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Keywords:

  • hydrogen network;
  • purification reuse/recycle;
  • pinch;
  • optimization;
  • purification feed flow rate

The purification reuse/recycle is one effective resource conservation strategy. In this article, a novel conceptual method is proposed to identify the optimal purification feed flow rate (PFFR) and the corresponding maximum hydrogen utility savings (HUS) of the hydrogen network with purification reuse/recycle. In this method, the sources and sink-tie-lines are divided into three regions according to the purified product and purification feed. The quantitative relationship between the HUS and the PFFR is analyzed for the sink-tie-lines and sources of each region. With the quantitative relationship line between the HUS and the PFFR of each source plotted, the quantitative relationship diagram can be obtained and can be used to identify the pinch point and the HUS for a given PFFR. Furthermore, the optimal PFFR and the maximum HUS can be identified easily. Three cases are studied to illustrate the applicability of the proposed method. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 1964–1980, 2013