Iterative learning control of crystallisation systems

2014-06-23T14:35:59Z (GMT) by Nahid Sanzida
Under the increasing pressure of issues like reducing the time to market, managing lower production costs, and improving the flexibility of operation, batch process industries thrive towards the production of high value added commodity, i.e. specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agricultural, and biotechnology enabled products. For better design, consistent operation and improved control of batch chemical processes one cannot ignore the sensing and computational blessings provided by modern sensors, computers, algorithms, and software. In addition, there is a growing demand for modelling and control tools based on process operating data. This study is focused on developing process operation data-based iterative learning control (ILC) strategies for batch processes, more specifically for batch crystallisation systems. In order to proceed, the research took a step backward to explore the existing control strategies, fundamentals, mechanisms, and various process analytical technology (PAT) tools used in batch crystallisation control. From the basics of the background study, an operating data-driven ILC approach was developed to improve the product quality from batch-to-batch. The concept of ILC is to exploit the repetitive nature of batch processes to automate recipe updating using process knowledge obtained from previous runs. The methodology stated here was based on the linear time varying (LTV) perturbation model in an ILC framework to provide a convergent batch-to-batch improvement of the process performance indicator. In an attempt to create uniqueness in the research, a novel hierarchical ILC (HILC) scheme was proposed for the systematic design of the supersaturation control (SSC) of a seeded batch cooling crystalliser. This model free control approach is implemented in a hierarchical structure by assigning data-driven supersaturation controller on the upper level and a simple temperature controller in the lower level. In order to familiarise with other data based control of crystallisation processes, the study rehearsed the existing direct nucleation control (DNC) approach. However, this part was more committed to perform a detailed strategic investigation of different possible structures of DNC and to compare the results with that of a first principle model based optimisation for the very first time. The DNC results in fact outperformed the model based optimisation approach and established an ultimate guideline to select the preferable DNC structure. Batch chemical processes are distributed as well as nonlinear in nature which need to be operated over a wide range of operating conditions and often near the boundary of the admissible region. As the linear lumped model predictive controllers (MPCs) often subject to severe performance limitations, there is a growing demand of simple data driven nonlinear control strategy to control batch crystallisers that will consider the spatio-temporal aspects. In this study, an operating data-driven polynomial chaos expansion (PCE) based nonlinear surrogate modelling and optimisation strategy was presented for batch crystallisation processes. Model validation and optimisation results confirmed this approach as a promise to nonlinear control. The evaluations of the proposed data based methodologies were carried out by simulation case studies, laboratory experiments and industrial pilot plant experiments. For all the simulation case studies a detailed mathematical models covering reaction kinetics and heat mass balances were developed for a batch cooling crystallisation system of Paracetamol in water. Based on these models, rigorous simulation programs were developed in MATLAB®, which was then treated as the real batch cooling crystallisation system. The laboratory experimental works were carried out using a lab scale system of Paracetamol and iso-Propyl alcohol (IPA). All the experimental works including the qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the crystallisation experiments and products demonstrated an inclusive application of various in situ process analytical technology (PAT) tools, such as focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM), UV/Vis spectroscopy and particle vision measurement (PVM) as well. The industrial pilot scale study was carried out in GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Limited, Bangladesh, and the system of experiments was Paracetamol and other powdered excipients used to make paracetamol tablets. The methodologies presented in this thesis provide a comprehensive framework for data-based dynamic optimisation and control of crystallisation processes. All the simulation and experimental evaluations of the proposed approaches emphasised the potential of the data-driven techniques to provide considerable advances in the current state-of-the-art in crystallisation control.