CONSTANTIN MUSCALU, GHEORGHE MARIA, DANIEL DINCULESCU THE REACTOR SIZE INFLUENCE ON THE OPTIMAL OPERATING SETPOINT CHOICE FOR A FIXED-BED MULTI-TUBULAR CATALYTIC REACTOR
Optimal operation of chemical reactors of high thermal sensitivity is a central engineering problem of very high current interest. One elegant alternative to choose the optimal setpoint when at least two contrary (opposite) objectives are considered is based on the so-called Pareto-optimal front technique. This paper exemplifies how to generate Pareto optimal operating policies when reactor productivity and safety objectives (expressed in probabilistic terms) are simultaneously considered in the presence of technological constraints, uncertainty in safety boundaries, and random fluctuations in control variables. Beside the operating control variables, one important design variable is the reactor pipe diameter because it is directly related to the reaction heat removal. This paper exemplifies the influence of this design variable on the setpoint choice when applying the Pareto-optimal front method with computing the runaway-boundaries by using the generalized sensitivity criterion of Morbidelli and Varma (MV-criterion). An example is provided for an industrial fixed-bed tubular reactor used for the catalytic oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride (MA) in vapour phase.