Process optimization is the discipline of adjusting a process to optimize or make the best, or most effective, use of some specified set of parameters without violating some constraint. The most common goals are minimizing cost and maximizing throughput and/or efficiency. In process optimization of a biofuels technology of plant, the goal is to maximize one or more of the process specifications, while keeping all others within their constraints. There are three areas that should be examined – equipment optimization, optimization of operating procedures, and control optimization. The process of continuously monitoring and optimizing the entire plant is sometimes called performance supervision.
The first step is to verify that the existing biofuels or renewable fuels or chemicals equipment is being used to its fullest advantage by examining the plant’s operating data to identify equipment bottlenecks. The next step would be to examine the operating procedures, which may well vary greatly depending on the person or shift. Automation is of little use if operators take control and run the plant manually. Last, but not least one must examine control optimization. In most plants and refineries, there are literally thousands of control loops, each responsible for controlling a specific part of the process (such as flow, levels, or temperature maintenance). If the control loop is improperly designed or tuned, the process itself will run below optimum levels. It will probably be more expensive to operate, and the equipment will likely wear out faster.
For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been assisting companies and investors with issues relating to sustainability, bioenergy, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years each in their industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of a project, and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. A good overview of our group is found in this video. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.