• LCA;
  • multiobjective optimization;
  • multiproduct batch scheduling;
  • product changeover


In batch process scheduling, production trade-offs arise from the simultaneous consideration of different objectives. Economic goals are expressed in terms of plant profitability and productivity, whereas the environmental objectives are evaluated by means of metrics originated from the use of life cycle assessment methodology. This work illustrates a novel approach for decision making by using multiobjective optimization. In addition, different metrics are proposed to select a possible compromise based on the distance to a nonexistent utopian solution, whose objective function values are all optimal. Thus, this work provides a deeper insight into the influence of the metrics selection for both environmental and economic issues while considering the trade-offs of adopting a particular schedule. The use of this approach is illustrated through its application to a case study related to a multiproduct acrylic fiber production plant, special attention is put to the influence of product changeovers. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 57: 2766–2782, 2010