Conference paper

Synthesis of non-isothermal water networks including process hot and cold streams

The synthesis problems of non‒isothermal water networks have received considerable attention throughout academia and industry over the last two decades because of the importance of simultaneously minimising water and energy consumption [1]. Most papers have addressed this issue only by considering heat integration between hot and cold water streams. In this study, the scope of heat integration is expanded by enabling heat integration of process streams (such as waste gas streams and reactor effluent streams) together with the water network’s hot and cold streams. This approach integrates the non‒isothermal water network synthesis problem with the classical heat exchanger networks (HENs) synthesis problem by considering them simultaneously as a unified network. A recently proposed superstructure [2] for the synthesis of non‒isothermal process water networks is extended to enable additional heat integration options between hot/cold water streams and hot/cold process streams. Within a unified network, heat capacity flow rates and inlet and outlet temperatures are fixed for process streams, and variable for water streams. The complexity of the overall synthesis problem increases significantly when compared to the syntheses of both networks separately. Therefore, solving this types of problem is more challenging. The objective function of the proposed mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model accounts for operating costs (including fresh water and utilities) and investment costs for heat exchangers and treatment units. The results indicate that by solving a unified network, additional savings in utilities consumption and total annual cost can be obtained, compared to the sequential solution obtained by solving both sub‒networks separately. Thus, more efficient water networks can be designed.

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