468153 The Top-Ref Approach to Improve the Resource Efficiency of Energy Intensive Industrial Processe

Thursday, November 17, 2016: 12:30 PM
Union Square 3 & 4 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Heiko Radatz1, Torsten Hellenkamp2, Gerhard Schembecker1 and Christian Bramsiepe1, (1)Laboratory of Plant and Process Design, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany, (2)INOSIM Software GmbH, Dortmund, Germany

TOP-REF project aims at developing and validating indicators, methodologies and non-invasive tools devoted to the improvement of resource efficiency in energy intensive continuous industrial processes in the agro-chemical, chemical and petrochemical sectors. These methodologies and tools will constitute to the following targets:
  • To path the way for achieving the SPIRE2030 objective of reducing non-renewable, primary raw material intensity up to 20 % and fossil energy intensity up to 30%, both compared with current levels.
  • Reduce production costs up to 15 % compared with the current levels.
  • A significant reduction of the environmental impacts (CO2 emissions, water footprint, pollutants, hazardous emissions, etc.).

To achieve these impacts, TOP-REF develops and demonstrates a robust, resource-efficiency-focused and cross-sectorial methodology based on novel exergy-based resource indicators. This methodology is implemented in three industrial demonstration plants: solid fertilizer production, crude distillation and fractionation unit of a refinery and a naphtha steam cracker. The tools developed are validated by demonstration under real conditions in three pilots.

The methodology developed by TOP-REF consists of the following steps:

  1. Development of Key Resource Indicators (KRIs) to measure the performance in resource efficiency
  2. Modeling and simulation of the three industrial pilots
  3. Identification of the critical process parameters (CPPs) influencing the KRIs
  4. Optimization of the CPPs to improve the resource efficiency
  5. Demonstration and validation under real conditions

The approach to identify the critical process parameters for the production processes investigated is based on detailed process models validated by the industrial partners. These process models are analyzed using global sensitivity analysis to identify the critical process parameters. As the full simulation models are very complex, simplified mathematical surrogate models are derived prior to global sensitivity analysis. A variance-based global sensitivity analysis is performed for all process parameters to identify the most influential operating parameters on the key resource indicators (KRIs) developed within the TOP-REF project. The use of a variance-based sensitivity analysis enables the consideration of interaction effects among the process parameters. Finally, the identified critical process parameters are optimized using the KRIs as objective. The optimized operating points will be validated under real conditions in the three production plants.

Within the contribution we will explain the TOP-REF approach developed, show its application to the three industrial processes and highlight experiences made during the application.


The research leading to the results presented in this contribution has received funding from the European Community‘s 7th Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 604140, TOP-REF.

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