Blending problem

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A blend is some combination of materials to make another material. Given raw materials, their blends make intermediate materials, called stock, and/or final materials, called products (there can be other blending activities that make products from stocks). The raw materials have purchase costs and the blending activities have costs of operation and maintenance. The products have either fixed demands or selling prices, and the problem is to find blends that minimize total net cost (or maximize profit). This arises in refinery operations, in the food industry, and in other process industries. The problem can sometimes be solved with linear programming, but there can be complicating relations that require nonlinear programming, such as the pooling problem.


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