Process cogeneration is an effective strategy for exploiting the positive aspects of combined heat and power in the process industry. Traditionally, decisions for process cogeneration have been based mostly on economic criteria. With the growing interest in sustainability issues, there is need to consider economic, environmental, and social aspects of cogeneration. The objective of this article is to develop an optimization framework for the design of process cogeneration systems with economic, environmental, and social aspects. Process integration is used as the coordinating framework for the optimization formulation. First, heat integration is carried out to identify the heating utility requirements. Then, a multi-header steam system is designed and optimized for inlet steam characteristics and their impact on power, fixed and operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and jobs. A genetic algorithm is developed to solve the optimization problem. Multi-objective tradeoffs between the economic, environmental, and social aspects are studied through Pareto tradeoffs. A case study is solved to illustrate the applicability of the proposed procedure.
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