Supercomputing Strategies for the Design and Analysis of Complex Separation Systems


Stephen E. Zitney and Mark A. Stadtherr


The solution of large, sparse, linear equation systems is a critical computational step in the analysis and design of interlinked separation columns. If the modeling equations for a separation system are grouped by equilibrium stage, the linear systems take on an almost-block- tridiagonal form. We study here the use of the frontal approach to solve these linear systems on supercomputers. The frontal approach is potentially attractive because it exploits vector processing architectures by treating parts of the sparse matrix as full submatrices, thereby allowing arithmetic operations to be performed with easily vectorizable full-matrix code. The performance of the frontal method for different matrix orderings and different numbers of components is considered. Nine interlinked distillation systems are used as test problems. Results indicate that the frontal approach provides substantial savings in computation time, an order of magnitude in some cases, compared to traditional sparse matrix techniques.

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 32, 604-612 (1993)

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