Minimum Entropy Generation Rate and Maximum Yield Optimization of Sulfuric Acid Decomposition Process Using NSGA-II

Entropy (Basel). 2020 Sep 23;22(10):1065. doi: 10.3390/e22101065.


Based on the theory of finite-time thermodynamics (FTT), the effects of three design parameters, that is, inlet temperature, inlet pressure, and inlet total mole flow rate, of a tubular plug-flow sulfuric acid decomposition reactor on the total entropy generation rate (EGR) and SO2 yield are analyzed firstly. One can find that when the three design parameters are taken as optimization variables, the minimum total EGR and the maximum SO2 yield of the reference reactor restrict each other, i.e., the two different performance objectives cannot achieve the corresponding extremum values at the same time. Then, the second-generation non-dominated solution sequencing genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) is further used to pursue the minimum total EGR and the maximum SO2 yield of the reference reactor by taking the three parameters as optimization design variables. After the multi-objective optimization, the reference reactor can be Pareto improved, and the total EGR can be reduced by 9% and the SO2 yield can be increased by 14% compared to those of the reference reactor. The obtained results could provide certain theoretical guidance for the optimal design of actual sulfuric acid decomposition reactors.

Keywords: SO2 yield; entropy generation rate; finite-time thermodynamics; multi-objective optimization; sulfuric acid decomposition; tubular plug-flow reactor.