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Keywords:

  • simultaneous design and control;
  • mixed-integer nonlinear optimization;
  • process synthesis;
  • control structure selection;
  • robust control theory

A new methodology that includes process synthesis and control structure decisions for the optimal process and control design of dynamic systems under uncertainty is presented. The method integrates dynamic flexibility and dynamic feasibility in a single optimization formulation, thus, reducing the costs to assess the optimal design. A robust stability test is also included in the proposed method to ensure that the optimal design is stable in the presence of magnitude-bounded perturbations. Since disturbances are treated as stochastic time-discrete unmeasured inputs, the optimal process synthesis and control design specified by this method remains feasible and stable in the presence of the most critical realizations in the disturbances. The proposed methodology has been applied to simultaneously design and control a system of CSTRs and a ternary distillation column. A study on the computational costs associated with this method is presented and compared to that required by a dynamic optimization-based scheme. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2497–2514, 2013