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Simulation of Energy Consumption in Sterilisation Process Using Aspen Plus and Response Surface Methodology

In palm oil milling process, the fresh fruit bunches (FFB) sterilization process uses the highest amount of steam, thereby becoming a major contributor to high energy consumption. Improving energy consumption in the palm oil milling process is regarded as one of the sustainable palm oil elements. Thus, this study highlights the use of ASPEN Plus-response surface methodology (RSM) approach to simulate and optimize the energy consumption of sterilization process based on exergy analysis (i.e. exergy destroyed) and chemical reaction. ASPEN Plus V8.6 was employed to simulate the sterilization process and then optimized using RSM. The validation of simulation results with experimental results demonstrating error values of less than 5.0%. Comparison of outlet stream simulation results with mill’s data also showed deviation values less than 10.0%. These indicated that the actual values were in good agreement with model prediction. For optimization, three variables were considered, namely pressure, steam mass flow and sterilization time. For conventional sterilizer operated at 2.8 bar, 90 min and 14 580 kg/hr steam mass f low, the exergy destroyed was 5259.3 MJ/hr. Under optimized conditions at 5 bar pressure, 70 min and  17 550 kg/hr steam mass flow, the exergy destroyed was 3493.9 MJ/hr. In comparison to conventional conditions, the heat loss was reduced by 33.6%. This approach is considered sustainable as it could predict the performance of industrial process without impacting processing time, cost and resources consumption.


Figure 1 : Illustration of components in fresh fruit bunches




Figure 2 : Sterilization process; (a) schematic diagram and (b) flowsheet diagram in ASPEN Plus.



Ummi Kalsum Hasanah Mohd Nadzmi, Robiah Yunus, Rozita Omar, Mohd Halim Shah Ismail. Simulation of energy consumption in sterilization process using Aspen Plus and Response Surface Methodology. Journal of Oil Palm Research 35(2): 281-295


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Date of Input: 29/04/2024 | Updated: 29/04/2024 | ainzubaidah


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