Inventory pinch algorithm for gasoline blend planning



Current gasoline blend scheduling practice is to optimize blend plans via fixed duration (e.g., days) multiperiod NLP or MINLP models and schedule blends via interactive simulation. Solutions of multiperiod models typically have different blend recipes for each time period. We introduce inventory pinch points and use them to construct an algorithm based on single-period nonlinear model to minimize the number of different blend recipes. The algorithm optimizes multigrade blend recipes for each period delimited by the inventory pinch points and then uses a fine-grid multiperiod fixed-recipe MILP to compute blend volumes profile. If MILP is infeasible, a corresponding period between the pinch points is subdivided and recipes are reoptimized. In our case studies, solutions are computed in significant less time and are most often within 0.01% of the solutions by multiperiod MINLP. Reduced number of blend recipes makes it easier for the blend scheduler to create a schedule by interactive simulation. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 3748–3766, 2013