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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Optimization of multi-stage absorption systems Lucas, James Peter


Multi-stage adsorption configurations with equality and Inequality constraints are optimized and comparisons are made between their relative effectiveness. For a given number of stages countercurrent flow is always superior, as expected. Although crossflow is generally second best, it becomes inferior to certain alternative networks for certain ranges of the magnitude of the adsorption isotherm exponent. Generally, the order of the effectiveness of various networks is believed to be according to how much the networks resemble countercurrent flow. An algorithm is derived and used to solve the N-stage crossflow network. All other configurations had to be treated as problems in constrained optimization. For this purpose, a theorem of Courant and a method of Carroll for equality and inequality constraints respectively are used to formulate the problem. Three different optimization methods were considered with the deflected gradient method of Fletcher and Powell proving to be the superior for this particular class of optimization problems.

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