A superstructure model for the synthesis of single-contaminant water networks with partitioning regenerators

Raymond R. Tan*, Denny K. S. Ng, Dominic Chwan Yee Foo, Kathleen B. Aviso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel superstructure-based optimization model for the synthesis of industrial water networks with partitioning regenerators. Such regenerators function by splitting a contaminated water stream into a regenerated lean stream and a low-quality reject stream. Membrane separation-based processes are examples of these types of regenerators. The optimization model presented in this work integrates a single, centralized partitioning regenerator with a source-demand superstructure under the assumption that the processes within the plant are of the fixed flow rate type. The formulation is non-linear as a result of the presence of bilinear terms in the regenerator balance equations, but global optimal solutions can be found using commercial software. The features of the model are illustrated by solving case studies from the literature. It is notable from these examples that considerable design flexibility exists in networks of this type, since potentially both the lean and reject streams from the partitioning regenerator can be reused/recycled within the plant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Optimization
  • Partitioning regenerator
  • Process integration
  • Waste minimization
  • Water regeneration
  • Water reuse/recycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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