This work presents an optimization study of a pilot rotary kiln steady state operation, used to manufacture activated carbon (AC) from eucalyptus wood and, a sensitivity analysis on the optimal solution. The main goal is the maximization of a process operating profit function, considering constraints on the optimization variables as: resi- dence time, solid feed, activation steam and heating gas flow rates, for maintaining product quality and maximum production yield. Bounds on optimization variables have been previously defined by a sensitiv- ity analysis of the kiln performance carried out via simulation of the steady state mathematical model. Due to the kind of equality constraints, the optimiza- tion problem was solved coupling the optimization code with a differential equation solver in a Mat- labTM framework. Results attained allow getting valuable information for design, operation policy, regulation and reactor scale-up in order to develop a local technology for activated carbon production using a regional raw material.
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