Reactor Network Synthesis

The problem that has been addressed in the literature in the area of reactor network synthesis can be stated as follows. Given are: (1) a single inlet stream into the reactor network with specified component flow rates; (2) a single outlet stream out of the reactor network, mixing the effluent streams; and (3) a set of reactions to be carried out in all reactors.

To facilitate integration with separations and address the simultaneous synthesis of reactor, separation, and heat exchanger networks, we consider a generalized problem statement that can be stated as follows (Ryu et al., 2020). We are given: (1) candidate inlet streams with variable component flow rates; (2) a set of reactions to be carried out in different reactors; and (3) different types of reactors. Our goal is to find the optimal reactor network configuration.


Reactor Network System diagram

Illustration of a reactor network system considering candidate inlet/outlet streams, including recycle streams from the separation system

To address this problem, we proposed an extent-based reactor model where different tasks can be assigned to a reactor, and the limiting reactants are automatically identified based on the reactor inlet flow rate (Ramapriya et al., 2018).

In addition, we proposed a framework for the simultaneous synthesis of reactor, separation, and heat exchanger networks. The basic components of the framework are new models for the three systems and a set of constraints to pairwise couple the three systems, thereby allowing the formulation of a single integrated optimization model (Ryu et al., 2020).


Ramapriya GM, Won W, Maravelias CT. A superstructure optimization approach for process synthesis under complex reaction networks. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 137, 589-608, 2018.

Ryu J, Kong L, Pastore de Lima AE, Maravelias CT. A generalized superstructure-based framework for process synthesis. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 133, 106653, 2020.