Development of a Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Flexibility of Future Chemical Processes

Jisiwei Luo*, Jonathan Moncada, Andrea Ramirez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Incorporating (operational) flexibility into process design has been a key approach to cope with uncertainties. The increasing penetration of renewables and the need for developing new low-carbon technologies will increase the demand for flexibility in chemical processes. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review focusing on the origin, definition, and elements of flexibility in the chemical engineering context. The article points out a significant overlap in terminology and concepts, making it difficult to understand and compare flexibility potential and constraints among studies. Further, the paper identifies a lack of available metrics for assessing specific types of flexibility and the need for developing indicators for exploring the potential flexibility of novel chemical processes. The paper proposes a classification of flexibility types and provides an overview of design strategies that have been adopted so far to enable different types of flexibility. Finally, it offers a conceptual framework that can support designers to evaluate specific types of flexibility in early-stage assessments of novel chemical processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3219–3232
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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