The control of pH is one of the most difficult chemical control schemes in industry. Often, large tanks are used to control pH. The pH in these large tanks frequently overshoots the desired pH set-point and usually takes a long time to reach the desired set-point. In this work, a conceptual pH control process was developed and tested by using two small continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs). In this two-step system, the bulk of the neutralization is carried out in the first reactor and then fine-tuned in the second reactor. The conceptual neutralization model was built by analyzing the chemistry behind pH. Because pH is a nonlinear function of hydrogen ion concentration (pH= -log [H+]), the hydrogen ion concentration was chosen as the process measured variable. The slope (Gain) was calculated from a titration curve obtained from a polynomial derived from neutralization chemistry and a practical titration. The process dynamics were then fitted into the classic proportional, integral, and differential (PID) controller using the Internal Model Control (IMC) tuning method. The robust tuning parameters produced by the IMC method were able to bring the pH in the first CSTR to the desired set-point. In addition, disturbances from vibrations produced by the pump and magnetic stirrer, slight variations in reactant concentration, and pH probe lags were easily eliminated. Most importantly, pH in the second CSTR settled on the desired neutral set-point of pH 7.0 after brief oscillations. The process was repeatable when the reactors where scaled up one hundred times using synthetic waste water. Autotune variation results produced similar process dynamics to those produced by calculating the slope from the titration curve.
|Commitee:||Mendez, Sergio, Smith, Gregory|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Engineering, Chemical engineering|
|Keywords:||Continuous stirred tank reactors, PID, Process control, pH|
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