On the synthesis and optimization of liquid-liquid extraction processes using stochastic search methods

Athanasios I. Papadopoulos, Patrick Linke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the synthesis and optimal design of liquid-liquid extraction processes using stochastic optimization algorithms. The main objective is to comparatively study stochastic optimization algorithms in view of speed and robustness when searching conventional as well as complex process representations for optimal solutions. The work employs a generic representation framework that accounts for simple as well as complex extraction process arrangements. The resulting superstructure formulations encompass all the potential configurations and interconnections that may exist for liquid-liquid extraction systems. The task of optimizing the superstructure is assigned to stochastic optimization algorithms in the form of simulated annealing (SA), genetic algorithms (GA) and ant colony optimization (ACO). The proposed model is applied to different separation problems involving quaternary mixtures. The liquid phase non-idealities are modeled both by highly non-linear correlations and standard thermodynamic methods. All three algorithms have been found to address the problem with success in terms of the quality of the solution found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2406
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Ant colony optimization
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Liquid-liquid extraction
  • Process synthesis
  • Simulated annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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