434903 Ethylene Splitter Startup Strategy Development through the Integration of Dynamic Simulation and DCS Control System

Monday, November 9, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Ziyuan Wang, Qiang Xu and Thomas C. Ho, Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

The startup of a distillation column is composed of a set of transitional operations.  Not only the dynamic behaviors during the abnormal period should be studied and analyzed, but also the control strategy of the column needs to be tested and improved to help the column start up smoothly and quickly.  The integration of  dynamic simulation and DCS control system provides a more reliable platform for enhancing column operating procedures and control strategy.  The automation built in DCS control system can guarantee each operation conducted successfully. Finally, operation time and energy savings have an appreciable economic significance.

In this study, rigorous dynamic simulations are employed to investigate the startup of ethylene splitter in an ethylene plant.  First, in the base case, the dynamic model for the column is built with normal control strategy.  Second, dynamic model for ethylene splitter is built with improved control strategy.  Split range control and low select control are applied in this improved control strategy.  Then, the optimal startup procedures are identified.  The control system built in DCS control system is integrated with dynamic model.  In summary, the integration of dynamic simulation and DCS control system in this study will help identify operating procedures and control strategies to start up a distillation column quickly and safely, so as to save plant raw material and energy, reduce operational risks, and thus enhance the industrial sustainability.

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