Abstract - Pinch Analysis is a methodology that allows the calculation of minimum hot and cold utilities consumption in a process

from the knowledge of some data of the hot and cold streams. These energy targets are calculated through the Problem Table Method, that is based on the description of the process using constant heat capacity flowrates. This hypothesis is not valid in certain situations, particularly when phase changes are involved. A modification to Problem Table Method is proposed, that allows the use of enthalpies rigorously calculated from thermodynamic correlations. One case study is provided, where an error of 240% in hot target is verified if phase changes are neglected. Keywords: Pinch analysis, phase changes, enthalpies.

INTRODUCTION Pinch Analysis is a methodology developed for the integrated chemical processes design. This methodology, that emerged at the final of the 70's, is based on thermodynamic fundamentals and was originally conceived for the design of heat exchanger networks (Linnhoff et al., 1982). It has established new thermodynamic concepts for process engineers, and therefore process design activity does not rely on "black-box" methods. As a result, process engineers can associate some project constrains as control, operability, flexibility, safety, and lay-out to the energy targets calculated by Pinch Analysis. A feature of Pinch Analysis is the fact that engineers are not removed from the decision-making activity. The successful application of these techniques has enabled the extension of the original proposed concepts in a such way that Pinch Analysis can be considered nowadays a general process design tool. It provides a framework where the integration of separation systems (distillation columns, evaporators, dryers), refrigeration systems, multiple utilities systems, combined heat and power systems, wastewater, and others can be evaluated (Linnhoff, 1994). Traditionally, process streams are specified with the use of initial and final temperatures and its mean heat capacity flowrate, defined by the equation: (1) Heat capacity flowrate values are taken from material and energy balances and are assumed as constants. In case of phase changes in multicomponent mixtures, this assumption is not reasonable, and the temperature range in which the stream heat capacity is assumed constant must be shortened. The definition of the number of temperatures intervals used to describe the

In this context.thermal behavior of the stream relies exclusively on the engineer experience and there is no established criteria for the optimum number of splits. these procedure guarantees that all heat exchange between process streams occurs with a temperature difference equal or greater than the minimum temperature difference. As an example. 1990). process simulators are available to almost every engineer (Evans. Step 2) Set up temperature intervals from the temperatures calculated at the previous step. checking if this balance results in an energy deficit or excess. Step 3) Evaluate the enthalpy balance for each temperature interval. starting with QH into the first interval . and so. (1982) and Douglas (1988). shift all hot streams in –Tmin/2 and all cold streams inTmin/2. This algorithm is described in detail by Linnhoff et al. that can be easily performed with the help of a process simulator. based exclusively on intuition or experience. for process streams presented in Table 1 the following results were obtained for a minimum temperature difference of 10°C with . manual procedures. Step 6) Cascade again the heat flow through temperature intervals. PROBLEM TABLE METHOD Linnhoff and Flower (1978) published an algorithm for setting algebraically the energy targets and pinch position for a set of hot and cold streams. Step 5) Look for the greatest negative heat flow and assign this value as positive to QH. Step 4) Cascade the heat flow through temperature intervals. are no longer justified. Nowadays. this work proposes a methodology for energy targets calculation based on rigorous physical properties calculation. and can be summarized by the following steps: Step 1) After setting a Tmin. known as "Problem Table". Note that. The value of QC is obtained from the last interval heat flow and the position of pinch point is taken at the temperature where the heat flow is equal to zero.

1982).000 1. The complete algorithm is described as follows: Step 1) Shift all hot streams in –Tmin/2 and all cold streams in Tmin/2.000 240. The enthalpy of initial and final temperatures are designated H(Ti) and H(Ti+1). as follows: Step 3.000 -330. the enthalpies are rigorously calculated at the initial (Ti) and final (Ti+1) interval temperatures. Table 1: Process data adapted from Linnhoff et al.000 3.000 4. The difference of the proposed method is in the definition of the temperature intervals. respectively.. as flowrate. In a first approximation. process streams have to be entirely defined.000 PROPOSED ALGORITHM Initially. all necessary information for enthalpy calculations have to be known. . Following the Problem Table Method. Step 2) Set up temperature intervals from the temperatures calculated at the prior step. (1982) Stream 1 2 3 4 Type Cold Hot Cold Hot CP (kJ/h °C) 2. although this assumption does not represent correctly what happens when phase changes occur. pressure.500 Ts (°C) 20 170 80 150 Tt (°C) 135 60 140 30 DH (kJ/h) 230. temperature and composition. the temperature interval is split in two more intervals. Step 3) For each temperature interval.1) For each stream located in the interval. check if the assumption of constant heat capacity flowrate is reasonable. that is. the constant heat capacity flowrates are used. hot utility target 20 MJ/h and cold utility target 60 MJ/h (Linnhoff et al. hot and cold streams have to be shifted in temperature.the preceding algorithm: pinch position 85°C.000 -180. When this assumption is inadequate.

The first new interval has as initial and final temperatures the values Ti and .4) For any stream located at the interval temperature. the difference between the medium enthalpy and the enthalpy at the medium temperature has to be checked.2) Calculate the medium value of the enthalpies calculated at the prior step ( ). Figure 1 illustrates how this division is set up. respectively. the relative error (equation 2) between the medium enthalpy and the enthalpy at the medium temperature is greater than a specified tolerance. From the temperature intervals set up by this procedure. this temperature interval has to be split in two new intervals. ) and the Step 3. . the other steps from the Problem Table are performed in order to calculate QH. The second new interval has as initial and final temperatures the values and Ti+1. for any stream. Figure 1: Temperature interval subdivision This procedure (Step 3) is repeated for the new intervals until the relative error is smaller than the specified tolerance.3) Calculate the medium temperature of the interval ( enthalpy of this medium temperature ( ). QC and the pinch point position. respectively. Step 3.Step 3. If.

2000 0.1000 0. (ºC) Pressure (kPa) Initial vapor fraction Final vapor fraction Flowrate (kgmol/h) Molar fraction hydrogen Molar fraction methane Molar fraction ethane Molar fraction propane Molar fraction i-butane Molar fraction n-butane Heat duty (kJ/h) 1 Cold 20 135 1.2000 0.1000 0.1000 0.3246 0.1000 0.200 0.1000 0. and heat duties.2000 0.0000 38.3763 8.2000 0.3000 0. using the Peng-Robinson equation of state. Table 2: Hot and cold streams Stream Type Supply temp.0000 0.0000 1.2000 -180000 .2000 0. These streams data were chosen in a such a way that all initial and final temperatures.3000 240000 4 Hot 150 30 1.2000 0. (ºC) Target temp.2000 0. All physical properties were calculated with the process simulator HYSIM.0000 0.2000 -330000 3 Cold 80 140 800 1.0000 0. are the same of those streams presented in Table 1.The relative error is defined as follows: (2) CASE STUDY In order to exemplify the proposed algorithm.2000 0. it will be applied to the hot and cold streams presented in Table 2.0000 12.1000 0.5069 1.1000 0.200 1.8155 0.2000 0.8067 0.0000 33.3000 0.0000 1.2000 230000 2 Hot 170 60 800 1.4856 0.

the heat duties of the hot composite curve are differently distributed above and below the pinch when the Problem Table and the proposed method are employed. representing an error of 240% for the hot utility. that is. respectively. for a minimum temperature difference of 10°C. Figure 2a presents the composite curves constructed from the Problem Table Method and Figure 2b presents the composite curves constructed using the method proposed in this work. (a) Problem Table Method . These differences in energy targets calculation can lead an engineer to misconceptions and as a result a wrong heat exchanger network will be designed. However. the heat duty necessary to increase the temperature of stream 1 from 20 to 135°C is not uniformly distributed. the heat load is in reality concentrated in the temperature range where the phase change takes place. using the proposed algorithm. assuming constant heat capacity flowrates were 20000 and 60000 kJ/h for the hot and cold utilities. Because of the phase change that occurs in stream 1. Consequently. respectively.Calculating the energy targets for the streams presented in Table 2. it was obtained the values 5883 and 45882 kJ/h for the hot and cold utilities. Pinch position remained at the same temperature value. the energy targets for the same streams. and a tolerance of 1%.

Therefore. The availability of high speed computers and process simulators allows that rigorous physical properties can be calculated in a easy way. 1989) can still be used in conjunction with the proposed method.(b) Proposed algorithm Figure 2: Composite curves CONCLUDING REMARKS It was proposed a modified Problem Table Method in order to calculate energy targets of a process taking account rigorous physical properties calculation. This new method is particularly beneficial in situations were phase changes occur and the heat capacity flowrates can not be assumed as constant. it is desired that more rigorous methods should be used in place of traditional and approximated methodologies. NOMENCLATURE CP Heat capacity flowrate (kJ/h °C) H Enthalpy flow (kJ/h) Medium enthalpy flow (kJ/h) . Another advantage of this algorithm is that the existing methods for area target and minimum number of shells (Ahmad and Smith.

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