MOSCOW (MRC) -- A consortium of industrial companies, including BASF, universities and research institutes recently launched project RECOBA (Cross-sectorial REal time sensing, advanced COntrol and optimization of BAtch processes, saving energy and raw materials), reported BASF on its site.
Project participants will make use of an online Model Predictive Control (MPC) of complex batch processes for the production of emulsion polymers, steel and silicon through the application of new sensor technologies, process models and automation tools.
The RECOBA project is being funded for its three-year term with EUR6 million provided by the European Union. The aim of the project is to optimize the efficiency and flexibility of different kinds of batch processes, thus improving the competitiveness of a significant portion of the European batch process industry.
Under the project coordination of BASF SE, the RECOBA partners include ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG, Germany; ELKEM AS Technology, Norway; University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; RWTH Aachen University, Germany; University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Czech Republic; the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Spain; VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH, Germany; Cybernetica AS, Norway; and Minkon Sp. z o.o., Poland.
This group will focus on three different material systems to demonstrate the cross-sectorial applicability of developed sensors, optimization and control methods, with the goal of optimizing product quality, energy consumption, raw materials utilization and production costs of the considered processes.
As part of its contribution to the RECOBA project, BASF will focus on the online Model Predictive Control of an emulsion co-polymerization process. "Our goal is to replace the current process control, which is based on repetition at a fixed schedule, by the model-based online process control," said Dr. Libor Seda, BASF project lead.
As MRC wrote before, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is further strengthening its production footprint in Asia Pacific with the start-up of its first production plant for polymer dispersions in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia in January 2015. This production plant is built at the existing BASF production site, located in the Pasir Gudang Industrial Park of the Johor Free Trade Zone. The plant is BASF’s third polymer dispersions plant in ASEAN, complementing the existing dispersions plants in Jakarta and Merak, Indonesia.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.