Table of Contents
Journal of Industrial Mathematics
Volume 2013, Article ID 260918, 11 pages
Research Article

Multiobjective Optimization of a Benfield HiPure Gas Sweetening Unit

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd., P.O. Box 66, Abu Dhabi, UAE
3Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Received 1 June 2013; Accepted 5 September 2013

Academic Editor: Jinwen Ma

Copyright © 2013 Richard Ochieng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We show how a multiobjective bare-bones particle swarm optimization can be used for a process parameter tuning and performance enhancement of a natural gas sweetening unit. This has been made through maximization of hydrocarbon recovery and minimization of the total energy of the process as the two objectives of the optimization. A trade-off exists between these two objectives as illustrated by the Pareto front. This algorithm has been applied to a sweetening unit that uses the Benfield HiPure process. Detailed models of the natural gas unit are developed in ProMax process simulator and integrated to the multi-objective optimization developed in visual basic environment (VBA). In this study, the solvent circulation rates, stripper pressure and reboiler duties are considered as the decision variables while hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide concentrations in the sweetened gas are considered as process constraints. The upper and lower bounds of the decision variables are obtained through a parametric sensitivity analysis of the models. The Pareto sets show a significant improvement in hydrocarbon recovery and a decent reduction in the heat consumption of the process.