Ph.D. degree award:
INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M
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Modern Cascade for 13C Cryogenic Separation
Joint Applied Research Projects - PCCA-2011 call, Type 2
Role in this project:
UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICA DIN CLUJ - NAPOCA
UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICA DIN CLUJ - NAPOCA (RO); INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M (RO); ELECTRONIC APRIL APARATURA ELECTRONICA SPECIALA S.R.L. (RO)
INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M (RO)
The enriched carbon isotope 13C is widely used in numerous applications. One of the methods used to increase its natural concentration is through the cryogenic distillation of the carbon monoxide in high distillation columns. Very little information exists nowadays regarding the construction, principle of operation, mathematical model or control system. The present project proposes a novel method for raising the natural concentration by using three separation columns of medium height connected in a cascade fashion. To reduce the energy consumption and increase the performance of the plant, the cascade is packed in the same vacuum jacket and uses the same condenser, a construction that increases the efficiency of gas transfer between the single-columns. However, the advantage of the construction comes with serious problems in terms of monitoring and automatic control of the entire plant.
Due to the complexity of the cascade, its strong nonlinear and multivariable character, with large time constants and variable time delays, the problem of accurate modeling and control design becomes very important. The present project, apart from the technological novelty, offers significant possibilities for developing identification algorithms and closed loop control structures. The final objective of the project resides in the actual implementation of control algorithms on the three columns, as well as an overall optimal supervisory control system designed in order to increase the efficiency of the separation process.
The expected results, apart from the scientific ones (new algorithms, complete mathematical model of the cascade, novel control structures), include a functional separation cascade, completely monitored and automatically controlled using dedicated measuring equipment and dedicated control devices. The end product of the present project consists in a higher competitivity on the isotope market and a price reduction of 13C labeled compounds.
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