A new methodology for improving the operational efficiency of ethylene cracking integrated
with refining is proposed. In this work, ethylene feedstock optimization was achieved
by screening the low-value materials and naphtha in the refinery through the molecular
management approach. The process synthesis-intensification model for ethylene production
was developed to identify the opportunities for improving operational efficiency.
The P-graph method was applied to accelerate problem solving and generate process
routes with the objective function of economic gross potential. To determine the optimal
process route, the comprehensive operational efficiency index and light hydrocarbon
feedstock ratio were further constructed for process route evaluation. A case study
of a real ethylene-refining integrated complex indicates that the proposed method
could effectively optimize the operational efficiency of ethylene production and that
the economic and inherent safety performances could be notably increased by 22.34%
and 67.81%, respectively.