Fault detection in distillation column using NARX neural network

  • Syed A. Taqvi
  • Lemma Dendana TufaEmail author
  • Haslinda Zabiri
  • Abdulhalim Shah Maulud
  • Fahim Uddin
Original Article


Fault detection in the process industries is one of the most challenging tasks. It requires timely detection of anomalies which are present with noisy measurements of a large number of variable, highly correlated data with complex interactions and fault symptoms. This study proposes the robust fault detection method for the distillation column. Fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) for process monitoring and control has been an effective field of research for two decades. This area has been used widely in sophisticated engineering design applications to ensure the proper functionality and performance diagnosis of advanced and complex technologies. Robust fault detection of the realistic faults in distillation column in dynamic condition has been considered in this study. For early detection of faults, the model is based on nonlinear autoregressive with exogenous input (NARX) network. Tapped delays lines (TDLs) have been used for the input and output sequences. A case study was carried out with three different fault scenarios, i.e., valve sticking at reflux and reboiler, and tray upset. These faults would cause the product degradation. The normal data (no fault) is used for the training of neural network in all three cases. It is shown that the proposed algorithm can be used for the detection of both internal and external faults in the distillation column for dynamic system monitoring and to predict the probability of failure.


Aspen plus® simulation Distillation column Fault detection NARX neural network Nonlinear process Process monitoring 



The author acknowledges the valuable assistance and support of Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Natural Computing Applications Forum 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Syed A. Taqvi
    • 1
  • Lemma Dendana Tufa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Haslinda Zabiri
    • 1
  • Abdulhalim Shah Maulud
    • 1
  • Fahim Uddin
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversiti Teknologi PETRONASSeri IskandarMalaysia

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