Structured Approach to Storage Allocation for Improved Process Controllability

J.D. Kelly and J.F. Forbes
Accepted for publication, AIChE Journal, May 1998


This paper presents an optimization-based approach for determining how plant feedstocks should be allocated to storage when there are fewer storage vessels than feedstocks. It is assumed here that material from the storge vessels will be subsequently blended for processing in downstream processes. The objective of the feedback allocation strategy is chosen to ensure maximum flexibility for downstream process operation. Given the stated objective for feedstock allocation and the physical constraints, the feedstock storage allocation problem is posed in optimization form. The solution of the resulting singular value optimization problem is discussed in terms of semidefinite programming techniques. The ideas presented in this paper are illustrated using a crude oil storage case study. The paper concludes with a number of observations regarding useful extensions to the proposed methods.

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