Key Words: Heat integration; batch processes; stochastic optimization; flexibility index.
Abstract. By definition, sustainable development is a way of using natural resources that aims to meet human needs while maintaining the natural balance with the environment, so that these needs can be met both now and for future generations. The creation of highly efficient technological processes, energy efficiency in every sphere of the economy and society, the production of energy from renewable energy sources, the economy of materials, the use of renewable natural resources, the development of green and eco-technologies, prevention of harmful waste; effective governance of the economy, society and the environment are part of the most important policies underlying the European Union’s (EU) Sustainable Development Strategy. Creating energy efficient production systems involves less impact on the environment. One of the most powerful tools for creating this type of system is the integration of energy and mass processes. Process integration covers a wide range of system-oriented methods and approaches that are used in the design and reconstruction of industrial processes to obtain optimal use of resources. In recent years, the focus on energy integration of processes has shifted from the integration of processes in continuous systems to the integration in systems with batch processes. From the conducted researches it is clear that the production systems with batch processes have sufficient energy potential, which can be used to improve their energy efficiency. The recovery and use of this heat is complicated by the batch nature of the processes, and the task is further complicated by the impact of stochastically changing flow parameters such as temperature, volume, etc., overcoming which is a serious challenge to the sustainability of batch production systems. The aim of the present study is to propose a method for dealing with uncertainties and increasing resilience through heat integration of flows in periodic production systems. The method includes three main stages: 1. Uncertainty analysis and selection of a suitable scheme for energy integration of processes and its mathematical description; 2. Defining the problem of optimal redesign of an energy-integrated batch production system by incorporating the integration model within a stochastic optimization problem and its solution; 3. Assessment and decision making to choose the most appropriate solution, whereby the production system is sustainable of the impact of the uncertain parameters in the widest borders, by defining the flexibility index.