Process optimization via simulated annealing: Application to network design



Simulated annealing is a multivariable optimization technique based on the Monte Carlo method used in statistical mechanical studies of condensed systems and follows by drawing an analogy between energy minimization in physical systems and costs minimization in design applications. In this paper, simulated annealing is introduced and reviewed. The utility of the method for optimization of chemical processes is illustrated by applying it to the design of pressure relief header networks and heat exchanger networks.