Enhanced Interval Analysis for Phase Stability: Cubic Equation of State Models


J. Z. Hua, J. F. Brennecke, and M. A. Stadtherr


The reliable prediction of phase stability is a challenging computational problem in chemical process simulation, optimization and design. The phase stability problem can be formulated either as a minimization problem or as an equivalent nonlinear equation solving problem. Conventional solution methods are initialization dependent, and may fail by converging to trivial or non-physical solutions or to a point that is a local but not global minimum. Thus there has been considerable recent interest in developing more reliable techniques for stability analysis. Recently we have demonstrated, using cubic equation of state models, a technique that can solve the phase stability problem with complete reliability. The technique, which is based on interval analysis, is initialization independent, and if properly implemented provides a mathematical guarantee that the correct solution to the phase stability problem has been found. However, there is much room for improvement in the computational efficiency of the technique. In this paper we consider two means of enhancing the efficiency of the method, both based on sharpening the range of interval function evaluations. Results indicate that by using the enhanced method, computation times can be reduced by nearly an order of magnitude in some cases.

Comput. Chem. Eng., 22, 107-1214 (1998).

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