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Solids Handling: Using Flowsheet Simulation to Improve Process Design

By Jennifer Dyment and Claus Reimers,  Aspen Technology |

Using flowsheet simulation to model processes involving granular solids — either those that are entirely separate from fluid processes or those that are combined with them — has many advantages for improving the process design. These include avoiding unplanned downtime, reducing costs, improving throughput and maintaining product quality. Modeling processes that involve solids adds an extra level of complexity to process simulation, as it requires the consideration of distributed properties, such as particle-size distribution (PSD). Granular solids are described this way, whereas fluid processes are generally described using concentrated properties, such as vapor fraction, composition, temperature and so on. Additionally, many other parameters that describe the particles depend on the particle size. For instance, when particles are being dried, the moisture content inside a particle may be higher for larger particles than for smaller particles, thus moisture content is also a distributed parameter in this case. In some cases, secondary distributed parameters are not important and can be averaged, but in others, they may significantly affect the process performance. As one would imagine, considering distributed parameters may increase…
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