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Automatic Start-Up of Chemical Processes

From Fachgebiet Regelungssysteme TU Berlin

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During start-up of chemical processes, a wide operating range has to be covered, and a single linearised model is therefore not adequate for control synthesis. Start-up also often involves switching between distinct regimes and then exhibits both continuous and discrete features. In the past, we applied several methods developed in the context of our hybrid systems project to address start-up problems for specific plants. For example, discrete event control based on l-complete approximation of ODE models has been used in [1] and [2] to address the start-up of a binary and ternary distillation unit. Recently, we have addressed a benchmark problem from the EU Network of Excellence HYCON, the optimal start-up of a novel open-plate reactor[3] . In cooperation with BASF SE, we have also developed a benchmark problem for the EU Network of Excellence HYCON2, which is concerned with the startup of an integrated thermal separation unit. Detailed information on this benchmark is available here.

People involved


  • Tobias Kleinert (BASF Antwerpen N.V.)
  • Stephanie Geist (BASF SE)


  1. Thomas Moor, Jörg Raisch. Abstraction based supervisory controller synthesis for high order monotone continuous systems, volume 279 of Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, pages 247–265. Springer–Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2002.
  2. Alexander Itigin, Jörg Raisch, Thomas Moor, Achim Kienle. A Two-Level Hybrid Control Strategy for the Start-up of a Coupled Distillation Plant. In Proc. ECC2003 — European Control Conference 2003, Cambridge, United Kingdom,
  3. S.A. Kaya, S.A. Attia, J. Raisch. Suboptimal Control Strategy for the Startup of the Open Plate Reactor. In Proc. of IEEE ICARCV, International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, pages 78–84, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2008.

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