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Nonlinear programming optimization method was used to optimize total steam and air consumption in the dryer section of multi-cylinder fluting paper machine. Equality constraints of the optimization model were obtained from specified process blocks considering mass and energy balance relationships in drying and heat recovery sections. Inequality constraints correspond to process parameters such as production capacity, operating conditions and other limitations. Using the simulation, the process parameters can be optimized to improve the energy efficiency and heat recovery performance. For a corrugating machine, optimized parameters show the total steam use can be reduced by about 11% due to improvement of the heat recovery performance and optimization of the operating conditions such as inlet web dryness, evaporation rate and exhaust air humidity, accordingly total steam consumption can be decreased from about 1.71 to 1.53 ton steam per ton paper production. The humidity of the exhaust air should be kept as high as possible to optimize the energy performance and avoid condensation in the pocket dryers and hood exhaust air. So the simulation shows the supply air should be increased by about 10% to achieve optimal humidity level which was determined about 0.152 kgH2O(kg dry air)-1.
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