Simulated moving bed technology: Old and new

Pedro Sá Gomes, Mirjana Minceva, Alírio E. Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) concept has been applied to the separation of different mixtures as a continuous counter current separation process, avoiding several problems related with solid motion. The aim of this work is to present some relevant examples of SMB separations corresponding to the two major ages in the use of the SMB concept, here named "old" and "new" applications. The "old" applications of SMB technology in the petrochemical industry are still important, with large and highly productive units; and the "new" applications of the second "age" of SMB concept are from the fine chemical, pharmaceutical and biochemistry areas, associated with the demand of high purity products during the last 10 years. Different examples are presented for different ages: a UOP Parex ® process for the "old", modelled with the equivalent True Moving Bed (TMB) approach; and a chiral resolution for the "new", modelled by the real SMB model. Some of the latest developments are also mentioned: the non conventional techniques as the Varicol ® process, PowerFeed, Modicon, M3C or Enriched Extract-SMB (EE-SMB), MultiFeed (MF), Outlet Streams Swing (OSS) or Pseudo-SMB, involving considerable changes in the SMB concept itself. The use of the last optimization/modelling packages for the development of design techniques, either at the conception stage as well as for performance improvements of existing units is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-392
Number of pages18
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiral
  • Chromatographic separations
  • Modelling
  • P-xylene
  • Simulated moving bed
  • Simulation and optimization
  • True moving bed


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