Optimization of a Steam Reforming Plant Modeled with Artificial Neural Networks


The objective of this research is to improve the hydrogen production and total profit of a real Steam Reforming plant. Given the impossibility of tuning the real factory to optimize its operation, we propose modelling the plant using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). Particularly, we combine a set of independent ANNs into a single model. Each ANN uses different sets of inputs depending on the physical processes simulated. The model is then optimized as a black-box system using metaheuristics (Genetic and Memetic Algorithms). We demonstrate that the proposed ANN model presents a high correlation between the real output and the predicted one. Additionally, the performance of the proposed optimization techniques has been validated by the engineers of the plant, who reported a significant increase in the benefit that was obtained after optimization. Furthermore, this approach has been favorably compared with the results that were provided by a general black-box solver. All methods were tested over real data that were provided by the factory.

Eduardo García Pardo
Eduardo García Pardo
Associate Professor

Miembro fundador del grupo de investigación GRAFO, cuya línea de investigación principal es el desarrollo de algoritmos para abordar problemas de optimización, temática sobre la que versa la Tesis Doctoral del investigador y en la que se enmarcan sus publicaciones más destacadas.