Accelerated computation of cyclic steady state for simulated-moving-bed processes
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Industrial applications of the simulated-moving-bed (SMB) chromatographic technology have brought an emergent demand to improve the SMB process operation for higher efficiency and better robustness. Improved process modelling and more-efficient model computation will pave a path to meet this demand. However, the SMB unit operation exhibits complex dynamics, leading to challenges in SMB process modelling and model computation. One of the significant problems is how to quickly obtain the steady state of an SMB process model, as process metrics at the steady state are critical for process design and real-time control. The conventional computation method, which solves the process model cycle by cycle and takes the solution only when a cyclic steady state is reached after a certain number of switching, is computationally expensive. Adopting the concept of quasi-envelope (QE), this work treats the SMB operation as a pseudo-oscillatory process because of its large number of continuous switching. Then, an innovative QE computation scheme is developed to quickly obtain the steady state solution of an SMB model for any arbitrary initial condition. The QE computation scheme allows larger steps to be taken for predicting the slow change of the starting state within each switching. Incorporating with the wavelet-based technique, this scheme is demonstrated to be effective and efficient for an SMB sugar separation process. Moreover, investigations are also carried out on when the computation scheme should be activated and how the convergence of the scheme is affected by a variable stepsize.
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