Robust real-time optimization for blending operation of alumina production
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The blending operation is a key process in alumina production. The real-time optimization (RTO) of finding an optimal raw material proportioning is crucially important for achieving the desired quality of the product. However, the presence of uncertainty is unavoidable in a real process, leading to much difficulty for making decision in real-time. This paper presents a novel robust real-time optimization (RRTO) method for alumina blending operation, where no prior knowledge of uncertainties is needed to be utilized. The robust solution obtained is applied to the real plant and the two-stage operation is repeated. When compared with the previous intelligent optimization (IRTO) method, the proposed two-stage optimization method can better address the uncertainty nature of the real plant and the computational cost is much lower. From practical industrial experiments, the results obtained show that the proposed optimization method can guarantee that the desired quality of the product quality is achieved in the presence of uncertainty on the plant behavior and the qualities of the raw materials. This outcome suggests that the proposed two-stage optimization method is a practically significant approach for the control of alumina blending operation.
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