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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11705-021-2043-0

Hybrid method integrating machine learning and particle swarm optimization for smart chemical process operations

. School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China.. School of Mathematics, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China

Received: 2021-03-16 Accepted: 2021-04-28 Available online: 2021-04-28

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Modeling and optimization is crucial to smart chemical process operations. However, a large number of nonlinearities must be considered in a typical chemical process according to complex unit operations, chemical reactions and separations. This leads to a great challenge of implementing mechanistic models into industrial-scale problems due to the resulting computational complexity. Thus, this paper presents an efficient hybrid framework of integrating machine learning and particle swarm optimization to overcome the aforementioned difficulties. An industrial propane dehydrogenation process was carried out to demonstrate the validity and efficiency of our method. Firstly, a data set was generated based on process mechanistic simulation validated by industrial data, which provides sufficient and reasonable samples for model training and testing. Secondly, four well-known machine learning methods, namely, K-nearest neighbors, decision tree, support vector machine, and artificial neural network, were compared and used to obtain the prediction models of the processes operation. All of these methods achieved highly accurate model by adjusting model parameters on the basis of high-coverage data and properly features. Finally, optimal process operations were obtained by using the particle swarm optimization approach.

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