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Optimal Control of Fixed-Bed Reactors with Catalyst Deactivation Open Access


Other title
Distributed parameter systems
Infinite dimensional systems
Optimal Control
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mohammadi, Leily
Supervisor and department
Forbes, Fraser (Chemical and Materials Engineering), Dubljevic, Stevan ( Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Shah, Sirish (CME)
McCaffrey, William (CME)
Perrier, Michel ( Chemical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Catalytic reactors have widespread applications in chemical and petrochemical industries. The most well known type of catalytic reactors are fixed-bed or packed-bed reactors where the reaction takes place on the surface of the catalyst. One of the most important phenomena that takes place in a catalytic fixed-bed reactor is catalyst deactivation. Catalyst deactivation can have variety of consequences. It can have negative effects on the conversion and selectivity of the desired reaction. Consequently, it will affect the productivity and energy efficiency of the plant. It is therefore important to design efficient controllers that are able to track the optimal pre-defined trajectories of the operating conditions to ensure optimal operation of the plant. Depending on the transport and reaction phenomena occurring in a fixed-bed reactor, it can be modelled by a set of partial differential equations (PDEs) or a mixed set of PDEs and ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Moreover, the governing transport phenomenon (i.e. diffusion or convection) dictates the type of PDEs involved in the model of the reactor (i.e. parabolic or hyperbolic). In this work, infinite dimensional optimal control of a fixed-bed reactor with catalyst deactivation is studied. Since dynamical properties of hyperbolic PDEs and parabolic PDEs are completely different, they are discussed as different topics. The thesis begins with optimal control of a class of fixed bed reactors with catalyst deactivation modelled by time-varying hyperbolic equations. Then the model predictive control of this class of distributed parameter systems under parameter uncertainty is explored. The optimal control of reactors modelled by parabolic PDEs is first explored for the case of reactors without catalyst deactivation. Then the proposed controller is extended to a more general class of distributed parameter systems modelled by coupled parabolic PDE-ODE systems which can represent fixed-bed reactors with the rate of deactivation modelled by a set of ODEs. Numerical simulations are performed for formulated optimal controllers and their performance is studied.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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