A tailor-made blended liquid product is defined as a formulation of various chemicals in the liquid state to obtain a liquid mixture with a specific set of desired characteristics and qualities. Examples of blended liquid products are synthetic fuels and lubricants. This type of products is very important in daily life, since they not only keep people moving around, but also guarantee that machines and equipment work smoothly. The objective of this work is to tackle the blending problems using computer-aided tools for the initial stage of the product design. A systematic methodology for design of tailor-made blended products has been developed, which has four main tasks. First, the design problem is defined: the product needs are identified, translated into target properties and the bounds for each target property are defined. Secondly, target property models are retrieved from a property model library. Thirdly, a mixture/blend design algorithm is applied to obtain the mixtures/blends that match the design targets. The result is a set of blends that match the constraints, the composition of the chemicals present in the blend, and the values of the target properties. Finally, the mixture target property values are verified by means of rigorous models for the properties and the mixtures. Besides the methodology, as the main contribution, specific supporting tools that were developed to perform each task are also important contributions of this research work. The applicability of the developed methodology and tools was tested through two case studies. In the first case study, two different gasoline blend problems have been solved. In the second case study, four different lubricant design problems have been solved.
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Gani, Rafiqul, Woodley, John M., Gernaey, Krist
Technical University of Denmark, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, 2014