Advanced process systems design technology for pollution prevention and waste treatment

Patrick Linke, Antonis Kokossis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


The paper presents a generic process synthesis and optimisation tool suitable to take up applications in the design of waste treatment systems and in pollution prevention. The main component of the technology is a generalized process synthesis representation for simultaneous consideration of reaction and separation in multiphase systems that is amenable for stochastic optimisation. The flexibility of the representation allows applications to overall process synthesis problems as well as to decomposed reactor, reactive separation and mass exchange network design problems. Applications of the synthesis framework to waste water treatments processes using activated sludge and to natural gas sweetening in hybrid membrane-adsorption processes are presented. The paper highlights the use of the systematic technology in environmental systems design and shows how novel designs of improved performance as well as optimal design knowledge can be revealed using the systematic design framework. Context abstract: Environmental process systems for waste treatment and pollution prevention become increasingly complicated to design. There is a strong need for technology that provides systematic decision support to the process synthesis team in order to enable the timely selection of processes that operate close to the performance limits of the system under consideration. Conventional, optimisation-based process design technology is severely limited by the number of design decisions they can support simultaneously as well as by the increasingly complex process models required for the meaningful mathematical representation of environmental process systems. We have devised an optimisation-based process design methodology for integrated reaction and separation systems that overcomes major limitations of existing tools. This paper illustrates the use of this technology to provide systematic decision-support to the environmental process systems designer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Environmental Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Activated sludge system
  • Gas sweetening
  • Hybrid separations
  • Optimisation
  • Process synthesis
  • Waste water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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