in HYSYS as shown in Figure 7.4. Double
c1ick the reactor icon on the PFD, c1ick the Design page tab and c1ick Parameters.
The two options are Direct Q and Formula. The case shown is for PFR2 in which a
steady-state heat removal (cooling has been specified) of 500 Btu/hr. Clicking the
Heat Transfer view on the Design page tab opens the window shown in Figure 7.5.
Then clicking Duty on the Dynarnics page tab opens the window shown in Figure
7.6 in which the minirnum and maximum heat-transfer rates are specified.
Tubular Reactors 129

Figure 7.2 - Flowsheet with Tubular Reactors

PFR wllh Olrce! a




Figure 7.3 - Workbook with Stream Conditions

130 Chapter7

Figure 7.4 - Select Direct Q Model

Figure 7.5 - Heat-Transfer View

Tubular Reactors 131

Figure 7.6 - Dynamics Page Tab

The tbree cases have the steady-state conditions given in Table 7.2. A relay-
feedback test is run for the temperature controller in each case. These results and
the TL tuning constants are also given in Table 7.2.

Table 7.2 - Steady-State Conditions

and Controller Tuning


Q (Btu/hr) O 500 1740
Tout (OF) 726 650 523
Exit Ch (mo1%) 9.30 11.8 14.2
P u (minutes) NA 6.8 19
Ku NA 0.86 17
Kc NA 0.27 5.2
'tI (minutes) NA 15 42
132 Chapter7

B. Coolant-Flow ModeI: The second rnodel available in HYSYS is one in which

a coolant is used. This option is selected by c1icking "Formula" on the Design
page tab and under Parameters. Then clicking Heat Transfer opens the window
shown in Figure 7.7.

Figure 7.7 - Selecting Coolant-Flow Model

There are three places where heat-transfer information can be specified, and
this can cause sorne confhsion in setting up this rnodel. The Heat Transfer window
on the Design page tab shown in Figure 7.7 has a number ofpararneters that can
be entered. The three that seern to work well are:

1. Mole flow: This is the steady-state flowrate of the cooling (heat-

ing) fluid.
2. Heat capacity of the coolant.
3. Inlet ternperature ofthe cooling fluid.

The second place where parameters can be entered is on the Dynamics page
tab using the Duty view, as shown in Figure 7.8. The parameters in this window
that should be specified are:

l. A vailable DA
2. Dtility Holdup.
Tubular Reactors 133

Note that there are several "mole flow" entries in the window. They do not have
the same units as the flowl'ate specified in the window shown in Figure 7.7.
The third location fol' entering pal'ametel's is in the window that appears
when the Control Valve burton is clicked on the temperature controller Parameters
view. This can be accessed by clicking the Tuning burton in the lowel' right comer
of the contl'oller faceplate and going the Parametel' page tab. The window that
opens is shown in Figure 7.9. This is the best spot to specify parameters.

Figure 7.8 - Specifying Parameters

The independent pal'ameters are:

1. Available UA: For the numerical case, a U of 10 Btu/hr-:tr-oF is
assumed (low-velocity gas has a low film coefficient) and the
wall heat-transfer area ofthe tube is 7.85 ff.
2. Holdup: The jacket arOlmd the half-inch diameter pipe is as-
sumed to have a 0.5 inch radial opening, giving a coolant
holdup of 1.13 lb-moles.
3. Flow: Cooling fluid flowrate is set at llb-mollhr.
4. Min Flow is zero.
5. Max Flow: This is set at 3 lb-mollhr.
6. Inlet Temp: A cooling fluid temperature of 400°F is specified.
134 Chapter 7

Figure 7.9 - Control Valve View

The remaining parameters are calculated from those specified. Note that the
temperature level of the cooling fluid is too high to use cooling water. A high-
temperature fluid, such as DowThenn, would be used to cool this reactor.

C. Simulation Results: Figures 7.l0A, B and e give results for disturbances in

feed flowrate. Figure 7.1 OA shows the response of the adiabatic reactor. At time
equal 5 minutes, the setpoint ofthe feed flow controller is increased from 0.85 to
1.2 lb-mollhr. The response of the adiabatic reactor without catalyst is quite fast,
with a new steady state being attained in about 5 minutes. The increase in feed
flow results in a decrease in reactor temperatures.
Figure 7.10B gives results for the PFR2 with the direct Q used to control
temperature. The positive flow disturbance is from 0.85 to 1.0 lb-mollhr. A distur-
bance to 1.2 Ib-moIlhr caused the temperature controller output signal to go to
zero, and the temperature could not be retumed to the setpoint. The response ofthe
system is much slower than in the adiabatic case, and the effect of flowrate
changes is different. The temperature is still not back to the setpoint value afier 2
Tubular Reactors 135

Figure 7.10A - Adiabatic Reactor

Figure 7.108 - Results with Direct Q Manipulation

136 Chapter7

Figure 7.lOC gives results for the PFR3 with coolant flow manipulation.
The response is again very slow, and as noted aboye, the computing time is much
longer than for the other cases.

Figure 7.10C - Resuits with Coolant Flow Manipulation


14 •

10 - ••• __ ._-_ ••• __ ....

7.2.2 Heterogeneous Reaction

A porous solid catalyst is placed inside the tllbe. The reactÍons must be
specified as heterogeneous catalyst when the choice ofreaction type is selected on
the "Rxns" page tab of the Fluid Package window (see Figure 7.11). The kinetics
for one of the reactions are specified in Figure 7.12. Then the catalyst properties
are specified in the Reactions page tab ofthe PFR4 unít as shoWJ.1 in Figure 7.13.
The void volume is specified on the Rating page tab. Figure 7.14 shows this win-
dow. Note that the length ofthe reactor has been increased by a factor of(1I0.7) to
21.4 ft so that the same net reactor volume is available.
Tubular Reacíors 137

Figure 7.11 - Seiecting Heterogeneous Catalyst

Figure 7.12 - Specify Kineíic Parameters

138 Chapter 7

Figure 7.13 - Specify Catalyst Properties

Figure 7.14 - Specify Void Volume

The steady-state ca1culations were successful. An attempt to get this model

into the dynamic mode was unsuccessful. Figure 7.15 shows the temperature pro-
file in the steady-state mode (top figure) and when the switch to dynamics was
made (bottom figure). There appears to be a bug in HYSYS when using this
mode1 in dynamics. When the integrator was started, the simulation ran extremely
slowly (about in real time).
Tubular Reactors 139

Figure 7.15 - Temperature Protiles: Steady-State Mode

Dynamic Mode
140 Ghapter7

7.3 Simulation of PFR in AspenDynamics

7.3.1 Types ofModels

AspenPlus provides several altemative steady-state models. Not all ofthese

can be used in AspenDymullics. Dnder Setup for the tubular reactor block, going
to the Specification page tab gives seven different options.

l. Reactor temperature specified equal to the inlet temperature.

2. Reactor temperature specified constant at a given temperature.
3. Reactor temperature profile specified.
4. Adiabatic.
5. Constant coolant temperature down the length of the reactor (give
D and Tcool).
6. Co-clment coolant flow (give D, coolant flowrate and coolant inlet
7. Counter-current coolant flow (give D, coolant flowrate and coolant
outlet temperature).

Figure 7.16 shows the window in which some ofthese choices are made. If
reactor temperature is chosen, the window changes to that shown in Figure 7.17
where the selection is made among the first three options in the list aboye. None of
these three specified temperature options in steady-state AspenPlus can be used in
dynarnic simulations in AspenDynamics.

Figure 7.16 - PFR Options

Tubular Reactors 141

Figme 7.17 - Three Steady-State Temperature Options

7.3.2 Steady-State Designs

We consider four cases to illustrate simulating tubular plug-flow reactors in


l. Case 1: The first case is an adiabatic reactor (labeled ADIABAT).

2. Case 2: The second case (labeled FC-WCAT) has counter-current flow of
coolant, which is manipulated to control reactor effluent temperature, and
the tube contains catalyst. Figure 7.18 shows this selection ofreactor type
under the Specifications page tab. The parameters that must be specified
are the overall heat-transfer coefficient U (lO Btu/hr-ft2_OF) and the cool-
ant outlet temperature (500°F). The flowrate ofthe coolant must also be
specified (2 lb-mol/h.r). This is done by clicking the coolant stream block
(FC) and clickIDg Input. Dealing with the presence ofthe catalyst is dis-
cussed below.
3. Case 3: The third case (labeled TCOOL) has unifOllli axial coolant tem-
perature, which. is manipulated to control reactor effluent temperature.
Figure 7.19 shows this selection. The parameters that must be specified
are U (lO Btu/hr-~-OF) and the coolant temperature (400°F).
4. Case 4: The fourth case (labeled TC-WCAT) also manipulates coolant
temperature but has catalyst in the tube.
142 Chapter 7

Figure 7.18 - Counter-Current Flow of Coolant

Figure 7.19 - Coolant Temperature Specified

EBi!CiJ V5
EB-tZiil V6
Tubular Reactors 143

A. Catalyst: The presence ofthe catalyst adds thermal inertia to the system. Addi-
tional data about the catalyst must be provided. Clicking the Dynamics button
under the reactor block opens the window shown in Figure 7.20. The voidage vol-
ume, heat capacity and density ofthe catalyst must be given.

Figure 7.20 - Catalyst Parameters

There are three options about heat-transfer between the process fluid and the
packing: (a) no heat transfer, (b) process and catalyst at the same temperature or
(c) process and catalyst at different temperatures. The second selection is made in
Figure 7.20.
Reactor 1ength is increased from 15 feet to 22.8 feet in Cases 2 and 4 when
catalyst is present to provide the same net reactor gas volrnne.

B. Temperature ProfIles: Figure 7.21A gives the steady-state temperature profile

for the adiabatic case. The predicted exit temperature is 692°F with an exit chlo-
rine concentration of 10.77 mol%. It is interesting to compare these results with
the same adiabatic case in HYSYS, which predicted significantly higher tempera-
ture and conversion (726°F and 9.30 mol%). AspenPlus integrates the ordinary
differential equations for the tubular reactor in the steady state, while HYSYS uses
a lumped model even in the steady-state mode. So the AspenPlus results do not
have the "nrnnerical diffusion" errors.
However, AspenDynamics does use a lumped model in the dynamic mode.
So the steady-state conditions predicted by AspenDynamics can be different than
those predicted by AspenPlus. These differences illustrate the sensitivity of the
adiabatic case to the models used in the simulator. Results are also sensitive to the
physical properties and kinetic parameters.
Figure 7.21B gives the temperature profile for the 15-foot reactor with a uni-
fonn coolant temperature without cata1yst. The outlet temperature is 444°F and the
144 Chapter7

peak temperature is about 447°F, which occurs at about 10 feet down the reactor.
Figure 7.21C is for the 22.8-foot reactor packed with catalyst and using the same
coolant temperature. The longer tube gives a lower outlet temperature (731°F) and
a lower peak temperature (445°F at about 9 feet).

Figure 7.21A - Adiabatic Temperature Profile

Figure 7.21 B - Temperature Profile without Catalyst:

Uniform Coolant Temperature

• i ¡ •
9 95 lO 105 11 115 12 125 1~ 135 1.1 H! 1!:l
Tubular Reactors 145

Figure 7.21C - Temperature Profile with Catalyst

. . . ,

!--o-pmc~"" ~Ircnrn SU~~lm"m MtxEO!

Figure 7.21D shows the process and coolant temperature profiles for Case 2
(FC-WCAT). Remember the flows are counter-current. The cooling stream leav-
ing the front end ofthe reactor is actual1y heating the process stream for the first 3
feet in the reactor. Reactor outlet temperature is 421°F with the specified coolant
flow and outlet temperature.

Figure 7.21 D - Temperature Profiles with Counter-Current Coolant

Block FC-WCAT: Temperatura

-o-- Process slream Subs

---a- Coolant



146 Chapter7

7.7.3 Dynamics

Control valves are installed and sized and the file is exported into AspenDy-
namics. The initial flowsheet has default reactor pressure controllers manipulating
the control val ves on the reactor oudet stream. Three 0.5 minute first-order lags
are used in the temperature loops. Flow controller tuning is standard. Using a pres-
sure transmitter range of O to 50 psia, pressure controller gain is 10 and reset time
is 1 minute since the time constant is quite small. For the same reason, the Com-
munication Time is reduced :fi:om the default value ofO.01 hours to 0.001 hours.

A. Adiabatic Reactor: Figure 7.22 shows the dynamic response of the adiabatic
reactor with no catalyst. Temperature transients are fast, with the new steady states
being achieved in about 5 minutes. The setpoint to the feed flow controller is
changed from 0.85 to 1.2 1b-mol/hr at time equal 0.1 hours. It is changed again at
0.3 hours from 1.2 down to 0.6Ib-mol!hr. There is no temperature control.

Figure 7.22 - Response of Adiabatic Reactor

§ : ~ .. __________:____________ ' ____________ ' ___________ A~:~:~-""'''-~~;~~''-~~I:-o-6-----------i---------------T~~~--------------i

Il :o-----------+-----------i--------- :------------,------------r------------j--- --------j------------,------------,------------:,

~ : : :::
§ :o _____________1____________ '___________ ;__ _______ ~ ____________ ~ ____________: __________ , ________ L___________ ~ ____________¡
] ~ ~ i ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ :

l' t~+Tr::t ··1::¡


: : :··········:············,··········,···········L·r···••••••••' .••.•••••.•'• • • • . • ¡...........•••••••••···1

§ l:';J 005 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0,3 0.35 DA OA5 0.5
Time HOllfS
Tubular Reactors 147

B. Coolant Temperature ManipuIation: Figure 7.23 gives the flowsheet

with all controllers and lags installed. The output signal ofthe temperature control-
ler is a coolant temperature. The temperature controller has reverse action. The
steady-state value of the coolant temperature is 400°F. The two cases considered
are the empty reactor and the reactor packed with catalyst. Relay-feedback tests
are run for each case since the dynarnics are different. Temperature transmitter
range is 350 to 550°F. The range ofthe controller output (coolant temperature) is
set at 200 to 500°F, so the 5% change in controller output for the relay-feedback
test is (0.05)(300) = 15°F. Therefore in the controller All Variables window the
values ofOPmin and OPmax are 385 and 415°F, respectively. Results are given in
Table 7.3.
(1) No catalyst: The steady-state reactor outlet temperature is 444°F. Figure
7.24 gives results for changes in feed flowrate at time equal 0.1 and 0.3 hours. The
c1osedloop response is fast, with temperatures settling out in about 0.15 hours. lt is
interesting to note that the increase in feed flowrate in this case causes the reactor
exit temperature to increase, and the temperature controller reduces coolant tem-
perature. Remember that an increase in feed flowrate in the adiabatic reactor re-
sulted in a decrease in temperature. This is a good example of the complex dy-
namics that these plug-flow tubular reactors can exhibit.

Figure 7.23 - Flowsheet with Controllers and Lags

Tubular Reac(or with Catalyst, Coolant Temp. Manipuiated

,._ ...>(]._._.,
; .... -->0""........... -------....... -----:::

bgl) lo¡¡J:! b¡¡:l1 ;

148 Chapter7

Table 7.3 - Tuning Parameters

Manipulated Variable Coolant Coolant Coolant

Temp. Temp. Flowrate

Catalyst in Reactor No Yes Yes

Relay-Feedback Test NG
Gain to achieve 100 8000
Ku 11 1.5 48
P u (minutes) 1.4 4.2 5.1
TL Tuning Constants
Kc 3.4 0.47 15
'el (minutes) 3 9 11

Figure 7.24 - No Catalyst; Coolant Temperature Manipulatiol1

- i'l
- F
- i'J

~ ~

~ ~




~ ¡l;l c:;l o 0025 0.05 0.075 0,1 0.125 0.15 0.175 0.2 0.225 0.25 0.275 0.3 0.325 0.35 0.375 DA 0.425 0.45 0.475 05
Time HOUI$
Tubular Reactors 149

(2) With catalyst: The steady-state reactor outlet temperature is 431°F and the
reactor is longer with more heat-transfer area. The thennal inertia of the catalyst
slows down the dynarnic response significantly, as shown in Figure 7.25. The feed
increase at 0.1 hours causes the temperature to rise. The controller responds by
reducing the coolant temperature. It takes more than 0.3 hours for the system to
get back to the new steady state. Then the decrease in feed flowrate at 0.4 hours
causes reactor outlet temperature to drop, and the temperature controller responds
by increasing the coolant temperature. It takes over an hour to bring the reactor
exit temperature back to its setpoint. .

C. CoolaI1t Flowrate Manipulation

Figure 7.26 gives the flowsheet for the process in which the flowrate ofthe
coo1ant is manipulated. The temperature controller in this case is direct acting. The
flow is COlll1ter-current. The parameters specified are the overall heat-transfer co-
efficient (U = 10 Btulhr-ft2-0F), the coolant flowrate (2Ib-mol!hr) and coo1ant exit
temperature (500°F). The reactor is packed with catalyst.

Figure 7.25 - With Catalyst; Coolant Temperature Manipuiation

~ !!)

~ ¡¡

~ 1)

~ ~

\{¡ ~

!:l ~

iíl fil

¡¡¡ fil
150 Chapter 7

Figure 7.26 - Coolant Flow Manipulation

Tubular Reactor with Counter-Cun-ent Coolant Flow

¡ i
PC4 :
;...>0.. _........... _............ va :
; >I><l-:~
~~TL'-~'~~ i
I :
: 1~41 l~g42 I'Q~J Te.,:
~._,¡¡;]._._.,¡¡;]._ ...,¡¡;] .. _->O::::.,


The observant reader will note that a second control valve has been installed
in the coolant flow circuit. This violates the First Law of Plumbing. This change
was not required to export the file from AspenPlus into AspenDynamics. Nor were
any errors reported when the file was open in AspenDynamics. However, the case
would not runo Error messages were given that integration interval had been re-
duced to its limit without satisfying error tolerances. When a second valve was
installed, the simulator ran without any problems. This is a good exanlple of the
difference between a simulation and a real system. Only one valve would be used
in a real system, with the coolant being supplied from a pump or a piping header.
The next problem was to figure out how to set the second val ve. Holding a
back pressure with the valve on the exit and manipulating the valve on the inlet to
control temperature did not work, as any good plumber would expect since the
system is liquid filled. The scheme that worked is shown in Figure 7.26. The tem-
perature controller TC4 output signal is sent to both val ves. This split-ranged type
system opens both valves when temperature increases.
A second interesting feature of this process is the problems encOlffitered
with the relay feedback test. Attempts to attain a lin1it cycle were tffisuccessful, so
an altemative step-test approach to calculating the ultimate gain and period was
used. The controller is put in manual, and a small step change is made in the con-
troller output signal. As shown in Figure 7.27, the OP signal is stepped from 36.6
Tubular Reactors 151

to 41.6% of scale at time equal 0.5 hours. There is a corresponding change in the
flowrate of the coo1ant. The reactor outlet temperature decreases, dropping by
about 4°F. Since the temperahu'e transmitter span is 200°F, this corresponds to a
2% change in the PV signal.

Figure 7.27 - Step Test

The response of T out is ahnost first-order, so a time constant of about 12

minutes can be estimated. The steady-state gain is about MV = 2% = 0.5' Since
f:"OP 5%
we have inserted three 0.5 minute first-order lags in the loop, the total openloop
transfer fimction can be estimated to be

=(~I( 1 Y
12s + 1) 0.5s + 1)

A Matlab prograrn that calculates the ultimate gain (48) and the ultimate pe-
riod (5.1 minutes) is given in Figure 7.28, and a Bode p10t is shown in Figure 7.29.
The TL settings are Kc = 15 and 1:1 = 11.
These controller settings give the results shown in Figure 7.30 for changes
in feed flowrate. At time equal 0.1 hours, feed is increased from 0.85 to 1.2 lb-
mol/hr, and at time equa1 0.7 hours, it is decreased to 0.6 1b-mol!hr. MaximlUn
152 Chapter7

deviations in temperature are about 7°F. The flowrate of the coolant is manipulated
to maintain the desired reactor exit temperature.

Figure 7.28 - Matlab Program

~; Prcu:Jram fft.u})4.:m rr
den=conv( [0.5 1], [0.5 1]1;
den=conv(den, [0.5 1]1;
den=conv(den, [1~ 1]1;
subplot (2".1,1)
title('Bode Plots Ior G=O.5/(12s+1)/(O.5s+1)A3 1

ylabel (1 Lag Hodulus (dE) 1)

xlabel (t Frequency (radians/rnin) 1)
subplot (2, 1,2)
semi log"'< (T.J I deg)
xlabel (1 Frequency (radians/minj 1)
ylabel ( I Phase (clegrees) 1)
nw=lengch(w) ;
k=l;T.Jhile deg(k»-180;k=k+l:end
}:u=l!mag (kl

Figure 7.29 - Bode Plots

Tubular Reactors 153

Figure 7.30 - Res onse with Coolant Manipulatiol1

::¡:. . i ...... ' .... r ..... c······ ······I·····'······:···· ..¡. .

Manipulatillg flowr.lte ofCoolanl; Changes In FBed Flow

'1 ..... , ..... [ .... .


,,, ,,
, ,

'" ~

N i'l ~ F

- i'l
~ "
Ri 1.2 1.3 14 1.5 1.6

7.4 Conclusion
In this chapter we have illustrated fue dynamic simulation of plug-flow tu-
bular reactors. There are more altemative configurations, and fuese reactors are
more complex fuan CSTRs. Setting up fue simulation is more difficult. The two
simulators have different models available and give somewhat different predic-
tions. The AspenDynamics simulator can handle more configurations and appears
to be more robust and to contain fewer bugs.
ha ter 8
DistiUation Columns

8.1 Introduction
Distillation is the most frequently used separation technique in the
chemical and petroleum industries. The design and control of this important
unit operation is vital for the safe and profitable operation of many plants.
Distillation columns are fairly complex units. They have several inputs
and outputs, so they can present challenging multivariable control problems.
Their dynarnics are a mixture ofvery fast vapor flowrate changes, moderately
fast liquid flowrate changes, slow temperature changes and very slow composi-
tion changes. The manipulated variables ofien have constraints because of col-
umn flooding limitations or heat exchanger limitations. Developing an effec-
tive control system for an individual column is not a trivial jobo There are at
least six loops involved on even the most simple column.
Both dynarnic simulators do a good job in modeling distillation columns.
Simple as well as complex columns (sidestreams, multiple feeds, intermediate
reboilers, etc.) can be fairly easily simulated. In this chapter we look at a sim-
ple single-feed, two-product column. In later chapters we study more complex
columns and groups of multiple columns.

8.2 Process Studied

Petroleum refineries use distillation extensively. One of the common
separations is the purification of propane for use in LPG. The distillation col-
umn that performs this task is called a "depropanizer."
The operating pressure ofmany columns is set by the available cooling-
water temperature. Relative volatility ofien increases as temperature decreases.
And temperature decreases as pressure decreases. So to minimize energy con-
sumption, we would like to operate at as low a pressure as possible. The limita-
tion is cooling-water temperature. Ifwe set column pressures too low, cooling
water cannot be used in the condenser and a lower-temperature refrigerant
would have to be used. However, refrigeration is orders of magnitude more
expensive than cooling water for heat removal.

156 Chapter8

Typical cooling-tower water is about 90°F (32°C) in worst-case summer

conditions, so many columns are operated at a pressure high enough to give a
110°F (43°C) temperature in the reflux dnun. This gives reasonable tempera-
ture differentials for heat transfer and reasonable condenser area. It is a trade-
off between reboiler energy cost and capital investrnent in condenser heat-
exchanger area.
Sorne distillation cohunns are limited in pressure by maximum tempera-
ture constraints. This can be due to undesirable reactions that start to occur at
high temperatures (polymerization, coking, detonation, etc.). The heavy com-
ponents concentrate in the base ofthe column, so this is where the temperature
is highest. Base pressure may have to be reduced so that the maxirnmn tem-
perature is not exceeded. Then the condenser pressure is lower than the base
pressure by the pressure drop through the trays. Finally the reflux clrum tem-
perature at the pressure at the top of the cohunn is detennined by the distillate
composition. Ifthis temperature is lower than about 100°F, expensive refrig-
eration is required, and the cost of operating the column is increased signifi-
The distillation collUnn considered in this chapter produces a distillate
product that is 98 mol% propane. At 110°F tlle vapor pressure of propane is
slightly higher than 200 psia. Therefore we select an operating pressure of 200
psia in the condenser. The reboiler pressure is estimated by assmning a pres-
sure drop over each tray of 5 inches of liquid in this high-pressure column. The
liquid density ofthis hydrocarbon system is about 30 lblfe. The column has 30
trays and is fed on Tray 15. So the pressure in the reboiler is

Pbase = Pcondenser + N traYSMtray

= 200 + (30)(5 inch)(ft /12 inch)(30 Ib/ft 3 )(ft21144 in ) = 202.6 psia

The column is fed 100 lb-mol/hr of a mixture of propane (30 mol%),

isobutane (40 mol%) and n-butane (30 mol%) at 90°F. The specified purity of
the distillate is 98 mol% propane. The specified impurity of propane in the
bottoms is 1 mol%. The design reflux ratio is 3.22 and the design reboiler heat
input is 1.02x106 Btu/hr. Figure 8.1 gives the steady-state flowsheet and work-
book from HYSYS.

8.3 HYSYS Simulation

The dianleter of the column, the size of the reflux clrum and the size of
the base holdup must be set before the dynarnic sirnulation can start. Pumps
and control val ves must also be designed.
Distillaíion 157

Figure 8.1 - Depropanizer Column



8.3.1 Equipment Sizing

A. Column Diameter: Double left c1icking the cohunn icon opens the window
shown in Figure 8.2. The Design page tab with the Connections and Monitor
views are shO\vn in Figures 8.2A and 8.2B, respectively. Note that the active
specifications are 0.98 mole fraction propane in the distillate and 0.01 mole
fraction propane in the bottoms.
Clicking the Column Environnlent button at the lower left opens a win-
dow with the column sub-flowsheet. See Figure 8.3.
158 Chapter 8

Figure 8.2A - Column Design Page Tab, Connection View

Figure 8.2B - Column Design Page Tab, Monitor View

Double clicking the main tower section and selecting the Performance
page tab opens the window shown in Figure 8.4. We can see that the vapor rate
at Tray 30 is 126 lb-mol/hr (5597 lb/hr). The vapor rates decrease as we move
down the column through the rectifying section. However, the vapor rates are
higher in the stripping section because the feed temperature (90°F) is lower
than the temperatures in the stripping section and because there are differences
Distillation 159

in molar heats ofvaporization ofthe components. The highest vapor rate (160
lb-mollhr, 9232 lb!hr) is at Tray l.

Figure 8.3 - Sub-Flowsheet

Condenser qc
Reflux Condenser d
Main TS



Figure 8.4 - Performance Page Tab

160 Chapter8

Figure 8.5 - Stream Properties and Conditions

DistillatioH1 161

The vapor density is needed to calculate the maximum vapor velocity

from the F-Factor. Clicking the Worksheet page tab al1d selecting either the
Properties or the Conditions view gives the tables shO\:vn in Figure 8.5. The
density ofthe vapor from the top tray leaving the colUl11l1 is 1.83 lb/W and the
density of the vapor entering the co1Ul11l1 at Tray 1 from the reboiler is 2.17
1blft". Let's calcu1ate the maXÍlnum vapor ve10city at the top and bottom ofthe

F-Factor 1
At Tray 30: = ¡,-;;;:; = 0.739 ft/sec
.¡¡;;; -v 1. 83

At Tray 1: vmax = F-Factor = _1_ = O 679 ft/sec

.¡;;;; J217 .

Then the cross-sectiona1 areas ofthe COhU1Jl1S at these two 10cations are calcu-

At Tray 30:

Volumetnc Flow (5597Ib/hr)(ft 3 /l.83Ib)(hr/3600 sec) ft2

Area = = =1.15
Velocity 0.739 ftlsec

AtTray 1:

Area= VolumetricFlow = (9232 Ib/hr)(ft /2.27Ib)(hr/3600sec) =1.74ft2
Velocity 0.679ft1sec

The 1arger ofthese two areas sets the co1umn diameter.

D=~4(~ea) =~4(1:4) =1.5ft

These calcu1ations can sometimes be checked by se1ecting the Rating

page tab on the Main TS window (see Figure 8.6) and clicking the Quick Size
button. In this examp1e, an elTor message was disp1ayed stating that the co1Ul11l1
diameter was 1ess than 1 foot so a packed co1umn shou1d be used.
Notice that we have entered the diameter, tray spacing and weir 1ength in
the Tray Dimensions table in Figure 8.6. A sieve tray has been se1ected. C1ick-
ing the Dynamics page tab opens the window shown in Figure 8.7. Under the
heading on the right called Calcu1ate K Va1ues click the All Stages button. This
162 Chapter 8

calculates the pressure-flow coefficients from the specified pressure drop

through the colurnn and the steady-state vapor flowrates on each tray.

Figure 8.6 - Rating Page Tab for Main Tower Section

B. Sizing Reflux Drum and Column Base: Using the heuristic of 10 minutes
of total holdup, we can calculate the volumes in the reflux drurn and in the
colurnn base. The cohmm sub-flowsheet given in Figure 8.3 gives the streams
to the condenser and the stream to the reboiler. Double c1icking these streams
opens windows on which the total flowrates and liquid densities can be seen.
The total flowrate of liquid leaving the reflux drurn is 5577 lbllu· and its
density is 29 Ib/:ft3. Therefore a vessel with 10 minutes ofholdup must have a
volume of

(5577lb/hr )(:ft3 /29Ib)(hr/60min)(lOmin) = 32:ft 3

The liquid entering the reboiler (colurnn base) is 13,130 lb/hr and its density is
29.2 Ib/:ft3. Therefore a vessel with 10 minutes ofholdup must have a volume

(13, 130lb/hr )(:ft 3129.2Ib)(hr/60min)(lOmin) = 75:ft
Distillation 163

Figure 8.7 - Dynamics Page Tab

Figures 8.8, 8.9 and 8.10 show altemative ways to enter these ca1culated
holdup volmnes. In the column sub-flowsheet, double c1icking the condenser
and reboiler icons opens windows (Figures 8.8 and 8.9) with Dynamics page
tabs where the size of the reflux drum (condenser) and the colul1m base (re-
boiler) can be specified. Altematively, in the main flowsheet, going to the Dy-
namics page tab on the column window and c1ick:ing Vessels opens the view
shown in Figure 8.10 where both sizes can be entered.

Figure 8.8 - Specify Condenser (Reflux Drum) Volume

164 Chapter8

Figure 8.9 - Specify Reboiler (Base) Volume

Figure 8.10 - Specify on Dynamics Page Tab

C. Control Valve Sizing: All valves are designed to be 50% open except for
the "valves" on the condenser (discussed below). Nominal pressure drops are
used, and pumps on the bottoms and distillate streams are installed to provide
the val ve pressure drop.
Distillatiol1 165

8.3.2 Controller Tuning

The control scheme chosen for the depropanizer is the Reflux-Vapor

Boilup (RV) structure, which is used on many distillation columns. The fol-
lowing loops are installed:

l. F eed is flow controlled.

2. Reflux is flow controlled. Note that a reflux pump, valve and flow
controller do not have to be installed in the HYSYS simulation, as
they would on the real physical cohunn. The default configuration
keeps the flowrate of reflux constant. If we want to manipulate reflux,
for example to hold reflux-dnulllevel, this can be done by setting up
a controller with reflux as its OP signal. Thus in this situation the
simulation is acting as if it is "flow chiven." Of course, if we want to
be more realistic and mode1 the actual plumbing, a tank, plilllp and
control valve can be inserted in fhe reflux line on the colw11ll sub-
3. Reflux-dnillllevel is held by manipulating distillate flow.
4. Base level is held by manipulating bottoms flow.
5. Tray 25 temperature (COlillting from the bottom) is controlled by ma-
nipulating reboiler heat input.
6. Condenser pressure is controlled by manipulating condenser duty.

The feed flow controller has conventional tuning (Kc = 0.5, 1:] = 0.3 min-
utes), as do the two level controllers (Kc = 2). The pressure controller is tuned
using nominal slow settings. With a pressure transmitter range of 150 to 250
psia, the gain is Kc = 1 and the integral time is 1:] = 20 minutes. This setup is
shown in the left picture in Figure 8.11. Clicking the Control Valve button at
the lower right comer of this window opens the window shown in the light
picture in Figure 8.11. The "FRC for qc" specifies the minimtun and maximum
condenser heat-removal rates. The steady-state value is 0.731x106 Btu/hr. The
maximwTI is set at 2x106 Btu/hr. Note that the OP value is 36.6%, not 50%.
The controller is direct acting.
The temperature controller is the only one that requires nming. Two first-
order 1 minute lags are installed in the loop. Of course, the first item to decide
is what tray location should be chosen on which to control temperature. There
are a nunlber of methods for answelIDg this question. They range from the
elegant (singular value decomposition) to the simple (looking at tray tempera-
ture profiles). To illustrate the simple approach, the steady-state temperature
profile is ShOWl1 in Figure 8.12. To see the temperature profile, double c1ick
the colw11ll icon, open the PerfoDllance page tab, c1ick Results, select Tem-
perature and click View Graph. Note that despite the fact that we specified the
trays to be nWllbered from the bottom, the temperature graph numbers from the
top down.
166 Chapter 8

Figure 8.11 - Specify Reboiler Maximum Heat Duty

Figure 8.12 - Column Temperature Profile

Distillation 167

One way to locate the temperature-control tray is to look for a spot

where the temperatme is changing significantly from tray to tray. Figlll"e 8.12
shows that tllis occms up in the rectifYing section around Tray 25 (Tray 6 in
fue figme). This is fue region where the propane pmity is changing fairly rap-
idly fi'om tray to tray, so the temperatme change is significant in this region.
The steacly-state temperature on Tray 25 is 125.7°F, so this becomes the set-
point ofthe temperature controller.
The range ofthe temperatme transmitter is set at 100 to 200°F. The "con-
trol val ve" setting the reboiler heat input is sizecl for a maxirnum cluty of 2x10 6
Btu/hr, since the steady-state value is 1.01x106 Btu/hr.
Next the autotuner is nm. Unforhmately, fuere is a bug in the present
version of HYSYS that 011 some occasions gives the perfonnance ShOWl1 in
Figme 8.13.

Figure 8.13 - Failad Relay-Feedback Test

168 Cnapter 8

Instead of the re1ay firing when the error crosses zero, it is delayed for
some strange reason. This bug gives results in which the amplitude ofthe out-
put grows with time. When this problem occms we must resort to running the
test by setting up a relay in the same way that we do in AspenDynamics. The
controller gain is set at a high value, and the controller output is limited. Limits
can be placed on the setpoint signal or on the output signa! of a controller.
Clicking the Advanced view on the Parameters page tab ofthe controller win-
dow opens the window shown in Figme 8.14 where these limits can be speci-
fied. To nm the relay-feedback test, these OP lil11its are set at +5% and -5%
aboye and below the nOlmal value.

Figure 8.14 - Set Umits on Controller Output

A relay-feedback test gives the ultimate gain (Ku = 32) and the ultimate
peliod (Pu = 7.3 minutes). Then the TL settings are calculated (Kc =10, 'tI = 16
minutes) and inserted in the TC window on the Parameters page tab in the
Configmation view (see Figme 8.15). Note that the controller is reverse act-
Distillation 169

Figure 8.15 - Set Tuning Parameters

8.3.3 Results

Figure 8.16 gives the main flowsheet with all controllers installed and
the six controller faceplates located at the topo All controllers except the pres-
sure controller aTe installed on the main flowsheet. Figure 8.17 gives the sub-
flowsheet window where the pressure controller is shown. Column controllers
can be installed in either the main flowsheet or the sub-flowsheet. In a large
simulation the main flowsheet can get pretty c1uttered, so moving at least the
temperatme and pressure controllers to the sub-flowsheet helps to clean up the
main flowsheet. It is a good idea to keep all the level controllers on the main
flowsheet so that the mateIial-balance flow structure for the whole plant is
easily seen.
170 Chapter8

Figure 8.16 - Flowsheet with Controllers installed

~:-----_. _--_ . . _-------_._ . _._._-->-~<:'.

'-.. ..•/



Figure 8.17 - Pressure Controller in Sub-Flowsheet

Condenser qc


Distillation 171

Figures 8.18A and B give results for two disturbances in feed flowrate.
At 15 minutes the feed is increased from 100 to 120 lb-mol/hr. At 120 minutes
a very large change in the feed flowrate is made (dropped to 80 lb-mol/hr). The
reflux flowrate is constant. The temperature controller does an effective job of
holding Tray 25 temperature. The higher the feed flow, the more reboiler heat
input is required (controller OP increases).
Of course holding a constant tray temperature does not result in constant
product purities. As Figure 8.l8B shows, the lower feed flow with the same
reflux flow and Tray 25 he1d constant results in a higher propane pmity in the
distillate and lower propane impurity in the bottoms. Note how much slower
the changes in product compositions are than the changes in temperature. This
is a charactelistic of distillation colurnn control.
1t should be pointed out at this point that the dynanúc results fOlmd in
HYSYS, as discussed aboye, are quite different than those found in AspenDy-
namics (to be discussed below). We will comment on the importance ofthese
conflicting predictions later in this chapter. Suffice it to say that this is a good
example of the need to not rely too heavily 011 the predictio11s of models. They
provide important and useful informatio11, but their absolute accuracy should
always be viewed with a good deal ofhealthy skepticism.

Figure 8.i8A - Results tor Step Changes in Feed Flow

172 Chapter8

Figure 8.188 - Results for Step Changes in Feed Flow

8.4 AspenDynamics Simulation

The same depropanizer column is simulated in AspenPlus aud As-
penDynamics. Figure 8.19 gives the steady-state AspenPlus flowsheet with aH
pumps and val ves installed. Figure 8.20 shows the steady-state temperature

8.4.1 Steady-State Design

AspeuPlus requires that trays are mmlbered from the top down, with Stage 1
being the condenser. So the 30-tray depropanizer is fed on Stage 17 and the
reboiler is Stage 32. The active tray section is from Stages 2 down to Stage 31.
It is important to keep this numbering convention in mind. In Aspen we refer
to "stages" when defining locations il1 the COIWlll1.
Distillation 173

Figure 8.19 - AspenPlus Flowsheet


o Tcmpm,lUrc(F)

O Pre~sure (P~1
DF10wRate 0brnr)

. Figure 8.20 - Column Temperature Profile

~ ··············1···············1·······················..................... ,..............,..............!............ ;.............. ,

":IJ~:'::: ¡
. !
: :
' ! . i ' 1
laG 120 130 140 150 160 170 160 190
174 Chapter8

AspenPlus uses "Design Specs" and "Vary" to achieve the desired prod-
uct purities. These are specified in the column block. The distillate purity is set
at 98 mol% propane by varying the distillate flowrate. The bottoms impurity is
set a 1 mol% propane by varying the reflux ratio.
Several items need to be done to get ready to move into dynamics. To be
able to see vapor densities tm:oughout the column, click the Report button Wl-
der the column block (labeled "DP" in Figure 8.21). On the Property Options
page tab, click the box in fi:ont of lnclude Hydraulic Parameters. When the
colwnn is converged, the vapor rates and properties can be seen by opening the
Profiles view wlder the column block and looking at the Hydraulics page tab.
Volwnetric flowrates of vapor and 1iquid streams are available to calculate
column diameter and the sizes of the reflux drum and colwnn base (called
"swnp" in AspenPlus).

Figure 8.21 - Hydraulic Parameters

To use the c01umn sizing calculations in AspenPlus, click Tray Sizing

under the column block. This opens the window shown in Figure 8.22. After
specifYing the design, the Results page tab gives the column diameter (1.6 ft)
and the worst-case tray (Tray 31). This is close to Olli" calculated results in Sec-
tion 8.3.1.
Distillation 175

Figure 8.22 - AspenPlus Tray Sizing

Figure 8.23 - Specify Column Diameter, Spacing and Weir Height

176 Chapter8

Then the Dynamic view is opened (shown in Figure 8.23) on which the
sizes of the reflux drum, colwnn base (Sump) and cohunn (Hyelraulics) are
specified. The tray geometry is specified to be sieve trays from Stage 2 down
through Stage 31. Values for the diameter, tray spacing and weir height are
defined on the Hydraulics page tab. We use the reflux drum and colwnn base
sizes ca1culated in Section 8.3.1. Both the condenser and reboiler are defined as
using constant duty in this sirnulation, but there are two other options for heat
transfer (constant coolant and LMTD). The dynamics of the equipment (ther-
mal capacitance of the metal) can be modeled if they are significant by using
the Dynamic Equipment window under the colwnn block.
The file is pressure checked and exported into AspenDynamics. One of
the comrnon messages given by the pressure checker is that the feed is not en-
tering the colwnn at exactly the pressure on the feed stage. This is easily sol ved
by looking at the pressure on the feed stage in the Profiles window, and then
inseliÍng this value for the outlet pressure ofthe feed control valve.

8.4.2 Dynamics

A. Controller Tuning: When the file is opened in AspenDynamics, default

controllers are already installed on condenser pressure (manipulating con-
denser heat duty), reflux drum level and swnp level. The output signals from
the last two controllers are not connected. These are connected to the appropri-
ate valves by blinging in control signals as illustrated in Chapter 4, and the
remaining controllers are installed. Figure 8.24 gives the final control scheme
with all controllers in place. Two first-order lags are installed in the tempera-
ture control loop.

Figure 8.24 - Flowsheet with Controllers and Lags Installed

DIP Column

".... _.. _>Q..... _----------------~:
: V2


Distillatiorl 177

The pressure controller is reverse acting since its output changes the
negative heat duty in the condenser. The valve range is -1.5x106 to O Btu/hr.
Pressure transmitter range is 150 to 250 psia, and pressure controller tuning is
Kc = 1 and = 20 minutes. These are identical to those used in the HYSYS
A strange bug was seen in moving from AspenPlus to AspenDynamics.
The temperature on Stage 7, which is used as the temperature control tray, is
125.7°F in AspenPlus. When the file is exported to AspenDynamics, this tem-
perature is 117 DF. Ifthe temperature setpoint is kept at the 117°F value and the
column is converged to a steady state, the compositions ofthe two products are
not on specification (propane in the bottoms is 1.6 mol% instead of 1 mol%
and propane purity in the distillate is 99.2 mol% instead of 98 mol%). Setting
the temperature controller setpoint at 125.7°F and converging to the COlTe-
sponding steady state give the COlTect product compositions.
Flow, level and pressure controller tuning are the same as used in the
HYSYS simulation. However, the temperature controller tuning is significantly
different. A relay feedback test is run, and the results give an ultimate period Pu
= 8.1 minutes and ultin1ate gain Ku = 8.2. The results in the HYSYS simulation
are Pu = 7.3 minutes and Ku = 32. The peliods are almost identical, but the
gains are different by a factor of 4. This large difference between the two simu-
lators is disconcerting and provides additional evidence that we should always
view the results of simulations (both steady state and dynamic) with a healthy
dose of skepticism and be conservative in our estimates of performance.

Figure 8.25 - Response to Feedraíe Changes

-----------'"f' ------------ -~ --. -----------¡- ---- ".-. --_. --i- - --- --- _. .~---- ------ --". ~----- ------ --. ~ .. ---- ----- ---;
~. m
•••• m ••••••••••••••• ¡..h •. • .•
mm ••••••

o 05 :2 2.5 3
178 Chapter8

B. Simulation Results: Dynamic simulation results are shown in Figure 8.25.

The disturbances are step changes in collU1U1 feed flowrate at time equal 0.25
hours from 100 to 120 lb-m01lhr and at time equal1.5 hours from 120 to 80 lb-
m01lhr. The TL settings are Kc = 2.5 and '!¡ = 18 minutes. However, the result-
ing response was quite oscillatory, so the gain was reduced to 1.25.
The increase in feed produces a dynamic drop in Stage 7 temperature of
about 7°F. The drop in feed flowrate gives a peak deviation in the temperature
on Stage 7 of about 16°F, and there is a 1arge temporary drop in distillate purity
(from 98 to 95.5 mol%) during the transient.

C. Comparison of Simulator Results: These results are dramatically different

than those predicted by HYSYS. A comparison ofFigures 8.18 and 8.25 shows
the very large difference between the predictions of the two simulators. The
same disturbances in the HYSYS simulation gave smaller temperature devia-
tions (0.3°F versus 7°F for the increase in feed and 0.6°F versus 1°F for the
decrease in feed). The controller gain in HYSYS is much larger than in As-
penDynamics (10 versus 1.25), and therefore much tighter control is predicted.
Remember that identical values are used for all the parameters of the collU1U1
and controller parameters: column size, temperature measurement lags and
transmitter spans.
Why are these results so different? To see ifthe two dynamic models are
predicting different openloop dynamics, the openloop step responses of tray
temperature to a small change in temperature controller output are compared in
Figures 8.26 (HYSYS) and 8.27 (AspenDynamics). The slopes of the slow
ramps predicted by the two simulators are fairly close: HYSYS = 0.154%
change in temperature/minute (using a 100°F temperature transmitter span) and
AspenDynarnics = 0.231 %/minute. So the dynamic model in HYSYS is pre-
dicting a slightly faster response (smaller time constant) than the model in As-
penDynamics. However, this small difference in tlle openloop dynarnics does
not explain the large difference in the predicted controller tuning and the clos-
edloop dynarnic performance.
These results demonstrate the need for model verification. The simula-
tions performed in this chapter assumed ideal trays and lmown vapor-liquid
equilibrium data. It is difficult to lmow accurate values of tray efficiencies in a
real collU1U1, and vapor-liquid equilibrium information ofien has significant
uncertainty associated with it. If experimental data from a pilot-plant or com-
mercial-scale collU1U1 are available (either openloop or closedloop dynamics),
this information should be compared with the model predictions and model
parameters should be adjusted to get a reasonable match.
Sinlllar comparative studies of a number of distillation collU1U1s have
been made, some of which are given in later chapters. This depropanizer case
gives the largest difference between the two simulators. For example, a collU1U1
separating a benzene/toluene/xylene mixture gives aImost identical ultimate
gains and periods when simulated on the two simulators, and the predicted
Distillatiol1 179

c1osedloop perfonnance is essentially the same. See Figure 8.28. This BTX
cohu11ll operates at near atmospheric pressure, while the depropanizer operates
at 200 psia. It is unlmown whether the two simulators model high-pressure
column differently. The higher vapor density would make vapor holdup more

8.5 Conclusion
ID this chapter we have discussed the dynamic simulation of a single
distillation cohu11ll. Six controlloops are required, even in this simple single-
feed, two-product column. Significant differences in the predicted c1osedloop
dynamic perforrnances ofthe two sinlulators were observed.
ID the next chapter we look at a somewhat sinlllar column, but one
that has an important difference: the occurrence of two liquid phases in the
reflux dnun (which is now a decanter).

Figure 8.26 - HYSYS +2% OP of Temperature Controller

180 Chapter8

Figure 8.27 -AspenDynamics +2% OP ofTemperature Controller

~ ~ ~
8 ffi
- a

~ ~

~ BB~
i~rm J~fa "I~a~I~ 1~;1---i----;--.--'--:
I .;::-=¡....~ .......!;.L+ ...+
\3 15

Figure 8.28 - BTX Column Comparison

ha ter 9
Heterogeneous eotropic

9.1 Introduction
In this chapter we examine a more complex distillation system. The depro-
panizer colmllil explored in Chapter 8 has ahuost ideal VLE behavior. No
azeotropes are fonued. Very pme propane product can be produced.
We now look at a highly nonideal VLE system in which the components
have such positive deviations from ideality (large repulsion) that two liquid phases
can occm. A decanter is used instead of a reflux drum, and there are two distillate
products :fiom the two liquid phases (organic al1d aqueous). The nonideality re-
quires that we use a VLE relationship in the colmllil and a LLE (liquid-liquid
equilibrimll) relationship in the decanter.
This process also provides om fust example of how to hal1dle a recycle
stream. We will specifY the flowrate and the temperatme of the organic reflux, but
the exact composition of this stream from the decanter to the colmnn is unknoWl1
when we start the steady-state simulation. It is fed to the top tray in the colul11l1,
and these compositions must be lmoWl1 in order to solve the collU11l1 equations.
Therefore, a guess is made ofthese compositions. After the collU11l1 is solved, the
feed streanl to the decanter is knOWl1. Then the decanter equations can be solved,
which yields the compositions ofboth liquid phases. Finally the calculated compo-
sition of the organic reflux is compared with the guessed value, and new guesses
are made. The convergence ofthis "tear stream" is a critical part ofthe getting the
steady-state simulation up and running.

9.2 Process Studied

The colmnn is adapted from the vinyl acetate process described in Luyben et
al. ("Plantwide Process Control," 1999, McGraw-Hill). Figme 9.1 gives the HY-
SYS flowsheet. The steady-state results presented below are from the AspenPlus
steady-state simulation. The HYSYS and AspenPlus steady-state results are
slightly different. The most significant difference is in the amomlt of acetic acid in
182 Chapter9

the C01Ulllil overhead, which is about 1.5 m01% in the AspenPlus results, but onIy
0.02 m01% in the HYSYS results. This difference is probab1y due to differences in
the vapor-liquid equilibriUlll parameters and the way the vapor-phase association
of acetic acid is handled.

Figure 9.1 - Flowsheet of Azeotropic Column with Decanter

v50ut R
ReY·1 V5


Fin feed
Porg V4 v40ut




The feed is a mixture of viny1 acetate (VAc), water (W) and acetic acid
(RAc). lt is fed to Tray 15 of a 20 theoretica1-tray cohunn at arate of 229.2
kmollhr. The bottoms from the C01Ul11ll is 94.55 m01% RAc, 5.45 m01% water and
<1 ppm ofVAc, and its flowrate is 122.9 kmol!hr.
The vapor from the top ofthe c01Ulnn goes to a condenserldecanter system.
In reality there would be a heat exchanger to condense the vapor and a decanter to
separate the two 1iquid phases. In the simulation flowsheet, these have been com-
bined because this configuration seems to make the ÍUl1ÍTIg of the decanter tem-
peratme controller easier. The decanter heat-removal rate is used to condense and
co01 the c01unm overhead vapor. TIle liquid condensate separates into liquid
phases, a heavy aqueous phase (0.5 mol% VAc, 98.2 m01% water, 1.3 mol% RAc)
and 1ight organic phase (91.0 m01% VAc, 7.6 m01% water and 1.4 m01% RAc).
AH ofthe aqueous phase (54.7 km011hr) is removed as one ofthe products.
Part ofthe organic phase is refluxed back to the top ofthe C01Ul11ll (300 kmol!hr).
The remainder is removed as organic product (51.6 km011hr). The flowrate ofthe
organic reflux is a design degree of freedom, as is the reboiler heat input. The lat-
ter is set (17.l GJ/hr) to achieve the desired water content in the bottoms (5.52
Azeotropic Column 183

The column operates at 124 kPa at the top and 152 kPa at the bottom. Base
temperature is 414 K and top temperature is 362 K. The decanter temperature is
313 K. Reboiler heat input is 17.1 GJ!hr. Condenser duty is 16 GJ!hr.
Note that a "reboiled absorber" is used in this simulation, not a complete
column. The column and the decanter use different fluid property packages.
This system was originally developed using HYSYS version 2.2 (Build
3797), and the results reported in this chapter use that version. When the steady-
state case was rerun using the newer version (2.4.1, Build 3870), onIy a single
liquid phase was predicted in the decanter. This is a good example of some of the
frustration of using sin1ulators, both dynamic and steady state. There are subtle
differences among the various versions that can lead to unexpected and unwanted

9.3 Equipment Sizing

9.3.1 Column

Using tl1e HYSYS steady-state results, the maxiInun1 vapor flowrate is at the
bottom ofthe tower (30,045 kg!hr with a vapor density of2.2 kg/m3). Using an F-
Factor of 1.22 (SI units) the maxiInum vapor velocity is 0.822 m/sec. The volu-
metric flowrate is 3.79 m 3/sec, giving a column cross-sectional area of 4.61 m 2 and
a diameter of2.42 m.
The Tray Sizing ca1culation in AspenPlus recommends a column diameter
of2.02 m.

9.3.2 Reboiler

Liquid flowrate to the reboiler is 37,300 kg/hr and the liquid density is 930
kg/m3 . Using the heuristic of 10 minute holdup, the reboiler volume is 6.7 m 3 .

9.3.3 Decaníer

The total flowrate ofliquid from the decanter is 23,290 kg/hr. Most ofthis is
organic (22,340 kg!hr) with a density of909 kg/m3 . Decanters require extra holdup
time to allow the two liquid phase to separate. If 20 minutes of holdup are used, a
decanter volume of 8.5 m 3 is required, giving a vessel that is 1.73 m in diameter
and 3.49 m in 1ength. To be a little more conservative and to make it easy to re-
member vessel diameter (when we start WOITying about the interface levels ofthe
two 1iquid phases), we specifY the diameter to be 2 m and the length 4 m. The
aqueous/organic interface will be controlled at 0.2 m (10%), and the organic level
will be controlled at 1.15 m (65%).
184 Chapter9

Figure 9.1 shows the flowsheet with a11 pumps and val ves insta11ed. Note the
Recyc1e block at the top of the figure. This is where the iIlitial guess of the stream
"Rorg" is made, and the convergence is done. A sma11 flow ofinert gas (nitrogen)
is used in the HYSYS simulation to avoid problems with not having bubblepoint
liquid in the decanter.

9.4 HYSYS Simulation

9.4.1 Fluids Package

The major new feature ofthe heterogeneous azeotropic system considered in

this chapter is the decanter with its two liquid phases. In the colunm we need to
use the best physical property package for estimating the vapor-liquid equilibrium
data of the vinyl acetate/water/acetic acid system. However, in the decanter we
need to use the best physical property package for estímating the liquid-liquid
equilibrimn data. Usua11y these two are not the same.
The Wilson equations are used in the colurnn, with the binary coefficients
given in "Plantwide Process Control." Since the Wilson equations cannot predict
two liquid phases, sorne other correlation must be used in the decanter. The van
Laar equations are selected. Sorne ofthe binary coefficients are not in HYSYS, so
they need to be estimated. We use the Unifac LLE correlation to estímate the ml-
Two fluids packages are defined, one for the colurnn sub-flowsheet (Basis 1
with Wilson) and another for the main flowsheet (Basis 2 with van Laar). Figure
9.2 shows three windows. The top shows that Basis 1 (Wilson) is used in the sub-
flowsheet ofthe colurnn (T-lOO) and Basis 2 (van Laar) is used in the main flow-
sheet, which contains the decanter. The lower left window shows that the un-
known binary coefficients are estimated using Unifac LLE methods. The lower
right window shows the Wilson binary coefficients used in the colurnn.
Troubles can arise when making cOllilections between the sub-flowsheet
with one fluids package and the main flowsheet with a different fluids package
because of differences in base enthalpies. A "P-T" flash is used at the interfaces.
This results in a partially vaporized stream going to the pump on the bottoms, so a
cooler is added. Remember that this is a simulation fix and would not be needed in
the real plant since the liquid from the base ofthe colurnn is at its bubblepoint.
Azeotropüc Column 185

Figure 9.2 - Different Fluid Packages in Column and Decanter


9.4.2 Dynami.cs

The decanter presents sorne interesting problerns. We need to be able to de-

tect the aqueous/organic interface level and control it with aqueous product with-
drawal. This is the heavy liquid phase. We also need to detect the level of the
lighter organic phase and control it with the organic product withdrawal.
Figures 9.3A and 9.3B show the PV selections for the two level controllers.
The aqueous level controller (LC2) looks at the heavy-liquid percent level. The
organic level controller (LC3) looks at the percent level.
186 Chapter9

Figure 9.3A - Select PV for Interface level in Decanter

Figure 9.38 - Select PV for Organic level in Decanter

Figure 9.4 shows the control structure with all controllers installed. The con-
trol scheme is:

1. Colurnn pressure is controlled by the valve V6 in the overhead va-

por lineo
2. Decanter temperature is controlled by manipulating decanter heat
removal (TC3).
3. A tray temperature (Tray 5) is controlled in the colurnn by manipu-
lating reboiler heat input (TC 1).
4. Colurnn base level is controlled by valve V2.
5. The aqueous/organic interface is controlled by valve V3.
6. The organic level is controlled by valve V4.
Azeotropic Column 187

7. The cooling rate in the cooler on the botioms is manually set to

make sure there is no vapor in the pump suction (an artificial fix of
the simulation).

Figure 9.4 - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed

~-------6- IFC;~--

Getting the decanter running in the dynamic mode is tricky. There is a bug
in HYSYS that gives different phase equilibrium results in the dynarnic mode than
in the steady-stated mode. This is illustrated in Figures 9.5 and 9.6. Figure 9.5
gives the compositions ofthe aqueous and organic phases before the integrator is
started. The aqueous phase is about 99% water. The organic is about 95% vinyl
acetate. Figure 9.6 gives the compositions nmnediately after the integrator is
started. Only a single liquid phase is predicted with a composition of about 82%
vinyl acetate.
188 Chapter9

Figure 9.5 - Organic and Aqueous Phases Before Starting Integrator

Figure 9.6 - Organic and Aqueous Phases After Starting Integrator

One way to get arolll1d tbis bug is to go back to the Physical Property pack-
age and click the Stab Test page tab. This opens the window shown in Figure 9.7.
Under Dynamic Mode Flash Options, c1ick the Try IO Flash First box and then
c1ick the Decant Water box. This takes all the water phase off as pure water (see
Figure 9.8 for the predicted phase compositions).
Azeotropic Column 189

Figure 9.7 - Moclify Fluícls Package to Get Phase Split

Figure 9.8 - Uquicl Phase Compositions with Moclifiecl Fluías Package

Two 0.2 minute lags are installed in the temperature loop. A relay-feedback
test gives an ultimate gain of 14 and an ultimate period of 6.5 minutes. The TL
settings are Kc = 4.4 and 'tI = 14.
Figures 9.9 and 9.10 give results for sequential disturbances in feed flowrate
(increased from 231 to 275 kmolJhr at 10 minutes) and organic reflux (increased
from 300 to 350 kmollhr at 90 minutes). Tray 5 temperature is well controlled
with smooth changes in reboiler heat input. More aggressive turIing is possible, but
190 Chapter9

rapid changes in column vapor rates are undesirable due to the possibility of tray
flooding or dumping. So the conservative TL settings are ofien used in distillation
control. The erratic bottoms flowrate signal appears to be due to numerical integra-
tion problems.

Figure 9.9 - Responses to Disturbances

Figure 9.10 - Responses to Disturbances



Azeotropic Column 191

9.5 AspenDynamics Simulation

9.5.1 Steady-State Design

Setting up the column and decanter in AspenPlus requires specifying the

equipment and the phase equilibrium. Figure 9.11 shows a window in which the
setup for the column block (AZEOCOL) is specified. On the Configuration page
tab the Condenser is set to None, and the Reboiler duty is 22 GJ!hr. Note that the
column has only one degree of freedom. The "Design Spec and Vary" fi.mctions
are used to drive the water impurity in the bottoms to 5.52 mol% by varying the
reboiler duty. Figure 9.12 gives the temperature profile in the column.

Figure 9.11 - Column with No Condenser and Fixed Reboiler Duty

Figure 9.l3 shows how the Wilson VLE equations are specified for the col-
umn. The Properties view is clicked, and Wilson is selected as the Property
method. Note that Stages 1 through 21 are specified. Sin ce there is no condenser,
the top tray becomes Stage 1 in this column. In the decanter we want to use the
Unifac-LLE method, so this is specified in the Properties view under the Decanter
block as shown in Figure 9.14.
In the Input view under the Decanter block (see Figure 9.15), we can specifY
either a heat duty or a temperature. We fix the temperature at 40°C, so the heat
duty is calculated (Q = 16.15 GJ!hr). h1 this window we also set water as the key
component for the detection of a second liquid phase.
192 Ghapter9

Figure 9.12 - Temperature Profile

Figure 9.13 - Specify Wilson Equations for Column

Figure 9.16 gives the flowsheet with aH val ves and pumps instaHed. After aH
dynamic infonnation is supplied and the system is pressure checked, the file is
exported to AspenDynamics.
Azeotropirc Column 193

Figure 9.14 - Specify Uniquac llE for Decanter

Figure 9.15 - Set Decanter Conditions

194 Chapter9

Figure 9.16 - AspenPlus Flowsheet


9.5.2 Dynamics

Figure 9.17 gives the window that opens initially in AspenDynamics. The
default pressure and level controllers are installed, but the level controller outputs
are not connected. Note that there are two level controllers installed on the de-
canter. One is for the aqueous/organic interface level, and the other is for the or-
ganic-phase level. Connecting these two level controllers to the appropriate val ves
and initializing the two liquid levels in the decanter are the key operations of get-
ting the dynamic simulation up and running.
Figure 9.18 gives the window that opens up when AH Variables is selected
in Forrns after right clicking the decanter icon on the flowsheet. Note that there are
two liquid levels that can be specified: "Level" is the organic level (initialized at
l.15 meters in the horizontal decanter with a 2 meter diameter) and the "Leve12" is
the aqueous level (initialized at 0.105 meters). The level controller LC2 manipu-
lates valve V4 to control aqueous level. The level controHer LC3 manipulates
valve V5 to control organic level. Both ofthese controllers are proportional-only
with gains of 2.
Azeotropic Column 195

Figure 9.17 - Initial Flowsheet In AspenDynamics

r-fXk;.--------jREC 1 - - - - - - - ,


r~lIP3 16

, LC4




Figure 9.18 - Two levels in Decanter

Figure 9.19 shows the final flowsheet with all controllers installed. Colwnn
pressure is controlled by valve V6. This controller is direct acting. With a pressure
transmitter range of 1 to 2 atrnopheres, a gain of 2 and an integral time of 12 min-
utes are used. Colwnn base level controller (LC1) manipulates valve V3 and is
196 Chapter9

proportional-on1y with a gain of 2. Organic reflux is flow controlled (FC2), as is

fresh feed (FCl). Figure 9.20 sho.\Vs all the controller face plates with their steady-
state values. Note that the decanter levels are lined out at 1.15 m for the organic
and 0.2 m for the aqueous.

Figure 9.19 - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed

: FC2 I
~ •.... -- -. - ------(X - - - -- -- - -- -- -;
RORG ,-------------1 V5' I V5
'~:-': ~
\ 1 T~-----¡·-1 LC.1
oo oooo ---0-<:- - oo, 'oo oo - oooo ->O - oo __ - oo:

: V4

,-------- ------------ ---~

: TCl ~
: lag1 lag2 lag3 r->O----¿
~ ~- ~>!EJ- ->!EJ-~


Figure 9.20 - Controller Faceplates

Aqueous Level
Azeotropic Column 197

The temperature on Stage 17 (Tray 5 from fue bottom) is controlled by ma-

nipulating reboiler heat input. The steady-state temperature is 394 K. A tempera-
ture tmnsrnÍtter range of 350 to 450 K is used. The controller is rever se acting.

Three 0.1 minute lags are inserted in the loop. The relay-feedback test (us-
ing a gain of 2000 and 5% lirnits on the controller output) gave very erratic results
and an unreasonably large ultin1ate gain. Empírical settings of Kc = 10 and '1:1 = 10
minutes provided fue temperature control shown in Figures 9.21 and 9.22. The
disturbances are a step increase in feed flowrate at 1 hour followed by a step in-
crease in organic reflux at time equal 2 hours.

Figure 9.21 - Response to Disturbances

: ~:::::::::::::::::::::¡:::::::::::::::::::::;::::::::::::::::::::I::::::::::::::::::::.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::¡
~ ~ ---------------------1---------------------1---------------------T---------------------¡----------------------¡---------------------1
:::::::::::::::::::::]:::::::::::::::::::::]::9~::::::::::::::::¡::::: .................: .................... ~ .....................:
~ :*l------------
~ ?---~========~======~.

m o~------~--------+_------~,-------~--------~------~
198 Chapter9

Figure 9.22 - Response to Disturbances

§? ---------------------;--------------------.;.--------- ---------~~oF--------------------;--------------------¡---------------------~

9.6 Conclusion
In this chapter we have extended distillation column simulation to the case
where the reflux drum is a decanter. The complexities of dealing with two-liquid
phases, a non-standard column and a recyc1e stream make this simulation more
difficult to set up than a "plain-vanilla" distillation column.
In the next chapter we exan1Íne another distillation system that is somewhat
more complex than standard distillation: reactive distillation. The unit operation
combines both reaction and separation occurring simultaneously inside the col-
hapter 10

Reactive DistiUation

In this chapter we discuss a unit operation that is being used more and more
ofien in chell1Ícal and petroleum plants. The combination of reaction and separa-
tion has significant advantages in many chell1Ícal systems. Ifreactions are reversi-
ble and if the products can be removed by distillation as the reaction proceeds,
high conversions can be achieved even if the reaction equilibrium constant is
sma11. This is the principal advantage ofreactive distillation. Another advantage is
the elimination of complex separation schemes when the use of reactive distilla-
tion avoids azeotropic separations that would be reqtÚfed in conventional reac-
tor/separation flowsheets.
In conventional distillation, tray holdup has no effect on the steady-state de-
signo In reactive distillation, tray holdup (or amount of catalyst) can be a critical
design parameter because of its effect on reaction rates. Tray holdup is not inlpor-
tant if the forward and reverse reaction rates are so fast that chemical equilibrium
occms on each tray. However, ifreactions are kinetically limited, not equilibrium
limited, tray holdup is critically important. Tray holdup depends on both the di-
anleter of the C01Ulllil and weir height. The latter is limited by pressme drop. The
fonuer depends on vapor rates, which vary with tray holdup because ofthe inter-
play between reaction and separation in reactive distillation colmnns. Therefore,
column sizing becomes more complex than is the case in conventional disti11ation.
Pressme is also a key design parameter in reactive distillation because of its
inlpact on both phase and reaction equilibriUlu and on reaction kinetics. Lower
pressmes ofien make separation easier, but lower pressmes mean lower tempera-
tUTes and smaller reaction rates. Ifreactions are exothennic and reversible, equilib-
rium constants decrease as temperatme increases. So there are important trade-offs
between reaction effects and separation effects that must be considered in deter-
mining the optimUlu operating pressme of a reactive distillation colmnn.
In this chapter we will simulate two reactive distillation colUlnns. The first
system reacts water and ethylene oxide to produce ethylene glycol. The second
reacts methanol and acetic acid to produce methyl acetate and water.

200 Chapter 10

10.1 Ethylene Glycol Process Studied

The first specific example used to illustrate dynanúc simulation of reactive
distillation is the production of ethylene gIycol. The reaction chemistry involves
two consecutive reactions. The first is the desired reaction of ethylene oxide with
water to fonn ethylene gIycol.
C 2H 40+H 20 --7 C2H602
The second is the undesirable reaction of ethylene gIycoI with ethylene oxide to
fonn di-ethylene glycol.
C 2H 60 2 + C 2H 40 --7 C4HJO03
Small concentrations of ethylene oxide suppress the undesirable production of di-
ethylene glycol, so a large excess ofwater is used.
Both of these liquid-phase reactions are irreversible and exotherrnic. Kinetic
data are taken from Ciric and Gu (AIChE Joumal40, 1994, 1479).

R, (mol/cm 3 -'oc) ~ XEQX W [3.15XIO Oe -':;" J

where xEQ, Xw and XEG are the mole fractions of ethy1ene oxide, water and ethy1-
ene glycol. Temperature T is in Kelvin, Activation energy is in caUg-mole.
The column has 10 trays. Fresh water is fed on the top tray. Fresh ethylene
oxide is fed on Tray 4 (from the bottom). The target for the production rate of eth-
ylene glycol is 25 kmoVhr,
The operating pressure is set at slightly aboye atrnospheric. This gives a re-
flux drurn temperatme (333 K) that perrnits the use of coo1ing water in the con-
denser and gives column temperatures high enough to yield large reaction rates.
The production of di-ethylene glycol impmity should be minimized, Note
that the activation energies ofthe two reactions are identical, so varying tempera-
ture to improved yield is ineffective. The only variable that affects yield is the
concentration of ethy1ene oxide. This must be kept very small so that little di-
ethylene glycol is produced. This means that a large excess ofwater must be pre-
sent The design degree of fi"eedom that has the greatest effect on water concentra-
tion is reboiler heat input Another way to affect yield is to feed small amounts of
the ethylene oxide feed at severallocations. This helps to reduce the ethylene ox-
ide concentrations, The impact ofthese design choices are illustrated in the follow-
Reactive Distillatiol1 201

10.2 Column Sizing

The ca1culation ofthe diameter ofthe column in reactive distillation is more
complex than in conventional distillation because of its effect on liquid holdup or
weight of catalyst on each tray. The depth ofliquid on a reactive tray cannot be too
large because of hydraulic limitations (excessive pressure drop). Ihis limits the
holdup 011 individual trays for a given diameter COhillID. But the smaller the
holdup, the more reactive trays required in the design and/or the hígher the reflux
ratio required to achíeve the desired conversion. Higher reflux ratio means larger
vapor rates, which require larger dianleter columns that have more holdup per tray.
Ihus there is an optimum design that balances all these interacting effects. The
detennination ofthe diameter ofthe column involves an iterative ca1culation.
In the numerical example used in this chapter, we assume that a reasonable
liquid depth is about 0.152 meters (6 inches). A dianleter of2.2 meters is guessed,
and tray holdup is calcu1ated.

Holdup = [ 1f.(2~2)2 }O.152) = 0.578 m 3

The steady-state reactive distillation column is simulated with this holdup
per tray, and the vapor rates required to achíeve the specifications are detennined.
Ihen the colmllil size is checked to see if the assumed value of diameter is close
enough to that calculated.

10.3 HYSYS Simulation

It was very difficult to get the reactive column converged in the steady state.
More inlportantly, 1 was mlable to get the colmnn to perfonn as it should in the
dynamic mode. It appears that the reaction rates go to zero when one switches into
the dynamic mode. Ihis causes the system to fill up with ethylene oxide.

10.3.1 Steady State

The flowsheet in HYSYS is given in Figure 10.1. Converging the steady

state was found to be quite difficult. A nmllber ofthe solvers were tried by going
to the Parameter page tab under the column view and selecting Solvers. None
were able to converge the colmnn with the original feeds and products specified.
The procedure that eventually converged used the Sparse Continuation solver. The
column was first converged without any reaction and with distillate product. Then
the reaction was activated on one tray by clicking the Reactions page tab and
clicking Stages (see Figure 10.2), and the column reconverged. More and more
trays were made reactive until Irays 1 through 10 were reactive. Then the distil-
202 Chapter 10

late flow was gradual1y reduced to zero. Equipment sizing is discussed in detail in
Section 10.4.

Figure 10.1 - Flowsheet



T-100 V3

Figure 10.2 - Specify Reactive Trays

Reactive Distiliation 203

10.3.2 Control Structure and Dynamics

AH valves are specified in the nonnal way except V4. A value for Cv = 5 is
specified and the valve opening is set at 0%. Controllers are instaUed as shown in
Figure 10.3. A detailed discussion ofthis scheme is given in the next section.

Figure 10.3 - Flowsheet with Controllers

The dynamic simulation was not successfully runo Sorne strange things oc-
cur as one moves fi·om the steady-state mode to the dynamic mode. Figure 10.4
gives the composition profiles in the steady-state mode. When we switch to dy-
namics, the compositions are aU changed to those in Figure 10.5 (equal concentra-
tions of all components). When the integrator is started, the compositions switch
back to the steady-state values (Figure 10.6). However, as time proceeds, the com-
positions change. Figure 10.7 gives the situation afier 10 minutes. The ethylene
oxide concentrations have increased dramaticaUy.
Figure 10.8 shows a time history ofwhat happens. The ethylene oxide com-
position in the reflux drum builds up. Reflux-drum temperature drops, and its level
increases, which decreases the water makeup coming into the system. EventuaUy
pressure rises.
204 Chapter 10

The system fills up with ethylene oxide. This appears to be caused by the re-
action rates going to zero in the dynamic mode. This problem has not been re-

Figure 10.4 - Composition Prefile at Steady State

Figure 10.5 - Composition Profile after Switch to Dynamics

Figure 10.6 - Composition PrefiJe after Integrator Staríed

Reactive Distillation 205

Figure 10.7 - Composition Profile at t=10 min

Figure 10.8 - Dynamic Response

A second reactive distillation system was simulated to see if the problems

found in the dynamic mode were present in other systems. The production of
methyl acetate via reactive distillation is well documented in the book by Doherty
and Malone ("Conceptual Design of Distillation Systems," 2001, McGraw-Hill).
206 Chapter 10

Their case given on page 486 was ron on HYSYS and converged to a steady state
that was quite close to the conditions given in the book. However, when the pro-
gram was switched to the dynamic mode, the integrator started but nothing else
happened. Time did not increase.
It appears that HYSYS does not handle dynamic reactive distillation effec-
tiveIy. This system was successfulIy simulated in AspenDynamics, and this study
is presented in Section 10.5.

10.4 AspenDynamics Simulation of Ethylene

Glycol Column
1004.1 Steady State

Figure 10.9 gives the AspenPIus flowsheet with a plUllp and valves attached.
Figure 10.10 shows the window that opens when the Reactions button is c1icked
under the column block and the Holdup page tab is c1icked. The vollUlle of liquid
holdup on each tray is specified. On the Specifications page tab (Figme 10.11) the
reactive trays are specified (2 through 11, nlUllbering from the top) and the reac-
tion set (R-l) is selected. Of comse the two reactions are defined in the Reactions
under Setup for the flowsheet.

Figure 10.9 - AspenPlus Flowsneet

Reactive Distillation 207

Figure 10.10 - Specify Volumetric Tray Holdup

Figure 10.11 - Specify Reactive Trays and Reactions

Figure 10.12 shows the window that opens when Setup is c1icked under the
co1umn block (RXDIST) and the configuration page tab is selected. The distillate
rate is set at a small value since all the products leave in the bottom stream. The
reboiler heat input is set at 6.9 MW. The resulting bottoms product has a composi-
tion 1.1 mol% water, 93.1 mol% ethylene glycol and 5.8 mol% di-ethy1ene glycol.
208 Chapter 10

Figure 10.12 - Specify Distiliate Flow and Reboiler Duty

Figure 10.13 gives steady-state temperature profiles for two cases. There is a
rapid rise in temperature near the bottom of the cohunn as the ethylene glycol
builds up and the water depletes. Figure 1O.14A gives the ethylene oxide composi-
tions in the column, which are quite small. Figure lO.14B gives the composition
profiles ofthe other components.

Figure 10.13 - Temperature Profile

Reactive Disíillation 209

Figure 10.14A - Ethylene Oxide Composition Prefile, Base Case


!;-------ir----LUJ¿N~ 51a90

Figure 10.14B - Composition Profiles

In the base case the entire ethylene oxide fresh feed is introduced on Stage
6. To see the effect of distributing the ethylene oxide fresh feed among several
trays, it is split into four equal streams that are fed on Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5. This
results in a higher ethylene oxide concentration in the condenser (Stage 1), as
ShOWl1 in Figure 10.15, which drops the condenser temperature. The impact on
yield of distributing the feed is small. The molar flowrate of di-ethylene glycol in
the single feed case is 1.52 kmol/hr. The distributed feed reduces this to 1.39
The other optimization variable that affects yield is reboiler heat input. A
value of 6.9 MW gives 1.52 kmol/hr of di-ethylene glycol for the single feed case.
210 Chapter 10

Increasing heat input to 10 MW (keeping the sarne tray holdup) decreases the di-
ethylene glycol to 1.24 kmollhr.

Figure 10.15 - Ethylene Oxide Composition Profile, Split Feed

These results are obtained using an assumed column diarneter of 2.2 meters,
which gives a tray holdup ofO.587 m 3 when a liquid height ofO.152 meters is used
on each tray. To confirm that this diarneter is reasonable, we check the vapor
loading in the colunm. The volumetric flowrate of vapor at the top tray is 17,284
m 31hr and the vapor density is 0.673 kg/m3 • Using an F-Factor of 1.22 (SI units),
the maximum vapor velocity is 1.49 m/sec. This gives a column diarneter of 2.0
meters, which is close to our assumed value of diarneter. This iterative sizing cal-
culation is required for reactive distillation because holdup (or catalyst) affects
both reaction rates and column fractionating performance even in the steady state
if reactions are kinetically limited.

10.4.2 Dynarnics

The holdups in the reflux drum and column base are calculated to give 10
minutes oftotal holdup (5 minutes when 50% full). Reflux drum volume is 2 m 3,
and base vohuue is 4 m 3 . Valves and the pump are specified in the normal way.
The system is pressure checked and expOlied to AspenDynamics.
Figure 10.16 shows the initial window that opens. Defaults level and pres-
sure controllers are automatically inserted. Then the other controllers are installed.
The final control structure is shown in Figure 10.17 with all the controller face-
plates. This control scheme uses the following structure:

l. The fresh feed of ethylene oxide is flow controlled. This is the pro-
duction rate handle. Conversion is almost 100%, except for the
small distillate flow (0.01 kmollhr), which is also flow controlled.
Reactive Distillation 211

Figure 10.16 -Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers




Figure 10.17 - Flowsheet with Controllers and Faceplates



, -

'1 !aQ2 103

212 Chapter 10

2. Pressure is controlled by condenser heat removal.

3. Rejlux drum level is controlled by the jlowrate of the fresh water,
which is fed on the top tray but could also be fed directly into the
reflux drurn.
4. Base level is controlled by bottoms flow.
5. Stage 11 temperature (418 K) is controlled by reboiler heat input.
Three 0.5 minute lags are inserted in the loop.
6. Reflux mas s flowrate is constant (the default control structure).

The most interesting loop is reflux drurn level adjusting fresh water feed.
Almost all the water fed is consumed in the reaction, except for a small amount
that leaves in the bottoms. The flowrate ofwater into the system must be adjusted
to perfectly balance the consumption. The inventory of water in the system is
mostly in.the reflux drum (96. 7mol% water), so drum level provides a simple way
to detect ifthe water inventory is building up or depleting in the system. We will
see similar types of structures in the plantwide control schemes used in more com-
plex plants considered in subsequent chapters. Feeding a reactant into a process to
maintain concentration or inventory ofthat component in the system is a key fea-
ture of many plantwide control structures. Sorne type of feedback control that uses
infonnation about the amOlmt of reactant in the process is usually required.
You might thinlc that we could simply use a ratio scheme to adjust the two
fresh feeds. These ratio schemes carmot work in a real plant because of flow
measurement inaccuracies and feed composition changes. It is not possible to per-
fectly balance the flows of the two components by measrnmg flows when flow
measurement errors of lOto 20% are typical. The system will gradually fill up
with tlle component that is in excess.
Relay-feedback test results yield a Stage 11 temperature controller gain of2
and a integral time of 10 minutes. Temperature transmitter range is 350 to 450 K,
and the maximum reboiler heat input is 3.3x106 cal/seco
Dynamic performance is shown in Figures 10.18 and 10.19. The distur-
bances are sequential step changes in the ethylene oxide E:esh feed FEO. At t = 0.5
hours, FEO is increased from 27.53 to 35 km01l1u·. At t = 5 hours, it is decreased to
15 km01lhr. These large changes are severe tests ofthe robustness ofthe proposed
control structure.
Stage 11 temperature is well controlled. Notice that the reboiler heat input
ends up at a lower value as more feed is added to the system, which is counter-
intuitive. This occurs because of the increase in the heat of reaction.
Bottoms water composition changes very little, but the amOlmt of di-
ethylene glycol produced increases at higher feed rates and decreases at lower feed
rates. Fresh water feed F w initially changes in the opposite direction to where it
ends up at the new steady state. This is due to the effect of vapor boilup 6n reflux
drum level. Eventually the E:esh water feed adjusts itself to accommodate the
changes in production rateo Notice that although the mass flowrate of reflux is held
constant, the molar reflux flowrate changes slightly due to composition changes.
Reactive Distillation 213

Figure 10.18 - Response to Changes in EO Feed Flow

8 ;; ~

: : : : : : : : : : ": ""'". .?~ . .: ':. :.'.::'::r:·::·············:·:·:··:::F:.:":'::"::::::::::::::::;

~ ~""-"""""'"""'--'------------1------------------------------j------------------------------}-----------------------------1

":":':"::::::.::::.:.:.:::J::""':"':'::::::::::::,::,{:,:::::::.':':::::':":":":f:':::: XB.DEG


Figure 10.19 - Response to Changes in EO Feed Flow

¡¡¡ ¡¡¡
'ii ~ '1 §3 --- ------------ ---- ~ --------------- ------ ------ ----------------r-------- ---------- --------- --1
ill' : :
.. SI SI 18·······,···············
, ,
_ _ _ _ M_MM_MM. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ M_M _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ,

~. F
el ;il ;il ~·····IL-------+-------il

1: 1: 1: 1 [ ' .......

A R R : """"""""""""""'j"""""""""""" ••••••••
""""":'::.:::::."::'::::::::'::::::: .. J

" " " ~ ............................. ::i .. , B

~ $2 9 g------------------------------1------------------------------ -.. --------------------------~-----------------------------

lO lO I.rl ~ - _________ - ___ ._. ________ - - - - ~ __ - - - - - - - __ - ______ - - - ___ - __ - . . ¡________________________ "_____ ___________________ "" _______ _

2.5 5 7.5
Time H~u¡s
214 Chapter 10

10.5 AspenDynamics Simulation of J\lIethyl

Acetate Column
The second reactive distillation system studied is the production of methyl
acetate. The chemistry is
methanoI + acetic acid <=> methyI acetate+ water
MeOH +HAc <=> MeAc+H 2 0
The reaction is reversible, so yield is limited by chemical equilibrium. This system
is extensively analyzed in the Doherty and Malone book ("Conceptual Design of
Distillation Systems," 2001, McGraw-Hill). Both physical property data and
chemical kinetic data are presented. The design case presented on page 486 of
their book (their Figure 10.48) is used as the basis for our dynamic sirnulation
The kinetics are given on page 479 oftheir book, but the rate constant is ex-
pressed with units of "(kg-mol of methyl acetate produced per hour)/kg-mol of
liquid holdup on a tray." The holdup given by Doherty and Malone is volumetric
(3 m\ so we must convert the rate constant to have units ofkg-mole/sec/m3 . An
average molar density of 21 kg-moVm3 is assumed in converting the kinetics into
the following equations for the forward and reverse reaction rate constants.
RF = kFaHAcaMeOH
kF = 5.811xlo 6 e---¡¡;¡-
RR = kRaH20aMeAc
kR = 2.505xlo 6
where aj is the activity of component j, activation energies are in cal/g-mol and
temperature is in Kelvin. The Wilson equation is used for the vapor-liquid equilib-
The colunm has 42 trays (44 stages in the Aspen sirnulation). Fresh metha-
nol feed (280 kg-moVhr) is fed on Stage 40 near the bottom. Fresh acetic acid feed
(280 kg-moVhr) is fed on Stage 4 near the topo A reflux ratio of 1.9 is used, and the
condenser pressure is 1 atmosphere. The reboiler pressure is considerably higher
because of the quite high weir height required to achieve a tray holdup of 3 m 3 .
The colrn1Jl1 diameter that gives an F-factor of 1.2 (SI units) is calculated to be
3.23 m. To have 3 m 3 liquid holdup, the weir height is 0.366 In. Over 42 trays, this
gives a large colrn1Jl1 pressure drop of about 2.8 atmospheres. An altemative to
having this large weir height would be to increase the diarneter ofthe column.
Reactive Distillation 215

10.5.1 S1I:eady State

The AspenPlus steady-state simulation of this column gave conversion and

product pUlities that were quite close to those reported by Doherty and Malone.
The distillate purity is 99.06 mol% methyl acetate. The bottoms purity is 99.45
mol% acetic acid.
Reboiler heat input is 23.9 GJ!hr. Figure 10.20 gives the AspenPlus flow-
sheet. Figure 10.21 gives the conditions for all streams. Figure 10.22 shows the
temperature profile in the column, and Figure 10.23 gives the composition pro-
files. These are in good agreement with those reported by Doherty and Malone
(their Figme 10.50 on page 487).
Cohmm sizing has already been done to achieve the steady state. Reflux
dnuu ho1dup was calculated to be 11.3 m 3 for a lO-minute holdup (1.93 m diame-
ter, 3.86 m length). The base ho1dup time was increased to 20 minutes because the
molecular weight of water is much 10wer than that of methyl acetate, which pro-
duces a small volUlue. The reboiler size was set at 4 m 3 . The simulation is pressure
checked and explored to AspenDynamics

Figure 10.20 - AspenPlus Flowsheet

Methyl Acetate Reactive Distillation Colurnn


~ ,V1 ¡0---'

216 Chapter 10

Figure 10.21 - Stream Information


METHY·Ol 0.0 0.0 .0124212 .Ol:l421:l :J.11.5117 :117.5117 .0124212 :!71.5lli 0.0 0.0
METRA-DI 0.0 280.0000 33609:1::1 33608:1:1 2.139791 2.139791 33608:1:1 :1.139191 0.0 280.0000
WATER 0.0 0.0 :1163153 2763153 l.'JOa848 1209848 :176.3153 l.:!OaS48 0.0 0.0
ACETI·Ol J90.0000 0.0 2336:118 2336218 .1396551 .1396551 2336218 .1396S51 280.0000 0.0

METHY·Ol 0.0 0.0 4.45:l0·1&5 4.45204&5 .9815861 .9875861 4.45:l04E-S .981SSól 0.0 0.0
METRA·OI 0.0 1.000000 1.20460&3 L:10460E-3 1.61492:&3 1.61492&3 1.:10460&3 1.6149JE-3 0.0 1.0GOOOO
WATER 0.0 0.0 .9903113 .9903113 4.30195E-3 4.30195&3 .9903173 4.3019E3 0.0 0.0
ACEnOl 1.000000 0.0 a.3i354E-3 8.37354&3 4.96993&4 4.96993&4 831354&3 4.96993E-4 1.000000 0.0
!oUlFlow J90.0000 280.0000 219.0000 :119.0000 :J81.0000 281.0000 219.0000 28l.0(lOO 280.0000 280.0000
16814.12 B911.805 51J9.8B2 5129.882 20656.64 :10656.64 5129.88::1 :10656.64 16814.12 8971.805
J69.1119 19U34::1 98.69688 107.8661l 383.0546 5:14.4113 98.688:14 3BJ.9SJl 269.1593 194.8160
323.0543 323.0561l 411.39:16 4113210 330.0550 3:19.8916 4173266 329.8!l:l3 323.0000 323.0000
1209302 3.120930 7.000000 ·1.000000 4.000000 1.000000 01.000000 1.000000 2.600000 6.000000
0.0 0.0 0.0 2.38362&4 0.0 1.16403&3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1.000000 1.000000 1.000000 .9991616 1.00aaao .9988360 1.000000 1.000000 1.000000 1.000000
SolidFnc 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 D.O 0.0 0.0
cillmol -1.H61E+5 -56509.61 _6651035 -6651035 ·1.0454E+5 -1.0454E+5 -66512.56 ·1.0455E+5 -1.1461E+5 ·56509.61
c'lllg:n -1908.448 ·1163.60:1 _3611313 -3611.313 ·14:12.088 -H22.088 ·3611.433 -1422.203 ·1909.448 ·1163.60::1
tillsec -89139E+6 -4395:JE+6 _5.l546E+6 -5.1546E+6 ·8.l599E+6 -8.1599E+6 ·5.1.547E+6 -8.1605E+6 ·8.9139E+6 -U95:JE+6
cillmo1·K -13,45698 ·56.00197 -33.15J91 -33.1494:1 -S9.11476 -89.69656 -33.15469 -89.72227 -73.46315 -56.01507
c'lllgtn-K ·1.2J3:111 ·1.147946 -1.803094 -1.802905 -I.:lJ0424 ·1.220116 -1.803191 ·1.220.s:J6 -U233H -1.148169
=lkc .0113367 .0239519 .0411139 .0431081 .0122::162 8.93065&3 .0411180 .0122295 .0113379 .0239542
¡;:Wcc 1.041116 .7614135 .9662688 .79::16::162 .8987682 .65650::15 .8663441 .6990069 1.041187 .1615451
A~M\V 60.05256 32.04216 18.38661 1838661 13.51111 13.51111 1838661 60.05256 32.04:116
LiQVo160F J68.9465 188.::1281 85.61129 85.611:19 311.1331 311.1331 85.611::19 311.1331 266.9465 168Xl61

Figure 10.22 - Temperature ProfiJe

,.. ,_ ..,.. _c_.c._; , ...;... ;... ; .. ; .. ;_. : [::::::::·:::::l:::

Reactive Distillatiol1 217

Figure 10.23 - Composition Profiles

Blocl( RXCOlUMN: Liquid comporon Proflles

JI H20

j MeOH


10.5.2 Dynamics

The flowsheet that opens up in AspenDynamics with the default controllers

is shown in Figme 10.24. The output signal fi:om the two level controllers are con-
nected to the appropriate valves (V3 and V4).
The control structme chosen for this reactive distillation COlrullil consists of
the following loops:

1. Pressme is controlled by condenser heat removal.

2. Reflux-drrun level is controlled by distillate product (V4).
3. Reboiler level is controlled by bottoms (V3).
4. Fresh acetic acid is flow controlled (V2). This is the production
rate handle.
5. A composition controller manipulates the fresh feed of methanol.
The methanol composition is measmed on Stage 39 near where the
peak in the methanol concentration profile occms. The steady-state
composition is 13.5 mol% methanol. Composition transmitter span
is Oto 25 mol% methanol.
218 Chapter 10

Figure 10.24 -Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers


Methyl Acetate Reactive Disti11ation Column

Figure 10.25 - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed

. ~. _~.......................".....................................;
l...o. . . _
Reactive Distillation 219

6. The temperature on Stage 41 is controlled by manipulating reboiler

heat input. This keeps the methanol from dropping out the bottom
of the column. The steady-state temperature on Stage 41 is 400 K.
Temperature transmitter span is 300 to 500 K.

Figure 10.25 gives the flowsheet with aH controllers and lags installed. Two
0.5-minute lags are installed in the temperature and composition loops.
Relay-feedback tests were attempted, but the results seemed to be unreason-
able since the ultimate gains were very large and the ultimate periods very small.
The temperature controller tuning constants were empirically set at reasonable
values (Kc = 1 and 1:1 = 20 minutes). Then different tunÍng constants for the com-
position controller were explored.
Figures 10.26 through 10.29 show the response of the coll.l11ÜJ. for a 10%
step increase in the setpoint of the acetic acid flow controHer at time equal 0.25
hours. The acetic acid flow increases from 280 to 308 kg-mol/hr.
Figure 10.26 shows what happens when a proportional-only composition
controller is used with a low gain CKc = 0.2). The methanol fresh feed is gradually
increased as the methanol concentration on Stage 39 decreases. The lower metha-
nol concentration results in a higher acetic acid concentration in the bottoms
(lower conversion). If the composition controller gain is increased "to l(" = 0.5
(Figure 10.27) there is less offset in the methanol composition and more fresh
methanol is brought in. However, the composition loop begins to get somewhat
underdamped. Figure 10.28 shows that a further increase in gain (l(" = 1) keeps
the concentration of acetic acid in the bottoms low, but the response is quite oscil-
Figure 10.29 gives results when a PI controller is used in the composition
loop. Gain is set a l(" = 0.2 and an integral time of 20 minutes is used. Effective
control ofboth temperature and composition is achieved.

10.6 Conclusion
In this chapter we have simulated a system that combines reaction and sepa-
ration in one unit. Its apparent simplicity hides some interesting and subtle effects.
Tray holdup affects both steady state and dynamics. Fresh feed flows must be ad-
justed to account for reaction stoichiometry.
The AspenDynamic simulations of the two reactive distillation columns
were successful. The HYSYS simulations were not.
The reactive distillation collUnn has some ofthe important features ofmore
complex multi-unit flowsheets. The process acts as apure integrator in terms of
component balances, so some type of feedback of information is required to adjust
at least one ofthe fresh reactant feed streams.
We begin to study these complex processes in the next chapter.
220 Chapter 10

Figure 10.26A - Response with Low Controller Gain


, , . ,
,, , , , ____ o,,,


-----------,-----------i------------~---- --------~·----------+-·_-·------r-----------j

,..m ... mm..... . ¡......,..4""oili...m .... '. m .... mm' . . mm.

5 10
Timo Hcum

Figure 10.26B - Response with Low Controller Gain


~ ~

f: "


" ¡¡¡
~ "
~ m
Reactive Distiliation 221

Figure 10.27A - Response with Medium Controller Gain

Figure 10.27B - Response with Medium Coníroller Gain

222 Chapter 10

Figure 10.28A - Response with High Controller Gain

~ ----_. __ .. _~-----------~._----- --- .... ---------- -- ... _-

Figure 10.28B - Response with High Controller Gain

Reactive Distillation 223

Figure 10.29A - Response Using PI Controller

HOr. . . . ;. . . . :-. . . . . + ......... .


Figure 10. 29B - Response Using PI Controller

Kc=O.2, taui=20

[]S 1 15 25 3 35 4 AS 5 55
a 111
ulti- nit yna le
i ulations
hapter 11
Pressure-Swing eotropic
DistiUation Columns

11.1 Introduction
In Chapter 9 we studied a system in which a heterogeneous azeotrope was
separated using a single colul1111 and a decanter. The occurrence of two liquid
phases in the decanter pennits the separation ofthis mixture to be l11ade in a single
When the azeotrope is homogeneous, the separation cannot be achieved in a
single colul11u. An azeotrope exists when the composition ofthe liquid phase is the
same as that ofthe vapor phase.
where Xj = mole fraction of component j in the liquid, Yj is the mole fraction of
component j in the vapor and NC is the uumber of components. An azeotrope pre-
sents a distillation boundary or lirnitation to the achievable separation. If there is
no composition difference between the vapor and the liquid, compositions cannot
change from tray to tray, so there is no :further separation. The azeotrope fonns a
pinch condition.
There are a number of techniques for separating azeotropes. One method is
pressure-swing distillation. This can be used in systems where there is a significant
change in the azeotropic composition with pressure.
Consider a column whose feed is a binary mixture of components A and B
with composition z (mole fraction A). The vapor-liquid equilibrium for the system
has a minimum-boiling azeotrope of composition Yaz! at a low pressure PI. The
azeotropic composition shifts downward to Yaz2 at a higher pressure P2.
Two columns, operating at two different pressures, can be used to separate
the feed into two streams of almost pure A and almost pure B. Ifthe feed composi-
tion is less than Yaz!, the feed is introduced into the low-pressure column. The bot-
toms product from this column is almost pure B. The distillate has a composition
that is close to the azeotropic composition Yaz!. It is fed to the high-pressure col-
umn. This feed composition is greater than the azeotropic composition Yaz2 at the
higher pressure, so the bottoms product from the high-pressure column is almost

228 Chapter 11

pure A. The clistiIlate from the high-pressure column D2 has a composition that is
close to the azeotropic composition Yaz2. This distiIlate strearn is fed back into the
low-pressure column. Thus the low-pressure column has two feeds: the fresh feed
at composition z and the clistillate D2 from the high-pressure column at a composi-
tion somewhat greater than Yaz2 (but less than Yazl)'
Thus the two columns are intercol111ected by the two distiIlate strearns. They
must be designed and controlled as interacting units, so dynamic simulation ofthe
entire system is required.

11.2 Process Studied

The numerical exarnple used in this chapter is the separation of tetrahydro-
furan (THF) from water. Thls is an important industrial separation because THF is
widely used as a solvent in many chemical processes.

11.2.1 Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium

The nonnal boiling points ofthe two components are 150.7 °F for THF and
212°F for water, so THF is the light component. However, the liquid phase is
highly nonideal, and a minimum-boiling homogeneous azeotrope is fonned. At
atrnospheric pressure, the composition of tbis azeotrope is 0.828 mole fraction
THF, and the azeotrope boils at 147°F.
If a mixture of THF and water with composition 0.50 mole fraction THF is
fed into a column operating at atrnospheric pressure, the bottoms stream wiIl be
mostly water. But the distiIlate stream can never be any purer than 0.828 mole
fraction THF, even with an infinite number oftrays and an infinite reflux ratio. If
the feed mixture were 0.90 mole fraction THF, the bottoms would be mostly THF
and the clistillate would be slightly greater than 0.828 mole fraction water.
Two columns can be used to separate the mixture into almost pure products
ifthe azeotropic composition changes significantly with pressure. ForturJately this
is true for the THF/water mixture. The azeotropic composition and temperature
predicted by the DISTIL progranl fi.-om Hyprotech are given in Table 11.1. The
Wilson Equation is used for the precliction of activity coefficients, and ideal gases
are assumed.
Figure 11.1 gives xy curves for the THF/water system at two pressures (20
and 115 psia). The shift in the azeotrope with pressure is clearly seen. Figure 11.2
gives Txy cliagrarns at the sarne two pressures.
Pressure Swing 229

Table 11.1 - Effect of Pressure on Azeotrope

Pressme (psia) Azeotropic Composition Temperatme

(mole fraction THF) (OP)
14.7 0.828 147
20 0.806 164
115 0.651 280

Figu re 11.1 - xy Cu rves at Two Pressu res

11.2.2 COlflfiguration

The process has two cohuTIlls that operate at two pressures. We select a low
pressure of 20 psia and a high pressure of 115 psia. Of course these two pressures
are design optirnization variables, as are the number of trays in each colurnn and
feed-tray locations. There is an optirnum set of pressures that minimizes total an-
nual cost of the separation. The larger the difference in the two pressures, the less
recyc1e is required and the lower the energy consumption. However, the lower the
pressure in the low-pressure colmTIll, the larger the diameter and the cooler the
coolant required in the condenser. The higher the pressure in the high-pressure
colurnn, the higher the pressure ofthe steam that must be used in the reboiler.
230 Chapter 11

Figure 11.2 - Txy Diagrams at Two Pressures

11.3 Steady-State Simulation

A feed composition of 0.30 mole fi-action THF is assumed, so the feed
stream is introduced into the low-pressure column in which the azeotrope is 0.806
mole fraction THF. The purity ofthe bottoms product from the low-pressure col-
urnn is specified to be 99 mol% water. Since the separation is a fairly easy one, we
select a 10 tray colurnn. The fresh feed is introduced on Tray 6 and the recycle
stream from the high-pressure colurnn is fed at the top ofthe colurnn. The remain-
ing degree of freedom is fixed by setting the reflux ratio equal to one.
At the begilming of the steady-state simulation, we do not know the other
feed stream (D2) to the low-pressure colurnn. This is the recycle stream in the sys-
temo So we make an initial guess of its flowrate, composition, temperature and
composition. The lower picture in Figure 11.3 shows the HYSYS window with the
Recycle block window. Note that the block has been "ignored", so it is inactive.
The initial guesses for the recycle stream are shown under the "d2" stream: 40 lb-
mollhr, 280°F and (not shown) 66 mol% THF. Using this guessed value of the
second feed, the low-pressure colurnn is converged, as shown in the upper window
in Figure 11.3. Note that the active specifications are the bottoms purity (0.01
mole fraction THF) and the reflux ratio (RR=l).
Pressl.lre Swing 231

Figure 1 '1.3 -low-Pressure Column Converged with Initial Guess of 02

Figure 11.4 - High-Pressure Column Converged

232 Chapter 11

Now the distillate from the first cohunn (D]) is known and is fed into the
second (high-pressure) column. We aSSlUl1e a IO-tray column, fed on Tray 6, and a
reflux ratio of 1. The puri1:y specification on the bottoms product is 99 mol% THF.
Then the second column is converged, as shown in the lower left window in Fig-
ure 11.4. The calculated value of the distillate from the high-pressure column is
slightlydifferent than our initia!. guesses, as shown in the upper Jwo windows in
Figure 11.4.
Now the recycle block is activated, and the recycle loop is converged. Fig-
ure 11.5 shows the initial converged values of flowrates, temperature and compo-
sitions of the recycle loop. Note that the two flowrates are somewhat different
(42.05 versus 41.86 lb-mol/hr). TIle default convergence cliteria for the recycle
block can be tightened to drive the two flowrates closer together.

Figure 11.5 - Recycle Block Converged

Figure 11.6 gives the HYSYS flowsheet with all the pllUl1bing installed.
PlUl1p PI is vital to provide the pressure to get the distillate D] to flow from the
Pressure Swing 233

low-pressure column into the high-pressure column. AH control val ves are sized
with about 20 psi pressure drops when 50% open lU1der design conditions. Valve
V4 has a much larger pressure drop because it drops pressure fi"om the 115 psia
high-pressure cohunn into the 20 psia low-pressure colmDll.
Figure 11.7 gives the composition profiJes in the two columns. Figure 11.8
gives the temperature profiles. We will use the reboiler temperature in the LP col-
umn as the control temperature location, and Tray 2 in the HP column.

Figure 1 ~.6 - HYSYS Flowsheet

~¡""-I-. -~-;--'11".,

v1in P1 p10ut V2' v20ut



P2 p20ut

Figure 1'1.7A-lP Composition Profile


: ¡


, ,

, "
: : : , '

i I i ¡

234 Chapter 11

Figure 11.7B - HP Composition Profile


Figure 11.8A - LP Temperature Profile

Figure 11.8B - HP Temperature Profile

Pressure Swing 235

The diameters of the two columns and fue holdups in fue reflux drums and
column bases must be ca1culated. The usual sizing methods are used to determine
fuese parameters. Table 11.2 gives fue values for the two columns.

Table 11.2 - Column Sizing and Holdup Volumes

LPColumn HPColumn
Diameter (ft) 2.7 1.4
Reflux Drum Holdup (ft3) 28 16
Base Holdup (ft3) 22 41

1l.4 HYSYS Simulation

11.4.1 Control Structure

The control structure selected for this two-column process, as ShOWl1 in Fig-
ure 11.9, has the following 100ps:

l. Fresh feed is flow controlled.

2. Both column base levels are controlled by manipulating val ves V3
and V5 in the two bottoms streams. Proportional-only controllers
are used wifu I<C = 2.
3. Column pressures are controlled by manipulating condenser heat
removal. The controllers are PI with Kc = 2 and 'tI = 10 minutes,
with pressure transmitter ranges 15 to 35 in fue LP column and 100
to 130 in the HP column. Maximum condenser heat-removal rates
are 4x10 6 Btu/hr in the LP column and 3x10 6 Btu/hr in the HP col-
4. A temperature in each column is controlled by malúpulating re-
boiler heat input. hl the LP column, reboilertemperature is con-
trolled at 192°F. fu fue HP column, Tray 2 temperature is con-
trolled at 290°F. The controllers are PI using the TL settings. fu fue
HYSYS simulation al-minute deadtime is inserted in each tem-
perature loop. Temperature transmitter rallges are 150 to 250°F in
fue LP column and 250 to 350°F in fue HP column.
236 Chapter 11

5. Reflux drum 1eve1s are contro11ed by manipu1ating valves in the

two distillate streams (V2 and V4). Proportiona1-only contro11ers
are used with Kc = 2.
6. The reflux ratios are contro11ed in each co1umn.

This 1ast ratio contro1100p is something that we have not i11ustrated before. We
discuss how to insta11 this ratio scheme in more detail in the next section.
Figure 11.9 shows the main PFD with a11 the contro11er facep1ates shown at
the top and the 1eve1100ps insta11ed on the bottoms and disti11ate flows. The flow-
sheet becomes fair1y cluttered if a11 the 100ps are shown on the main PFD. Figures
l1.10A and l1.lOB show the sub-flowsheets for the two co1umns on which the
temperature and pressure controllers are installed.
Deadtirnes of 1 minute are inserted in the two temperature 100ps, and re1ay-
feedback tests are run on both temperature contro11ers. The resu1ting TL settings
are Kc = 0.88 and 'Ir = 7.3 minutes for the LP co1umn and Kc = 7.4 and 'Ir = 8.1
minutes for the HP co1umn. The temperature transmitter ranges are 150 to 250°F
in the LP column and 250 to 350°F in the HP co1umn.

Figure 11.9 - Flowsheet with Controllers Faceplates

Pressure Swing 237

Figure 11.1 OA - Sub-flowsheet for Coiumn C1


L -_________________________ ~R~~n


Reboiler q'

Figure 11.1 OS - Sub-Flowsheet for Column C2

238 Chapter 11

11.4.2 Ratio Control

Ratio control in HYSYS is accomplished by using a spreadsheet to calculate

the setpoint of the remote-set tlow controller. First a remote-set flow controller is
installed on the reflux. The setpoint ofthis flow controller is changed by importing
a number from a cell in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet and the flow controller
must be in the main PFD, not in the column subtlowsheet.
Figure 11.11 shows the Connections page tab for the flow controller FRC1
on the HP column. Its setpoint comes from Cell A2 in the spreadsheet called "Ra-
tiol". Figure 11.11 also shows the Parameters page tab for FRC2 with the Con-
figuration view shown. Note that the Remote button is selected under the SP
Mode. The highlighted "R" in the upper right comer ofthe faceplates for FRC1
and FRC2 indicate that these controllers are receiving their setpoints from another

Figure 11.11 - Remote Setpoints for Reflux Flow Controllers

Remote SP

Figure 11.12 shows the Advanced view for FRC1 on which the ''Use PV
units" burton has been selected on the Remote SP line in the SetPoint Options
section of the view. The selection of "Use PV units" instead of "Use %" must be
Pressure Swing 239

made with the controller in the remote-set mode to get the correct setpoint value
from the spreadsheet (Ratio 1) if the setpoint is ca1culated in engineering units.

Figure 11.12 - Flow Controller Setpoint in PV Units

Figure 11.l3A shows the Connections page tab view of the spreadsheet Ra-
tiol. The value ofthe DI distillate flowrate is imported into Cell Al. The value in
Cell A2 is exported to the flow controller FRCI as its remote setpoint. The Pa-
rameters page tab of Ratio2 is also shown in Figure 11.13A. The Unit Set is se-
lected as "SI" in the upper left comer under Spreadsheet Parameters.

Figure 11.13A - Spreadsheet Connections and Parameter Page Tabs

240 Ghapter 11

Figure 11.13B shows the Fonnulas page tab view of the spreadsheet. Cell
B2 is the desired reflux ratio. The formula ShOWl1 ca1culates the value given in Cell
A2. This cell is then exported to the reflux flow controller as its remote setpoint

Figure 11.138 - Formulas and Spreadsheet Page Tabs

11.4.3 Results

Figure 11.14 gives results for a step increase in fresh feed flowrate from 100
to 120 lb-mol/hr at time equal about 1550 minutes. The control temperature in the
LP column decreases about 5°F and bottoms water composition takes a dip when
the feed flowrate is increased. The controller increases the reboiler heat input and
gradually retUl11S the temperature back to the setpoint. The bottoms water compo-
sition also retums close to the initial steady-state value.
The ternperature in the HP column decreases more gradually and only drops
about 0.2°F. The reboiler heat input in the HP column increases to retum the tem-
perature to the setpoint. The bottoms THF composition from the LP column un-
dergoes a small dip but retums to the initial steady-state value.
All the flowrates ofthe distillate and bottoms streams gradually increase as
the proportional-only level controllers attenuate the step change in feed flow into
gradual exponential lises to the new steady state. This demonstrates the flow-
smoothing performance of P-only level controls in a multi-unit plant. This be-
comes more and more important as the number of units in series increases, as we
will see in the complex multi-unit plants studied in subsequent chapters.
Pressure Swing 241

Figure 11.14A - Column C1 Responses

Figure 11.14B - Column C2 Responses

242 Chapter 11

Figure 11.14C - Stream Flows

11.5 AspenDynamics Simulation

Figure 11.15 gives the AspenPlus steady-state flowsheet ofthe process. All
dynamic parameters are entered, and the system is pressure checked and exported
into AspenDynamics. Figure 11.16 shows the initial window that opens with the
default level and pressure controllers instaHed.

11.5.1 Ratio Control

1t is easy to install ratio control s in AspenDynamics. As shown in Figure

11.17, there is a Multiply element in the list of Control Models. This element has
two inputs and one output, as shown in the AH Variables window in Figure 11.17.
Input 1 is the mass flowrate of the distiHate flow. Input 2 is the multiplying con-
stant, which in this case is ul1ity since we want a reflux ratio of l. Note that Input2
is specified to be "fixed" instead of"free". The output ofthe Multiply element is
the mass flowrate ofthe reflux.
Pressure Swing 243

Figure 11.15 -AspenPh.ls Flowsheet

THF Pressure-Swing Azeotropic Distillation

Figure 11.16 -Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers

THF Pressure-Swing Azeotropic Distillation

244 Chapter 11

Figure 11.17 - Multiplier Used for Ratio Control

This setup is made on both columns, and the final flowsheet with all control-
lers, ratios and lags installed is shown in Figure 11.18. The blocks labeled RRl
and RR2 are the two multipliers or ratio elements. Two dynarnic elements are in-
stalled in each temperature loop: a 0.5 minute deadtime and a 0.5 minute first-
order lag. The manual re1ay-feedback test seems to ron better with both types of
elements in the loop. Test results give TL settings for the temperature controllers:
Kc = 3.3 and 1:¡ = 5.3 minutes for the LP column and Kc = 1.6 and 1:¡ = 6.0 minutes
for the HP column.
Pressure Swing 245

Figure 11.18 - Flowsheet with Controllers and Ratlos Installed


11.5.2 Results

Figures 11.19 and 11.20 give results for a step change in feed flowrate from
100 to 120 lb-mollhr at time equal 0.5 hours. The temperatures controller tuning is
somewhat aggressive, but the tighter temperature control (compared to the HY-
SYS results) produces a smaller change in product quality.
Note that the compositions shown in Figure 11.20 are the impurity in the
stream. The combination of temperature control and reflux ratio control gives re-
sponses to feed rate changes that return product pmities to their desired levels.
This would not necessaIily occur for ChaIlges in feed composition.
246 Chapter 11

Figure 11.19 - Flows


Figure 11.20 - Temperatures, Compositions and Heat Duties

\!! :¡¡ li'i :!l 8 N TOX

~ ---'---r--]---¡---r--r--]---¡---r--r--]---¡---¡---r--]---¡---¡---¡---]---¡---¡--T--¡--- --







o _
:;:' I II"I
+_; ___ ___
¡__ +_;_¡__:__

~ !___ : --;---f---¡---+-+-+--¡----¡---~--- __
, ,
!il 1? ~ ... - --- . ---,-

l' ¡. 1; l' ¡,~

~ ~
,, ,,

- Iii :¡¡
~ 8o 8o ---t---r---i---~--- --1:-1::]:_:[ __ 1_:1-:1
- ¡¡: :!l
, ,
¡;¡ ~ ,
,--- ""'"
---r---'---'---l---r---,.---,--- "","
--- ---r----,---'---r---,.---,---,
,, ,
" , " "' '" " ""','
,, ""
" " '" ", "'
" " ,, '" "
,, ""
" ", '" " ",
" " " ," "
!l :'! ¡¡¡ ~ o
o 01
1 1.
1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.:
Time Hours
Pressure Swing 247

11.6 Conclusion
In this chapter we have simulated a two-mút system with material integra-
tion between the m1Íts. The recyc1e of distillate jiom the second cohmm back to
the fust produces an interacting system. The dynamics and control of the entire
system must be studied simultaneously. In the next chapter we look at another
two-colmnn system, but the coupling is through heat transfer, not material streams.

hapter 12
Heat-Integrated istiUation
12.1 Introduction
Distillation columns are major energy consumers in many petroleum and
chemical plants. One commonly used method to reduce the energy requirements in
distillation systems is heat-integration. The basic idea is to use the overhead vapor
from one colunm as a heat source in another collillm. Multiple-effect evaporators
use the same technique.
The pressures in the two columns are adjusted so that there is a reasonable
differential temperature driving force for heat transfer in the heat exchanger serv-
ing as the condenser for the high-temperature COIUlllil and the reboiler for the low-
temperature cohmm. A small temperature difference results in lower temperature
heat source in the high-temperature column but a larger heat-transfer area in the
reboiler/condenser. Typical temperature differentials are about 30 to 50°F, depend-
ing on the relative cost of heat-exchanger area and energy. There are interesting
design optimization trade-offs that involve the many design degrees of freedom:
number of trays in each colunm, reflux ratios and pressures. The typical system
has the low-pressure cohillm pressure set by the use of cooling water in the con-
denser. Then the pressure in the high-pressure COIUlllil is set to provide a reason-
able temperature differential in the condenser/reboiler.
Heat integration can be used in systems where two cohmms separating dif-
ferent chemical components have the required temperature levels. The reflux-
drum temperature ofthe high-temperatme column must be sufficiently higher than
the base temperature of the low-temperature cohillm to give reasonable heat-
exchanger area. Of course, the heat duties of the two columns must be similar.
Any differences between tllese duties require the use of auxiliary condenser andlor
reboilers. Even ifthe duties are perfectly balanced, auxiliary heat exchangers may
be required to improve dynarnic controllability.
Heat integration can also be used to separate a single feed stream. Instead of
using one column with a reboiler and a condenser, two columns are used. One
operates at high pressme and the other column operates at low pressure so that the
appropriate temperatures are achieved in the coupled condenserlreboiler heat ex-
changer. This type of system is nonnally limited to

250 Chapter 12

1. Binary systems with no lighter or heavier components. The effect

of lighter-than-light or heavier-than-heavy key components is to
lower or elevate reflux-drum and base temperatures, respectively.
2. Systems in which the components have boiling points that are not
very different.

Systems that do not have these properties may require excessive pressure differ-
ences between the two columns, so the heat-integration economics become unfa-
A typical heat-integrated distillation system may involve somewhat higher
capital investment, but the savings in energy costs can usually justify this invest-
There are a munber of altemative heat-integration flowsheets. Two of the
more widely used are:

1. Feed split: Fresh feed is split between two columns that operate at
different pressures to provide the specified LiT in the con-
denser/reboiler. Specification products are produced at the ends of
both columns. This is the configuration we use in this chapter.
2. Light split: All the fresh feed is introduced into one column. The
distillate from this column contains about half of the lighter com-
ponent in the feed. The bottoms contains the rest ofthe lighter com-
ponent and aH of the heavy component. This is fed into the second
column where the lighter component goes overhead in the distillate
and all of the heavy component goes out in the bottoms. The heat
integration can be in the direction of flow (the first colmnn run at
high pressure) or opposite the direction offlow (the second column
run at high pressure). One ofthe factors that influences this choice
is the temperature level of the available heating medimn. The direct
scheme has a lower base temperature in the high-pressure column
because the bottoms composition is a mixture of light and heavy

12.2 Process Studied

For a specific munerical example, we select the benzene/toluene separation.
The HYSYS flowsheet is given in Figure 12.1. The Chao-Seader physical prop-
erty correlation is used. Product purities are set at 99 mol% for all four product
streams. Both columns are assmned to have 20 theoretical trays and are fed at Tray
11. Each column is fed 100 lb-m01lhr of a 50/50 molar mixture of ben-
Heat-Integraíed Distillation 251

Figure 12.1 - HYSYS Flowsneet

Columns v220ut

f2in f2



b2 v240ut


Note that the high-pressure column is simulated using a "reboiler absorber"

(no condenser or reflux drum) while the low-pressure column is simulated using a
"refluxed absorber" (no reboiler). The condenserlreboiler is simulated using a heat
exchanger with the hot condensing vapor from the top of the HP column on the
tube side and the cooler vapOlizil1g liquid from the base of the LP column on the
shell side.
The pressure in the low-pressure column is set at 5 psia (258 mmHg) so that
cooling water can be used in the condenser (reflux-drum temperature is 116°F). A
pressure drop through this column of 75 mmHg is estimated, giving a base tem-
perature of 181°F.
Then a healthy ~T of about 47°F is assumed for the condenser/reboiler.
This establishes the reflux-drum temperature ofthe high-pressure column at 181 +
47 = 228°F. The 99 mol% benzene at this temperature has a pressure of 50 psia,
which fixes the pressure at the top ofthe high-pressure column.
252 Chapter 12

12.3 Converging the Steady-State Flowsheet

It is always a good idea with these complex flowsheets to start with a simple
piece ofthe process and gradually build up the simulation.

A. HP Column: We start with the HP colurnn by "ignoring" (deactivating) the

RCY-l recycle block shown in Figure 12.l. A value ofreflux flowrate is guessed.
The composition of the reflux is known (99 mol% benzene) because it is one of
the specifications. The column has only one degree of fi.-eedom, as shown in Fig-
ure 12.2A, which is set to be the bottoms composition (1 mol% benzene). The
reflux flowrate to the HP column is guessed, and the resulting distillate composi-
tion is checked to see ifit meets the specified value of99 mol% benzene. Reflux
flow is adjusted to about 150 lb-mol!hr, which gives the desired distillate product
pwity. Figure 12.2B gives the PFD and the workbook from the sub-flowsheet. The
reboiler heat input is 3.27x10 6 Btu/hr. The corresponding reflux ratio is about 3.

Figure 12. 2A- HP Column Specification

B. LP Column: A similar procedure is followed for the LP colwnn. A value ofthe

vapor flow to the base of this refluxed absorber is guessed (its composition is
known: 99 mol% toluene). The RCY-2 recycle block is ignored. The one degree
of freedom is fixed by specifYing the distillate purity, as shown in Figure 12.3A.
The guess of the vapor flow is adjusted to about 116 lb-mol!hr, which gives the
Heat-Integrated Distillation 253

desired botloms purity. The corresponding reflux ratio is 1.62. Figure 12.3B gives
the PFD from the sub-flowsheet and the workbook with stream information. Note
that the reflux ratio in the LP column is much lower than the reflux ratio required
in the HP column because of the increase in relative volatility with decreasing
pressure. This indicates that the optimum design ofthe system would feature a HP
column with more trays than the LP column and probably somewhat more feed
sent to the LP column.

Figure 12.28 - Sub-Flowsheet for HP Column

Figure 12.3A -lP Column Specification

254 Chapter 12

Figure 12.38 - Sub-Flowsheet for lP Column


Main '--_---1-_---'''''+


No.te that in the simulatio.n the liquid fro.m the drum representing the base o.f
the LP co.lumn is pumped thro.ugh the rebo.iler/co.ndenser. This type o.f rebo.iler is
called a forced circulatio.n rebo.iler. In a real plant, the co.ndenser/rebo.iler is usually
a kettle o.r thermo.-sipho.n type. The fo.rmer is preferable because it eliminates the
sensitivity o.f heat-transfer co.efficients to. liquid level, which o.ccurs in so.me
thenno.-sipho.n designs and can limit the use o.f averaging level co.ntro.l to. smo.o.th
o.ut flo.w disturbances.
No.w the flo.wrates and co.mpo.sitio.n in the two. mo.st impo.rtant pieces o.fthe
flo.wsheet have been established. Next we must malee the co.nnectio.ns between the
two. co.lumns thro.ugh the co.ndenserlrebo.iler.

C. CondenserlReboiler: The heat exchanger sho.uld co.ndense the overhead vapo.r

fro.m the HP column. The flo.wrate o.f this vapo.r is 200 lb-mo.llhr and the enthalpy
change to. co.ndense it is abo.ut 2.5x106 Btu/br. With a LlT o.f 45°F and assuming an
o.verall heat transfer co.efficient o.f 95 Btu!hr-oF-W, we can estimate the heat-
transfer area to. be abo.ut 600 W. Therefo.re the DA is set at 62,000 Btu!hr-oF.
The flo.wrate and temperature o.f the vapo.r entering the tube side are kno.wn.
The flo.wrate and temperature o.f the liquid entering the shell side are also..kno.wn
because we know ho.w much vapo.r must be fed into. the bo.tto.m o.fthe LP column.
Therefo.re the co.ndenserlrebo.iler can be so.lved. Temperature pro.files are sho.wn in
Figure 12.4. No.te the flat po.rtio.ns where co.ndensatio.n and/o.r vapo.rizatio.n are
o.ccurring. A temperature pinch o.Ccurs at the ho.t end where the fluid from the LP
co.lumn base has been co.mplete1y vapo.rized and is slight1y superheated.
Heat-integrated Distillation 255

Figure 12.4 - Temperature Profiles in Condenser/Reboiler

D. Auxiliary Condenser and Auxiliary Reboller: In order to handle any im-

balance in the condensing and reboiling heat duties, both at steady state and dy-
narnically, we install a cooler and a heater. In a real plant, these can be either in
series or parallel with the condenserlreboiler. In the simulation, as shown in Figure
12.1, it is easier from a plumbing point of view to place them in series.

1. An auxiliary condenser downstream of the condenser completely

liquefies the stream before it enters the reflux drum ofthe HP col-
mTIl1. The stream from the condenser is about 18% vapor. The
specification on the auxiliary condenser is that the stream leaving
is saturated liquido The required heat duty is 0.458x10 6 BtuIbr.
2. An auxiliary reboiler downstream of the reboiler adds sorne addi-
tional heat before the vapor stream enters the base of the LP col-
mTIl1. The specification on the auxiliary reboiler is an exit tempera-
tme of 270 DF. The heat duty is 43,000 Btu!hr. In the control system
developed in the next section, a temperature controller in the LP
column changes both the flowrate and the auxiliary heat input us-
ing a split-ranged valve setup to alter the vapor rateo

The pieces ofthe flowsheet have now been individually converged. Next the
two recyc1e blocks are activated and the whole flowsheet is converged. Figure
12.5 gives the HYSYS workbook with all the stream infonnation.
256 Cilapter 12

N otice that the HP Column reflux drum and the LP Colurnn base drLUn both
have vapor strearns attached as required by HYSYS. The two val ves in these lines
(V14 and V23) are specified to be shut.

Figure 12.5 - Workbook with Stream Information

12.4 Simulation in HYSYS

12.4.1 Equipment Sizing

The diarneters of the two columns, the colurnn-base vohunes, the reflux-
drurn volurnes and the volurnes of the heat exchanger must be calculated and
specified. Tab1e 12.1 surnrnarizes results.

Table 12.1 - Equipment Sizes

HP Column LP Colurrm
Diameter (ft) 2.8 3.7
Base volume (ft3) 206 100
Reflux-drum volume (ft 3) 110 62
Condenser/reboi1er shell side (ft 3) 13
Condenser/reboiler tube side (ft3) 13
Auxiliary condenser (ft 3) 3.5
Auxiliary reboiler (ft3) 3.5
Heat-Integrated Distillation 257

12.4.2 Control Structure

Figure 12.6 shows the control structure for the process. The basic control
scheme for each ofthe cohmll1s is the same:

1. Feed is flow controlled (FCll and FC21).

2. Base level is controlled by manipulating bottoms flow (LCll and
LC21, proportional-only, Kc = 2).
3. Reflux-drum level is controlled by manipulating distillate flow
(LC21 and LC22, proportional-only, Kc = 2).
4. Reflux is flow controlled (FCI2 in the HP column). In the LP col-
umn the default structure holds reflux mass flow constant.
5. Pressure is controlled in the LP column by manipulating condenser
heat removal. Tuning is the standard Kc = 2 and 'e¡ = 10 minutes
with a pressure transrnitter range of Oto 10 psia.
6. Pressure in the reflux drum ofthe HP column is controlled by ma-
nipulating heat removal in the auxiliary condenser. Tuning is the
standard Kc = 2 and 'e¡ = 10 minutes with a pressure transrnitter
range of 25 to 75 psia.
7. The temperature on Tray 7 in each column is controlled by chang-
ing vapor boilup.

This last loop is different in the two columns. In the HP column, controller TC 1
changes reboiler heat input directly. This is installed in the sub-flowsheet, as
shown in Figure 12.7. Two 0.5 minute lags are inserted in this loop. Temperature
transrnitter range is 250 to 350°F. Relay-feedback testing gives TL settings ofKc =
4.7 and 'e¡ = 7.9 minutes.
The setup in the LP column is somewhat more complexo The output signal
from temperatme controller TC2 uses a split-ranged valve configuration to change
both the flowrate from the base ofthe column through the reboiler/condenser and
the heat input to the auxiliary reboiler. As shown in Figure 12.8, two identical
temperature controllers in parallel are used to simulate the split-range valve con-
figuration. Two 0.5 minute lags are used in each loop. The main TC2 controller
changes the flowrate by using a temperature/flow cascade arrangement. Flow con-
troller FC23 has a remote setpoint coming from TC2. Note the faceplate in Figure
12.9 for FC23 shows a remote setpoint. The flow transrnitter span is 200 lb-
mol/hr. Relay-feedback testing gives TL settings of Kc = 11 and 'e¡ = 14 minutes.
258 Chapter 12

Figure 12.6 - Flowsheet with Control Scheme

~3----~i LC22
F21 I
f2in f2 pp30ur v220ut
\/21 V22

LC21 ,




Figure 12.7 - Temperature Controller in HP Column



Te b1
Heat-Integrated Distillation 259

Figure 12.8 - Temperature and Pressure Controllers in LP Column


The other controller TC2B changes the heat input in the auxiliary reboiler.
The "valve" is sized for a maximum heat input of lxl0 6 BtuIbr. Relay-feedback
testing gives TL settings of Kc = 22 and 'L¡ = 9.3 minutes. 1t should be emphasized
that the use of these two controllers in parallel is not what would be done in a real
plant, nor what is done in the AspenDynarnics simulation discussed later in this
chapter. It is one way to model split-range valve setups in HYSYS. Figure 12.9
shows the final control scheme with all controller faceplates.

12.4.3 Results

Figures 12.10 through 12.12 give results for feed flowrate disturbances. At
time equal 10 minutes, the feed to the HP column is increased fi:om 100 to 120 lb-
mollhr. At time equal 90 minutes, the feed to the LP cohunn is decreased to 80 lb-
mol/hr. Finally at time equal 150 minutes, the feed to the LP column is increased
to 110 lb-mollhr. The system rides through these disturban ces with good tempera-
ture control and gradual changes in product flows. Figure 12.10 gives product and
feed flowrates.
Figure 12.11 shows that temperature in the HP column is well controlled,
with a drop of only about l°F for the 20% step change in feed. Pressure and tem-
perature are returned to their setpoints in about 60 minutes. The LP column is not
affected at all by the change in feed to the HP column (see Figure 12.12).
260 Chapter 12

However, when the feed to the LP column is changed, there is an impact on

the HP column. The decrease in LP feed causes the temperature to rise, which cuts
back on the flow through the cool side of the condenser/reboiler. This causes an
increase in pressure in the HP column, which the pressure controller handles by
changing the heat duty in the auxiliary condenser. The pressure scale in Figure
12.11 is 45 to 55 psia, so the pressure variation is small.
The temperature controllers in the LP column change the flowrate and the
auxiliary reboiler heat input. The controller outputs are shown in Figure 12.12 as
percent of scale.

Figure 12.9 - Flowsheet with Controller Faceplates

Heat-Integrated Distillation 261

Figure 12.10 - Flow Responses to Feed Flow Disturbances

Figure 12.11 - HP Column Response

262 Chapter 12

Figure 12.12 - LP Column Responses



12.5 AspenDynamics Simulation

12.5.1 Steady State

The AspenPlus flowsheet, ShOWl1 in Figure 12.13, is similar to that used in

HYSYS with two exceptions:

1. A dnun is not needed to model the base of the LP cohunn since a

liquid holdup is built into the Aspen model.
2. A small inert flow (0.1 lb-mol/hr ofN2) is added the HP column re-
flux dnun so that the pressure in the dnun can vary and be con-
trolled. If a tank were used, the pressure in the model would be
constant (as discussed in Chapter 4).
Heat-Integrated Distillation 263

The specification on the auxiliary reboiler (Raux) is to produce saturated

vapor at its outlet. Since the vapor entering is slightly superheated, the nominal
steady-state duty is -O.134x106 Btu/hr (heat removed). This is not what would be
done in the real plant, but it simplifies the simulation. In the split-range setup dis-
cussed below, the heat duty wiIl be specified to be variable between -O.47x106 to
+O.2x106 Btu/hr so that heat can be added ifnecessary.

Figure 12.13 - Steady-State Flowsheet in AspenPlus

Heat-Integrated Columns


~ cmmEB f!J


, u

6 V5

2ü 81

L -_ _----j 10l------1><1<é----- 1 9 1 - - - - -

There are no explicit recycle blocles because AspenPlus does not require
their use. The selection of "tear stream" is supposed to be automatic. In theory,
you simply make aH the connections, specify aH the necessary parameter values
and runo However, if convergence does not occur (which usuaHy happens), you are
lefi in tlle darle as to what the problem is. Therefore, 1 find it much more effective
to break the connections in the recycle streams and manuaHy set them. Afier aIl
the problems with the individual units have been straightened out and the discon-
nected flowsheet has converged, the recycle streams are connected. Remember to
explicitly specify them as Tear Streams.
264 Clhapter 12

12.5.2 Control Structure

After the equipment sizes are provided, the file is exported into AspenDy-
namics. Figure 12.14 shows the initial window that opens with the default control-
lers. Note that there is a pressure controller on the HP cohunn and on the HP re-
flux dnl1Il. The latter is initialized with its OP connected to valve VIO. The col-
urnn pressure controller is removed, and the output signal of the dnnn pressure
controller is connected to the heat duty ofthe auxiliary condenser.

Figure 12.14 -Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers

Heat-Integrated Columns


~ ¡ - - I - - - - I [ i l l f - - - - - - - - U:C"-'_~""".J.-

'-----110 1-----IXl<ó------I19I------.J

The level controllers are cOilllected, and the temperature controllers are in-
stalled with one 0.5 minute lag and a 0.5 minute deadtime in the loops. ll1e man-
ual relay-feedback test seems to work better with both of these elements, com-
pared to using two lags.
The split-ranged valve setup in AspenDynarnics uses the Split control
model. The AH Variables view of Split is shown in Figure 12.15. This device gets
its input from the temperature controller TC2, which is set up so that the normal
controller output signal is 50%. This OP signal from TC2, which is reverse acting,
is specified as the input to the Split block. This block has two outputs, which are
sent to two places. The first goes to the setpoint of a remote-set flow controller
(FC22). The second goes to change the heat duty of the auxiliary reboiler. The
steady-state values ofthe two outputs are 137.llb-moI/hr and -O.134xI06 BtuJhr
when the TC2 temperature controller output signal is at the steady-state 50% level.
Heat-Integrated Distillation 265

Figure 12.15 - Split-Range Valves

A. Output 1: The range of the first output is specified to be from O to 274.2 lb-
mol/hr as the controller output signal changes fi'om Oto 100%.

B. Output 2: The range ofthe second output is specified to be fi:om -O.47x106 to

+0.2x106 Btu/hr as the controller output changes from Oto 100%.

Figure 12.16 illustrates the relationships between the input signal to the Split
block (TC2 controller output signal) and the two output signals from the Split
block. Relay-feedback tests are run on TC1 and TC2, giving the results shown in
Table 12.2 for the TL settings.
Figures 12.17 and 12.18 give the flowsheet with all controllers installed and
all faceplates shown.

Table 12.2 - Controller Tuning

HPCo1umn LPCo1umn
Temperature Transmitter Span (OF) 350-350 150-250

OP1 max 6.527x10 6 Btu/hr 2741b-mol/hr

OP2max 0.2x10 6 Btulhr
OP2min -0.47x10 6 BtuIbr
Kc 1.8 2.0
TI (min) 8.6 12
266 Chapter 12

Figure 12.16 - Split-Range Valve Ranges

274 0.2
= FC22
¡¡~il)J 137
(lb-molJhr) -0.134

···········-OA7··· IL.......J~.....J;=--J.="'
o 50 100 O 50 101!
TC2 OP Signal
TC2 OP Signa!

Figure 12.17 - Flowsheet with Al! Controllers insíalled

1 i 25

--~~~-, -®--::----

: lagl DT1 TCl :

Figure 12.18 - Controller Faceplates

Heat-Integrated Distillation 267

12.5.3 Results

Figures 12.19 through 12.21 give results when step disturbances in the two
feed flowrates are made. At time equal 0.5 hours, feed flow F 1 to the HP colurnn is
increased from 100 to 120 lb-mollhr. At time equal2 hours, feed flow F 2 to the LP
colurnn is decreased from 100 to 80 lb-mollhr. Finally at time equal 4 hours, LP
feed is increased to 110 lb-mollhr.
The temperature control in the two colurnns predicted by AspenDynamics is
not as tight as that predicted by HYSYS. Deviations of about 5°F are seen in Fig-
ures 12.20 and 12.21, while Figures 12.10 and 12.11 show deviations ofless that 1
°F. This is because the controller gains used in HYSYS are larger than those used
in AspenDynamics. The comparison is not exactly a fair one because two 0.5 min-
ute lags are used in HYSYS, while one 0.5 minute lag and one 0.5 minute dead-
time are used in AspenDynamics because the relay-feedback tests seem to work
better with these combinations.

Fig 12.19 - Flow Responses to Disturbances

l . .: · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ;· · · · · · . . . .

,,, ,,
Fl ,,, ,,

§ f - - - - ' - - - - - - - - i ......................... . F2
li1 ......•••••••..........••••••••..........•••••••..........••••••••.........•••••••........••••••••......•.•••••••.........• ;

¡nrrf~ ....... Bl .............. , ¡.........................................,

12 .••••.........; ••.........•••••••....•......•••••••.........•••••••••........•••••••........••••••..........•••••••......•

Time Hours
268 Chapter 12

Figure 12.20 - HP Column Responses


@::::::::::':::::.:':::::::.::':::': .. :::::~::::.':.":.: ...::::::::::::::::::...::.. E. .: : :.: . .: :. . :. .: .:.:. . .:J


~ ~


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Ql .:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::J

~ ~

:2 r;:¡

1;1 1~Ig 1~I ...............

: : : : : :.: . .
~ ~

"'._-------- -

~ ~ o_L----------------+----------------+---------------~

Figure 12.21 - LP Column Responses

o __________________ . ______________________ • ___________________ I:l:~ _____ . ____________ ."------------_------------ _______________ . .,
!!l ~
: ' :
~ ......................................... . ------------------- --------------- -----~ ------------ ------------- ------- ----------:
; ¡

ª- T2
___ o_o_o. ----------------------------------------1------------------------------------------:

I QRaux
- -
¡: ¡¡l
Heat-Integrated Distillaíion 269

Both simulators, however, show the interaction between fue two colurnns
for changes in the feed to the LP colurnn. The pressure in fue HP colurnn is af-
fected when the circulation flow (FR) through the condenser/reboiler responses to
changes in the temperature controller TC2 in the LP colurnn. However, changes in
fue feed flow to fue HP colurnn have very little effect on the LP colurnn because
the auxiliary condenser control s HP colurnn pressure quite well.

12.6 Conclusion
We have shown how two clistillation colurnns that are coupled by energy
flows can be successfully simulated in both commercial simulators. Results are
similar, but not identical. Setting up auxiliary heat exchangers and fue use of split-
ranged valves are important parts ofthe simulation.
In the next chapter we studya multi-unit process consisting of a reaction
section and a separation section with gas recyc1e. In Chapter 14 we willlook at a
similar process except the separation involves a clistillation column and the recyc1e
is a liquid, which means a vaporizer must be used.
ha ter 13
Tubular Reactor with as
Recycle Process

13.1 Introduction
In the last two chapters, we considered systems with two distillation col-
umns that were interconnected by either material recyc1e streams or energy. The
coupling of the units requires that the dynamics and control of the entire process
must be explored.
We continue our multi-unit examples in this chapter with a process that con-
tains a reactor, two heat exchangers, a compressor and a separator drum. The reac-
tor operates at high temperature and pressure with gas-phase reactions. Energy
recovery is important, so preheating of the feed by the hot reactor effluent is in-
corporated in the designo This feedback of energy malees control more difficult.
Since per-pass conversion is only moderate and an excess of one ofthe reactants is
required, there is a large gas recycle stream.

13.2 Process Studied

The numerical example of a gas recycle system used in this chapter is based
on the hydrodeaIkylation process (HDA), which has been studied in depth by
Douglas ("Conceptual Design of Chernical Processes", McGraw-Hill, 1988).
Sorne of the parameter values are slightly different than those used by Douglas.
The entire process is considered in Chapter 15. In this chapter we on1y consider
the reaction section.

13.2.1 Flowsheet

Figure 13.1 shows the HYSYS flowsheet ofthe process. The chernistry con-
sists oftwo reactions:
Toluene + 2 Hydrogen ~ Benzene + Methane
2 Benzene <=> Diphenyl

272 Chapter 13

The first reaction is exothermic (-18,000 Btu/lb-mole), and the second is slightly
endothermic (3500 Btu/lb-mole).

Figure 13.1 - HDA Reactor Section with Gas Recycle


toltot Y2

V3 v30ut

Two fresh feeds streams are introduced into the process: a gaseous fresh hy-
drogen feed (484 lb-mollhr, 98 mol% Hz and 2 mol% methane) and a liquid tolu-
ene feed (370 lb-mollhr). These are combined with a large gas recycle stream,
which is a mixture ofhydrogen and methane. The mixed stream is heated in feed-
effluent heat exchanger (FEHE), using the hot reactor effluent. A fired furnace
follows the heat exchanger to raise the temperature of the reactor inlet to 1150°F.
The pressure at the reactor inlet is about 521 psia.
The reactor is an adiabatic tubular reactor with no catalyst. The vessel is
9.53 ft in diameter and 57 ft in length. There are 376 lb-mol/hr of toluene and
2132 lb-mollhr of hydrogen in the reactor feed. The large excess of hydrogen is
needed to prevent coking in the reactor at these high temperatures. The reactor
effluent contains 106 lb-mol/hr of toluene, so the per-pass conversion is 72%.
There are 4.8 lb-mollhr of diphenyl produced. The exothermic first reaction causes
an adiabatic temperature rise through the reactor of 72°F (1222°F exit tempera-
The hot reactor effluent is quenched to 1130°F by adding a cold liquid
stream (135 lb-mollhr) to prevent coking. This hot stream enters a large heat ex-
changer (30,000 W) in which it is cooled to 252°F. The overall heat-transfer coef-
ficient is low (20 Btu/hr-W-OF) because of the gas/gas system. Then a water-
cooled heat exchanger is used to cool the stream to 113°F. Sorne of the stream
condenses to form a mixture of mostly benzene, toluene and diphenyl.
Gas Recyc~e 273

The gas and liquid phases are separated in a separator dnun. A portion ofthe
gas fi'om the dnun is purged (476lb-mol/hr) to remove the methane that is formed
in the reaction. The composition ofthis purge is about 60 mol% methane and 40
mol% hydrogen. The rest ofthe gas (3990 lb-mollhr) is compressed and recycled
back to the front end ofthe process. The liquid product streanl (377lb-mollhr) is a
mixture ofmostly benzene, toluene and diphenyl. In Chapter 15 this stream will be
sent to a separation section consisting ofthree distillation columns.

13.2.2 Reacnon Kinencs

Kinetic expressions for the two reactions are given in Luyben et al. ("Plant-
wide Process Control", McGraw-Hill, 1999, page 295). However, when these
were used the conversion of toluene predicted by HYSYS was essentially 100%.
An empirical approach was taken. TIle pre-exponential factors in the two reactions
were varied until the molar flowrates oftoluene and diphenylleaving the reactor
were close to those used by Douglas. The equations used in the HYSYS sinmla-
tion are:

Rj = PTP~5 (3.686xl 0 6
) exp( - 9~~00)
Ro = pi (9XI0 4
)exp (-90,800) - PDPH (2.553xl0 5 ) exp (- 90,800)

where reaction rates have units oflb-mol/min-ft3 , pressures are in psia, activation
energy is in Btu/lb-mole and temperature is in Rankin.

13.3 IIYSYS Simulation

13.3.1 Steady State

Figure 13.1 gives the flowsheet showing that there are three recycle blocks.
The steady state is converged by fixing the fresh feed streams and guessing the
flowrate and composition ofthe gas recycle stream. Then the flow and composi-
tion of the mixed stream after the quench must be guessed (its temperature is
specified at 1150°F). Now the heat exchanger equations can be sol ved, as can the
fumace since its exit temperature is specified to be 1150°F. Then the reactor equa-
tions can be solved.
Now guesses ofthe quench flowrate and composition are made and recycle
block RCY -1 can be activated and converged. Then the rest of the units can be
solved, and RCY-3 can be activated. Finally the purge flowrate is specified to be
274 Ghapter 13

4761b-mollhr, and RCY-2 can be activated. Figure 13.2 gives the workbook with
aH streams in the flowsheet.

Figure 13.2 - Workbook with Stream Information

13.3.2 Equipment Sizing

The reactor volume (4000 ft3) provides the largest capacitance in the proc-
ess. Other volumes inc1ude:

1. FEHE: 500 ft3 in sheH, 500 ft3 in tubes

2. Condenser: 150 ft3
3. Separator: 80 ft3

Control val ves on the fresh feed streams, the purge and the liquid product
are sized at 50% open and 50 psi pressure drops. The compres sor is run with con-
stant work.

13.3.3 Control Structure

Figure 13.3 gives the control structure used in this gas recycle system and
shows aH the controHer faceplates. The following loops are installed:

1. Fresh hydrogen feed is brought in to hold pressure in the system

(PCR controls separator drum pressure by manipulating valve VI).
Gas Recycie 275

Pressure transmitter range is 400 to 600 psia. Tmling constants are

Kc = 2 and 1:] = 10 minutes.
2. Fresh toluene is flow controlled.
3. Purge flow is manipulated to control methane composition in the
recycle gas. Composition transmitter range is 40 to 70% methane.
A P-only controller is used with Kc = 2 because tight control ofthe
methane impurity is not critical.
4. Reactor inlet temperature is controlled by manipulating energy in-
put in the fumace. Temperature transmitter span is 1100 to 1200
°F. Maximum heat duty in the fumace is 30x106 BtuIbr (steady-
state value is 5.06x106 BtuIbr). Two 0.5 minute lags are installed in
this loop. Relay-feedback testing gives TL settings ofKc = 0.9 and
'tI = 2.5 minutes. However, the gain is reduced to 0.5 to give less
aggresslVe response.
5. Separator drum 1eve1 is controlled by valve V3 using a P-only con-
6. Mixture temperature afier the quench is controlled by valve VIL
Two 0.5 minute lags are installed in this loop. Relay-feedback test-
ing gives TL settings ofKc = 4 and 1:] = 1.8 minutes.

The first loop described aboye (system pressure control) is one ofthe most
important. The pressure in this gas-filled system is basically affected by three
things: the :fi:esh feeds into the system, purge flow out and the rate of condensation
in the condenser. The flowrate offresh hydrogen is 484lb-mollhr and the flowrate
ofthe purge is 476 lb-mollhr, so either ofthese streams could be used for pressure
control. However, the purge rate has a direct impact on methane impmity in the
gas recycle, so it is chosen to control composition. This leaves fresh hydrogen feed
to control pressure.
This particular process is somewhat atypical for this type of system in which
a purge stream is used. Usuallya small amount of an inert is in one of the feeds or
is generated in the system, so the purge flowrate is typically much smaller than the
fresh feed. In these situations, the use of purge flow to control pressure is com-
pletely ineffective because it is so small.
Notice that there is no control ofthe gas recycle flowrate. The power to the
compres sor is fixed at the steady-state value, so the gas circulation rate through the
gas loop is essentially constant. This mode of operation (constant speed or con-
stant power set at the maximun1 value) is typical of what is used in many plants
with gas recycle. At the design stage, the optimum values for reactor size and re-
cycle flowrate are detemlined by balancing capital costs of the reactor and com-
pressor with energy cost of compression. Once the investment in equipment has
been made, the operating economics typically indicate that the optimum operating
condition is to run the gas recycle at its maximum. This gives the highest yield of
the desired products, which normally justifies the energy cost of compression.
276 Chapter 13

Figure 13.3 - HYSYS Flowsheet with Coníroller Faceplates

13.3.4 Results

Figures 13.4 and 13.5 show results ofthe dynamic simulation. Two distur-
bances are made. At time equal 10 minutes, a step decrease in the :fi:esh toluene
feed is made from 370 to 300 lb-mollhr. At 60 minutes, the setpoint ofthe reactor
inlet temperature controller is increased :fi:om 1150 to 1155°F.
The decrease in toluene feed causes the reaction rate to slow up since tolu-
ene concentration clrops. This causes the pressure in the system to increase. The
peak in the pressure Ís about 10 psi aboye the setpoint of 485 psia. The pressure
controller cuts back on the :fi:esh hydrogen feed. As expected, the system ends up
making les s liquid product and less purge. Reactor inlet temperature is well con-
trolled with a peak deviation of about 8°F. Quench temperature deviation is only
about 2°F.
The increase in reactor in1et temperature setpoint causes an increase in reac-
tion rate, which clrops pressure and brings in slightly more hydrogen :fi:esh feed.
Gas Recycle 277

Figure 13.4 - Flowraíe Changes

Figure 13.5 - Temperature, Pressure ancl Heat-Duty Changes

278 Chapter 13

13.4 AspenDynamics Simulation

13.4.1 Steady State

The same approach used in the section aboye was used to find the kinetic
parameters that gave the specified molar flowrates of toluene and diphenyl in the
reactor effluent. The resulting equations are:

R 1 -- PT p H0 .5(?-. 4) exp (-SO,976)


Ro = Pi(0.001)exp (-SO,976) - PD PH (0.0071)exp (-SO,976)


where reaction rates have units of k-mol/sec-m3, pressures are in Pascals, activa-
tion energy is in cal/mole and temperature is in Kelvin. These parameter values
gave 7.S lb-mollhr of diphenyl and 8S.3 lb-mollhr oftoluene in the reactor effluent
at a temperature of 1132°F.
The AspenPlus flowsheet is shown in Figure 13.6. It is converged in the
same way as used in the HYSYS simulation by manually breaking the "tear"
streams and converging parts of the process until the convergence of the whole
process is achieved. All equipment sizes are entered in the Dynarnic views, and
control valves are sized.

13.4.2 Dynamics

Figure 13.7 shows the window that opens when the file is exported into As-
penDynamics. Controllers are placed on the separator drum for level and pressure,
but no output connections are made. Figure 13.8 shows the flowsheet with all con-
trollers installed. Figure 13.9 shows the window with all the controller faceplates
The control structure is the same as described aboye with one exception.
The flowrate ofthe total toluene feed is controlled by valve V3, which adjusts the
fresh toluene feed. The other toluene stream TREC is flow controlled. We will use
this setup in a later chapter in which the three-colurnn separation section is added
to this reaction section. Then the TREC stream wiIl come from a distillation col-
The reactor inlet temperature control loop (TCR) has two dynarnic ele-
ments: a O.S minute deadtime and a 0.5 minute first-order lag. Relay-feedback
testing gives an ultimate gain of 0.88 and an ultimate period of 4.2 minutes. The
TL settings are Kc = 0.25 and 'tI = 9 minutes.
Gas Recyde 279

Figure 13.6 - AspenPlus Flowsheet

HDA Reactor Section 575

Figure 13.7 -Initial Flowsheet in AspenDynamics


V3 11

280 Chapter 13

Figure 13.8 - Flowsheet with AII Conírollers



PO' I DT la9
~-------, :[~~v-[;¡J<----:

,----------- 7



Figure 13.9 - Flowsheet and Coníroller Faceplates

Gas Recycle 281

13.4.3 Results

Figures 13.10 and 13.11 give results for disturbances in toluene feed flowrate and
reactor iPJet temperature. At time equal 0.5 hours, total toluene feed flowrate is
decreased from 370 to 300 lb-mollhr. At time equal 3 hours, the setpoint of the
reactor inlet temperature controller is increased from 1150 to 1160°F.
The drop in toluene feed results in reductions in the fresh hydrogen feed
and the purge flowrate. There is a rapid and large increase in reactor inlet tempera-
ture when the toluene feed flowrate is reduced. It takes about 40 minutes to bring
the process back to steady-state conditions. Pressure excursions of about 10 psi
The increase in reactor inlet temperature produces higher reaction rates and
more product is produced and more hydrogen is fed.

Figure 13.10 - Responses of Flows

o -

LD , I I : : : :

o , , ,Purge ::::,
:-----,:------,' --- ----- ----T----r----T--T
o _____ . . ______ _ ____ .. _____ ... ______ ... _____ ... ______ ... ____ .. ______ ..... __ ._ .. ______ 1- _ _ _ _ _ .. _ _ _ _ _ _ ,_

~ : : : --r ---~------r----T----\-

:------~-----r_----~-----t----: -- r----r-----'------:-

j¡l il¡¡::T, . ...

-----L--L -L---- ---
r ¡¡: ;------f-----~------f-----~------:-----+_----:-----+_--_+----j------:-
i i i : i'
R----+----[-----1-----------1------r----1 i i :-----J:,------l:,-----::,------::,-
' ,
uu_j __ m_[_ m:__ m_ mulm-uf-uujm---f-uujuuuf--mjmmf~m~-m-l-mu:-
" I I , , , , , , I I ,

"----T----r----T---- ----T----¡-----! --T----¡----T----¡----T----:-

: : : : : , I I : I
O , " " , , , I , I ,

~ -----~------¡-----~------ -----;-----r---;----- --- --1------:-----1------:-----1------~--- --1------:-
0.25 0.5 0.75 1.25 1.5 1.75 2.25 2.5 2.75 3.25 3.5 3.75
282 Chapter 13

Figure 13.11 - Responses ofTemperature, Pressure ano Energy

13.5 Conclusion
In this chapter we have illustrated a typical process with gas recycle, fresh
feed makeup streams, energy recovery and a simple separation system. In the next
chapter, we consider a process where the separation section is more complex, re-
quiring a distillation column.
The dynamics of gas systems are fairly fast since the residence times are
usually seconds to several minutes. In liquid systems, residence times are minutes
to hours, so the dynarnics are ofien much slower.
hapter 14
Reactor/Column with liquid

14.1 Introduction
Inthe last chapter we simulated a process with a gas-phase tubular reactor
and a large gas recyc1e stream. The product and unreacted components in the reac-
tor effluent were separated by simply cooling the stream and condensing the heavy
products. These were removed in the liquid stream fi:om a simple flash drurn. The
gas phase from the drurn was compressed and recyc1ed. Thus the separation sec-
tion was a one-stage flash. This was feasible because of the large difference be-
tween the light reactant component (hydrogen) and the heavy product (benzene).
In this chapter we look at a process that features a more complex separation
section. The reactant and the product components have similar volatilities, so a
single-stage flash does not provide sufficient separation. Instead of a simple drurn,
we use a distillation colurnn for the separation.
The recyc1e stream in this process is in the liquid phase. This is desirable be-
cause it is much less expensive to pump liquid than to compress gas. However, the
reaction occurs in the gas phase, so the liquid recyc1e stream must be vaporized
before feeding it into the reactor. This vapOlizer presents sorne interesting simula-
tion challenges as we will see below.
The introduction of the fresh feed into the process is also different in this
process. The feed is not apure reactant but is an impure mixture of sorne reactant,
sorne product and an inert component. Instead of feeding this impure fresh feed
into the reactor, it is fed into the distillation colurnn. This provides a reactor feed
stream that is richer in reactant, which reduces reactor size and recyc1e flowrate.
However, it makes the control ofthe process somewhat more complexo

14.2 Process Studied

The numerical example of a liquid recyc1e system used in this chapter is
based on the isomerization of nonnal butane to isobutane. Both of these compo-

284 Cl'lapter 14

nents are present in the cmde oil processed in a petroleum refinery. They also are
produced in other units that crack heavy oils into lighter material.
The isobutane is an important chemical intelmediate component. 1t is used
as a reactant in many petrochemical processes. For example, in the aIkylation
process (see Chapter 16) isobutane and an olefin (e.g., butene) are reacted to form
an important gasoline blending component. So isobutane is a valuable petrochemi-
cal feed stock.
On the other hand, nonnal butane is not worth as mucho Sorne normal bu-
tane can be blended into gasoline, but its octane munber is low and the amount
that can be blended is limited by vapor-pressure (RVP) constraints, particularly in
the summer high-demand periodo
The typical refinery is ofien short on isobutane and long on normal butane.
Therefore sorne refineries operate an isomelization unit to convert normal to iso.

14.2.1 Chemistry

The reaction is carried out in an adiabatic gas-phase tubular reactor operat-

ing at about 400°F and 320 psia. The chemistry is simple:
nC4 ---7iC4
We wiIl use the following hypothetical kinetics that are adjusted to give an
iC4 composition of73 mol% with a reactor feed of30 mol% iC4 • In English Engi-
neering units:

R = C nC4 (lxIO 9) exp (- 30,000)


where the reaction rate has lUlits of lb-mol/hr-fi3 , concentration is in lb-mollfi\

temperahrre is in Rankin and activation energy is in Btu/lb-mole. In metric units:

R = C nC4 (3.369xl0 7) exp (-16,667)


where the reaction rate has units ofkg-mollsec-m3 , concentration is in kg-mol/m3,

temperahrre is in Kelvin and activation energy is in cal/g-mole.

14.2.2 Flowsheet

The per-pass conversion is about 60%, so the urrreacted nC4 must be sepa-
rated fi:om the product iC 4 . The normal boiling points of these two isomers are
fairly close (lO.9°F versus 31.1 °F). The distiIlation colurnn required to malee this
separation (caIled a deisobutanizer, DIB) has a fairly large number of trays (50)
and requires a fairly high reflux ratio (5.6). The operating pressure ofthe colurnn
Uquid Recycle 285

is set at 100 psia so that cooling water can be used in the condenser (reflux-drurn
temperature is 125°F).
The product stream is the distillate from the top of the colurnn. We specify
that the impurity ofnC4 in this stream is 2 mol%. The bottoms from the colurnn is
the recyc1e stream. It is pumped up to a pressure high enough to get it back into
the reactor, which is operating at 320 psia.
This liquid recycle stream must be vaporized and heated to the desired reac-
tor inlet temperature. In theory, this can be done in a single unit. In practice, it is
ofien split up into two operations because of the complex fluid mechanics of two-
phase heat transfer. So the liquid bottoms stream from the distillation colurnn is
fed into a vaporizer (a kettle reboiler) where steam is used to boil the liquid, pro-
ducing saturated vapor. This vapor stream is then superheated in a second heater
(fumace). Figure 14.1 gives the flowsheet.

Figure 14.1 -Isomerization Flowsheet


v60ut rout


'- fumace


vi v50ut

The hot reactor effluent is cooled and fed into the distillation colurnn on
Tray 30 (counting from the bottom). There is a second feed stream introduced on
Tray 20. This is the fresh feed to the unit. It is a mixture ofpropane, isobutane and
normal butane that comes from an upstreanl refinery light ends unit. Feeding the
fresh feed into the colurnn keeps the propane impurity out of the reactor, since it
goes out the top ofthe DIB. The purity ofthe bottoms recyc1e stream is an impor-
tant design optimization variable. The higher the concentration ofnC4 , the smaller
the reactor and the recyc1e, but the more energy is required in the colurnn. A fairly
impure bottoms is used in the example (70 mol% nC4).
286 Chapter 14

Control valves are sized using reasonable pressure drops, and the pump is
sized to provide the pressure need to get the recycle stream into the reaction sec-
tion operating at the higher pressure.

14.2.3 Equipment Sizing

The usual design methods are used to size the equipment. Tab1e 14.1 sum-
marizes the major components.

Table 14.1 - Equipment Sizes

Reactor Diameter (ft) 7

Length (ft) 18
Volume (ft 3) 672
Column Diameter (ft) 8.3
RefluxDrum Volume (ft3) 1200
ColumnBase Volume (ft 3) 1400
Vaporizer Volume (ft3) 1000
Fumace Volume (ft3) 50
Condenser Volume (ft3) 50

14.3 HYSY Simulation

Figure 14.1 shows the HYSYS flowsheet of the process with aH pumps and
va1ves instaHed. Figure 14.2 gives the workbook with aH stream conditions. When
the switch from steady state to dynarnic mode was made, the dynarnic assistant
(Figure 14.3) suggested that tray design needed sorne attention. If permission is
given to make these changes, the co1umn diameter is increased drastically from the
va1ue of 8.3 ft to over 20 ft. This appears to be a bug in the programo The simula-
tion was ron successful1y by simp1y not permitting this change to be made.
The most difficult part of this simulation is the vaporizer. This unit is fed a
liquid and produces a vapor. Both pressure and leve1 are important, and the heat
that is added affects both. So there is an interaction prob1em. There are a1so startup
prob1ems. Sudden unrea1istic jumps in pressure and/or 1eve1 sometimes occur
when switching from steady state to dynarnics, or when starting the integrator.
liquid Recycle 287

Figure 14.2 - Workbook with Stream Informaíion

Neme ff vlout [ d liJ dibfeed

0.0000 I
apour Frectioo
emperature [f]
124.6 144.5 I
120.0 -
ressure [¡isia] '
200.0 102.3 100.0 103.B " 10l.,3

Molar Flow Dbmólelhr] 526.01 ,526.0 525.9 870.u 869.9

Mass Flów DbJhr] 3.043e+004 , 3.0439+004 3.042e+004 5.0579+)JJl.1... .....__ í056e+004[. '
Eeat Flow [B\u/hr]..--;....·..·:
: Comp Mole Frac (Propane)
Com'pMole Frlie (i-Bulana)
0.2500 1
-3 . 387e+007
0.0200 [
-5.57ge+007 I
0.7297 ..
Comp Mole Frec n-Butene 0.7300 0.7300 0.0200 0.6995 0.2703 i
:~ Vepo~r Fr-ac:tidn - v3aut
0.0000 :
I v4aut
.' 0.2012 1,0000
w \/11
0.0000 I
. 0.0000 I L,
emperalure [F]
- 77.70 247.3 247.3 I 147.81 1,
Pressure [psia] 340.4 50:00 340.4 340.41 408.0
Molar Flow [Ibmole/hr] 870.01 525.9 869:9 I 0.1226 "870.0 I '
Mass F10w Dblhr] 5.057e+004 J. 3.042e+004 5.056e,,004 " 7.127 5,057e+004 1 [
"~w(8tu7hrL_. '5.383e+007 '3.387e+007 '4:5Ss;+O)JL.I---:¡072 -6.383e+007 _
Comp Mole Frac (Propane) 0.0000 '1 0,0000 0,0000
.. 0.2712 -~
omp Mole Frac (i·Butane)
Cemp Mole Frac n-Butane - 0.3005 i
0.6995 I
. 0:0200
0.69951 0.7288
Neme' v50u .v6ou! lout ~trt. cout
0.2165 ... 1.000 000 .0000 1.0000
remperalúre fFl '
218.4 414.7 390.0 429, 120
• ,Pressure [psia] 250.0 '.3 . 335. 320. 02.

0:1226 869.9 859.9 869.9 869.9
',12: 5.0569+004 5.0569+004· 5.056e+004 5.056e+004
'7072 -4. 14,,+007 . ,.4.1140+007 . '4..1 149+007 §57ge+007
CompMols e) . 0.0000 ).0000 .. 0.- '000 0.0000 ).0000
Comp ~1010 Frac O-Sutano) 0.2712 0.7297 0:3005 ·0.7297 1.7297
Como Mele Frac n-Buteno) 0.7288 0.2703 0.6995 '.0.210}. 0.2703 l.
-' -- _. __... _ - - - - -
. ..._ " " - - - - - - - ...."" ,~. __...._-"----'---- . - _ . _ - - - - - - - - -- ----,..- - - - - - . ... ------

Figure 14.3 - Dynamic Assistant Request to Make Changes

288 Clhapter 14

All.of these problems make this simulation more challenging than the gas
recyc1e process. A lUlit-by-unit approach was taken to get the system switched to
dynamics. The column was simulated first with fixed feed streams and run in dy-
namics. Then the vaporizer was added. Ifthere were a liquid stream from the ves-
sel, it could control leve!. However, there is no liquid product (the flowsheet
shows a liquid line and a val ve, but this is set to give a very small flow of 0.1 lb-
mollhr). After trying many altematives, the scheme that seemed to work best is to
controllevel with a valve in the vapor line and control pressure with heat input.
When the furnace was added, the control valve was moved to the furnace
outlet, and this three-unit process was run in dynamics. Then the reactor was
added, and the control valve was moved to the reactor outlet. Next the condenser
was added. Finally, the recyc1e stream to the column was connected, and the
whole process was run in dynamics. This modular approach was needed because
ofthe sensitivity ofthe vaporizer pressure and levelloops.

14.3.1 Control Structure

The development of an effective control structure involves testing of several

altematives. The final scheme, shown in Figure 14.4, has sorne lUlconventional
features, particularly for the column. The controlloops are described below:

1. The bottoms stream from the column is flow controlled. This pro-
vides a steady flow to the vaporizer/reaction section of the process.
However, this appears to violate the First Law ofDistillation Con-
trol (you can't fix the flow of either product and also control a
composition or temperature). However, a more precise statement of
this law is that you can't fix the product-to-feed ratio. Note that the
feed rate to the DIB is not fixed in this control structure since the
fresh feed flowrate is changed.
2. Fresh feed is manipulated to control bottoms leve!. The base ofthe
column is mostly nC4 , and base level tells us if we are converting
or not converting all the nC4 being fed.
3. Reflux is flow controlled.
4. Distillate flow is manipulated to control distillate purity (mol%
nC4). Note that a tray temperature is not used in this system be-
cause temperatures don't change much from tray to tray since the
components have similar boiling points. Direct composition control
is used.
5. Reflux drum level is controlled by reboiler heat input. This is not a
conventional structure and would not be used for a colUlTh""1 in isola-
tion. However, the column is part of a multi-lUlit plant. Its control
structure must fit into tlle plantwide control scheme. The dynamics
Liquid Recycle 289

of this loop are fine because vapor rate changes are felt quickly
throughout the column.
6. Vaporizer pressure is controlled by heat input.
7. Vaporizer level is controlled by the valve V6located after the reac-
8. Reactor inlet temperature is controlled by manipulating heat input
to the fumace.
9. Condenser exit temperature is controlled by manipulating heat re-
moval from the condenser.

The last loop is not the setup that would be used in a real planto Controlling
the temperature of a condensing stream usually does not work because the sub-
cooling amounts to only a small fraction ofthe total heat removal. In a real plant,
the condensate from the condenser would go to a drum whose pressure is con-
trolled by the heat removal in the condenser. Then another valve would control the
level in the drum. We simplify the simulation by not including all this detail. A P-
onIy controller is used since tight temperature control is not important.
The main loop that requires controller tuning is the distillate composition
loop. Because of the many trays and the low relative volatility, compositions in
this column change very slowly. Two 2-minute lags are used in this composition
measurement loop. A composition transmitter range of Oto 4 mol% nC4 is used.
Relay-feedback tests give TL setting Kc = 0.34 and 1:1 = 84 minutes. This is a very
The controller tuning constants, action, transrnitter ranges and valve ranges
are given in Table 14.2 for the other loops.

14.3.2 Results

Figure 14.5 gives results for a step change in the setpoint of the bottoms
flow controller (the recycle flowrate) from 870 to 800 lb-mollhr. The nC4 impurity
in the distillate (xD) slowly drops, and distillate flowrate is increased by the com-
position controller. It takes over four hours for distillate composition to return
close to its setpoint.
Fresh feed initially decreases because the decrease in bottoms flow raises
base level. However, eventually the fresh feed increases to match the distillate
flow rateo These two streams must be identical at steady state. The increase in
fresh feed is from 526 to about 557 lb-mollhr.
290 Chapter 14

Figure 14.4 - Flowsheet with Control Facepiates

You might find it cOlmter-intuitive that a decrease in recyc1e results in an

increase in production rateo This interesting effect occurs in adiabatic irreversible
reactors with constant inlet temperature. It results because the lower flowrate
through the adiabatic reactor means a higher exit temperature. The higher the tem-
perature, the larger the reaction rateo Note in Figure 14.5 the increase in the reactor
exit temperature Tout from its initial value of 429°F up to 435°F. So production
increases \\hen recyc1e flowrate decreases for irreversible reactions. For reversible
reactions, the effect is just the opposite.
Figure 14.6 shows the dynarnic response ofthe system when the setpoint of
the reactor inlet temperature controller is increased from 390 to 400°F. The higher
reaction rates produce an increase in the reactor exit temperature from 429 to 445
°F. The reactor gain (the ratio of the change in exit temperature to the change in
the inlet temperature) is 16110 = 1.6. The higher reactor temperatures produce
more product, so both fresh feed and column distillate rates slowly Íl"'1crease to
about 602 Ib-molJhr. Distillate composition control is very slow.
The TL settings are quite conservative. To see the effect ofmore aggressive
tuning, the Ziegler-Nichols settings (Kc increased from 0.34 to 0.5 and 1:1 de-
creased from 84 to 32 minutes) aretested in Figure 14.7. The disturbance is the
increase in reactor inlet temperature. It still takes about two hours to return the
distillate composition to its setpoint. There is also some overshoot due to the more
aggressive tuning. The use of some derivative action in this loop should improve
liquid Recycle 291

performance provided the composition measurement has a high signal-to-noise


Figure 14.5 - Response to Decrease in Recycle Flow



292 Chapter 14

Table 14.2 - Control Loops

Controlled Variable Manipulated Variable (Valve) Ko ~¡ Aetion Transmitter Valve

Range Maximum
LCI Base Level Fresh Feed (V 1) 2 Reverse 0-100% 100%
LC2 Reflux-Drum Level Reboiler Duty 5 Reverse 0-100% 47x10'
LC3 Vaporizer Level Flow from Reactor (V6) I Direet 0-100% 100%
FCI Bottoms Flow (V3) 0.5 0.3 Reverse 0-1740 100%
FC2 RefluxFlow Not shown in simulation
PCI Column Pressure Condenser Duty 2 lO Direet 50-150 psia 100x10'
PC2 Vaporizer Vaporizer Duty 3 Reverse 200-500 15.4xI0'
Pressure Btu/hr
TCI Reactor lnlet Fumaee Duty 1.2 2 Reverse 300-500 9.5xI0'
Temperature Btu/hr
TC2 Condenser Condenser Duty 2 Direet 100-200 29xlO'
Outlet Btu/hr
Uquid Recycle 293

Figure 14.6 - Response to Increase in Reactor Inlet Temperature

294 Chapter 14

Figure 14.7 - Response Using ZN for Increase in Reactor Inlet Temperature



liquid Recycle 295

14.4 AspenDynamics Simulation

Figure 14.8 gives the AspenPlus flowsheet. AH equipment is sized, and the
file is exported into AspenDynamics. When the program is fUll, a number of error
messages occur and the conversion jumps to 100% in the reactor. There is a bug in
the current version of AspenDynamics that causes this to occur. It can be corrected
by going bac1e to AspenPlus and following these steps:

l. Go to the reactor block and click Setup.

2. Click the Configuration page tab.
3. Select "Multitube".
4. Delete the default value of344 (make the window blank).
5. Deselect "Multitube".
6. Run AspenPlus and export to AspenDynamics.

Newer versions ofthe simulator should not have this bug.

Figure 14.8 - AspenPlus Flowsheet

.------1 D!8FEED I-----M:~


14.4.1 Control Structure

Figure 14.9 shows the initial window that opens. Colurnn pressure and re-
flux-drum levelloops are closed, as are a reactor pressure loop and a vaporizer
levelloop. The colurnn pressure loop is the only one configured as we want, so the
controller connections are changed and additional controllers are added to give the
desired control structure shown in Figure 14.10.
The same controller tuning constants, transmitter spans, valve sizes and
composition lags used in the HYSYS simulation are used in the AspenDynamics
simulation. The Ziegler-Nichols settings are used in the composition controller.
296 Chapter 14

Figure 14.9 - Initial Flowsheet in AspenDynamics


Figure 14.10- Flowsheet with Al! Controllers Installed

v ADUT :
~ :
lag1 lag2 ce
lC2 ~·>!tJ·-,-·>!tJ·--·?()··1
.-?(). :---------"'-''-'__'-l" o :

, FOl

1°.-..1 ,..........
:.. ..... j
I : : :
_ V3 ¡' 2 __


14.4.2 Results

Figures 14.11 and 14.12 give results for two disturbances: a decrease in re-
cyc1e flowrate and an increase in reactor inlet temperature. In Figure 14.11 the
setpoint of the column bottoms flow controller is decreased from 870 to 800 lb-
mollhr at time equal 0.5 hours. There is an initial decrease in the flowrate of fresh
feed F because base level increases when bottoms flow Bis decreased. However,
the lower flowrate through the reactor results in a higher exit temperature, which
Uquid Recycle 297

produces more iC4 in the reactor effluent. The richer column feed produces a de-
crease in the nC4 impurity in the distillate, so the composition controller increases
the distillate flowrate D. This eventually drops base level, and the level controller
brings in more fresh feed. At steady state, which takes about 3 hours to attain, the
flowrates of F and D must be identical, which they are in Figure 14.11 A. The in-
crease in fresh feed is from 526 to about 560 Ib-m01/lu·. Notice that this increase is
about the same as that predicted by the HYSYS simulation. The increase in reactor
exit temperature is also about the same (T out increases from 429 to 442°F) in the
two simulators. .
In Figure 14.12, the setpoint ofthe reactor inlet temperature controller is in-
creased from 390 to 400°F. Fresh feed increases from 526 to 6151b-mollhr, which
is slightly larger than the 602 lb-mollhr predicted in the HYSYS simulation.

Figure 14.11 A - Decrease in Recycle Flow

298 Chapter 14

Figure 14.11 B - Decrease in Recycle Flow

----' ---l· -------_. --.~ .--------_. -j------------~ .. -_. ----

8 .--------.-'" ~::!.:::::: :::: :::-_.. _-- :::: :::::::::::::~::.

§ """""" -+-----:----,-!---i,-__l __-!__ -~--j
¡:: ------------j------ --"'i- ____ B. .. J _________ ...!. .. -------..~--.---- ---.¡---- -------~.--.---- : ....... ____ .1. ______ ._._ :
~ --------.... L_____ .. '._,_ -------.,.. _______ ---~ .... _______ ,__ .... _____ ,__ _

11]¡ . . . . . ., ,• .•. • . • ~• . .• •. ;......;... . .. . .. •. .• •.• •.•. ..'.• .•....' • • • • . .•

Él --------j--.. --------~ ••••
_________ -.-.----~ h ________ -- ....... ------

:"" """~::¡""::::l'::::::: m""""m'l,m""m"",m"",""""::::::::"", ""m""

Figure 14.12 A -Increase in Reactor inlet Temperature

_.- ---~- _.- ______ .~ ___ B ---------t-... ---.1..----.) ... ---.. 1--- ------------_ .. ; .. ---
_______ ,_____ ...., ._____ ..... _____ ..... _____ L_______ 1. ....... -l ........ l. ........l ................~ ..............
o ••• ~ •••••••••••••• o •••••••••••••••••••• ~. .. t........ 1,......... ~ ........ j, .0 • • • • • • ~ ••••••••••••••

"'--"1 ........ ....•• o.l .•......:......•.• ; ••..... L ....... L....... J. ........L....... i •••• '••••••••• ~ • o'" ••. ' ••••

..L.......L........L......,.... ····~ .. o •••••••

!01" , ,""""""--"""""""""'"", """","",'"""""",""

tl : ""':::'."".. " " : """"::::'+ ,""'"""" """
l,¡7t2tf .
'cI±:1::::::::C:::::':::: .
'., . . :.m:m.m.....'
~j' ," ""::, ,:" " " : '"",: """",L""""""!"""""")""""""""!""
""""',i;""m"";'::::::::'~::::::::lmm:,::::, """""""""""""".
"""" """""""

Uquid Recycle 299

Figure 14.12 B -Increase in Reactor Inlet Temperature

14.5 Conclusion
The liquid recyc1e process considered in this chapter presents more simula-
tion challenges because ofthe vaporizer and distillation column. The control struc-
ture used for the process has sorne unusualloops in the distillation column because
of plantwide considerations.
In the next several chapters of this book, four complex flowsheets will be
studied that contain many plantwide control structures. These processes are com-
prised of many unit operations with recyc1e streams and heat integration. They
provide realistic examples of a typical chemical process.
a I
plex lantwi e
r cesses
In this last part of the book, we illustrate fue dynamic simulation of two
complex multi-unit processes. These plants feature multiple recyc1e streams, heat
integration, complex separation sections and different types of reaction sections.
AH the tools and mefuods learned in fue previous chapters are used with fuese
In Chapter 15 we extend the HDA gas-phase adiabatic tubular reactor proc-
ess with a gas recyc1e studied in Chapter 13 to include a three-column distillation
separation system. The separation section is linked to the reaction section by a
liquid recyc1e stream of toluene. The three columns use fue direct separation se-
quence, removing light components from fue top of fue first column, benzene
product from fue top of the second and diphenyl byproduct from the bottom of fue
third. The distillate product from the top of the third column is a toluene liquid
recyc1e stream back to the reaction section.
Chapter 16 discusses fue alkylation process, which is widely used in fue pe-
troleum industry. The reaction section consists of multiple CSTRs wifu fue fresh
feed stream split among the reactors. The separation section contains three distilla-
tion columns. One has multiple feed streanlS. A large excess of one of the reac-
tants requires a large liquid recyc1e streanl.
In Chapter 17 we consider a flowsheet wifu two reactors, two columns and
two liquid recycle streams. The process chemistry is fue reaction of efuylene and
benzene to produce ethyl benzene.
Our final case-study is given in Chapter 18. The methyl al11ines process fea-
tures four recycle streams and three product stream produced in four distillation
colwnns, one of which is an extractive distillation column. An "on-demand" con-
trol structure is developed and tested.

302 PartlV

These multi-unit, interconnected processes provide realistically complex

examples of typical industrial processes. They should be useful as test cases for
the application ofnew control strategies.
hapter 15
Hydrodealkylation Process

15.1 Introduction
The steady-state design of this process has been extensively explored by
Douglas in a number of papers and in bis textbook "Conceptual Design of Cherni-
cal Processes" (McGraw-Hill, 1988). The chernistry and the reaction section are
presented in Chapter 13. As you recall, the reactor is operated adiabaticaUy at bigh
temperature and pressure. The reaction occurs in the gas phase. A large excess of
hydrogen is used to suppress cracki.ng. The hot reactor effluent is used to preheat
the cold feed. A large gas recyc1e stream from the separator dnul.1 is compressed
and fed back to the reactor inlet.
In this chapter we add the separation section. Figure 15.1 shows the flow-
sheet. The liquid from the separator drum is a mixture ofmostly benzene, toluene
and diphenyl with a small amount of dissolved hydrogen and methane. This
stream must be separated into product, byproduct and toluene recyc1e streams. A
three-column distillation sequence is used since the volatilities ofthe various com-
ponents are quite different.

15.2 Separation Section

The liquid phase from the separator drum goes to a pump and is split be-
tween the quench stream and the feed stream to the first column Cl. This stream is
0.45 mol% Hz, 4.33 mol% C~, 72.06 mol% benzene, 21.33 mol% toluene and
1.83 mol% diphenyl with a flowrate of 378 lb-mollhr. The "direct" separation
sequence ("light-out-first") is used.

Figure 15.1 - HYSYS Flowsheet


i .r--~_~
RCY-2 purge V~
V4 v40ut
11111 tot
Rgas RCY-I


i'-H>~ ['i~:

/\I ~ FuI'

Rout qLlel1cl1

FFtol v20ut FEHEl ~-' RCY-3


MIX-l02 Vl'l


V8 v80ut
qr3 :l"

1 ~I ~
qr2 (j)
bi b3-1><1----:; ....
V7 C2 ~--.JP2
. V9
Vl0 vlOout
HDA Process 305

15.2.1 Stabilizer Column (el)

The first column has 6 trays, is fed on Tray 3, operates at 150 psia and fea-
tures a pmiial condenser. The distillate vapor product is 18.9 lb-mollhr at 120°F
with a design specification of 4.2 mol% benzene. The bortoms product specifica-
tion is 1 ppm of methane. Figure 15.2 shows the Monitor view of the Design page
tab with these xd1 and xb1 specifications activated.
The co1umn is 1 ft in dianleter, and the reflux ratio is 1.57. Reflux drum
holdup is 7.5 ft3; base holdup is 250 fi3. Reboiler heat input is 4.4x10 6 Btu/hr. The
bortoms is fed into the second column.

15.2.2 Product Column (C2)

The second COlUlllil has 27 lTays, is fed on Tray 15 and operates at 30 psia.
The distillate is the final benzene product, which has a steady-state flowrate of 271
lb-mollhr at 224°F. Note that with this high reflux-dnun temperature, this con-
denser could be heat integrated with an energy consUlning lmit at a lower tempera-
ture somewhere else in the plant. The two design specifications are 0.06 mol%
benzene in the bortoms and 0.03 mol% toluene in the distillate (99.97 mol% ben-
zene purity). See Figure 15.3.
The COlUlllil is 5.7 ft in dimneter, and the reflux ratio is 3. Reflux dlllm
holdup is 293 ft3; base holdup is 316 W. Reboiler heat input is l1.5x10 6 Btulhr.
The bortoms is fed into the third column.

Figure 15.2 - Column C1 Specifications

306 Chapter 15

Figure 15.3 - Column C2 Specificaíions

Figure 15.4 - Column C3 Specifications

HDA Process 307

15.2.3 Recycle Column (C3)

The third colU11U1 has 7 trays, is fed on Tray 5 and operates at 30 psia. The
distillate product is 80.5 lb-mol/lu· at 283°F. At this temperature, low-pressure
steam could be generated. The two design specifications are 0.026 mol% toluene
in the bottoms and 0.002 mol% diphenyl in the distillate (99.93 mol% toluene
purity). See Figure 15.4.
The colU11U1 is 2.5 ft in diameter, and the reflux ratio is 0.32. Reflux drum
holdup is 36 :ft3; base holdup is 46 ft3. Reboiler heat input is 1.6x106 Btu/br. The
bottoms is the diphenyl byproduct and its flowrate is quite small (6.9 lb-molJhr)
compared to the distillate flowrate of 80.5 lb-molJhr. This has implications for the
base level control structure, as we discuss in the next section.
The distillate stream from this column is the recyc1e toluene. It is fed back
into the reaction section. Note that the flowrate ofthe fresh toluene stream is 292.5
lb-mol/hr. The per-pass conversion of the toluene through the reactor is (292.5 -
80.5)/292.5 = 0.72 (72%). So the toluene recyc1e stream is not a large one, but its
economic impact is significant.

15.3 Control Structure

The control structure for the reaction section is discussed in Chapter 13. The
control structures for the tln·ee distillation cohm1l1s in the separation section are
discussed below. The first two colU11U1s have conventional control schemes. The
last collUnn has an unconventional control structure, due in part to its integration
into the plantvvide process. Figure 15.5 gives the plantwide control scheme, and
Figure 15.6 shows all the controller faceplates for the entire process. There are 23
controllers in this process.

15.3.1 Stabilizer Column (Cl)

The controlloops are:

1. ColU11U1 pressure is controlled by manipulating vapor distillate

flowrate (V6).
2. Reflux-clnun level is controlled by manipulating condenser heat
3. Reflux is flow controlled (default).
4. Base level is controlled by manipulating bottoms flowrate (V7).
5. The temperature on Tray 6 is controlled at 315°F by manipulating
reboiler heat input (see Figure 15.7). A P-only controller (Kc = 1) is
used because tight temperature control is not needed in this very
easy separation between methane and benzene. Temperature
transmitter range is 200 to 400°F.
308 Chapter 15

15.3.2 Product Coiumn (C2)

The controlloops are:

l. Colurnn pressure is controlled by manipulating condenser cooling.

2. Reflux-dmm level is controlled by manipulating distiIlate flowrate
3. Reflux is flow controIled (default).
4. Base leve! is controIled by manipu1ating bottoms flowrate (V9).
5. The temperature on Tray 12 is controIled at 256°F by manipulating
reboiler heat input (see Figure 15.8). Temperature transmitter range
is 200 to 300°F. Two O.S-minute lags are installed in this loop. Re-
lay-feedback testing gives TL settings Kc = 10 and 'tI = 8 minutes.

15.3.3 Recyde Column (C3)

The controlloops are:

l. Colurnn pressure is controIled by manipulating condenser cooling.

2. Reflux is flow controlled (default).
3. Base level is controIled by manipulating reboiler heat input (see
Figure 15.9). A direct-acting P-only controIler with a gain of 3 is
4. The temperature on Tray 2 is controIled at 386°F by manipulating
the bottoms flowrate (VIO). Temperature transmitter range is 300
to 500°F. Two O.S-minute lags are instaIled in fuis loop. Relay-
feedback testing gives TL settings Kc = 0.11 and 'tI = 39 minutes.
Notice that this loop wiIl be quite slow because of fue low gain and
large integral time.
5. Reflux-drum level is controIled by manipulating the distiIlate
flowrate (V3).

Temperature is usually controlled by manipulating heat input. However, if

the flowrate of the product stream is small, process-control heuristics suggest that
better control can be achieved by manipulating the product stream. Of course, the
levelloop (with heat input manipulated) must be in automatic and its turIíng must
be fairly tight. This is because the level loop is "nested" inside fue temperature
loop. A P-only level controIler with a gain ofKc = 3 is used, instead ofthe normal
gam of2.
Figure 15.5 - Flowsheet with Plantwide Control Structure :I:



310 Chapter 15

Figure 15.6 - Faceplates for Controllers and Lags

Figure 15.7 - Sub-Flowsheet for C1

.------......- -
l' -lJ"'1
:l-~ .¡.
, '1


Reboiler b1
HDA Process 311

Figure 15.8 - Sub-Flowsheet for C2


L r2~1
@M n

Reboiler b2

Fig. 15.9 - Sub-Flowsheet for C3

TC3 @Main LC32


Reboil r

To qr3


A. Small Recycle Flows: The flowrate of the total toluene fed into the reaction
section (stream "tottol") is controlled by manipulating valve V2 on the toluene
fresh feed. This scheme works in this HDA process, which has a relatively small
recycle flowrate compared to the fresh feed. Many processes have much larger
recyc1e flows compared to the fresh feed. In this situation the control structure
312 Chapter 15

given aboye is not effective. The altemative scheme discussed below provides
much betler control.

B. Large Recyde Flows: Ifthe Jiesh makeup feed flow is quite a bit smaller than
the recycle flow, the control structure should be modified to that shown in Figure
15.10. The total to1uene is controlled by valve V3, which is now in the 1ine after
the fresh feed and recycle toluene have been combined. The valve V2 in the fresh
feed line control s the reflux-drum level. There is no valve in the distillate line from
the Recycle Column.
The control of reflux-drum 1evel in the Recycle Column is this key plant-
wide stmcture. We must feed into the system exactly the correct amount of fresh
toluene to perfectly match what is being consumed in the reactor. Essentially no
to1uene is lost in any of the product streams leaving the process. So the toluene
feed must perfectly balance the toluene consumption since the process acts as a
pure integrator (any difference between the input and the consumption results in a
gradual bui1dup or depletion). Some type ofinfonnation about the amount oftolu-
ene in the system must be avai1able so that it can be fed back to make the appro-
priate adjustments.
The place in the process where the toluene accumulates is in the top ofthe
Recycle Co1urnn. Ifthe level in the reflux drum is building, we are feeding in too
much to1uene, and visa versa. Therefore the level control manipulates valve V2 in
the toluene makeup lineo
Do not make the common mistake of thinking that the effect of V2 on the
reflux-mum level in the third colunm will take a long time. This is not true. There
is a flow controller FC1 setting the total toluene flow into the reaction section by
manipulating valve V3. Any change in the fresh feed flowrate makes an immedi-
ate change in the flowrate of the distillate stream fi:om the third column because
the total flowrate is constant. This means there is an immediate effect on reflux-

15.4 HYSYS Sirnulation

15.4.1 Results

Figure 15.11 shows the responses ofthe system to a disturbance in the reac-
tor inlet temperature controller setpoint from 1050 °F to 1055°F at time equa1 10
minutes. Reactor outlet temperature increases from 1222 to 1238°F, which results
in larger reaction rates in the reactor. The fresh feed of hym'ogen and the purge
flowrates respond quite quicldy, but it takes over two hours for the fresh toluene
feed to slowlyincrease from 276 to 3061b-mol!hr (see Figure 15.11A).
Figure 15.10 - Plantwide Control Structure for Large Recycle Flows ::r:
'---1I :t>

~.'R~-2 ~,: jfl ;!~l~'l ~

..._ .._._- ~
grecycle ~(}-~ ..... "ti

purge V4 2
II l. ecR -.' T5

~T" ~ q~ench
cm, .
l ¡fi~Rout

LA+----I Tca l

Rgas 1-;-·,,,,..J:.filn
. 1 .
i . ! TCR I -
I cnl,1;;:'1':tl
. ,,,' . . "II! "'W O,m, --+-
r Rm I

~ .,-~ I ." . ~Vllout

F~2out "~ ----..~~o:~ ~~I ~ < D r c I u e n c h

~ -.J" r FEH 1Tcc I ....

"'m '...
Tt . -<. ". <.

' tol~",,," / " I ~

Ji. • Vll

"__ .;... Con "> ...._ ..._ liq ;+J Pl l' T3

ce, 1": ;:;,__

TI j

~ ~
~C3~",---,Rtol .'
RGY-4_._"_','-l ~'.~~~
n I
I dt

C~G4S-_ '~,,-;:,
rdi'j ~,;;t, r l"~ ~)J-
.,~, tE!

~l , .
,{, w>L:~,~~
d2 I . \¡.. B.

I 1'"
~ ~ii"
o', 1-
V7 C2 wk2
314 Chapter 15

Figure 15.11A - Response of Fresh Feed Flows to

Increase in Reactor Inlet Temperature

H FreshFeed

Toluene Fresh Feed

Figure 15.118 - 83 Diphenyl Product Flow and Composition

HDA Process 315

Figure 15.11C - Column Temperatures

Figure 15.11D - Reactor inlet and Outlet Temperatures

316 Chapter 15

The control-tray temperatme in Cl and C2 are well controlled (see Figure

15.11C), but Tray 2 temperature in C3 has a peak deviation of about 30°F and
takes a long time to retmTI to ist setpoint. The temperature profile in this cohmm is
very sharp because of the large difference in boiling points between toluene and
diphenyl. The base temperature is about 560°F, while the top temperature is about
280°F. TIlis produces large temperature changes from tray to tray, which means
that the process gain is very large when a single tray temperature is contro11ed. The
resulting controller gain must be quite sma11 to keep the loop stable, and this
means poor load rejection. In addition the process is quite nonlinear because of
saturation (the maxumUTI and minúmUTI temperatmes are encountered when the
profile moves up or down only slightly).
The standard solution to this problem is to use an average temperature of
several trays instead of a single tray. This "profile position" control reduces the
process gail.1 al.1d improves the IUlearity.

15.4.2 Average Temperature Control

Figme 15.12 shows the subflowsheet for the C3 Recyc1e Coltmm with an
average temperature control scheme installed. TIle temperatmes on Trays 1, 2, 3
and 4 are averaged using a Selector block. The Connections page tab for this block
is shown, which we label "Average". Figure 15.l3 shows where the average op-
eration is specified. Other options inc1ude lligh and low selectors and the sum of
the inputs.
The output ofthe averaging block is fed into the temperature controller TR3.
Unfortunately HYSYS does not properly handle two elements in selies. So a direct
compatison carmot be made between single-temperatme control (with lags) and
average-temperature control with lags. Results of a relay-feedback test give TL
settings Kc = 0.6 and 1:1 = 25 minutes. Tllis gain is five times larger than the single-
temperatme control (with two 0.5 nlinute lags). As expected, Figure 15.14 shows
that there is much tighter and faster control oftemperature in C3.
HDA Process 317

Figure 15.12 - Use of Selector to Calculate Average Temperature

Figure 15.13-Selecting Inputs

318 Chapter 15

Figure 15.14 -Average Temperature Control

15.5 AspenDynamics Simulation

The AspenPlus steady-state flowsheet is shown in Figure 15.15. All equip-
ment is sized, and the file is pressure checked and exported into AspenDynamics.
Figure 15.16 shows the initial flowsheet that opens up with the default controllers
installed. The control structure discussed in the previous section is installed as
shown in Figure 15.17. AH ofthe controller facep1ates are shown in Figure 15.18.
Notice the size of this problem, given at the bottom of this figure. There are
18,352 variables, with 15,156 equations. It takes a fast computer with lots of
memory to handle a typica1 chemical p1ant.
Figure 15.15 - AspenPlus Steady-State Flowsheet :x::
131 11-_1G_R_EC_I_ _ _- . t/I

HDA Process LI::.. T2 le





Figure 15. 16 -Initial Controllers in AspenDynamics VJ


~ V6


);:_, c__ ~C4
,' ___ J P2 V13
'={~~~[~Ü :r
Figure 15 .17 - Plantwide Control Structure
, - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 GREC 11----------- (J)

roI"P~~ ~
T2 :

HDA Pro ces s ¡¡O C",! ,mR<mullu


............ :;¡... ...............

TOno, .",
,uuu.:¡fL." 'uuu."'...
"R .... , ,u.


: >1 -3


L¡;, V10
I F1 1 V4
D.l<I<--: ---
¡--:PC.3 LC32~!
~f:'-:"l~0 TREC
~I ~2
~?>{¡J. __ .,-,.¡¡:::-¡._.- TC3
. __ , '1.':=J "··;>0·""
LC31 : (.oJ

, ~~!~~"EJ

... J
~. _______ ______________ H _____ H
322 Chapter 15

Figure 15.18 - Controller Faceplates

15.5.1 Results

Initial testing with the control structure ShOWl1 in Figure 15.17 gave erratic
results. The sirnulation would fail quite frequently with a message indicating that
there was a severe Fortran error in the Recyc1e Column. The problem was found
to disappear when the control structure in C3 was changed to control Stage 7 tem-
perature (at 455°F) by manipulating reboiler heat input and controlling base leve1
with bottoms flow (V15). It is unc1ear why the original scheme would not work.
Relay-feedback testing with two 0.5-minute lags in the TC3 temperature
loop gives an ultimate gain of 1.25 and an ultinlate period of 3.4 minutes. The TL
settings are I<C = 0.4 and 1:1 = 7.5 minutes. Sirnulations results showed that the loop
was too underdamped, so the gain was reduced to Kc = 0.2.
Figures 15.19 through 15.22 give results for a 5°F step increase in the set-
point of the reactor inlet temperature controller at time equal 0.25 hours. Figure
15.19 shows what happens to conditions in the reactioll section. The increase in
reactor inlet temperature T in causes an increase in reactor exit temperature Tout '
Fresh hydrogen feed and purge flows increase quickly, but it takes about two
hours for the fresh toluene feed stream to increase to its new steady-state flowrate.
HDA Process 323

Figure 15.20 gives results for the Stabilizer Column. The proportional tem-
perature controller lets the temperature decrease slight1y (les s than 2°F). More
vapor distillate DI is removed. Figure 15.21 shows how variables respond in the
Product Column. Temperature is very well controlled. Bottoms flowrate decreases
because more toluene is consumed in the reactor and there is less to recycle. Distil-
late flowrate increases because more product is being produced (more hydrogen
feed and more toluene fresh-feed makeup) at the higher reactor temperature. Re-
member that the total toluene feed to the reaction section is held constant.

Figure 15.22 gives results for the Recycle Colrnllil. There is les s distillate
but more bottoms (more diphenyl produced). Temperature control is quite slow,
taking about 4 hours to return to setpoint. The maximlU11 deviation in temperature
is only about 5°F, despite the high temperature level (455°F) and the very large
temperature gradient from tray to tray.

Figu re 15.19 - Reactor Section

?; ~
~ fi
§ ~
~ ~
~ i':
~ ~ ~
El S - 9. o ~ _____ _

i; lB1 J~I l~ 1: 1:' ~· .:· iI 'HIH;¡¡\\,""=---c~-,-=·"·,,·+,,·,,_·-·,,,,··-·_-:--,,--·,,+,,··-

l~ r~ I~ I¡¡··----~IH\-_t\~~~~d=~==:i=~=~
----:.--............. - - : - - :

:; § ~ §f ~ ~ ------
Q -r iil ~"-'··=···~·11"·'V"'-'~·~"··-
6 ~ ~ -.-- ..
~ ~ ~ q ~
el ~
q q ~ ------

;; .,
~ ~
~ ~ R
!?, ~
- ~ ~
324 Chapter 15

Figure 15.20 - Stabilizer Column C1

~ _~ J---------
l~ 1~ l~ - - - - - - -
le: 1m l~ ~----:==t===i=======t========±====i

Figure 15.21 - Product Column C2

H1: l:J:r=~C:J::=~~-;;,:;-i-------t--+----j
- 'ci

~ ~
ro~ [~ .----------

~ @ ~ o~--~~----~----~----~----~----~----~----~
HDA Process 325

Figure 15.22 - Recycle Column C3

15.5.2 Average Temperature Control

AspenDynamics has a Sum block as one of its control models. However,

this block can have only two input signals. Therefore to use an average tempera-
ture of four tray temperatures, three blocks must be used to get the total of all tem-
peratures. Then a Ratio block can be used to divide this sum of all four tempera-
tures by 4 to get the average temperature, which is then fed into a temperature
controller as the PV signal. The configuration is shown in Figure 15.23. If Stages
5 through 8 are used, the tray temperatures are 293, 320, 455 and 548, giving a
total of 1616°F and average of 404°F.
However, this setup does not give the COlTect signal fi:om the ratio block
when the units used in the simulation are Engineering. AspenDynamics uses met-
ric lmits in all its ca1culations in the models. Temperatures are in Centigrade. The
ratio block assumes that the second input has the same units as the fu·st. The ratio
ofl600°F WF comes out to be 871°C¡( -15.6°q = - 56.
326 crnapter 15

Figure 15.23 - Average Temperature Control


----->O------: 03 @
,____ r)~--~----f->- -~ti~--:

L "m3
;__________ ,~, average lagl lil92

':::::~:::::::::::-_-_-_:-----j U-~-L ~ ~ ~ OTO

---------1 '--------------------~ ---~---~-----~--->- ---
! : LC31
¡ 83 ~---------->O--------~


The scheme works ifthe simulation uses metric units, Now the temperatures
on Stages 5 through 8 are 148, 179, 260 and 292°C, givillg a total of 879°C. The
average temperature is 879/4 = 220 oc. Figure 15,24 shows the AH Variables view
for each ofthe surnmers and for the ratio block The faceplate for the TC3 control-
ler is also shown with a setpoint of220°C.
An altemative to using mehic units is to insert a "flowsheet equation" to
ca1culate the average temperature, We discuss this method of generating user-
supplied equations in Chapter 19,

Figure 15.24 - Use of Metric Units

HDA Process 327

Re1ay-feedback testing with two 0.5-minute 1ags in the temperature loop

gives an u1timate gain of 4.2 and an u1timate period of 3.8 minutes. The TL set-
tings are Kc = 1.3 and 1:1 = 8.4 minutes. The responses ofthe Recycle Column for a
20% step change in its feed flowrate at time equal 0.25 hours are ShOWl1 in Figure
15.25. The large disturbance drops the temperature about 25°C, but the system
recovers in a 1itt1e over 30 minutes.

Figure 15.25 - Response Using Average Temperature Control

045 05 055 06

15.6 Computing Time

The computing time to run out 4 hours of process time for this comp1ex,
mu1ti-unit process becomes significant. Timing mns were made for both HYSYS
and AspenDynarnics on two different computers. The disturbance is a 5°F step
increase in the setpoint of the reactor inlet temperature controller. Each of the runs
covered 4 hours of process time. A 0.001 hour Communication Time is used in
The two computers are:

1. Gateway 650 mHz Pentium III, 256 mB RAM, 13.9 GB disk,

Windows 98
2. Dell1.8 GHz, 500 mB RAM, 40 GB disk, Windows 2000
328 Chapter 15

Results for the two simulators are given in Table 15.1. The real-time factor
is the ratio of process time to elock time.

Table 15.1 - Real-Time Factors

HYSYS AspenDynamics
Gateway 650 mHz 15 30
Dell1.8 GHz 27 50

15.7 Conclusion
In this chapter we have developed dynamic simulations ofthe well-studied
HDA process using both commercial simulators. These cases should be useful as
test-beds for process control researchers who wish to try out their new control
strategies on a realistically complex industrial process.
Some important plantwide control features have been pointed out and alter-
native control structures have been discussed.
In the next chapter we study an equally complex industria! process with
multiple interconnected units and severa! recyele streams.
ha ter 16
Ikylation Process

16.1 Introduction
In this chapter we explore another complex multi-unit process, which fea-
tures several unit operations, two recyele streams and many controlloops. There is
a reaction section consisting of three CSTRs in selies with one of the reactant
feeds split among the reactors. The other reactant is kept in excess by a large recy-
ele stream. The reactors operate at low temperature, so refrigeration is required to
remove the exothenllÍc heat ofreactiol1. Reactor cooling is achieved by autorefrig-
eratiol1 (evaporative cooling) in the HYSYS sirnulation and by direct refrigeration
in the AspenPlus simulation. The two fresh feeds contain inert components, so the
separation section must separate these fi:om the reactants and the products. The
separation section contains three distillation colurnns.
The control stmcture for this plantwide system contains some unusual con-
trol loops that handle the problems of (1) balancing component inventolies and
fresh feed addition rates, (2) maintaining product pulities of the three streams leav-
ing the process and (3) providing a large recyele Stream to maintain the desired

16.2 Process Studied

The alkylation of isobutane with buten e to fonn iso-octane is a widely used
method for producing a high-octane blending component for gasoline.
iC4 + C: -7 iCg
Iso-octane has an octane number of 100, so it is valuable for making gaso-
line for high-compression engines that require high octane munbers (suppress pre-
ignition). The alkylation process was cOlmnercialized just before World War II,
and it provided high-octane gasoline for the airplanes in that histolic conflict. It is
still widely used around the world in many refinelies as a way to upgrade light
components and to produce a high-value, non-aromatic gasoline blending matelial.

330 Chapter 16

16.2.1 Refinery Topology

The source of essentially all feed stocks in a refinery is the crude oil, which
arrives at the refinery via pipeline or tankers. Crude oil is a mixture of an enor-
mous number of hydrocarbon components. These components are mostly satu-
rated straight-chain hydrocarbons (paraffins) and saturated cyc1ical hydrocarbons
(naphthenes). Few unsaturated components (olefins) are present in the crude oil.
There are small amounts of isobutane in the crude.
The first separation of the crude occurs in a "pipe still", which is a very
large-diameter distillation colurnn. The feed is partially vaporized by an extensive
heat-exchanger network and filrnace. The colurnn has a rectification section, from
which an overhead product and a number of sidestream products are removed.
These products vary from light gases at the top from a partial condenser to heavy
oil at the bottom.
The light gases from the top are fed into a "saturated light ends" unit, which
is a number of distillation colurnn separating the various components. One ofthe
product streams from this unit contains the isobutane from the crude oil. However,
it also contains sorne propane impurity (5 mol%) and sorne normal butane impu-
rity (35 mol%). This "Sat C4" stream is fed into the alkylation unit as Qne ofthe
fresh feed streams. It provides sorne ofthe iC4 for the alleylation reaction.
The unsaturated butene olefins fed into the alkylation unit are typically pro-
duced in a catalytic cracking unit. Sorne ofthe heavy oil streams from fue pipestill
are fed into this tmit. The high-molecular weight saturated hydrocarbons are
"cracked" to produce coke and a wide variety of light hydrocarbons, inc1uding a
number of unsaturated components. The light components from the catalytic
cracking unit are separated in another light ends unit, and one of the streams from
this series of distillation colurnns is a mixture of C4 hydrocarbons: isobutane, bu-
tenes and normal butane. Sorne propane impurity is also present. The "BB" stream
is the source ofbutene for the alkylation units and also sorne ofthe iC4 . But there
is not enough iC4 in this stream to react with all the C4= that it contains. The differ-
ence must be provided by the Sat. C4 stream. The control scheme must be capable
of perfectly balancing the makeup feed flows to satisfy the reaction stoichiometry.

16.2.2 Chemistry

The main reaction is the combination of isobutane and butene to from iso-
te4 + e: -7 tes
However, there is an undesirable consecutive reaction ofbutene with iso-octane to
form dodecane.
tes e:
+ -7 I2 e
The actual chemistry is more complex than these two simple reactions, but
for our purposes, they capture the essence of the overall chemistry. The kinetic
Alkylatiorl 331

data is taken from a case study given by Mahajanam et al. (Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.
2001, 40, 3208). These exothernnc reactions are irreversible and occur in the liq-
The kinetic expressions assumed to be valid for the system are

R¡ = 9.6xl0 13
e ¡¡¡:- (C iC4 ~ Cc: )

R2 = 2.4xl0 17
e¡¡¡:- (Ccs {C c: )
where reaction rates are lb-mol/hr-ft3, activation energies have units of Btu/lb-
mole and concentrations are lb-mol/ff.
Note that the activation energy ofthe second reaction is larger than the first.
Therefore low temperature favors the desired first reaction. This is why the reac-
tion is carried out at low temperature (50°F).
The second undesirable reaction is also suppressed by keeping the concen-
tration ofbutene low. This is achieved in two ways. First, there is a large excess of
isobutane (ten to one) fed to the reaction section. Second, the butene feed is not a11
fed into the first reactor, but the stream is sp1it between the first two reactors.
The reaction uses sulfuric acid as a catalyst and is conducted in a heteroge-
neous two-phase liquid mixture of organic and acid phases. We will ignore the
acid phase in our sirnulations.
The flowsheets used in the HYSYS and AspenDynamics simulations dis-
cussed below are slight1y different. The reactors in the HYSYS flowsheet operate
adiabatically, and temperature is controlled by changing the amount of vapor re-
moved from each reactor. Since the AspenP1us CSTR model only has one exit
stream, this evaporative-cooling configuration is difficu1t to sirnulate. Therefore
we will use cooled CSTRs in the AspenPlus and AspenDynamics flowsheet. The
10cation of one ofthe distillation colurnns is also different.

16.3 HYSYS Simulation

16.3.1 HYSYS Flowsheet

Figure 16.1 gives the HYSYS simulation flowsheet. There are three CSTRs,
each with a v01ume of 100 ft3 and each is 80% full ofliquid. They operate at 50°F
and pressures of about 30 psia. The 1arge recycle stream (630 1b-mol!hr) is fed to
the first reactor along with 251b-mol!hr ofBB feed. The composition of the BB
Figure 16.1 - HYSYS Flowsheet of Autorefrigerated Alkylation Process

Wk~ _

V3 ~9t\lIl!
disch /...

wk3 P V5'<l--v5ott

1011 l!] OP

R1 R3

..;-1 g-¡;:¡p~
~ V31
-+______W~k~·I____ ,

<-~~---' .•- -
vI50uI V15 :r r, ;Y:tJ"J' [ qc1 ~
.... ____--"="--__

qc3 ~ 1l)(COUI j

t fEHE
;t- ~ V~OUI
V14 83
V7 81 DIB
V4 SalC4
D8 ()
RCY-2 ....(l)
Aikyiation 333

feed is 5 11101% propane, 2011101% isobutane, 6011101% l-butene and 1511101%

nonual butane. The recycle strea111 concentrations are 3.5 11101% propane, 94.7
11101% isobutane, 0.211101% butene and 1.611101% nonnal butane.
. The reactors have no external heat transfer. They operate adiabatically, and
the required low te111perature is attained by autorefrigeration (evaporative cooling).
The boiling liqlúd in the reactor generates a vapor strea111, and the latent heat of
vaporization re1110ves the exothemuc heat of reaction and cools the reactor to the
desired tel11perature. The vapor and liquid phases are in phase equilibrium.
The liquid effluent frOl11 the first reactor goes to the second CSTR where a
second fresh BB streal11 (25 lb-l11ollhr) is added. The reactor is also cooled by re-
1110ving a vapor strea111. The liquid effluent fr0111 the second reactor goes to the
final reactor, which is cooled in the sarne way. The per-pass conversion ofbutene
is 96%.
The liquid effluent from the reaction section is heated in a heat exchanger,
which WaIlliS the reactor effluent aIld cools the recyc1e streaIu. TIús reduces both
re:5:i.geration requirements in the reaction section and stea111 consmuption in the
downstreaIu distillation column. The de-isobutaIlizer (DIB) colmTIl1 produces a
recycle streaIl1 of fairly pme isobutane out the top, which is recycled back to the
reaction section. The collmm has 50 trays, operates at 80 psia (reflux dn.ll11 tem-
peratme 108°P) and has a reflux ratio of 2. The reactor effluent is fed on Tray 35.
TIlere is a second feed streaIl1, the Sat.C4 :5:esh feed, which is fed on Tray 26. Thus
one of the fresh feed is introduced into the process in the reaction section, and the
other is introduced into the process in the separation section.
The bottoms from the DIB is fed into a debutaIlizer (DB) coltll1111, which
takes the nonual butane out the top aIld the product streaIU of iso-octane (with
some impUlity of dodecane) out the bottom. The overall yield of iso-octane is
82%. This colunm operates at 60 psia.
TIle final colunm in the separation section is used to remove prOpaIle fi"om
the unit. The highest concentration of prOpaIle in the systel11 occms in the vapor
streams leaving the reactors (6.9 mol% propane). This vapor is compressed to a
high enough pressme (100 psia) so that it CaIl be condensed using cooling water.
The liquid is pumped to a higher pressme and fed into a depropanizer distillation
colunm, which operates at 200 psia. This colmIDl has 30 trays aIld a reflux ratio of
13. The small distillate streaIU (4.4 lb-mol/lu") with a pmity of 95 mol% removes
the propane from the systel11. The bottoms :5:om the column is combined with the
distillate frOl11 the DIB, and the total is cooled in a feed-effluent heat eXChaIlger
(PEHE) before recycling back to the reaction section.
The heat eXChaIlger accomplishes two things: it lessens the cooling load of
the refrigeration syste111 in the reaction section, aIld it lessens the heating load in
the DIB reboiler. The heat exchanger has 500 fe of area with an overall heat-
transfer coefficient of 100 Btu/hr-ft2- 0 F. Its heat duty is 1.06xlü 6 Btu/lrr.
Thus the flowsheet has two recycle streaIl1s, three reactors, three distillation
cohmms aIld orre process/process heat exchanger. Pigme 16.2 gives streanl infor-
Figure 16.2A - Stream Information ~

vlollt 1-----vllout ¡Vi2ollt I

0.1243 1 0 . 0 0 7 1 1 :0000
.... . .83.81 . ..... .., 49040 .. '. ·..·.48AO 47;63 '1 56.261 41.57 1 4 5 . 5 8 I
IPressurB lpSlaj ........ ' . < 1UU.U I 7 95.00 31.00 31 :00 31.00 31.00 30.00 20.00 j'
~olarAow[lbmble/hrl" ·.··...25.00!629.6... 139.5 . .... 502.0 ....• 629.6 25.00 1 5 0 2 . 0 1 3 9 . 5 11
Mass F1ów[lb/'l1rl .., . . . . , .'. 14051 3.628e+004 7970 •... 2.972é:':0043.628e+004· MOS j 2:972e+D04 ". 7970 11
COmp Mol¡3fra c (propane)', > '. ". 0.0500.1 . ",0.0353 0.0706 0.0271 0.0353' . , .', 0:0500.1 0.0271 0.0706.1'
CompMóle FiacO'Bulaiiél.. ...• 0.20001 0:9470 0.9093 '.' 0.9204 . 0.9470,. 0,2000 1. 0.92040.90931i
Comp!'AoleFrec(1-Buteti8)ii,'O:60001 i 0.0019' 0.0040 0:00511, 0.0019 ,'.0.600010.0051. O:0040jJ
CompMoleFrac(ÍlcBLrtanej " r
OJ500 .·..·0.0158 .··.·0;0159 0.022B 0;0158' 0.1500j, .0.02281 o;~
Corii¡:iMofef(ac(3~Mheptanel' . ~O.OOOO 1 0.0001 O,0002.~ 0:02:l1 .O,900LI 0:00001 0.02311 o.üiírin
Cbmp Mole flac

IVlP1Brt-IPwDblÍlolei/hrl r 25.00125.00.1 59.78 1 452.51 452:5159.781 11.021 ~3HI ¡

34211 630.8
_":;';:::';:':='4.:,.,~~-".:.0.U656! 0.0640 l'--..o,..;.=~~
iGómpMóJeFl'ae(j~Butall~l 0.2000\ 0.20001 0.9071 I . 0.a8371 ·1J.8S37 \ lJ.9071 I 0.9122 t
iComp Mplefrili:(1'BUjene) 0.6000 16:60001 0.00461 0;0056 0.0056 1 o.o046.Iri:iJoozJ· 0.0009
¡Comp Moje Frec (rH3Uta~e) 0,1500 O.f500J. 0:02221 o.lI30?1 . 0.03.07 b.0222Id:ü¿2S! 0.03101 ¡

'iessul'e [ P S i a 1 6 7 . 0 0 j
IvIble:IFlow[l~ínole/hr] 439.4.
100.0 1 .,. ". 20:00 1
439Al- - - - -..- - ;- -11.02 .-·~~629:6T
95,OD I . 80.00
~ 427.3
I 65.00
----- ---_ - .. __ ...............

MassFlow[lb/l)l] .. .
:omp Mole Frac (Ptope,ne)
iComp Mole Frac (rBulane)
3.626et004t..._..:..b!66e+004 I
0.9470 '. . .0.9567
0.02811 ¡ '.' 4419
!Comp Mble Flac(l ..BLrteos) O.ooog I o.[)úbillo.nOD?1 0.0009 I 0.0019.1 0.0019 10~00081 O.DOoal' 'S.
¡C()mp Mole Frac (n-Bulane-j-'~ ...ro
COl)'lPMOle F:rac (3-Mheptilne)
Comp Mole Flfle (n ..C12)
Figure 16.28 - Stream Information ~
~~~--~~-. SatC4 v40LÍt 1
apaur Frilctian ~ .. 0.0000 - .0.0000
emperature[F] . '..... 90,00 -·--'-"''''90'''.1'''O'-I-~~~='-''---i~--''---'-'''''''''+--c-:'---''''='-''---i~,.----'-'''''''-' f---'-c----c---'~""c-i-c-~--"'!"?:""-
IPressure[psia} .'. . ~ '. ..:..125.0 85.00
MalarFlow Obmalelhr] . . . 3=5"".0"'0+1--'---'----c'3"'5'-=.0"'0+--'---'"-="'+~--'-""""'--f-C-,-,---',.,.'-"--'''''''"'+~-'--~'''''-++'-'-'--::'=''-+-·..-----'---'-''''~I

OfJo.u'r Fradioh
IPressure[psiaJ 225.0.1 205.0 j 200.01 >203.01 65.áil.1 100.0 1 100.01 150.0
'MalárFlaw Obt\lole/hr] ~1 0 . 3 J 2 1 ó . : l j 4 . 4 [ j a l ¿ o ! i : 9 T ? 4 7 . 1 T I 2()5.9, ¡ 6 3 3 : H 4.402
Ivfass F1aw[lblhr] 1.202e+0041 Ü¡j2e~0¡j4T ~n-i9iTr--:;-;iIB2e'0041' 441'911.f82;;;0041 !i¡¡4ge~004í 197.2
Caníp Mole Frác(Propáne) 0.0688 I 0.O(61) I 0.9500 "·0.0500 f o.ooOOT-~~r-- -
0:05001 . 0.0352.1 0.9500
Comp MbleFratQ-BÍllane) 0.90881 0.94711 0.0500

l~emPérature [F] '.
47.87 J'
'.1.0000, --:T'
103:4 _ ,. 112.21
0.0000,1. ~.....~. 0.0000
6B.89 i
0.2225 I
333.61 45.78 I
Pressure [psia], . . 31:00 1,. 30.00 1 4 5 . 0 0 . '.' 60.00 Lm 62.00 . . .
MolarFlow[lbmollillhr] 654.6j 527.0 I 0:0000 , lR98, p;- ~
IMEíss Flow [lb/hr]3.76ge+004 3.1 He+004[ 0:0000 1161 I , 3258
Cqmp Mole Frac (Propane) 0.0358 0.028Z l ' 0.1390'· 0.0000 1 -0.0000
ICompMoleFrBc(i,BlrtBne) .. ' u,9184 0:886z1 0.ff453 dm181. ·----0,0000
!Comp Mole Frac (l-Butene) 0.0247. I 0.0333' 0.0032 0.0013 1 0.0000
!CompMoleFrac(n'Butane) 0.02091 0.02891 0.0128 0.9869 I 0.0010
'Corrip Moté Frac (3-MheplBne)
'Comp Mole FracCn-CI2)
. 0.:0.2.2. 0 . . 1..... ..... .......
Q,Ollt'L .~.~
'.. 0.0000 [
. 0.00001
336 Chapter 16

16.3.2 Equipment Sizing

The three columns, the tank after the compressor, the knock-out clnun before
the compres sor and the heat exchanger must be sized for dynamic simulation. The
usual sizing methods are used, and results are slunmarized in Table 16.1.

Table 16.1 - Equipment Sizes

DIE ColumTI ID (ft) 6
RefluxDnlln (ft3) 360
Base (ft3) 300
DP Colmllil ID (ft) 1.2
RefluxDnun (ft3) 20
Base (ft 3) 100
DB Colmllil ID (ft) 1
RefluxDnun (ft3) 9
Base (ft3) 40
KODnun Vollune (ft3) 100
Dnun Vollune (ft3) 62
FEHE Shell Volmne (ft3) 11
Tube Volmne (ft3) 11
Reactors (3) Total Volmne (80% liquid ihll) (ft3) 100

16.3.3 Control Structure

Figure 16.3 shows the main flowsheet with controller installed. Figure 16.4
shows all the controller faceplates. This plant has 24 loops that must be installed
and tlmed. Figures 16.5 through 16.7 show the sub-flowsheets for the cohunns
with controllers and lags installed.
The control scheme for each ofthe reactors is identical:

1. Temperature is controlled by manipulating the control va1ve in the

vapor lineo
2. Liquid level is controlled by manipulating the control valve in the
liquid lineo
3. The BB feeds to the first two reactors are flow controlled. The re-
cyc1e flowrate is flow controlled. The temperature controller for
Alkylation 337

the third reactor is kept on manual because ofthe small vapor flow
from this stage and because of the erratic temperature signal pro-
duced by the simulator (as shown in the next section).

The control scheme for the compression section is

1. Knockout-drum pressure is controlled by manipulating compressor

2. In the simulation, condensate-drum temperature is controlled by
manipulating cooling duty in the condenser. In the real plant, the
cooling water for the condenser would be maximized to rninimize
compressor discharge pressure (and thus energy consumption).
3. Tank level is controlled by valve V5 in the feed line to the Depro-

The control scheme for the Depropanizer is

1. Reflux-drum level is controlled by valve V9 in the distillate lineo

2. Base level is controlled by valve V8 in the bottoms lineo
3. Reflux is flow controlled (default).
4. Pressure is controlled by condenser duty.
5. The temperature on Tray 25 (from the bottom) is controlled by re-
boiler heat input.

The control scheme for the Debutanizer is

1. Reflux-drmn level is controlled by valve VI5 in the distillate lineo

2. Base level is controlled by valve VI4 in the bottoms lineo
3. Reflux is flow controlled (default).
4. Pressure is controlled by condenser duty.
5. The temperature on Tray 10 (from the bottom) is controlled by re-
boiler heat input.

The control structures for the two colurnns aboye are standard stand-alone
schemes. The control scheme for the De-isobutanizer is not standard and has sorne
important and interesting features. The structure incorporates plantwide considera-
tions and is not at all what one would come up with in a stand-alone situation. The
fresh saturated C4 feed is introduced into this colurnn, and its manipulation must
balance the stoichiometry of the reaction. Also the distillate flowrate from this
Figure 16.3 - Flowsheet with Controllers w

vllc V13


~~ '~ 1.~r;,c; Js-


ut. I
W( p:io.(>1

9~¿;-" ~ ~2krtL~_ LL~3

mmu ••


L_~22-.:'~l.¡'. ~ )'?l..I L. vap l V32

-+~ ~;;tut
& ;:1', LC2.
~' ~
t o t l 1 J 1 - L1
R2 L2 V21 v210ut




:lr I

B3 (")
DB ::r
lag s
Alkylation 339
340 Chapter 16

column is not free to be manipulated. The total recyc1e flowrate is set by flow con-
troller FC3. The total recyc1e is the sum ofthe DIB distillate and the DP bottoms.
The latter is set by the DP base level controller (LC6). So the DIB distillate
changes inversely with DP bottoms and is not a control degree of freedom for the
DIB column.

The control stmcture for the De-isobutanizer is

1. Reflux-dmm level is controlled by the flowrate of fresh Sat. C4

feed (V4).
2. Base level is controlled by valve V7 in the bottoms lineo
3. Reflux is flow controlled.
4. Pressure is controlled by condenser duty.
5. The composition of isobutane on Tray 10 is controlled by manipu-
lating reboiler heat input.

Loop 1 is different from traditional distillation schemes. The introduction of

the Sat.C4 steam into the process must be regulated to maintain the isobutane
component balance. The level in the reflux dmm provides a good indication of
whether or not the overall material balance for isobutane is being satisfied. If this
level is building, we must be feeding in more iC4 than is reacting. Therefore con-
trolling reflux-dmm level with the flowrate ofmakeup fresh Sat. C4 gives us a way
to satisfY the reaction stoichiometry. Note that this levelloop can only work ifthe
composition loop is on automatic. These loops are nested.
A composition controller is used instead of a temperature controHer in the
DIB because there is very little difference in the boiling points between the two
key components in this column (iC4 and nC4). We select a tray up from the bottom
ofthe DIB for composition measurement and control in order to avoid sorne ofthe
nonlinearity problems that could occur when trying to control the isobutane con-
centration in the DIB bottoms diTectly (0.58 mol% iC4). The composition on Tray
10 is about 13 mol%, which makes it easier to measure and provides more equal
changes for positive and negative changes in the manipulated variable.
Alkylation 341

Figure 16.5 - Sub-Flowsheet tor DiB Column

rC)-": lags@Main

., IpCdib I

'~«¡--' -~~n--:s-er
~5?' ....___~
......_____~l.- __

I,l, Reflux Condenser 01

hxcout ¡ ,:;... Main

=4 > '.3.',1' TS
=+~-_)12, LCOIB2 @Main
v40ut ' "
, ~I-<---+--.
l; Boilup

Reboiler @Main

Reboiler B1

Figure 16.6 - Sub-Flowsheet tor DP Column




Reboiler B2
342 Chapter 16

Figure 16.7 - Sub-Flowsheet for DB Coiumn



Reboiler 83

16.3.4 Results

Two 0.5 minute lags are inserted in the two column temperature loops, and a
3-minute deadtime is inserted in the DIB compositionloop. Relay feedback testing
is used to tune these criticalloops. AlI other loops used heuristic tuning.
The temperature controller in the DP column has a gain Kc = 0.8 and inte-
gral time '"] = 22 minutes. The temperature transmitter span is 100 to 200oP, and
the setpoint is 125 0p for Tray 25. The temperature controller in the DB column
has a gain Kc = 0.5 and integral time '"] = 12 minutes. The temperature transmitter
span is 200 to 400oP, and the setpoint is 3000 P for Tray 3.
The composition controller in the DIB column has a gain Kc = 0.9 and inte-
gral time '"] = 40 minutes. The composition transmitter span is O to 0.2 mole frac-
tion iC4 , and the setpoint is 5 mol% iC4 for Tray 10.
The two reactor temperature controllers use Kc =1 and '"] = 5 minutes with
temperature transmitter ranges of 25 to 75°P. The third reactor temperature con-
troller is on manual with the vapor valve 10% open.
Pigures 16.8A and B give results for step change increases of 20% in the
two BB fresh feeds from 25 to 30 lb-mollhr in the first two reactors. Reactor tem-
peratures go up and more vapor is sent to the compressor. Composition in the DIB
Alkylation 343

Figure 16.8A - Response of Reactors and OIB

Figure 16.8B - Response of OP and OB

344 Chapter 16

and temperature in the DP are well controlled. The temperature in the DB experi-
ences a large drop when the feed is increased. The use of an average temperature
controller would probably improve the control in this column because the tem-
perature changes from tray to tray near the bottom of the colmnn are fairly large
(245 to 360°F over 4 trays).
The Sat. C4 stream increases very slowly to satisfY the increased demand
for isobutane resulting fi:om the increase in butene being fed into the process. It is
still not at steady state after 5 hours.

16.4 AspenDynamics Simulation

The kinetic expressions assmned to be valid for the system are

RI =1.663xl0 e------¡¡:¡-(C¡C4 { Cc~ )

R2 = 4.158xl0 12
e-----R'T(Ccs { Cc~ )

where reaction rates are kg-moVsec-m 3, activation energies have Ul1its of caVg-
mole and concentrations are kg-moVm3 .

16.4.1 Process Flowsheet

As noted earlier, it is difficult to simulate an autorefrigerated reactor in As-

penPlus because the CSTR model has only one exit stream. The next version of
AspenPlus (Version 11.1) is scheduled to provide a model with both liquid and
vapor exit streams.
The AspenPlus flowsheet is shown in Figure 16.9. The tbree reactors are
cooled by heat transferred to a refiigerant stream at a temperature lower than the
reactor temperatures of 50°F. The Direct Q model is used. The pressures in the
three reactors were set at 40, 35 and 30 psia so that pmnps are not required be-
tween the first and second reactors. A high-head pmnp is needed to pmnp the ef-
fluent from the third stage up to a high enough pressure to get the strean1 into the
depropanizer colurnn, which operates at 200 psia. The heat-transfer rates in the
three reactors are -1.34, - 0.545 and - 0.102 (106 BtuJhr).
Figure 16.9 - AspenPlus SteadymState Flowsheet ::l

'~ ~ V21

346 Chapter 16

In the autorefrigerated flowsheet, the vapor streams from the reactors are
compressed and sent to the depropanizer. This is done because the concentration
of propane in the vapor streams from the reactors is fairly high and because the
flowrate is fairly small. There is also onlya very small amOlmt ofthe heavy com-
ponents (Cs and C 12) in the vapor stream.
In constrast, the AspenPlus flowsheet has the entire reactor effluent being
fed to the depropanizer. Thus the size of the depropanizer is larger in this flow-
sheet, and the energy consumption is larger. The bottoms of the depropanizer also
contains more heavy components, which raise the base temperature compared to
the autorefrigerated flowsheet. A 20-tray column (22 stages) was used, operating
at 200 psia.
The DIB column is also somewhat different because its feed flowrate is lar-
ger. A 50-tray column (52 stages) was used, operating at 80 psia. The DB column
is essentially the same. The iC4 recyc1e streanl is the DIB distillate in this flow-
sheet. In the autorefrigerated case, the recyc1e is the sum of the depropanizer bot-
toms and the deisobutanizer distillate.

16.4.2 Steady State

Converging the steady-state flowsheet was not easy for several reasons. The
large iC4 recyc1e stream makes convergence difficult. In addition, the Sat. C4
stream must be specified as an input variable in AspenPlus, and its flowrate must
be set so that the reaction stoichiometry is exactly satisfied, i.e., there must be just
enough iC4 in this stream to provide the excess iC 4 needed beyond that present in
the BB feeds. After much effort and trying different specification on the depropan-
izer and deisobutanizer columns, the convergence was achieved by setting the
following parameters:

1. Reflux flowrate in the DIB co1umn was fixed at 1260 lb-mollhr.

2. Reflux flowrate in the DP co1umn was fixed at 66 lb-mol!hr.
3. Distillate composition in the DP co1umn was specified to be 95
mol% propane.
4. The distillate flowrate D2 in the DIB column was set at 630 lb-
mollhr. This is the recyc1e stream.
5. Sat. C4 fresh feed was set at 29.7Ib-mollhr.

It should be noted that the resulting purity of the D2 recyc1e stream is about 80
mol% iC4 , which is lower than the 95 mol% iC4 recyc1e used in the autorefriger-
ated flowsheet.
The depropanizer and the deisobutanizer columns are sized for the new con-
ditions. The AspenPlus tray sizing gives diameters of 3.2 and 5.7 ft, respectively.
The lirniting stage locations are both at the bottom of the columns (Stage 31 in the
Alkylation 347

depropanizer and Stage 51 in the deisobutanizer). Using an F-Factor of 1 in Engi-

neering units gives diameters of 2.4 and 5.5 ft, respectively. These are used in the
dynarnic simulation.
Reflux-drum and reboilers were sized for 10 minutes holdup time. Table
16.2 suml11arizes vessel sizes. Pumps and val ves were sized in the nonnal way.
The case is pressure checked, and the file exported as a pressure-driven simula-

16.4.3 Control System

Opening the dynf file in AspenDynarnics gives the default control structure
shown in Figure 16.10. Temperature and level controllers are installed on all three
reactors, which will be used. Pressure controllers are installed on all colurnns. The
1evel controllers in both the DP and DB colul11ns are also already installed. The
level controller in the base of the DIB column must be connected to valve V21.
Reflux flowrates are flow controlled in all three colurnns (default structure). Using
feed-to-reflux ratio controllers may be needed to handle large load changes.
The output signal from the level controller in the reflux drum of the DIB
colurnn is connected to the Sat. C4 fresh feed valve (V4). This level controller pro-
vides the feedback l11echanism to bring in just enough isobutane to satisfY the re-
action stoichiometry (and the sl11all losses in the depropanizer and debutanizer
distillate streams).

Table 16.2 - Equipment Sizes

DIB ColumnID (ft) 5.5
RefluxDnun (ft 3) 550
Base (ft3) 400
DP ColumnID (ft) 2.4
RefluxDnun (ft3) 18
Base (ft 3) 220
DB ColumnID (ft) 1.2
RefluxDrum (ft3) 9
Base (ft3) 40
FEHE Shell Volume (ft3) 11
Tube Volume (ft3) 11
Reactors (3) Total Volume (80% liquid full) (ft3) 100

Figure 16.10 -Inifial Controllers in AspenDynamics

V2 TC15
J;BB2l ,, LCl o
r LC12 ¡ ¡
~~¡! ¡______>~14
----,rv O -------1
.",,-,~ ,¡~--{i,

R2 ¡------KT-: i

V3 6 ___ , VRl , :~)(1

'V:VR2 f3l~:W-:IL3lLQ
---:."J > ---: -------
,--- c __ Pl VR3
,---, [Ir
l· ......, ! ; i.. ocn' ,
m! El .......>0::. '... ¡=;;<"'l
: ¡ Pí'¡:;
----){)----: V12 LC4 k2
LCl ____ ,
Q., ,---:>0--------- : V32
------?>?fI !'

:l--~---------1 @
'Q~Q , ____ ~12
V21 \/>1

Alkylatiol1 349

Figure 16.11 - Temperature Profiles in OP and OB Columns




':/ 1

Figure 16.12 - Temperature Profile in OIB

350 Chapter 16

Figure 16.13 - Composition Profiles in DIB

Temperature controllers are used in the DP and DB columns. Tray tempera-

ture profiles are shown in Figure 16.11 for these two columns. Fairly large tem-
perature changes occur at Stage 6 in the depropanizer (143°F) and at Stage 13 in
the debutanizer (267°F), so these temperature controllers are installed using these
However, in the DIB column there is very little temperature change in the
region where we are separating between iC4 and nC 4 , which is the reqtúred separa-
tion in this column. See Figure 16.12. There is a sharp temperature change near
the bottom ofthe column, but this only indicates the build up ofthe heavy C s and
C 12 components. The nC4 impurity that is in the two fresh feeds to the process
must go out the bottom ofthe DIB column.
The composition profiles are given in Figure 16.13. A composition control-
ler is used in the DIB column to detect the amount of iC4 near the bottom of the
column (Stage 27 at 14.7 mol% iC4). This controller adjusts reboiler heat input.
Two 0.5 minute lags are inserted in the column and reactor temperature con-
trolloops. A 3-minute deadtime is inserted in the DIB composition loop. The final
control scheme is shown in Figure 16.14. The faceplates of the 21 controllers re-
quired in this process are shown in Figure 16.15.
Relay feedback test are run on the two colun1l1 temperature loops and the
composition loop. The temperature controller in the DP column has a gain Kc =
0.66 and integral time 'tI = 14 minutes. The temperature transmitter span is 100 to
200°F, and the setpoint is 143°F for Stage 6. The temperature controller in the DB
column has a gain Kc = 0.4 and integral time 'tI = 11 minutes. The temperature
Figure 16.14 - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed ~

-)()- - --- ---------- ------------
: FC2~:-"
•__ -)() ____ J

. .
i-W-i -'----....../-


·-FC3----cx--1 : i TCR3 .

i ~'"
:, .. _-,

"" i u, i
: : Á :

-'-iiiJ< 1


lag11 lag12

-~--->[];]---~2 __ J

dee.d2 18g31 18g32

~ ~ TC3
--~---- :;.J9------- -,""~----,,~--,>-O---- w

352 Chapter 16
Alkylation 353

transmitter span is 200 to 400°F, and the setpoint is 267°F for Stage 13. This tun-
ing is quite similar to that used in the HYSYS simulation.
The composition controller in the DIB colunm has a gain Kc = 0.2 and inte-
gral time 'el = 34 minutes. The composition transmitter span is O to 0.3 mole frac-
tion iC4 , and the setpoint is 15 mo1% iC4 for Stage 27. The gain is significantly
10wer than tllat used in the HYSYS simulation. Of comse, the two colmnns are not
The three reactor temperatme controllers use Kc = 5 and 'el = 5 rninutes witl1
temperatme transmitter ranges of 25 to 75°F. These gains are higher tllan tl10se
used in the HYSYS simu1ation because a direct Q mode1 is used.

16.4.4 Results

Figmes 16.16 tllIough 16.19 give the response ofthe system to 20% step
increase in both BB fresh feed flowrates. Figme 16.16 shows that reactor tempera-
tmes are well controlled, witl1 deviations in temperatme of les s than one degree.
The magnitudes of these temperatme deviations increase as we move down the
reactor chain.

Figure 16.16 - Reactor Section

Rl fe ~ T: : :',: :::;: ::::;::::: e::::::::: ::: ::\:::'~:~¡,~O~~::],:::: ::::: ::::::::;:::::: :::::\:::::::::::;::

: :::::; :::

:::: ~ .:··!~::f··:·J:::·j·:·::l-···:f·:::·I:.·::I·::·J::::J:::·j·:::·J::::-l:·:::::·:·:f: ..:J··:·:i.::··j.:

~ :Ji iil ~ ~ .••.• : ····,······,·····~····+····:····+····f·····'······,··· ~ .. ..... ;..... :..... :... + ....,......,..... ;.-.

¡~ 11'••[r:t• i•• '···ri•• tr.!.·• I• ·JE.'••1

1.1i ·¡• • • I.·· ••

~ fZJ;
~ ~
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
... _-:------!------;-----:-----;-----:-----;-----:-----¡------;-----:-----;-----:-----;-----:------:------:-----:--
: : i
~ ~ ~ ----.:; ----+ ---- -~-- ---~- .-- -j--- -- ~- -". -~_." --~ -- --+---- +_.- -~--- --1-----\-----~- -- --~-- ---\----- -j- --- -~--
Ñ ~ ~ -- - - -~ - - - - -j- ----·l-----~- ----~ -----~ -----~ -----~ -----¡- -----i- ----~- ----~- ----~ -----f ---- -~ --- --¡------l- ----~--
:: ::: ::::::::
o 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 125 15 1.75 2 225 25 275 3 3.25 35 3.75 -1 4.25 45
Time HOlJfS
354 Chapter 16

Figure 16.17 - Response of DP Column

~ - ~ -" -" ------_o: ------------¡- -----------:" -----------: -----------?f------------: ------------: ------------: -----------":
~ ------------~ ---- --------;" - ---------- ~- -----------~ ------------ ~ --- -------- -; -- ---------- ~ --------.". -;" -------- ----:
'B : : : : , : , : "
: ;! ~ ------------r-----------T-----------r-----------1------------1------------r------------:------------¡--------- ---vi
<O - - - - - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - - - - - - - ; - - - - - - - - - - - - ; - - - - - - - - - - - - ; - - - - - - - - - - - - ; - - - - - - - - - - - - ; - - - - - - - - - - - - : - - - - ____ o_o_o:
- <g
~ ------------r------------;""---------':------------:--- ---------:------------r------------:------------¡-------------:
: : : : : : : : :

: ~ ~ ::::::::::::t::::::::::::t:::::::::::j::::::::::::1:::Tci::::;::::::::::::t::::::::::::t::::::::::::t::::::::::::!
~ ('"\¡ : : : : : : : : :

"" :;;:
12 -------
--- -- - -:- -----------~-- ------ ----,------------, --- --------- f----- ----- --1- -- ------- ---:----- --- -- ---:
: : : : : : : :
('"\¡ - - - - - - - - - - - -~ - - - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - - - - - - - - ~- - - - - - - - - - - - ~- - - - - -- - - - - - i ------------~ ------------~ ------------:- ------------;
N ~ ~ ------------[-----------+-----------1------------1------------f------------f------------f------------i-------------¡
~ ------------¡.------------:-------------l------------~------------t------------l"------------r------------:-------------:

: ~ ~ :::::::::::o~::::::::::::I::::::::::::I:::::::::::]:::::::::::,'5:::::::::::[:::::::::::I::::::::::::::::::::::::1

Figure 16.18 - Response of DlB Column

~ ~
~- <::1 ~ - - - - -- ------¡--- ---- -----:-- ----------¡- -- ---------¡----------- -¡ --- -- ----- -- ~-- ---- ------~------------~------- -- ---;

~ !:• • •··¡ • • ¡• • ••• ·¡ • • ·• t• • ·• ·!.L~j• • • • • ··¡• • • • ··.1 1•••••••••

~ : ~ ::::,:::::::r,:":::'::::r:::,,:::'::r:::::::':':r,:,,,:,:::'i'::::::::::::::::::::::::t::::::::::::t::::::::::::!

0.5 1.5 2,::; 3.5 4.:

Tim~ Hours
Alkylation 355

Figure 16.17 shows that temperature in the DP colrnllil is controlled within

1°F. Figure 16.18 gives results for the DIB colrnnn. Stage 27 composition is well
controlled. It takes over 5 hours for the Sat. C4 stream to slowly c1imb to the
higher new steady-state level. Figure 16.19 shows that both distillate and bottoms
streams liom the DB colurnn increase and Stage 13 temperature only drops about
5°F. This is much less than observed in the HYSYS simulation.

Figure 16.19 - Response of DS Column

: : ~ ~ :::::::::::r::::::::::[:::::::::::¡:::::::::::::::::::::5:::::::::::r:::::::::r:::::::::C:::::::::
~ ~ : ~ ........... ;............!............ ;........... ;... ··D3···f···········;············!············;·········..;
: : : ~ ::··::::.::::::.:.::·::1·:·.:··:·:·'·::·:::::::1:::........1......:.:::1:::.::::.·:1·.::··:.:.:.::::::...::1

¡¡¡• • • I• •· • I·••••••
1: I• • • • • !• • • • • 1~;1!1 • • • !• • • • •!
: : : ~ :·::·······F:·::··::·: :.:::::::::'::::::::::::::::::::::::;:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::;
~ R
~ : I ...........;........ +::::::::::C::::::::L:::::::+::::::::?~:::::::::::r::::::::::c:::::::::
~ ~

'" '"

; ; ::::::::::::::::··::·::1:.::::::::·\···.:::::::1::·:::::·:·1·:··:::·:·:1::::.::::::1:::::::::··[.··.::·::·:1
- '" ~ o 05 1.5 2.5 3.5 J.!
Time Hou¡s

16.5 Computing Times

This process has 23,000 vruiables and 18,800 equations in the AspenDy-
nrunics simulation, and computing time is important. The computing time to run
out 5 hours of process time for this complex, multi-unit process is significant.
Tinling runs were made for both HYSYS and AspenDynrunics on two different
computers. The disturbance is a 25% step increase in the setpoints of the two BB
flow controllers. A Communication Time ofO.001 hours is used in AspenDynam-
Real-time factors for the two simulators using two different computers are
given in Table 16.3.
356 Chapter 16

Table 16.3 - Alkylation Process Real-Time Factors

HYSYS AspenDynamics
Gateway 8 28
650 mHz
Dell1.8 GHz 23 48

If several step changes had been made, the real-time factors for HYSYS would be
about the same, but those for AspenDynamics would decrease.

16.6 Conclusion
This chapter has presented simulations of an industrially important and typi-
cally complex process. Developing a plantwide control structure for the 21 loops
involved in this plant and testing control performance are challenging but vital
jobs. In the next chapter we simulate another complex process that features two
liquid recycle streams.
hapter 17
Ethyl Benzene Process

17.1 Introduction
The process considered in this chapter produces ethyl benzene from ethyl-
ene and benzene. Ethyl benzene is used for the production of styrene, an exten-
sively used bu1k chemical. The process features large high-capacity equipment.
The ethylene and benzene feed stocks are produced in petrolemn refineries by the
use of catalytic and them1al cracking and refonning. The process studied is a sim-
plified version of the real process with the process equipment and chemistry
trimmed down to make the simulation easier, but it stiU contains the important
topology of the process and illustrates the essential features of a plantwide dy-
narnic simulation. There are two reactors, two distillation COlUlllilS and two recyc1e
The basic chemical reaction is:

Reaction 1: Benzene (B) + Ethylene (E) --7 Ethyl Benzene (EB)

However, there are further reactions of ethylene with ethyl benzene to produce
higher-order components. The fust is:

Reaction 2: Ethyl Benzene (EB) + Ethylene (E) --7 Diethyl Benzene (DEB)

To suppress this reaction, a large excess of benzene is used so that the ethylene
concentration is small. This results in a large benzene recyc1e stream in the proc-
ess. The benzene to ethylene ratio fed to the reaction section is about 2.5. Despite
the large benzene excess, there is a significant amount of diethyl benzene pro-
duced in the reactor. It must be separated from the ethyl benzene and recyc1ed
bac1e to the reaction section where the followil1g reaction occurs:

Reaction 3: Diethyl Benzene (DEB) + Benzene (B) --72 Ethyl Benzene (EB)

The kinetic equations used for these three reactions are given below. These
parameters are se1ected to give typical reaction conversions and yields.

358 Chapter 17

RI = CE CB (l,528xl0 6 )e-----¡¡;¡-
R2 = C E C EB (2.778x10 4 )e-----¡¡;¡-
R3 = C DEB C B (0.4167)e RT

where reaction rates are in kg-mollsec/m3 , concentrations are in kg-mol/m3 , activa-

tion energies are in callg-mole and temperatures are in Kelvin.
The reaction section consists of two large CSTR reactors (200 m 3) in series.
Fresh benzene feed and a recyc1e benzene stream are fed to the first reactor (Rl),
which operates at 160°C and 9 bar. The exothermic heat of reaction is removed by
generating low-pressure steanl. The ethylene lmdergoes almost complete con ver-
sion in the first reactor. The effluent from the first reactor and a recyc1e DEB
stream are fed to a second reactor (R2), which operates adiabatical1y. The compo-
sition ofthe effluent from the second reactor is about 55 mol% benzene, 35 mol%
ethyl benzene and 10 mol% diethyl benzene. Figure 17.1 gives the HYSYS flow-
sheet. The parameter values presented below are from the HYSYS steady-state
simulation. The AspenPlus steady-state simulation results are slightly different and
are given in Section 17.3. Figure 17.2 gives stream conditions.
The reactor effluent is fed to a 24-tray distillation cohurm (Cl), operating at
4.5 bar. Recyc1e benzene goes overhead and the EB/DEB mixture goes out the
bottom. The colurnn has a reflux ratio of 0.9, consumes 15.8 MW in the reboiler
and is 3.7 m in diameter. The specifications on the streams leaving Cl are 0.1
mol% EB in the distillate and 0.1 mol% benzene in the bottoms.
The bottoms is fed to a second distillation colurnn (C2) that produces a dis-
tillate product ofhigh-purity EB and bottoms with mostly DEB, which is recyc1ed
back to the second reactor. This 30-tray colurnn operates at 2 bar, has a reflux ratio
of 1, a diameter of 3.7 m and consumes 9.8 MW of energy in the reboiler. The
reflux-drum temperature is 165°C, so low-pressure steam is generated in the con-
denser. The specifications for this colurnn are 0.1 mol % EB in the bottoms and 0.1
mol% DEB in the distillate.

17.2 HYSYS Simulation

17.2.1 Steady-State Design

Figure 17.1 gives the flowsheet. A small flow ofinert gas (nitrogen) is used
in both reactor vessels so that the pressure can be maintained while achieving the
desired reactor temperature. The N2 fed to the first reactor is 5 kg-mollhr and to
the second reactor is 3 kg-mollhr. Since there is a small amount ofN2 in the liquid
Figure 17.1 - HYSYS Flowsheeí ro



R1out V3 v30ut i elt2 R2
v'l1m •. I
V1'I v2'lin V21 R20ut

~' ...
v2in FFB
/ I 811;~.
4 QC2
T ., oF


..-+. w
wl<2 (J1
360 Clhapter 17

Figure 17.2 - HYSYS Workbook with Stream Conditions

fed to the first column, a partial condenser is used with a small vapor flow (10 kg-
mol/hr) to remove any nitrogen. These three vent streams result in a smallloss of
Equipment sizing is done in the nonnal way. Both columns have diameters
of3.7 m. Reflux-drum and base volumes are 35 m 3 and 66 m in column Cl, and
3 3
27 m and 30 m in column C2. Pumps Pland P2 have heads of 7.5 bar and 7.8
bar, respectively.
Figure 17.3 - Flowsheet with Controllers ':$..


~ ¡;;k;;¡ ir',

~ -.¡:-:j-- -
I el?
~ I

I>~ LflD1


V12 v120ut wld
V22 v220ut I I :r==t-1l -

, "-,/
ti V4

LCR1 (~=1<%{


, L¿;2 ~I =ro--, /5
~<J ' ~
j OC21
v70ut02 I v50ut

-- el." "'*"
\~,' ~JC.......J
I- LC21 ,~ ?nn~ OR2

RCY,2 V6 ""'* (¡,)

362 Chapter 17

17.2.2 Control Structure

The plantwide control scheme selected for this process has the following
loops, as ShO\VIl in Figure 17.3.

1. Fresh ethylene feed is flow controlled (FC1).

2. Fresh benzene feed is manipulated to control the liquid level in re-
actor Rl (LCR1 with Kc = 5).
3. Temperature in Rl is controlled by manipulating heat removal
(TCR1). Temperature transrnitter range is 100 to 200°C, and tuning
constants are Kc = 2 and '"el = 10 minutes. The Direct Q model is
used with a maxumun heat removal of 33.6x1 06 kcal!hr.
4. Level in the second reactor R2 is controlled by manipulating the
flowrate ofliquid from the first reactor (LCR2 with Kc = 5).
5. The liqtúd flow from the second reactor (the feed to column Cl) is
flow controIled (FC2). This is an important feature of the plant-
wide control structure, as discussed in more detail below.
6. Reflux-drum levels in both columns are controlled by manipulating
distillate flows (LC12 and LC22 with Kc = 2).
7. Base levels in both columns are controlled by manipulating bot-
toms flows (LC11 and LC2l with Kc = 2).
8. Cohunn pressures are controlled by condenser heat removal (PC1
and PC2). Pressure transrnitter ranges are 3 to 6 bar in C1 and 1 to
3 bar in C2. Tuning constants are Kc = 2 and '"el = 10 minutes.
9. Reflux flowrates are constant in both columns.
lO. The temperature on Tray 8 in column C 1 is controlled at 184°C by
manipulating reboiler heat input. Temperature transrnitter range is
150 to 250°C, and maximum heat input is 27.2x10 6 kcal!hr. Two
0.5-minute lags are installed in the temperature loop. Relay-
feedback test gave TL settings ofKc = 2.8 and '"el = 8.6 minutes, but
the loop had to be detuned because the response was too oscilla-
tory. The empirica1 settings are I<C = 1.4 and '"el = 15 minutes. Fig-
ure 17.4 shows the subflowsheet for column C 1 with the pressure
and temperature controllers installed.
11. The temperature on Tray 8 in column C2 is controlled at 200°C by
manipulating reboi1er heat input. Temperature transrnitter range is
150 to 250°C, and maximum heat input is 16.8x106 kcal!hr. Two
0.5-minute lags are installed in the temperature loop. Relay-
feedback test gave TL settings of Kc = 3.3 and '"el = 10 minutes.
Figure 17.5 shows the subflowsheet for column C2 with the pres-
sure and temperature controllers installed.
Ethyl Benzene 363

The fifth item above is the most important for the plantwide control system.
One of the heuristics of plantwide control is to put a flow controller somewhere in
allliquid recycle loops. There are two such loops in this process: the benzene re-
cycle (DI) and the diethyl benzene recycle (B2). Controlling the flow of the feed
to the first distillation places a flow controller in both of these liquid recycle
loops, which prevents the "snowball" effect. Figure 17.6 shows the PFD with all

Figure 17.4 - Column C1 Pressure and Temperature Controllers

Reflux Cnnrl"n~"rl_....


Figure 17.5 - Column C2 Pressure and Temperature Controllers




364 Chapter 17

Figure 17.6 - Controiler Faceplates

Notice that the control of levels is "in the clirection of flow" downstream
from the el column, but "in the reverse clirection of flow" upstream of this col-
umn. The column levels are held by changing the flows leaving the columns. The
reactor Ievels are held by changing the flows entering the reactors.

17.2.3 Results

Two disturbance runs are made. In the fust, the fresh feed flowrate of ethyI-
ene is increased 20% at time equal 15 minutes. Figures 17.7 A, B and e show that
it takes over 4 hours for the fresh feed of benzene and the ethyl benzene product
(D2) to increase up to their new steady-state 1evels. The benzene fresh feed ini-
tially moves in the wrong direction.
Ethyl Benzene 365

Figure 17.7A - Response of Reaction Section to increase

in Ethylene Feed Flow




Figure 17.78 - Response of C1 Column to Increase in

Ethylene Feed Fiow
366 Chapter 17

Figure 17.7C - Response of C1 Column to Increase in Ethylene Feed Flow

Figure 17.8A - Response of Reaction Section to Increases in Both

Ethylene Feed and C1 Column Feed Flowrates


Ethyl Benzene 367

Figure 17.88 - Response of C1 Column to Increases in 80th Ethylene

Feed and C1 Column Feed Flowrates

Figure 17.8C - Response of C2 Column to In creases in 80th

Ethylene Feed and C1 Column Feed Flowrates
368 Chapter 17

In the second set ofruns, both the fresh ethylene feed flowrate and the C1
colrunn feed flowrate are increased 20%. As Figures 17.8 A, B and C show, this
simultaneous change of the two setpoints speeds up the response of the system
dramaticalIy. Higher production rate is achieved in less than 2 hours.

17.3 AspenDynamics Simulation

17.3.1 Steady-State Design

Figure 17.9 gives the AspenPlus steady-state flowsheet. The convergence of

the two recycle loops was not easy. Initial guesses ofthe two streams (REC1 and
REC2) were made, and the reactors and colrunns were solved with Design Specs
and Vary features used to obtain the desired product purities in the columns. Then
the first recycle stream was connected. It was specified as a "tear" stream, and the
program runo However, it did not converge and drove the Vary parameters to un-
realistic constraints. The flowsheet was converged by removing the Design Specs
and fixing the reflux ratio and the distillate flow in the first colrunn and fixing the
reflux ratio and bottoms flow in the second colrunn. The converged flowsheet has
slightly different compositions, flowrates and other parameter values than those
obtained in the HYSYS simulation.
The recycle stream DI is set at 900 kg-m01lhr and the reflux ratio in C1 is
set at 1.2. This gives a distillate ethyl benzene impurity of 0.3 mol% EB and a
bottoms benzene impurity of 180 ppm. Reboiler duty is 13.7x10 6 kca1lhr. The bot-
toms stream B2 from the second colrunn is fixed at 65 kg-mollbr, and the reflux
ratio is fixed at 0.8. This gives a distillate purity of99.92 mol% ethyl benzene and
a bottoms impurity of 34 ppm ethyl benzene. The reboiler duty is 7.47x106
The first reactor has a significant heat-transfer duty ( - 12.6x106 kca1lhr) be-
cause the reactions are exothermic. The Direct Q model is used, but it is important
to check the available heat-transfer area and the required coolant temperature. The
total vessel volume is 200 m 3. Assuming an aspect ratio ofLlD = 2, the diameter
is 4.88 m and the length is 10.7 m. This gives a circumferential jacket heat-transfer
area of only 164 m 2 • If the reactor temperature is 160°C and the overall heat-
transfer coefficient is 486 kca1lhr-oC-m2 (100 Btuihr-oF-ft\ the required tempera-
ture difference is
(12.6x106 kca1lhr)/(486 kcal!hr-oC-m2)/(l64 m 2) = 158°C
This would mean a jacket temperature of 2°C! Clearly we need to provide more
heat-transfer area in this reactor.
It makes sense to recover the energy by generating steam. Suppose we de-
cide to have a steam temperature of 130°C, v.hich would correspond to generating
Ethyi Bellizene 369

steam at 2.7 bar. With the reactor at 160°C, a 30°C temperature differential is
availab1e. Then the required heat-transfer area is
(12.6x106 kcallhr)/(486 kcallhr-oC-m2)/(30°C) = 864 m
This could be achieved by installing 550 tubes in the reactor, 0.05 m in diameter
and 10 m in length. The total volume occupied by these tube is 10.8 m3 .

Figure 17.9 - AspenPlus Flowsheet



17.3.2 Equipment Sizing

The columns are slightly different in the AspenPlus flowsheet than in the
HYSYS process. The AspenPlus tray sizing gives column diameters of 4.1 m for
column Cl and 3.0 m for column C2. Reflux-drum volumes for the two columns
are 36.7 m 3 (2.86 m diameter by 5.72 m length) and 27.5 in3 (2.6 m diameter by
5.2 m length), respectively. Base volumes are 69.8 m 3 (3.54 m diameter by 7.08 m
length) and 29.7 m 3 (2.66 m diameter by 5.33 m length), respectively.

17.3.3 Dynamic Simulation

The flowsheet was pressure checked and exported to AspenDynarnics. The

flowsheet with default controllers that opens is shown in Figure 17.l0. Control
loops are rearranged and additional controllers are installed to give the same con-
trol scheme used in the HYSYS simulation.
Figure 17.11 gives the column temperature profiles in the two columns.
The temperature control trays are selected to be Stage 16 in column C1 and Stage
21 in co1umn C2.
370 Chapter 17

Figure 17.10 -Initial Controllers in AspenDynamics



R ,--- •• ··~··_----.VJ sGJ ~ ~Cg

r-·· ..
= TI -r--'
······-----········--········(·---Rio"üT·--------..... --------....... ---..........•

The two colurnn temperature controllers are retuned with two O.5-minute
lags in each loop. Relay feedback tests give ultimate gains and ultimate frequen-
cies that are almost the same as those found in the HYSYS simulation.

1. Colurnn C1: The temperature controller on Stage 16 has tuning

constants Kc = 2.8 and 'tI = 7 minutes. Transmitter range is 150 to
250 oc. Setpoint is 186°C. Maximum heat input is 27.4x10 6
2. Colurnn C2: The temperature controller on Stage 21 has tuning
constants Kc = 2.5 and 'tI = 6.4 minutes. Transmitter range is 150 to
250 OC. Setpoint is 200°C. Maximum heat input is 14.9x106 kcal!hr.

Notice that, unlike the findings in the depropanizer example considered in

Chapter 8, the HYSYS and AspenDynamics tuning constants are quite close. Fig-
ure 17.12A gives the complete control structure, and Figure 17.12B shows the 13
controller faceplates needed to run this process

17.3.4 Results

The disturbances are simultaneous step increases in the setpoint of the fresh
ethy1ene FFE flow controller (630.6 to 757 kg-mollhr) and the setpoint ofthe sec-
ond reactor effluent R20UT flow controller (1595 to 1915 kg-mol!hr). Dynamic
results are given in Figures 13 A, B and C. The step changes are made at time
equal 0.25 hours.
Ethyl Benzene 371

Figure 17.11 - Temperature Profiles

Figure 17.12A - Flowsheet with Controllers Installed

.I.fFE1----- /Vi-----;-·---.. ----.. ----·----------O<---------------------;.'
~~ - I ; ,-..--..-.. -.. ----.. ---..-.. --..LCR2
0<----.. -...... --- .. ,

n~ ~¡ j
8TOT ~l~ :~--.J~
lV3 -f1Bl-LciF-n.i -~..


16 ;--- -.-..:,
i ' =TI
.... ;>(l .... , ¡e-O<-

. ,
¡ log11 h:~glZ TCl ¡
,-~-----~-----»()_ .. _;
i 109 21 log22 TC2;
'-~---, __>[] ___ "--->O----'
372 Chapter 17

Figure 17.128 - Controller Faceplates

It takes over 2 hours for the fresh benzene flow FFB to be brought up to
equal the fresh ethylene flow. Gradual increases in the production rate of ethy1
benzene (stream D2) occur. Both recyc1e streams (DI and B2) increase. The DI
recyc1e stream increases more quickly because it sees the change in the feed
flowrate to column el immediately.
eolumn tray ternperatures are well controlled. In column el the maximurn
ternperature deviation is about 7° e, while in column e2 it is about 3°C. Notice,
however, that in column e2 there is an initial drop in ternperature because of the
increase in c01umn feed (B1), but then the ternperature increases. This secondary
effect is probably due to the increase in the feed composition, as more DEB enters
the c01umn.

17.3.4 Computing Times

This process is fair1y complex and requires significant computing times. The
real-time factors for both simulators are given in Table 17.1 for two computers.

Table 17.1 - Real-Time Factors

HYSYS AspenDynamics
Gateway 17 33
650 mHz
Dell1.8 GHz 32 38 with CT = 0.001
160 with CT = 0.01
Ethyl Benzene 373

Figure 17.13A - Response of Reaction Section

~ - o
~ o

g ~
~ iil
!i !i ~ =
~ ~ 1---------- c...-

---- ----

L\ -'TRl
;ji .\

~ - § ~r----
~ 1------------- \
g '"
- ~ ~f-------- :L QKl
~ - ~
- ª ~ ~
¡¡: ¡¡:
~ J ~
~ o

Figure 17.138 - Response of Column C1

l' ~ - "
~ ~ - ~

§ - "
~ :g ¡\

8 Q~ 1:'

E R ¿!!!
t~ §~

t~ t: t~ !i

~ ~ - ''""
i2 ~

~ § - ::

¡¡¡ iil - o 0.2 0.5 0.6 0.7 08 0,9 1 1.1 1.3 1.4 15 1.6 1.8 19
374 Chapter 17

Figure 17.13C - Response of Column C2

:;; e:

m ~

m :2 g ro r............... ,.--.--.t(6 /
j v' QR2
~ ~¡------+-' -- /

~8 ~ LI-----+-'~..

+........ --------1 ....... --.--....:............ __ + ...... ____ ..... ]

HPrl:r....-- ..:....¡··\·v
_10 1 ____ . . . . . . . . --.,-- ... ------: .......... - - - - - - . , . . .... -- ..

.--¡A:.::=: i==i='
~ ~r·········--····:]····--·.¡ 1·····:····--············:,··--·············:·----···········;··------·······+···----·······1··----········1····----·······;·····----······1

~ Nr----··i .. --I}...<--.......... --i--•..... --.¡. .... --...; . ··--1·--·······--j----····1·----·······]--··········1

~ g ~ O~--~O.2---ooT,---O~.6---70'8---T,--~1.'2--~lA--~16c---,~8--~
Time HOlir5

17.4 Conclusion
This chapter presents another fairly complex chemical process involving
multiple interconnected unit operations. The two liquid recycles can present both
dynamic and steady-state difficulties. The plantwide control structure selected for
this system does an effective job in providing a basic regulatory control scheme.
The "snowballing" of recycle streams is avoided by placing a flow controller in a
location (the effluent of the second reactor) through which both recycle stream
The next chapter presents an even more complex process, which features
four recycles and an interesting "on-demand" control structure.
hapter 18

ethyl Amines Process

In this chapter we consider a cornplex chemical process with reaction and
separation sections connected by several recycle streams. The new feature in this
process is the production of rnultiple products. There are three consecutive re-
versible reactions that produce three different chemical cornponents. The reactor
effluent contains equilibrium amounts ofthese products, in addition to one ofthe
reactants that has a low per-pass conversion in the reactor.
The demand for the three products is different frorn the equilibrium
amounts leaving the reactor. Therefore, sorne of the product streams produced in
the separation section are recycled back to the reactor. Because the reactions are
reversible, the excess products can be converted back to reactants. These recycles
drive the process to produce the correct amounts ofthe desired products.
The separation section is cornplex because the vapor-liquid equilibrium of
the systern contains azeotropes. Extractive distillation is used to overcorne sorne
ofthese distillation boundaries.
The control structure used is an "on-demand" type in which sorne of the
product flows are fixed and the process rnust adjust reactor conditions, recycle
flows and fresh feed flows to accommodate the desired production rates.

18.1 Introduction
The production of rnethyl amines is an important chernical process. The
chemistry consists of three sirnultaneous reversible gas-phase reactions produc-
ing rnonornethyl amine (MMA), dirnethyl amine (DMA) and trirnethyl amine
(TMA) frorn ammonia and rnethanol. Water is a byproduct.
CH 3 0H +NH3 <=> CH 3 NH 2 +H 2 0
CH 3 0H +CH 3 NH 2 <=> (CH 3 )2 NH +H 2 0
CH 3 0H + (CH 3 )2 NH <=> (CH 3 )3 N +H2 0
The specific reaction rates of these reactions are quite large, so chernical
equilibrium is achieved as long as the residence time in the reactor is sufficiently
large. The reactor in the specific numerical case used in this chapter has a volume
of 1500 fe (8 ft in diameter and 30 ft long), which gives residence times of about
376 Chapter 18

0.5 rrllnutes. Therefore the use of an "RGibbs" reactor in the simulation is justi-
fied and elirrrinates the need to have all the forward and reverse kinetic parame-
ters for the reactions. The RGibbs reactor ca1culates the reactor effluent concen-
trations that rninimize the free energy ofthe stream.
The primary desired product is DMA, and the equilibrium mixture leaving
the reactor contains more TMA and MMA than can be soldo Therefore the excess
amounts ofthese components are recycled back to the reactor from the separation
section. A large excess of ammonia is used drive the per-pass conversion of
methanol to close to 100%.

18.2 Process Studied

The design discussed below is roughly based on a Stanford Research Insti-
tute reporto There is no claim that this is the optimum design, nor are the individ-
ual unit operations optimized. Our purpose is to illustrate the dynarnic simulation
of a fairly complex process.

18.2.1 Reaction Section

The process flowsheet is shown in Figure 18.1. The fresh feed of liquid
methanol (558 lb-mol!hr) and the liquid recycle streams of MMA (63.4 lb-
mol!hr) and TMA (50 lb-mol/hr) are fed into a tank. Liquid from this tank is fed
into a vaporizer along with fresh arnmonia (287 lb-mol!hr) and recycle arnmonia
(3774 lb-mol!hr). You can see that there is a very large arnmonia recycle. The
heat duty in the vaporizer is 45x10 6 Btu/br. The saturated vapor from the vapor-
izer at 203°F is preheated to 442°F in a feed-effluent heat exchanger. The heat-
transfer area is 1000 :ft?, and the overall heat-transfer coefficient is 100 Btu/br-ft2-
°F. The heat duty is 13.4x106 Btu/br.
The reactor operates at 570°F and 280 psia. The reactions are somewhat
exothermic, but the feed is cool enough and the recycle of arnmonia is large
enough so that a small amount of heat must be added to the reactor (1.43x10 6
Btu/br). The reactor effluent flows back through the heat exchanger and is fed to
the separation section.
It should be noted that heat integration between the reactor and the vapor-
izer are neglected in the simulation. A higher reactor inlet temperature would be
used in the real process because a tubular reactor is used. Then steam can be gen-
erated in the high-temperature reactor and used in the vaporizer. Altematively,
there can be direct heat transfer between the reactor and the vaporizer. For pur-
poses of simplification, these complexities are not inc1uded in the simulation.
Figure 18.1 -Amines Flowsheet


l:::j, ~




378 Chapter 18

18.2.2 Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium

The ammonia and water are easily separated from the amines because of
their large differences in boiling temperatures. The boiling points of the pure
components in the system at 85 psia are given in Table 18.1. This pressure is
used in three ofthe colurnns so that cooling water can be used in the condenser.

Table 18.1 - Boiling Points of Pure Components at 85 psi a

Pure Component Boiling Point CC)

Ammonia - 271.1
MMA 41.03
DMA 69.93
TMA 59.29
Water 157.9

The temary MMA!DMA/TMA system contains binary azeotropes between

MMA/TMA and TMA/DMA. Azeotropic data are given in Table 18.2. The Uni-
fac VLE property is used, and results are predicted using the commercial soft-
ware DISTIL from Hyprotech.

Table 18.2 - Azeotropes in the Methyl Amine System at 85 psi a

Components Boiling Point (oC) Composition

MMNTMA 40.68 0.880MMA
TMA/DMA 55.87 0.6027TMA
MMNDMA No azeotrope

If the TMA can be removed, the MMNDMA separation can be achieved

in a single colurnn because there is no azeotrope between these two components.
Figure 18.2 gives the temary diagram at 85 psia, which permits the use of cooling
water in condensers. Figure 18.3 gives the Txy diagram for the binary
MMA/TMA system at 85 psia.
An extractive distillation colurnn is used to remove TMA. In the presence
of excess water, TMA becomes more volatile than DMA and TMA. Figure 18.4
gives a temary diagram for the TMAJMMNwater system showing the residue
curves. The extraction water is fed near the top of the colurnn. The distillate is
mostly TMA. The bottoms is fed to another colurnn that removes all the water in
the bottoms stream. The net water produced in the reactions is removed, and the
rest of the water is recycled back to the extraction colurnn.
The VLE results given aboye are predictions using the Unifac property
package in DISTIL. Since the current version of HYSYS does not have Unifac
Amines 379

and no oth.er property package could be foul1d in HYSYS that drove the TMA
overhead in the extraction column, the simulations of the process presented in
this chapter are only done in AspenPlus and AspenDynamics.

Figure 18.2 - MMAlTMAlDMA Residue Curves

M-Amine Residue Curves at 85 psia



0.7":: - _. _..- -- ----- -

0.61- I_I-f-\-\-\""~"- Azeotropes

o5~ I
0.4-: -I-+I--I--Id-\--\~~\-"!.



0.1 -: H-I-I---j-,J-+---j

0.0"::<'. . "
diM-Amine l' " ~11' , " l' ,'~I;' " l' "~I¿' " l' ,'~I;' , , I' ,,~I~' , , I tri-M-Amine
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0,8 1

Figure 18.3 - Txy Diagram for Binary MMAlTMA at 85 psi a

¡T.',"" iI
¡ei M-Amine - tri-M-Amine
.~"'''''''' 60
'(\.. - BubT:N
-1 - DewT:
58 \ '"


\ '"
:¡; 4B
m 46

'" "" ' ' '
"--'- 1'-.....

0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 DAD 0.50

M-Amine ,Mole Fraclion

~ ¡::;;:
0.70 0.60 0,90 1.0
380 Ci1apter 18

Figure 18.4 - TMAlMMA/Water

tri_M_AmineResidue Curves at 85 psia


0.5-: ¡-/-T---t--:;¡:::::i=:::::t~
0.4-: If--!-\·······:f-+-··········-+:-:o~~L-··"'~

0.3 -= Ij-I--I----b'--¡--¡~,..-;==4--"'-,
0.2 -: Ij-j-l-+l-+---·,'Í---I··---;;--i""- -1---1········-···"


H20 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 M-Amine

However, physical property errors were experienced when Unifac was

used in AspenDynamics. The steady-state design in AspenPlus worked fine. But
after exporting to AspenDynamics, the simulation produced errors and would not
After considerable effort and trial-and-error, a physical property package
was found that runs in AspenDynamics and gives the correct VLE in the extrac-
tion colunm. Peng-Robinson is used in all the units in the flowsheet except the
extraction colunm (C2) and the water-recovery colunm (C3). In these two col-
unms the "PRMHV2" properties are used (peng-Robinson with MHV2 rnixing

18.2.3 Separation Section

Reactants and products are separated in a series of fOUT distillation col-

unms. The first colunm recycles ammonia back to the reaction section (to the
vaporizer). The second colunm is an extractive distillation colunm in which water
is used as the extracting agent to drive TMA out the topo The third colunm re-
rnoves :MJ\.1A and DMA frorn the water byproduct. The fourth colunm separates
:MJ\.1A and DMA. Sorne of the TMA frorn the second colunm and sorne of the
:MJ\.1A frorn the third colurnn are recycled back to the reactor. Table 18.3 gives
design details of the fOUT colunms. Rernernber stages in Aspen are numbered
frorn the condenser.
Amines 381

Table 18.3 - Column Design Parameters

C1 C2 C3 C4
Stages 22 42 22 42
D (lb-mollhr) 3774 90 310 120
B (lb-mollhr) 958 3868 3558 190
Reflux ratio 2 15 15 15
Feedstage 11 3/21 11 21
Pressure (psia) 240 85 85 85
Condenser (OF) 112 139 121 105
Reboiler (OF) 207 286 318 141
QC (l06Btu/lrr) -93.6 -14.4 -48.4 -18.6
QR (10 6Btu/lrr) 40.7 10.7 50.6 18.7
Diameter (ft) 9.0 5.0 7.2 5.0
DxL (ft)
Refluxdrum 9x18 7x14 8x16 5xlO
Base 8x16 6x12 7x14 7x14

A. Ammonia eolumn (el): This column has 22 theoretica1 stages and is fed on
stage 11. The distillate product is the excess arnmonia, which is recyc1ed back to
the vaporizer. The c01umn operates at 240 psia and a reflux ratio of 2. The bot-
toms contains very little arnmonia (0.09 mol%). The distillate contains a consid-
erable amount ofMMA (8 mol%) and TMA (1.2 mol%). In fact, ofthe 131 lb-
mol/hr ofTMA leaving the reactor, about one third is recyc1ed bade in this distil-
late stream. So some of the excess MMA and TMA can be recycled along with
the arnmonia in the distillate from Cl. This reduces the load on the downstream
Reflux-drum temperature is 112°F. Base temperature is 240°F. Reboiler
heat input is 40.7x106 BtuJhr. Figure 18.5 shows the composition profiles in the
column, and Figure 18.6 gives the temperature profile.

B. Extraction eolumu (e2): The bottoms from el contains most1y water,

MMA, DMA and TMA. It is fed to Stage 21 of an extractive distillation column
that uses water as the extraction agent. A large flow of extract water (3,000 lb-
mol/hr) is fed to Stage 3 ofthe 42-stage co1umn operating at 85 psia. The disti1-
late flowrate is 90 lb-mol/hr with a composition of 87 mol% TMA. This purity is
382 Chapter 18

Figure 18.5 - C1 Liquid Composition Profiles




Figure 18.6 - C1 Temperature Profile

11 16 21
Amines 383

Figure 18.7 - C2 Liquid Composition ProfiJe

. . , . , , , .

_. r-.~~ ~ _ _ _: 1: \ \ \ /

¡ H20 i ~------~~~-----~~!~---'--~~~

Figure 18.8 - C2 Temperature Profile

'" I~Te

~ ~ J

1 6 11 16 21 ,.6 31 36 41
384 Chapter 18

lower than desired in the real plant, but achieving higher purities would probably
require more trays, which would slow down the simulation. The distillate stream
is split between 40 lb-mol!hr of product and 50 lb-mol!hr of recycle, wrnch is fed
back to the methanollrecyc1e feed tank.
Reflux-drum temperature is 139°F. Reboiler temperature is 286°F. Reboiler
heat input is 1O.7x106 Btu/br. Figure 18.7 shows the composition profiles in the
column, and Figure 18.8 gives the temperature profile.

C. Water-Recovery Column (C3): The bottoms from C2 is fed to a 22-stage

column operating at 85 psia. The bottoms is fairlypure water (99.5 mol%), which
is split between the extraction water fed back to C2 and the water product (558
lb-mol!hr). Reflux-drum temperature is 121°F; reboiler temperature is 318°F.
Reboiler heat input is 50.6x106 Btu/br. Figure 18.9 shows the temperature profile.

Figure 18.9 - C3 Temperature Profile

11 16 21

D. Product Column (C4): The distillate from C3 contains mostly MMA and
DMA with about 2.8 mol% TMA. This is fed into a 42-stage column operating at
85 psia and a reflux ratio of 15. The distillate is 99.3 mol% MMA at a flowrate of
120 lb-mol!hr. This stream is split between MMA product (56.6 lb-mol!hr) and
MMA recycle back to the methanol tank (63.4lb-mollhr).
Amines 385

The bottoms from C4 is 94.S mo1% DMA at a flowrate of 190 1b-molJhr.

This is all removed as prodlllct since DMA is the most desired product. Reflux-
drum temperature is 10S°F. Reboi1er temperature is 141°F. Reboi1er heat input is
18.7x10 6 Btu/br. Figure 18.10 shows the temperature profi1e.

Figure 18.10 - C4 Tempen-ature Profile


/-- .

11 16 21 26 31 36

18.3 Steady-State Design

The steady-state design of this amines p'rocess is quite challenging, mostly
because of the high1y nonidea1 VLE and the pre~5ence of four recyc1e streams
(ammonia, MMA, TMA and extraction water to C2). Converging the flowsheet
is difficult. Tear streams were specified manuall~y to be these four recyc1e
streams. The system was sol ved with the four strean'1S tomo Then the ammonia
recyc1e loop was c10sed and converged. Then the MMJ.\ recyc1e. Then the extrac-
tion water (stream "S"). Finally the MMA recyc1e loop was c10sed and con-
verged. Design specifications were not used during the~se recyc1e conversions
because t.hey seemed to make convergence 1ess robust. Tht~ reflux ratios and dis-
tillate flowrates were specified for a11 co1umns. Figures 18.1' lA and 18.11B give
data for severa1 ofthe important streams.
Remember that a11 units use Peng-Robinson physica1properties except
Columns C2 and C3. These two use the PRMHV2 package. It l'S used in C2 be-
cause it predicts that most ofthe TMA 1eaves in the disti11ate anu1 it runs without
386 Chapter 18

errors in AspenDynamics. The Unifac property package worked at steady-state

but not in dynamics.

Figure 18.11A -Stream Data

Hcat and Material Balance Tablc

Frem ¡,EHE REACTOR PI V43 V23 V41 V42 V22
Substrcarn: MIXED

Mole Flow lbmol/hr

NH3 3711.051 3424.444 3423.597 4.712S0E~7 .4705865 5.l248E-18 4.20693E-7 .3764692
MEOH 558.0384 1.388297 7.6517IE-9 8•.4323E-34 .0666354 4.6694E-13 7.5280E-34 .0533089
DMA 10.41329 194.7383 6.687594 .0161292 3.709774 179.5835 .0143993 2.967793
362.1220 421.5452 298.9398: 62.94335 .2438106 2.717985 56.19233 ,1950570
WATER 2.054897 558.7050 I.66782E-8 2.0716E-29 2.055172 4.6387E-13 1.8494E-29 1.644152

88.66597 131.5250 44.77539 .4405182 43.45402 7.698503 .3932720 34.76322

NH3 .7841885 .7236251 .9071535, 7.43297E-9 9.41173E-3 2.6973E-20 7.43274E-9 9.41173E-3
~OH .1 179200 2.93363E-4 2.0275E-l'2 1.3300E-35 1.33271E-3 2.4576E-J5 !.3300E-35 !.33272E-3
DMA 2.20045E-3 .0411504 1.77202E-3 2.54404E-4 .0741954 .9451764 2.54-405E-4 .0741948
MivIA .0765206 .0890774 .0792103 .9927974 4.87621E-3 .0143051 .9927973 4.87643E-3
WATER 4.34224E-4 .1180609 4.4192E._12 3.2676E-31 .0411034 2.4414E-15 3.2676E-31 .0411037

¡-:.T"'MA'"'-_ _ __l----t_-'.:::.0:..:18:::.73:::6:::.1+-----'.0:::2:::.7:.:;79:.:2:...71-----'.0::.:1~18,641 6.94824E-3 .8690804 .0405184 6.94827E-3 .8690805

¡-T_O_la...;1F_'10_w_ _ _+lb...;m",01...;/h_'_-+_ _4"7.:;32,,,.3:..4:.:6+--,4:::.73:.:2:;:.3...;4.:.61---=3.:.77:...JLOOO 63.40000 50.00000 190.0000 56.60000 40.00000
Tal:11 Flaw lbfhr 98076.27 98076.27 705,38.32 1981.626 2790.618 8635.882 1769.086 2232.494

Total Flaw cuft/hr 1.53883E+S 1.8 1590E+5 19'52.864 2742.497 3231.565 8737.07-1. 175.7075 93.50796

fT:.:,:;:mp~,:;:rn:;:ru:;:"~_ _lr----t_-4:.:;4:::.1.:::.99:.:7:::.7t_--=5:::.7:::.0.:::00:.:0:::.0I-~1~12=.8~1=28~_~3:..:1.8:::6:::.93:::8~_=52=.9:.:2~09:.:3~_6::.:7:....7:::.1:::.60::.:4+-~9:.:4::.:.1:::.94::.:0:::.3+--,1~24~.:::84:.:8~8
~P:"'''='"=U':''''_ _ _-J:...ps=i_ _ _1---=2=8:::5.:::00~0~01---=2~80:::..0:::0:",004-__ ·~33~0~.0=OO=0+---=2~0~.0=00=0=0~--=2~0~.0=00~0~0~--=2=5.=00~0=004-_:::.7:::0.~00:::0~004-_:::70:::..0~0:...00:::0~
VuporFrnc 1.000000 1.000000 0.0 .1661307 .2410479 .2077650 .0296806 .0107945
LiquidFruc 0.0 0.0 1.000000 .8338693 .7589521 .7922350 .9703194 .9892055
Salid Frac 0.0 0.0
Enthulpy Btu/lbmol -23122.74 -22821.45 -27159.19 -19440.80 -22433.38 -16803.63 -19440.80 -22433.42

¡:E:::.nth:.:ru:::.p"y_ _ _-J:::.B:::tu:.;:nb:-_-+_.::-I:::.I:...15:::..7:::.1~11-_-:..:I:...IO:::I:.::.1:::.7::.41- -1453.094 -621.9875 -401.9429 -369.700S -621.9875 -401.9437

¡:E:::.n:.:tha:.:IP"y_ _ _-J:::.B:::tul:.;:h:...'_ _I-_-I:;:.0:.:9~42:::E:.:+.:;81-~-I.:::.(j~,8:::00:::E:.:+::..¡8 -1.0250E+8 -1.2325E+6 -1.l217E+6 -3.1927E+6 -1.l003E+6 -8.9734E+5
¡-E_n_~0..:.p'-y_ _ __l-B-tu-/lb-m-0-I-R-+---2-6-.8-31-9-51---._2_4....
92_5_9_6 -45.35441 -64.35469 _107.2404 -87.44540 -64.61463 -107.5822
¡:E:::n:::~0::!;p'-y_ _ __l.::B.::tu:.:/lb::..-R"--t_~-I:::.2:.:9.::46::::8.::7t- -1202720 -2.426589 -2.058959 _1.921444 -1.923906 -2.067276 -1.927570
¡:D::::o::n':::itY'-_ _ _-Flb:::;m~ol::.:/o:::uf1::.t_1---,.::;03:;:0.:.;75::2.:;8l--"--=.0::;2;:!6;::06:;::OO 1.932546 .0231176 .0154723 .021746-1. .3221262 .4277711
Dcnsity lb/cuft .6373423 .540098.8 36.12044 .7225628 .8635501 .9884181 10.06836 23.87491
AvcrngclvIW 20.7246'.) 20.724f56 18.69060 31.25593 55.81236 45.45201 31.25593 55.81235
Liq Vo160F ouftlltr 3943.667 3802.181 3223.197 45.73645 68.03175 206.5510 40.83097 54.42538

The PRMHV2 package is lLlsed for Cohunn C3 in both AspenPlus and As-
penDynanücs beca1tlse in the steady-state design regular Peng-Robinson gives
unrealistic temperatures on sorne trays in the column (-240°F). AspenPlus gave
no error message and claimed that the column had converged. But looking at the
Amines 387

temperature profile was enough to see that something was amiss. Switching to
PRMHV2 gave reasonable temperatures.

Figure 18.118 -Stream Data

HClltnnd Material BalanccTllblc


From V31 V33 TANK V5 VII VOl V32

To Y2 VI e2 P2 el e2 e3 e4
SubS!f'1!<lm: M¡XED
Mole: Flol'? Ibmollhr
NH3 0.0 287.0000 2.3048E-15 1.2384E-14 .4705500 3424.444 .8470565 8.91928E-7 8.91928E-7

MEOH 558.00QO 0,0 1.268352 6.814871 558.0657 1.388297 1.388297 8.083223 4.6694E-13
DMA 0.0 0.0 1.759088 9..151605 3.725788 19-1.7383 188.0507 190.8247 179.6140
MMA 0.0 0.0 .3127812 1.680552 63.18501 421.5452 122.6053 123.8470 121.8537

WATER 0.0 0.0 555.0057 2982.053 2.055170 558.7050 558.7050 3537,059 4.6387E-13
TMA 0.0 0.0 2.96353E-5 !.59232E-l 43.89109 131.5250 86.74957 8.532484 8.532295
NH3 0.0 I.ooonoo 4.!279E-IS 4.1280E·18 7.00856E-1 .7236251 8,83873E-t 2.3057E-1O 2,87719E·9

MEOH 1.000000 0.0 2,271ó2E-3 2.27162E·3 .8312053 2.93363E-4 l,44S6·!E-3 2.08958E·3 1.5063E-'15
DMA 0.0 0.0 3.15053E·3 3.15054E-3 5.54934E·3 .0411504 .1962242 .0493298 .5794001
MMA 0.0 0.0 5.60192E-I 5.60184E-1 .0941102 .0890774 .1:'79343 .0320155 .393I J763
WATER 0.0 0.0 .9940176 .9940176 3.06105E-3 .1180609 .5~29S89 .9143594 1.4964E_15
TMA 0.0 0.0 5.30770E-8 5.30773E-8 .0653731 .0277927 .0905201 2.20572E-3 .02.75235
Totalr-lolV IbmoVhr 558.0000 287.0000 558.3460 3000.000 671.3933 4732.346 958.3460 3868.346 310.0000
TotalFlow Iblhr 17879.53 -1887.771 10128.25 54419.20 22651.46 98076.27 27537.95 76934.04 12386.59
TotalFlow cuMlr 372.5537 4950.472 1697.695 10511.74 478.3583 1.56031E+5 27062.53 35061.72 317.6357
Tcmpe["Jturc 120.0000 200.0000 312.20¡O 309.-1053 87.80778 339.8453 135.9986 232.9515 115.7801
Pressurc psi 100.0000 360.0000 90.00000 85.2459(J 20.00000 244.7619 87.43902 87.38095 87.-13902
Vapor Fr¡¡c 0.0 1.000000 .0306572 .0340777 0.0 I.(JOOOOO .4261640 .1092803 0.0
LiquidFrac 1.000000 0.0 .9693427 .9659222 1.000000 0.0 .5738360 .8907197 1.0DOOOO
Solid Frac 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
EnUl¡¡lpy B~ll/lbmol ·1.0257E+5 -191·15.58 -!.1810E+5 -U810E+5 ·89325.24 -25650.30 -74868.54 -1.1056E+5 -1814-1.10
Ent]¡a!py Btllflb -3201.077 -1124.190 -6510.708 ·6510.708 -2647.616 -1237.670 -26n5.494 ·5559.1-11 -454.0933i
EnU¡¡¡!py -5.7234E+7 ·5.4948E+6 -6.5942E+7 -3.5431E+8 -5.9972E+7 .1.2139E+8 -7. 1750E+7 -1.2769E4-8 .5.6247H6',
Entropy Blll/lbmol-R -57.53241 -28.611636 ·32.-11808 ·32.41430 -62.04042 -27.77331 -50.11041 -36.31545 -78.13I.Hll
Entropy Btu/lb-R .1.795522 ~1.684405 -1.787131 .].786923 -1.838889 ·1.3-10109. -1.743888 -1.825989 _11.95~85

Density Ibmot'cuft 1.497771 .0579742 .3288847 .2853953 1.403536 .0303295 .0354¡22 .11032% ;Jj.7S9609
Dcnsity Ib/CUfl 47.9918! .9873342 5.965881 5.176994 47.35250 .6285687 ].017568 _ 2.194246 38.99623
AvcrageMW 32.04216 17.03056 18.13973 18.13973 33.73799 20.72466 28.73488 19.88FiIO 39.95675
Liq Vol60F cuft!hr 246.2212 163.-1093 878.0004 474.2838 3802.181 578.9849 1334 .. 5~ 293.1185

18.4 Dynamics
18.4.1 Equipment Sizing

The usual design sizing methods discussed in Chapter 2 were used to size
equipment. The methanoIlrecycle feed tank has a 'diameter of 5 ft and a let<lgth of
10 :fl¡, giving a total vohune of 200 ft3. The stream ("Rtot") leaving fue tank is
22,620 lbllrr with a density of 47.41b/ft3. The total holdup time is 25 minutes in
this. tank.
388 Chapter 18

The feed-effluent heat exchanger has a heat-transfer area of 1000 ff,

which corresponds to a tube volume of 24 ~. Shell vlolume is assumed to be the
same as tube volume.
The vaporizer has a total volume of 900 ft3 (diameter 8.3 ft, length 16.6
ft). The material entering the vaporizer is 98,080 lblhr. The density ofthe liquid
in the vaporizer is 39.4 lb/ft3 and the density of the vapor leaving is 1.0 lb/:ft3.
Designing for an F-Factor of 0.5 gives a diameter of 8.3 ft. The liquid holdup
time is 10 minutes with the vessel half full.
The reactor size is set large enough to give chemical equilibrium conditions
in the reactor effluent stream (Rgibbs reactor used). Columl'1 diameters, reflux-
drum and reboiler sizes are given in Table 18.3.
Control val ves and pumps are sized to give about 30 psi presslliTe drops,
except for valve VIl. This valve drops pressure from Colurnn C1, operating at
240 psia, down to Colurnn C2, operating at 85 psia.

18.4.2 Control System

The steady-state flowsheet is pressure checked and exported to A:spenDy-

namics. Figure 18.12 gives the initial flowsheet with default contr·ollers. The va-
added to the flowsheet during the steady-state design because AspeDlPlus requires
two outlet streams from a separator. The flowrates are set at sorne very tiny
value, and in the dynamic sirnulation these val ves are c1osed.
Figure 18.13 shows the control structure used on this process. )'t is an "on-
dernand" structure. Two of the product streams are flow controlled (MMA and
TMA.) using flow controllers FCMMA. and FCTMA. Excess MMA and TMA are
recyded back to the reaction section. All of the DMA that is produced is re-
moved. Figure 18.14 shows controller faceplates for the 27 controllers.
The control structure is:

1. The total flow (RTOT) of fresh methanol, recyc1e MMA and recyc1e
TMA coming from the methanol/recyc1e tank is flow controlled..
2. The level in the tank is controlled by V2, which manipulatles fresh
methanol feed flowrate. This loop makes sure that exactly the correct
amount of fresh methanol is introduced into the system as varying
¡'l.lllounts are consumed to make the varying amounts of the three' prod-
u\cts. Every mole of MMA. takes one mole of methanol. Every mole of
DMA takes two. Every mole of TMA takes three. The methanol com-
position in the tank is 83 mol%, so this 1iquid level is a good indicaÍlOr of
the methanol inventory in the system.
Figure 18.12 -Initial Flowsheet with Default Controllers S'


,------11 S 11-----


V33 V43

~ r;~·~'"
~-2~ 1

L::.:....J .• - ~
Figure 18.13 - Plantwide Control Scheme


,------11 s 1-1- - - - - '

~.~_~ L..:..:..J

MMAREC F311=============l
,~ )5~?----------------: ,----------~~-, I
: 3 !,---,: ~ _.y,32 ¡--'-¡: ~"-----' LC42

~3 !~~j
:--~-j, !
V, j l4
:----- '
"--104 P42~ ::~~ ____ ~10A

-~-~-_¡._____ ~~~. _____________________ ::~_: C4 _~_~ LC41 ,-----------.


"~ P3~~_ ,~: ~i~---~~1-------~;-----j41 :T

-~ ~- ._--'~ ~
T3 2~
DMA .....
Amines 391

Figure 18.14 - Controller Faceplates

3. The total ammonia fed to the vaporizer (ATOT) is flow controlled. This
total is made up of287lb-mollhr offtesh ammonia and 3,774lb-mollhr
ofrecyc1e arnmonia ftom thetop ofeolumn el.
4. The level in the reflux drum ofel is controlled by valve VI, which ma-
nipulates the ftesh feed of ammonia. This loop makes sure that exactly
the correct amount of ftesh ammonia is introduced into the system as
varying amounts are consumed to make the varying amounts of the
three products. Every mole of MMA, DMA and TMA takes one mole
of arnmonia. The ammonia composition in the el reflux drum is 91
mol%, so this liquid level is a good indicator of the ammonia inventory
in the system. Remember that changing fresh ammonia feed using valve
VI has an immediate effect on el reflux-drum level because ofthe flow
controller on the total ammonia downstream ofthe ftesh ammonia addi-
tion point.
5. Vaporizer level is controlled by heat input.
6. Vaporizer pressure is controlled by valve V4 in the vapor exit lineo
7. Reactor exit temperature is controlled by reactor heat input.
8. Reactor pressure is controlled by valve V5 in the line just upstream of
Column el.
9. Pressures in all four columns are controlled by condenser heat removal.
10. Reflux mas s flowrates are flow controlled (default).
392 Chapter 18

11. Base leve1s in Columns C1, C2 and C4 are controlled by bottoms flow.
Base level in Column C3 is controlled by valve V31, which manipulates
the water leaving· the process to exactIy balance that produced in the
three reactions. A large fraction ofthe bottoms from C3 is the extraction
water (S) fed to Column C2. This stream is flow controlled.
12. Because temperatures in C1 do not give a good indication ofthe amount
of arnmonia leaving in the bottoms, it is assumed that an ammonia com-
position analyzer is available on Stage 15 where the concentration is 4
mol% NH3• Reboiler heat input is manipulated to control this composi-
13. Temperatures in C2 are also not good indicators ofTMA product purity.
A composition analyzer is used to directIy control the composition of
TMA in the distillate product by manipulating reboiler heat input.
14. Temperatures are used in Columns C3 and C4 with reboiler heat input
manipulated. In C3 the temperature on Stage 19 is controlled at 312°F.
In C4 the temperature on Stage 35 is controlled at 131°F.
15. Reflux-drum level in Column C2 is controlled by manipulating valve
V23 in the TMA recyc1e lineo Reflux-drum 1evel in Column C4 is con-
trolled by manipulating valve V43 in the MMA recyc1e lineo Reflux-
drum level in Column C3 is controlled by manipulating valve V32 in
the distillate lineo

The important plantwide control loops are Items 2 and 4 in this list. They
make sure the reactant component balances are satisfied. The dynamic results
shown in the next section demonstrate that this control scheme provides effective
basic regulatory control ofthe plant, which is our objective at this stage.
Higher level optimizing control may be applied on top of this structure.
Note that in addition to the two flow controllers on two of the product streams
and the four flow controllers on the column reflux streams, there are three other
flow controllers:

1. Total methanol-plus-recyc1es (fresh feed plus the two recycles).

2. Total ammonia (fresh feed plus recycle).
3. Extraction water to C2.

These loops can be used to achieve sorne steady-state or dynamic objectives.

All pressure loops are tuned with gains of 2 and integral times of 10 min-
utes. Alllevel controllers are proportional with gains of 2. All flow controlloops
use gains of 0.5 and integral times of 0.3 minute with 0.1 minutes of filtering.
Temperature and composition loops were not tuned with lags or deadtimes be-
cause of the very long computing times experienced with this simulation. Em-
pirical tuning was used with gains of 1 and integral times of20 minutes.
Amines 393

18.4.3 Results

Severa1 types of disturban ces are tested. These inc1ude changes in the de-
sired MMA and TMA flowrates, changes in the total ammonia flow and changes
in the total methano1-p1us-recyc1e flow.
Figure 18.15 shows the response of the system to a step change at time
equa1 0.25 hours in the setpoint ofthe flow controller on the TMA product stream
from 40 to 50 lb-m01lhr. The recycle flows ofboth TMA and MMA slowly drop
off. There is a gradual increase in fresh methano1 flow (FFM) because TMA con-
sumes more than MMA or DMA. There is a very small decrease in DMA pro-
duction. Figure 18.16 shows the effect of a decrease in TMA product flow. Now
both recyc1es increase, DMA increases slightly and fresh methanol decreases.

Figure 18.15A- TMA Product Flow Changed from 40 to 50 Ib-mol/hr



, . . ,
~ ..... _, ...............,. ·; ..·.... ¡TMARe~
~ .. -- .. '. ..... -............. -'.- -........... - -_._-.:......... ;-
~_ .....). __ .. - . , . ,

05 15 25 35 4 4.5 5 5.5 6.5 7.5 85 9 95 10

Time Hours

Figure 18.17 shows the response of the system to a step change at time
equal 0.25 hours in the setpoint of the flow controller on the MMA product
stream from 56.6 to 70 lb-m01lhr. The recyc1e flow of MMA decreases slowly,
but the recyc1e ofTMA undergoes a smal1 increase. There is a gradual increase in
both of the fresh feeds.
394 Chapter 18

Figure 18.15B - TMA Product Flow Changed from 40 to 50 Ib-mol/hr


o Rtot



.. ~



Time Hours

Figure lS.IS gives responses to a step change in the flow ofRTOT (fresh
methanol plus MMA and TMA recycles) from 671 to 750 lb-mollhr. There is a
slow increase in TMA recycle and a slow decrease in MMA recycle. Remember
the production rates of MMA and TMA are constant as seen in Figure lS.ISA.
This disturbance results in significant increases in the fresh feeds (both methanol
and arnmonia) and the production ofDMA as shown in Figure lS.I8A. Therefore
this flow controller provides an effective production-rate handle.
Amines 395

Figure 18.16 - TMA Product Flow from 40 to 30 Ib-mol/hrTMA

¡ i

~¡fAiRp.r. -
- -i--
¡-- - -
'- A

1111:V ./"
--- TMARec

~ --

g _.

o 0.5 1 15 25 3 35 45 5 5.5 65 75 85 95
Time Hours

o lIows2






Time Hours
396 Chapter 18

Figure 18.17 - MMA Product Flow Changed from 56.6 to 70 Ib-mol/hr

~r"""""""""""""""""""""""-"'", •••.•••••••••••.•.• !ó"~~~5c ......,. ,........ "......•.........,......................... ..

~e···i····;·····i···'·····¡·········,.······i···i ........,···i.·.·., ....... ¡·······; ........ ¡...... ··;'··; .. ···i······;·····¡···


~ f···j···· ...,.........i . L ....... ,..... +........,........ j......., ...... j.... L ....... ,........ , . .L .... + ......,........ ,....... , ... '- .... ,


~~ . .,..... , ... ; .......; ........ ; ... ;..,. + ...... ,........ ; .. +- ..... ;.... , .......;........ ;....... ; .. ; +- ....... ;........

g:~ ...... j .......; ........ ,........ i ........ ;........ +......,....... j........., ........ j........ ; ..... ;......c.......;........;.......;....... ;........ ,........; ... ,

o 0,5 1 15 25 3 3.5 4 <15 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 75 8 85 9 9.5 10

Time Hotlrs

~:r ...............................,................................. , ............ ,,"~O~~=2 .............. :......................................,........................................

~~ .................................... ;........................................;..................................... ;..................................... +................................... ;

~.~ .................................. ¡......................................•; .......................................; ..................................... ~ ......................................•

~:" .............................. i .......................................; .1r~rÁ .............. ····¡·····················.······· •••••..• : .........................••••••••• ,

1 1 ~:,· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ¡· · · · · ............................,...................................... !....................................+ ...................................


~~ .............................. ¡..................................... ~ ....................................i .....................................; .......................................;


TIme Hours
Amines 397

Figure 18.18A - Total Methanol Plus Recycles 671 to 750 Ib-moi/hr




:"----- ! .--;..--
-+---+--t ,
"" ~.~
./' '
¡'f -------
"" '\.

"'" ~

:<; T\iIl\A"A];> ,
---------- '--
o ,_
05 1 15
"_,5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
5,5 6 55 7 75 8 8.5 9 95 1(


:.(. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L ............................. +-................................. .¡ ......................... ,................................... !

~~ FFM
~r······························,·································7·································¡······h ....................... ' ..... h ..................,

l111~r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + ....................................¡.................................... ,......................................,



~r························· ·····!·································7·············· .................... .¡ ................................. L.........................•.... !

Time Hours
398 Cl1apter 18

Figure 18.18 B - Total Methanol Plus Recycles 671 to 750 Ib-mol/hr

ill ~

~ ~

it>t': 1:r "

~ ~
1, __ ,________ ,1_-\""\\,,,,-------.,.-----",,,,,-----,-------, _______ -'--______ ,_________,________ i ________ , ________ ,,________ , ________ i ________ ; _________, ________ i ________ i ________ ,

~ g ~

~ !§~ \ "'- ___ L----

~ ~
¡ Tout

!.() t""l o 05 1 15 25 3 35 4 45 5 55 6 65 7 75 8 8.5 9 10

Time Hours


_________ , ____________________ c________________________ i _________________________ , ______________ _
Lól.\'~ ~~

--'\::::7 xNH3

Time Hours
Amines 399

Figme 18.18B shows that tray temperatmes in Co1lUllils C3 and C4 are well
controlled, but reactor outlet temperatme rises from 570 to about 582°F. The
TMA composition is well controlled. The purity ofMMA changes very little, but
the purity of the DMA drops from 95 to 90 mol%. A reflux ratio scheme may
improve this situation. Of comse more precise tuning should help too. Even with
the strictly empirical tuning, the system was able to ride through this significant
The final distmbance tested is an increase in total ammonia flow (fresh
feed plus recycle). At time equal 0.25 homs, a step change in the flow controller
set point is made. Figme 18.19 shows that MMA recyc1e decreases very signifi-
cantly, but TMA recyc1e changes only slightly. There are increases in both fresh
feeds and in DMA production but not as much as when the RTOT stream is in-
creased. Reactor outlet temperatme drops almost 20°F. There is little effect on
product purities.
These simulation results indicate that this basic regulatory control struc-

Figure 18.19A - Total Arnmonia Increased 4061 to 4500 Ib-rnol/hr



~ jl\¡f 1""
"~ I;¡/ /!
../ '-.... ------ ~ MMA'


TMA "" ,,< "'-..


"" ~ ---...
---.... r---...

l\JIlvf A R ''''
-- --

o 05 1 15 2 25 3 3.5 4 45 5 55
. 6 6.5 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10
Time Hours
400 Chapter 18

Figure 18.19B - Total Ammonia Increasecl4061 to 4500 Ib-mol/hr


~r"""""""""""'" j.................................. , ................................... ; .................................. +................................ ,
~r··································;················· .................. , ....................................... , ................................ +................................... !

e ;h;;~;;·~F·~·=·==3.FF~M.~~...~...:. =.J.====.==[,.=.=.=.=J.

¡1 1~'r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .;. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,
g ...F1'A .................,

~. • =~;:==:
o 2
Time Hours

Figure 18.19C - Total Ammonia Increasecl4061 to 4500 Ib-mol/hr



~:::::::i.:::.:::::::::::::::::~::::~:::::::::::::¡ .......... , ...:: . :: ..:'.:... ::.;•..:.:::'¡

'.H ....... ,........, .. , .. ,........,......., ,
. : . .:. : . .::::·::i,:.::.: ..::··::.::..,.

I~ M ~1·¡··T~~·i········i··++ +··¡········ij··i··· + .+ .....•........+...,. ¡···j··i ...

I M B:=' !l / . J Z [

~¡h: 1: :LL. . y ... j . , C...... +.H ...:......... ).14,.:::::. :: : ';: :H.:~'.: ; '.:'.::: :', . . : H...· :.·.',::."·.H:
Ir r I

~ g ~ ··I ... '...+., ........!........,.........,........ ,........,........!........ ¡........,........ ,.........:.........:.........¡......... ¡........ ¡..... H.!.H ..... ¡........, .........,
~~ M l'l" f···'··,/···;·······.········.····+··· .., ....., ......:........ :....... +-....... + .+ .......,.........,........ ,...... ,. +-......,. ;
~ 1··,T¡...... ,l.,.'v.'..u.. '¡ ..... ¡.... + .......¡.........¡........,........ ,..... ¡. ¡ ........,........+ ....¡........,.... . ¡ . ¡........¡ . ¡ ,
m M ~ r'.'...... ; . . .,... ,......' . H'.' .. ¡ ¡ . ¡........, ....... ' ..... H'.H'.¡.¡........,.........
~ M ~ I¡·······¡········!········,········:········,········¡, ........ ,............!........,........,.........,.........!........ ,! ........ !........ !........ !........ ,.........,

¡g «> O!----cO~.s--+,-.","'.s---+----.,i25,----,i----o'<3.S---j4----;4"'.S----?S----"S."'S- ,----¡;';'.S,----1;----""'1.S~8-¡8"'.5--;'9---,;'9.s;;---;:,0

Time Hours
Amines 401

Figure 18.19D - Total Ammonia Increased 4061 to 4500 Ib-moi/hr


o ---------------------------xN!lv[A---

.................. j....

i~:-:-~=m=- - - ~- - - -~:~: : :~:- -:~:-: - ~: : : ,:=:- -=- _: : : _I=:~=: -: -=_: : ~:_ : __

It 111¡ • ·:~:~=,mmi~=m; xTMA

--------- ----------7-=---~-~-----;------;--------;---------;

o _n ____ . ___ ~--~ nn. ___ .nn. __ uu· ______ ··· ......f·····n. · .... ·...... ··· .... ·.... ···i·...... --00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - •••••••: • • • __ n ........ ____ . ____ . ___ ........ !

• • • __ . _ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ___ .0 • • • • • • • • • __ . - · · • • • • • • • • • • • • __ . _ • • _ . _ . __ • ___ ._ • • • • _.~ • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • ___ • __ . _ • • • • • • • • • • • •

_ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • -;- •••• 0 •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• :

¿g -- ..................... j.. _-

Time Hours

18.4.4 Computing Times

This process has rnany columns, rnany cornponents and rnany recyc1es.
Cornputing times are quite significant. The realtime factor was found to depend
strongly on the type of disturbance. For the product flowrate disturbances, real-
time factors are about 30 on a Dell1.7 GHz cornputer. For the RTOT and ATOT
changes, the simulation crept along at only about five times real time. So the 10
hour process-time simulations took over two hours of cornputer time.

18.5 Conclusion
The last four chapters have presented sorne realistically cornplex processes.
They provide examples for which plantwide dynarnic simulations are extremely
useful and powerful.
In the final chapter we cover a few rniscellaneous topics and conc1ude our
introduction to dynarnic simulators.
h ter 19
Concluding Tapies
In this final ehapter we wrap up a few loose ends and diseuss a number of
miseellaneous topies.

19.1 Updating to New Versions of Software

When new versions ofthe software are released, whieh seems to oecur about
once ayear, you must install these new versions and rerun your old cases. The two
simulators handle new versions differently.
HYSYS updating is essentially painless. AH cases developed in previous
versions can be rUl1 on the new version (in theory). However, as we saw in Chap-
ter 9, the azeotropic distillation coluilln results were different between version 2.2
and 2.4. So there are occasional problems with updatillg. The cases have to be
rerun with the new versions, and recycle loops reconverged.
AspenDynarnics requires that you go through a conversion procedure. The
following steps must be taken for each case you want to lllll on the new version:

l. Suppose you have a case with files that are stored in a folder or di-
rectory called "mycases." The three files in this folder are labe1ed
"case.bkp", "casedyn.appdf' and "case.dynf"
2. Move the "case.dynf' file to a different folder or directory (let's
call this folder "convert").
3. Open AspenPlus and run case.bkp. After pressure checking, export
the file to the "mycases" folder as a pressure-driven sinmlation file
called "case.dynf"
4. Replace the new "case.dynf' file in folder "mycases" with the old
"case.dynf' file that you have stored in the folder "convert."

This preserves all the controllers, cOl1llections and plots developed in the previous

404 19

19.2 Importing Files

y ou may sometimes develop a steady-state case in AspenPlus, export it to
AspenDynamics and spend considerable time and effort installing controllers and
plots. Then you find it necessary to make some major changes in the equipment.
You may decide to add a new unit operation or de1ete a11 existing one. Or you may
want to resize a COIUlllil or reactor. To do this, you would go back to AspenPlus
and rebuild the steady-state flowsheet with the modifications.
However, now when you export to AspenDynamics, a11 the controllers and
plots you have developed will not exist in the new "dynf' file. It will have the de-
fault contro11ers installed, but that is a11. You would have to redo a11 the work you
put into the control structure on the original flowsheet.
To avoid this problem, you can go tln·ough a procedure that is similar to that
discussed in the previous section. Now the Oliginal "dynf' file can be saved tmder
a different name and then imported with a11 the controllers, connections and plots
that you spent so much time deve1oping. The procedure is:

l. Suppose the files fOl" the original case that are called "case.bkp"
and "case.dynf." Use your file manager or window explorer to re-
name the "dynf' file. Let's say we rename it "casexx.dynf"
2. Run AspenPlus and make a11 the process changes. Check the Dy-
namics button and then the Pressure Check button.
3. Export the file as a pressure-driven simulation. This generates a
new "case.dynf' file.
4. RUll AspenDynamics and open the "case.dynf' file. This will open
a-flowsheet with the default controllers installed.
5. Go through the flowsheet and delete a11 these default controllers
and a11 the control signal lines. Figure 19.1 shows an example
flowsheet (the depropanizer colunm studied in Chapter 8) with de-
faulí controllers installed. Click each controller and each control
signal line while holding the Shift key down, alld then press the
Delete key. Figure 19.2 shows the flowsheet with a11 ofthe default
controllers deleted.
6. Go to File on the top menu bar and click "hnport File." Then spec-
ify you want to import the file you renamed (casexx.dynf).
7. A window wiU open that shows a11 the duplicate itenls between the
existing and the inlported flowsheet. See Figure 19.3A.
8. Highlight all the items in the list by clicking the first one, scrolling
down to the bottom of the list and clicking the last one with the
Shift key held clown. See Figme 19.3B. Then click the Delete but-
ton in the window and c1ick the OK button. As shown in Figure
19.3C, a11 the duplicated items wi11 be deleted.
Conclusion 405

Figure 19.1 - Flowsheet with Default Controllers

Figure 19.2 - AII Controllers and Signals Deleted



Figure 19.3A - Name Conflicts

406 Chapter 19

Figure 19.3B - Highlight Objects Figure 19.3C -Delate Objects


The flowsheet will appear (see Figure 19.4) with all the controllers installed
as in the original case. The picture is usuallya messy one, with several ofthe con-
troller blocks positioned on top of each other. You must zoom in and sort out and
reposition the controllers to get a nice neat flowsheet. This job is a pain, but it is
less work thall reinstalling and specifYing all the controller parameters ifthe flow-
sheet has more than just a few loops.

Figure 19.4 - Controllel's Importad



: Vl


, Lel

-i>o---------- ::
B' _ .J,~3
.-mc--'l ~.
: JLJ ~o-----~~
_________________________ .... _............. t·~.........i


l .............. ~ ............ - ~.-- ..l>()TC-1

Conclusion 407

19.3 Advanced Capabilities

Both software programs offer much more capability than we have covered
in this book. The intent has been to introduce you to the subject, not malee you an
"expert." (My favorite definition of an expert is one who is seldom in doubt, but
often in error!). This will require more time and effort.
It is possible to write your own model for your process ifyou do not like the
ones available. Optimization capability is also available, as well as data fitting, use
of advanced controllers, case studies, etc. AH of this is beyond the scope of an
introductory book. However there are a couple of features that are simple enough
and useful enough to discuss here.

19.3.1 Flowsheet Equations

Both simulators permit you to do sorne calculations using equations that are
appropriate for your process. HYSYS has a simple spreadsheet in which this can
be achieved. We have already illustrated its use in Chapter 9 to achieve reflux ratio
control. The distillate flowrate was imported into the spreadsheet, the desired re-
flux flowrate was calculated and this was exported to a flow controller on the re-
flux flow as an external setpoint.
Equations can also be used in AspenDynarnics, but their use is somewhat
more complexo One of the complexities is that you must remember that all the
calculations are done in metric units. y ou must also use the rather long and com-
plex names of variables. For example, a temperature on Stage 6 of a distillation
colmnn called DP would be called ''Blocks(''DP'').Stage(6).T''. It is important to
get the correct syntax for variable names. Ibis can be obtained by looking at the
All Variables table of a block.
To illustrate the procedure let us calculate the average temperature of four
trays in the Recovery Colmnn ofthe HDA process considered in Chapter 15. You
remember that we did this by using three surnmers and a ratio block in that chap-
ter. Using equations is a more simple aiternative.
The procedure is:

1. Go to the Exploring Sim window in AspenDynarnics and c1ick

Flowsheet in the All Items window at the topo As shown in Figure
19.5, a Flowsheet icon appears in the Contents of Flowsheet win-
dow at the bottom.
2. Right c1ick the Flowsheet icon (the blue parallel bars) and c1ick
Edit. This opens an Editor window as shown in Figure 19.5.
3. Insert the equations to dothe calculations as shown in Figure 19.6.
The temperatures of Stages 5 through 8 in Block "C3" are added
and the sum divided by 4. Ibis is the signal that is fed into the first
lag in the temperature loop.
408 Chapter 19

4. Compile the equations by right clicking the editor window and se-
lecting Build and then Compile. Results are included in the Local
variables table in the Flowsheet area.
5. In this example, we must also open the AH Variables window for
the lag (Lagl) and specify the input to be "Free." Figure 19.7
shows the AH Variables window fOl' Lagl and the controller face-
plate, which displays in Engineering units since this has been used
in the example.

Figure 19.5 - Open Flowsheet Equation Window

,-- -->{)

Figure 19.6 - Equations

! / Flowsheet vaJ::iables sud equal~ions ...
1: 1ag1. input_ = (Block3 ("C3"). Stage (5). T + Blocks ("C3"). Stage (6) . T

+Blocks ("C3") . Stage (7) . T +Blocks ("C3") . Stage (8) . T) /4;

COl1c!uslon 409

19.7 - Al! Variables Window for Lag1

There are many other uses for these flowsheet ca1culations or spreadsheets.
One fi..equent1y used example is their use to ca1culate reactor conversion and yield.
The molar flowrates of reactants and products in the inlet and exit streams 1i-om
the reactor are used to do these ca1culations.

19.3.2 Tasks In AspenDynamics

AspenDynamics has a usefill feature that permits you to set up a scenario of

steps you would like to perfoml as the simulation mns. For example, suppose you
want to make a 20% step increase in feed flowrate to the process at tinle equal
0.25 honr3 and then make another change at tinle equal 2 hour. You could do this
manually by pausing the simulation at t = 0.25 honrs, changing the feed flow,
starting the simulation, pausing at t = 2 honr, changing feed flow again and run-
ning to the specified stop tinle.
Instead of making these changes manually, a Task can be defrned that makes
these changes. As an illustration, let us consider the distillation coluJnn studied in
Chapter 8. Figure 19.8 shows the flowsheet. To add a task, the procedure is:

l. Click Flowsheet in the Exploring Sirn window and then double

click the "Add Task" icon in the window below (the two green
balls). We name this task "stepfeed." A window opens with the
editor as shown in Figure 19.9. Comment lines are preceded by
two slants.
2. The first line 1S inserted "Task stepfeed mus wheu time = =
0.25." Note that an equality operation uses double equal signs.
410 Chapter 19

Figure 19.8 - Flowsheet of Depropanizer Column

DIP Colwnn
----->0-----1 tC2
I V2
___ o,
: te>

.·.·.~• .·.i;• •.• ~• •. l·~~:k---.

Figure 19.9 - Initial Edit Task Window

- - -
Iiii TeHt---
Editor - Editing New Task
~-~ ~ ~ - ~ ~ ~'"-

stepfeed 1/ <T~igge~>
Fo~ event d~iven tasks, <T~igge~> can be eithe~:
Runs When <condition> e.g. Runs When Time==2.5, o~
Runs Once When <condition>
Ramp «variable>, <final value>, <du~ation»;
SRamp «variable>, <final value>, <du~ation»;
Note that all va~iable values must be in base units (usually Metric)
Conclusion 411

Figure 19.10 - Edit Task

,iili TeHl Edltm: Edltlng stepfeed _ _ __ _ _

ask stepfeed ~uns when ti~e==0.25;
11 Far event driven tasks, <Triqqer> can be either:
II Runa !fuen <candition> e.g. Runa !fuen Ti~e==2.5, al:
II Runs Once {Jhen <condi tiari>
II R~p «va~iable>, <final value>, <duration»;
II 5R~p«variable>, <final value>, <duratian»;
II Note that all variable values ~ust be in base units (usually Metric)
11T.T.T.*T.*T,*******T.T.**T.T.T.T.T.T,T.T*****W***7.****T.***T.******* **********
1I Flow contraller setpaint is 100 lb-~ol/hr (45.359 kg-~ol/hr)
fc.spa:45.359 wl.2; .
ait far ti~e==2;
fc.spa:45.359 wO.8;

3. The setpoint ofthe feed flow eontroller "fe" is inereased by 20%

by inserting the line below the eommented lines
"fc.spo:45.359*1.2;". The steady-state feed flowrate is 100 lb-
mol/hr. The units in the task must be in metrie (kg-mol/hr). Note
that the line ends with a semieolon.
4. We want to make the next step in feed flow at time equa12 hours.
So two more lines are inserted in the editor as shown in Figure
19.10: "wait for time = = 2;" and "fc.spo:45.359*O.8;".
5. Compile the task by right elieking the editor window and selecting
Build and then Compile.
6. Aetivate the task by double elieking the ieon. A check mark will
appear on the task ieon, as shown in Figure 19.11.

Figure 19.11 - Task Compiled and Activated

I ¡ ....." .....,. ............ ,....... ,........, ...... ,........, .......Hett:iC)

5etpoint 15 100 lb-IIIo1/hr. (45.359 kg-llol/llr)
AddTask Blocks

dpplol FIowsheet

412 19

When the program is ron, fhe setpoint of the flow contTOller is changed at
time equal 0.25 hours and again at time equal 2 hours. Results are given in Figure

Figure 19.12 - Results

~ ~
ffi 2lo

~ )fi

~ i'l

~ !'l ~


t~ t:

t~ I~
i'l 8

~ ~ o

~ B o


~ i'i

8; o

A second example is shown in Figure 19.13. The process is the b1ending

process considered in Chapter 5, and we want to make several disturbances. At t =
0.5 hours we decrease the setpoint ofthe flow controller (fcp) on the pentane feed
from 600 to 400 lb-mollhr. The constant 0.454 converts from lb-moles to kg-
moles. At t = 4 hours we increase the setpoint of the compositioll control! er (ce)
from 0.14 to 0.16 mole fraction. Finally at t = 8 hours, we change both these set-
points back to their original values.
The use of tasks can save you a lot of time if you are numing multiple cases
with the same distmbances but evaluating different tuning constants. Of course
there are many other ways that tasks can be useful in dynamic simulations.
Conclusion 413

distu~b nms when time==O. 5

. spo: 400"0.454;
tOI': time==4;
t fOE time==8;
spo: 600"0.454;

19.3.3 Event Scheduler in HYSYS

HYSYS also has the useful feature of scheduling actions to be taken. These
can occm at specific times or when certain conditions occur. The procedure is:

1. Click Simulation on the top toolbar and select Event Scheduler.

Figure 19.14A shows the window that opens.
414 Chapter 19

2. Click Add (Figure 19.14B) and click Add again. A window opens
as shown in Figure 19.14.C. Then click Add a third tinle.

Fig. 19.14A - Opening Event Scheduler

Figure 19.148 -Installing Schedule

Figure 19.14C - Schedule of Events

Conciusion 415

3. Figure 19.15 shows a window in which you specity that the action
shou1d be taken at a specific simu1ation time. We specity that this
event will occur at time equal15 minutes.
4. Clicking the Action List page tab opens the window shown in Fig-
ure 19.16. Se1ect Specific Variable. A window opens (Figure
19.17A) in which you can se1ect the variable to be changed and the
specified value by clicking the Target button. In the example we
want to change the setpoint of the feed flow controller (FC) in the
depropanizer column considered in Chapter 8. So we select the tar-
get to be the SP of controller Fe. The llew feed flowrate is entered
(120 lb-mol/hr). Make sure the wüts (lb-mol/hr) are the same as
those shown in the Cunent Va1ue box.

Figure 19.15 ~ Specify Time 'for Event

Figure 19.16 - Specify Variable

416 Chapter 19

Figure 19.17A - Salad Variable

Figure 19.17B - Enable Event

5. Close the windows until you come to the'Schedule A window. You

can rename the event (called "stepfeedup" in Figure 19.18). Click-
ing the Start button activates the event scheduler.

A second event to decrease the feed flow from 120 to 80 lb-mol/hr at time
equal 120 minutes is added using the same procedure (see Figures 19.19A and B).
Figure 19.20 shows that both events are scheduled. Figure 19.21 gives the results
of the simulation in which the feed flow is increased at 15 minutes and then de-
creased at 120 minutes.
Cone! LIsian 417

19.18 - Start Event

Figure 19.19A - Set Time of Second Event

Figure 19.19B - Specify Variable and Value

418 Chapter 19

19.20 - Event Scheduler with Two Events

19.21 - Response Two Events Scheduled

Conclusion 419

19.3.4 Saving Faceplates in AspenDynamics

When there are many controllers in a sirnulations, you can spend a lot of
time arranging them in a logical layout so that the changes occurring in the
process can be easily observed. After you save the file and close it, you would
like the case to open up looking just like it did when you closed it. In HYSYS
this is what happens.
However, in ApenDynamis this does not occur unless the following proce-
dure is followed:

1. When you have arranged the controller faceplates the way you
want, click the Tools button on the top toolbar.
2. Select Capture Screen Layout.
3. AspenDynamics will ask you for a name (this is the name ofthe
script that is being preparing). Suppose we call the "mylayout" as
shown in Figure 19.22.

Figure 19.22 - Naming Script for Positioning Faceplates

4. Save the file.

5. When you open the file again, go to the Exploring Sirn window
and click Flowsheet in the All Items window. See Figure 19.23.
6. Click the script icon in the lower window labeled "mylayout."
See Figure 19.24. This will place all the windows onthe monitor
at the desired locations (faceplates and plots). See Figure 19.25.

Of course, the example shown has only five controllers, so saving the lay-
out is probably not worth doing. However, for complex processes such as those
studied in Chapters 15 through 18, preserving the controller faceplate layout can
save a lot oftime. Note that both faceplates and plots are located. You may want
to set up one layout with only plots and one with only faceplates. Two different
scripts would be generated, and you can switch back and forth between the two
as desired.
420 Chapter 19

Figure 19.23 - Selecting Flowsheet

Syste mLibr ary
.... ~ Component Lists :

Figure 19.24 - Opening Script for Positioning Facepiates



Figure 19.25 - Monitor with Faceplates Positioned

Conclusion 421

¡~ ;~;


~ ~

1~ r~,·····,·
s; ~
. ,. . ,. . . :- . . . . . + ..... ,

5 ~, ; ..... ~........ ;.. + .. ; ,.;

~ ~

19.4 Hardware Considerations

The computer hardware to rlm HYSYS or AspenDynamics is an important
consideration. Y ou need a fast computer with lots of memory. The minimum
memory requirements given by Hyprotech and Aspen Tech are

HYSYS 126 Kbytes ofROM and a 90 Mbyte hard disk

AspenDynamics 256 Kbytes ofROM and a 500 Mbyte hard disk

Computer speed is the biggest problem with simulations that are typically com-
plexo A processor with anything less than 600 MHz will run painfillly slowly.
Another significant problem is monitor space. Y ou need to be able to see aH
the controller faceplates, all the plots and the flowsheet. This requires a lot of
area. A 21-inch monitor is quite c1uttered if you have a complex flowsheet with
many controllers. One ni ce solution to this problem is to use dualmonitors. Two

19-inch monitors are about the same price as one 21-inch monitor and provide
25% more viewing area. Windows 98 and 2000 support multiple monitors. Two
video cards or one dual-video card are required. Figure 19.22 shows the HDA
process flowsheet with two monitor s used. Controller faceplate, the PFD and
plots can be seen simultaneously.

Figure 19.26 - Use of Dual Monitors

19.5 Programs for Case Studies

Table 19.1 gives the names of the cases used in each of the chapters. There
are two HYSYS files for each case: a steady-state file and a dynamic file. There
are three Aspen files for each case: the bkp, dyn.appdf and dynf files. The ver-
sions of the software used for these cases are HYSYS 2.4.1 (build 3870) and
Aspen 10.2.2. AH ofthe files are available on the CD included in this book.
Conclusion 423

19.6 Conclusion

The goal ofthis book has been to provide an introduction to the use of com-
mercial dynamic simulators. 1 hope it has accomplished this objective.
The fundamental operations and calculations required to move from a
steady-state simulation into a realistic dynamic simulation have been discussed in
the early chapters. The microscopic details of the basic procedures for installing
the building blocks of a dynamic simulation (controllers, dynamic elements and
plots) and running the simulation have been covered.
A series of cases have been developed, starting with a simple process with
three controllers and gradually moving to complex, multi-unit processes with over
twenty controIlers. .
Now that you have been introduced to the subject and have learned the fun-
damentals, you are ready to use these tools to help you develop and test plantwide
control structures for your process. There is much more to be learned about using
the commercial dynamic simulators, and if you work extensively in this area you
wiIl want to learn how to use aIl the beIls and whistles that they provide. 1 have
tried to get you from a crawl to a walk. Now you should be ready to learn how to
run on your OWll. Good luck and enjoy!
424 Chapter 19

Tabla 19.1 - Case Studies

Chapter 4 5 6 7

Steady State Sepss.hsc Blendss.hsc Cstrss.hsc Pfrl.hsc
Dynamic Sepdyn.hsc Blenddyn.hsc Cstrdyn.hsc Pfrldyn.hsc

AspenPlus Sep.bkp Blend.bkp Cstr1.bkp Tubl.bkp
Cstr2.bkp Tub2.bkp
Physical Sepdyn.appdf Blenddyn. appdf Cstrldyn.appdf Tub 1dyn.appdf
Properties Cstr2dyn.appdf Tub2dyn.appdf
AspenDynamics Sep.dynf Blend.dynf Cstr1. dynf Tubl.dynf
Csrt2.dynf Tub2.dynf
Tub3 dynf
Tub4. dynf
Conclusion 425

Table 19.1 - Case Studies (continued)

Chapter 8 9 10 11

Steady State Dpss.hsc Azeoss.hsc Rxdistss.hsc Thfss.hsc
Dynamic Dpdyn.hsc Azeodyn.hsc Rxdistdyn.hsc Thfdyn.hsc

AspenPlus Deprop.bkp Azeo.bkp Rxdist.bkp Thf.bkp
Physical Depropdyn.appdf Azeodyn.appdf Rxdistdyn.appdf Thfdyn.appdf
Properties Meacdyn.appdf

AspenDynamies Deprop.dynf Azeo.dynf Rxdist.dynf Thf.dynf


Table 19.1 - Case Studies (continued)

Chapter 12 13 14 15

Steady State Hintdisss.hsc Gasrecyss.hsc Liqrecss.hsc Hdass.hsc
Dynamic Hintdis- Gasrecydyn.hsc Liqrec- Hdadyn.hsc
dyn.hsc dyn.hsc Hdadyn2.hsc

AspenPlus Hintdis. bkp Gasrec.bkp Liqrec.bkp Aspenhda. bkp
Physical Hintdis- Gasrec- Liqrec- Aspenhdadyn.appdf
Properties dyn.appdf dyn.appdf dyn.appdf Averagedyn.appdf

AspenDyna Hintdis.dynf Gasrec.dynf Liqrec.dynf Aspenhda.dynf

mies Average.dynf
426 Chapter 19

Table 19.1 - Case Studies (continl.led)

Chapter 16 17 18

Steady State Alkysss.hsc Eb2ss.hsc
Dynarnic Alkydyn.hsc Eb2dyn.hsc

AspenPlus Aspenalky. bkp Eb.bkp Amines8. bkp
Physical Aspenalkydyn. appdf Eb2dyn.appdf Amines8. appdf
AspenDynamics Aspenalky. dynf Eb2.dynf Amines8.dynf
In ex
Alkylation process, 329 Control valve (see Valves)
Allyl chloride, 125 CSTR,105
Ammonia colunm, 381 Cyc1ohexylamine, 105
Autorefi:igeration, 333
Autotuner, 92 Data logger (see Recorders)
Auxiliary condenser and reboiler, 255 Deadtime, 8, 88
Average temperature control, 316, 325 Debutanizer, 333
Azeotropes in methyl amines system, Decanter, 181, 191
378 dynamics, 187
Azeotropic distillation, 181,227 Default controllers, 68
Deisobutanizer, 284, 333
Benzene/toluene, 250 Depropanizer, 155, 333, 346
Bode plots, 152 Diethyl benzene, 357
Bugs in software, 8 Distillation columns, 155
colurnn sizing, 157, 174
Cascade control, 33 hydraulic parameters, 174
Case study programs, 422 pressure drop, 156
Cornmunication time, 82 reflux drum and base sizing, 162
Compressors sub-flowsheet, 169
control, 18 temperature control tray se1ec-
variable-speed drives, 19 tion, 167
Computing time, 327, 355, 372, 401 Dual monitors, 422
Condenser/reboiler, 254 Dynamic assistant in HYSYS, 46, 287
action, 50, 74 End time, 61
faceplate, 51, 419 Ethyl benzene, 357
initialization,74 Ethylene glycol, 200
installation, 48, 68 Event scheduler, 413
output limiting, 168 Exporting file to AspenDynamic, 67
Controller tuning, 25 Extraction colunm, 381
flow controllers, 26 Extractive distillation, 378
leve! controllers, 27
parameters, 51 F-Factor, 161
pressure controllers, 28 Flowsheet equations, 407
Control signals, 71 Fluids package, 184

428 Index

Gas recycle process, 271 Reactive distillation, 199

colwnn sizillg, 201
Hardware, 421 ethylene glycol, 200, 206
HDA process, 271,303 methyl acetate, 214
Heat integratioll, 249 Reactor heat transfer, 104
Heat-transfer sign conventions, 104 AspenDynamics LMTD model,
IMC tuning, 32 coolant te111peratme manipula
Importing files, 404 tions, 117
Initialization run, 68 direct Q, 106, 117
Integrator, 61 HYSYS heat-transfer model, 111
errors, 121 Recorders (installation) 55,77
pausing,82 Recyc1e, 232, 252, 273, 311
Isome1ization, 283 Recyc1e colwnn, 307
Relay-feedback test, 29, 92, 97
Lags, 28, 91 Remote setpoint, 48,238
Liquid recycle process, 283 Residue cmves, 379 .
Rewinding simulation, 81
Methyl acetate, 214 Selector, 316
Methyl amines process, 375 Simulation (flow ch-iven and pressme
Multiplier, 242 driven), 5, 67
Sizing equipment
Override control, 35 distillation colmnns, 11
heat exchangers, 16
Pausing simulation, 81 separators, 14
Physical properties (approximate dy- smge volwlles, 15
namic), 10
Plots (see Recorders) Spreadsheet, 238
Plotting in Matlab or Powerpoint, 100 Stabilizer, 305
Plug-flow reactor (see Tubular reactor) Step testing, 32
Plwnbing, 5, 17 Strip charts (see Recorders)
gas compression systems, 18
liquid pwnping systems, 17 Tank process, 41
Pressme-swing azeotropic distillation, Tasks, 409
227 Tear streams, 263, 385
Product colwnn, 305, 384 Tetrahydrofuran, 228
Pump Transfer functions, 88, 96
control,17 in series, 92, 97
resizing in dyuamic mode, 23 Tubular reactor, 125
sizing,44 catalyst parameters, 143
Pmge, 275 co-cmrent coolant flow , 126
heat-transfer models, 140
Ratio control, 34, 238, 242 coolant flow model, 132
Index 429

[Tubular reactor] [Valve]

coolant temperature model, 147 resizing in dynamic mode, 23
direct Q, 128 sizing, 5, 20, 43
heterogeneous reactions, 136 split-ranged, 36, 265
homogeneous reactions, l28 Vaporizer,285
Iwnped model, 127 Vinyl acetate, 181
Tyreus-Luyben tuning, 31
Water recovery colwnn, 384
Updating software, 403
Ziegler-Nichols tuning, 31
pressure drop, 21
rangeability, 22