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Keywords:

  • optimization;
  • mathematical modeling;
  • heat exchanger network;
  • energy integration;
  • pressure recovery

The optimal integration between heat and work may significantly reduce the energy demand and consequently the process cost. This article introduces a new mathematical model for the simultaneous synthesis of heat exchanger networks (HENs), in which the pressure levels of the process streams can be adjusted to enhance the heat integration. A superstructure is proposed for the HEN design with pressure recovery, developed via generalized disjunctive programming, and mixed-integer nonlinear programming formulation. The process conditions (stream temperature and pressure) must be optimized. Furthermore, the approach allows for coupling of the turbines and compressors and selection of the turbines and valves to minimize the total annualized cost, which consists of the operational and capital expenses. The model is tested for its applicability in three case studies, including a cryogenic application. The results indicate that the energy integration reduces the quantity of utilities required, thus decreasing the overall cost. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 893–908, 2014