Reflux control of a laboratory distillation column via MPC-based reference governor

Open access


An optimization-based control strategy is proposed to improve control performance of a primary PI controller. The strategy, referred to as a MPC-based reference governor, optimizes the performance of a primary PI controller by supplying optimal setpoints to the primary controller. This primary PI controller is responsible for reflux ratio manipulation in a distillation column, to control the temperature of the column head. This paper shows theoretical and experimental results obtained on the laboratory-scale.



  • Ahmad A, Wahib A (2007) Application of Model Predictive Control (MPC) Tuning Strategy in Multivariable Control of Distillation Column. Reaktor, 11: 66-70.

  • Armfield (2010) Continuous Distillation Column, Armfield UOP3CC Instruction Manual.

  • Astrom KJ, Hagglund T (2006) Advanced PID Control. ISA - The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society; Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

  • Cutler CR, Ramaker BL (1979) Dynamic Matrix Control. Houston, Texas. AIChE 86th National Meeting.

  • Drgoňa J, Janeček F, Klaučo M, Kvasnica M (2016) Regionless explicit mpc of a distillation column. In European Control Conference 2016, 1568-1573, Aalborg, Denmark.

  • Drgoňa J, Klaučo M, Valo R, Bendžala J, Fikar M (2015) Model identification and predictive control of a laboratory binary distillation column. In Fikar, M. and Kvasnica, M., editors, Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Process Control, Štrbske Pleso, Slovakia. Slovak University of Technology in

  • Bratislava, Slovak Chemical Library.

  • Gilbert E, Kolmanovsky I (2002) Nonlinear tracking control in the presence of state and control constraints: a generalized reference governor. Automatica, 38(12): 2063-2073.

  • Klaučo M (2016) Modeling of the Closed-loop System with a Set of PID controllers. Technical Report, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Bratislava.

  • Lofberg J (2004) YALMIP: A Toolbox for Modeling and Optimization in MATLAB. In Proc. of the CACSD Conference, Taipei, Taiwan. Available from

  • Martin PA, Odloak D, Kassab F (2013) Robust model predictive control of a pilot plant distillation column. Control Engineering Practice, 21(3): 231-241.

  • Mihaľ M, Svandova Z, Markoš J (2010) Steady state and dynamic simulation of a hybrid reactive separation process. Chemical Papers, 64(2): 193-202.

  • Muske KR, Badgwell TA (2002) Disturbance modeling for offset-free linear model predictive control. Journal of Process Control, 12(5): 617-632.

  • Skogestad S (2007) The dos and donts of distillation column control. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 85(1): 13-23.

  • Volk U, Kniese D-W, Hahn R, Haber R, Schmitz U (2005) Optimized multivariable predictive control of an industrial distillation column considering hard and soft constraints. Control Engineering Practice, 13(7): 913-927.

Acta Chimica Slovaca

The Journal of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 26 26 26
PDF Downloads 5 5 5