A recurrent neural network-based nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) scheme in parallel with PI control loops is developed for a simulation model of an industrial-scale five-stage evaporator. Input-output data from system identification experiments are used in training the network using the Levenberg- Marquardt algorithm with automatic differentiation. The same optimization algorithm is used in predictive control of the plant. The scheme is tested with set-point tracking and disturbance rejection problems on the plant while control performance is compared with that of PI controllers, a simplified mechanistic model-based NMPC developed in previous work and a linear model predictive controller (LMPC). Results show significant improvements in control performance by the new parallel NMPC-PI control scheme
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