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Autori: Dan Vladimir Nichita, Susana Gomez and Eduardo Luna
Editorial: Computers & Chemical Engineering, 26 (12), p.1703-1724, 2002.
This paper presents a new method for multiphase equilibria calculation by direct minimization of the Gibbs free energy of multicomponent systems. The methods for multiphase equilibria calculation based on the equality of chemical potentials cannot guarantee the convergence to the correct solution since the problem is non-convex (with several local minima), and they can find only one for a given initial guess. The global optimization methods currently available are generally very expensive. A global optimization method called Tunneling, able to escape from local minima and saddle points is used here, and has shown to be able to find efficiently the global solution for all the hypothetical and real problems tested. The Tunneling method has two phases. In phase one, a local bounded optimization method is used to minimize the objective function. In phase two (tunnelization), either global optimality is ascertained, or a feasible initial estimate for a new minimization is generated. For the minimization step, a limited-memory quasi-Newton method is used. The calculation of multiphase equilibria is organized in a stepwise manner, combining phase stability analysis by minimization of the tangent plane distance function with phase splitting calculations. The problems addressed here are the vapor–liquid and liquid–liquid two-phase equilibria, three-phase vapor–liquid–liquid equilibria, and three-phase vapor–liquid–solid equilibria, for a variety of representative systems. The examples show the robustness of the proposed method even in the most difficult situations. The Tunneling method is found to be more efficient than other global optimization methods. The results showed the efficiency and reliability of the novel method for solving the multiphase equilibria and the global stability problems. Although we have used here a cubic equation of state model for Gibbs free energy, any other approach can be used, as the method is model independent. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cuvinte cheie: Phase stability; Tangent plane distance; Multiphase equilibria; Global optimization; Equation of state