Mathematical optimization has shown the potential to contribute to industrial water management, through the development of the solution methods needed for optimization-based design of wastewater treatment and reuse networks (also called water networks). Nevertheless, the application of this approach is still limited to motivating examples lacking the ability to handle problems with complexity of industrial relevance. To address this challenge, in this contribution, we focus on the integration of wastewater engineering concepts and models, together with optimization methods and solution algorithms. To this end, we propose a computer-aided framework for the design of water treatment and reuse networks. In the framework, optimization methods, problem analysis tools and wastewater engineering knowledge are integrated in a computer-aided environment, in order to facilitate the formulation and solution of the design problems with fair complexity representative of industrial applications. The framework is demonstrated through the solution of a case study dealing with the treatment and reuse of water effluent produced by an oil refinery. The problem is solved, and a win−win solution is identified, allowing a reduced water footprint, and the treatment costs are identified.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014, Vol 53