Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 404702, 14 pages
Research Article

Modeling and Control of Distillation Column in a Petroleum Process

Mechanical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

Received 25 June 2009; Revised 3 August 2009; Accepted 23 September 2009

Academic Editor: Carlo Cattani

Copyright © 2009 Vu Trieu Minh and Ahmad Majdi Abdul Rani. 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.


This paper introduces a calculation procedure for modeling and control simulation of a condensate distillation column based on the energy balance (L-V) structure. In this control, the reflux rate L and the boilup rate V are used as the inputs to control the outputs of the purity of the distillate overhead and the impurity of the bottom products. The modeling simulation is important for process dynamic analysis and the plant initial design. In this paper, the modeling and simulation are accomplished over three phases: the basic nonlinear model of the plant, the full-order linearised model, and the reduced-order linear model. The reduced-order linear model is then used as the reference model for a model-reference adaptive control (MRAC) system to verify the applicable ability of a conventional adaptive controller for a distillation column dealing with the disturbance and the model-plant mismatch as the influence of the plant feed disturbances.