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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 6, 2019

An Analysis of Increasing the Purity of Ethylene Production in the Ethylene Fractionation Column by the Genetic Algorithm

Asadollah Karimi ORCID logo, Hadi Soltani and Aydin Hasanzadeh


Distillation columns are among the most common fractionation systems with numerous applications in petrochemical units. Hence, the optimization of these columns is a large step in reducing energy consumption and increasing process productivity. This study was, therefore, carried out as a case study of the simulation and optimization of the parameters influencing the ethylene production of the ethylene distillation column in an olefin unit. The two defined objective functions in this research were maximum mass flow of ethylene in the upstream flow of the distillation column and the minimum energy consumption in the distillation column. The optimal operating conditions for the independent variables were estimated using the NSGAII algorithm. The sensitivity analysis of the results was, thereafter, carried out and the optimization results introduced tray no. 71 as the most suitable feed location. In addition, the optimal reflux ratio and the optimal feed flow temperature were 5.26 and −18.49 °C, respectively. In this condition, the upstream ethylene flow rate and energy consumption in the unit increased by approximately 0.74 % and 0.9 % as compared to the initial conditions, respectively.


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Received: 2019-06-17
Revised: 2019-07-13
Accepted: 2019-07-17
Published Online: 2019-08-06

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