Deep reinforcement learning for process design: Review and perspective


The transformation toward renewable energy and feedstock supply in the chemical industry requires new conceptual process design approaches. Recently, deep reinforcement learning (RL), a subclass of machine learning, has shown the potential to solve complex decision-making problems and aid sustainable process design. However, its suitability in static process design still needs to be examined. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of RL for process design. Then, we survey state-of-the-art research through three major elements: (1) information representation, (2) agent architecture, and (3) environment and reward. Moreover, we discuss perspectives on underlying challenges and promising future works to unfold the full potential of RL for process design in chemical engineering.

Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering