Economic MPC of an Industrial Diesel Hydrotreating Plant

Flavio A.M. Strutzel, Darci Odloak, and Antonio C. Zanin


Model Predictive Control (MPC), Process Control, Diesel Hydrotreating, Petroleum Hydrorefining


This work addresses the control and optimization of an industrial diesel hydrotreating unit (HDT) with MPC (Model Predictive Control). Initially, it is given a brief description of the diesel hydrotreating process, which is studied here and the requirements for the control system of this type of industrial plant are discussed. In order to best explore the capabilities of the MPC in the HDT unit a new MPC algorithm is proposed. In the controller considered here, the control objective function is extended with an economic objective that aims at to the increase of the conversion of the raw feed to the hydrotreated product, specially the most valuable streams, and to the minimization of catalyst degradation due to thermal instabilities. With the extended control objective, both control and optimization are performed simultaneously. In a simulation environment, it is shown that the proposed control algorithm is able to stabilize the industrial plant and to increase the profitability of its operation.

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