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International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering

Ed. by de Lasa, Hugo / Xu, Charles Chunbao


IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.759

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99,00 € / $149.00 / £75.00*

Online
ISSN
1542-6580
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Modeling, Simulation and Optimal Control of Ethylene Polymerization in Non-Isothermal, High-Pressure Tubular Reactors

Fred Z Yao1 / Ali Lohi2 / Simant R. Upreti3 / Ramdhane Dhib4

1Ryerson University,

2Ryerson University,

3Ryerson University,

4Ryerson University,

Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering. Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: 10.2202/1542-6580.1152, June 2004

Publication History

Published Online:
2004-06-23

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a very important polymer, which is usually produced through a free radical polymerization process in high-pressure tubular reactors. In this study, the mathematical model of this process is developed on the basis of a comprehensive reaction mechanism to accurately determine polymerization rate, and polymer properties under extreme temperature conditions. The model comprises of (i) the mass balances of monomer, initiator, solvent, live radicals and dead polymer chains, and (ii) the energy balances of a tubular LDPE reactor, and its jacket under steady state condition. The model considers the variations in the density and viscosity of reactants along reactor length. Computer simulation of the model is successfully carried out to accurately describe the performance of a non-isothermal, high-pressure, industrial LDPE reactor with multiple initiator injections. Based on the developed non-linear model, the optimal control of the industrial reactor is carried out using genetic algorithms to maximize monomer conversion using jacket temperature as a control function of reactor length. The application of optimal control leads to significant improvements in the final monomer conversion, and capacity utilization of the reactor.

Keywords: kinetics; polyethylene; tubular reactor; optimal control; genetic algorithms

Citing Articles

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[1]
B. S. Sundaram, S. R. Upreti, and A. Lohi
Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2006, Volume 102, Number 3, Page 2799
[2]
Baranitharan S. Sundaram, Simant R. Upreti, and Ali Lohi
Macromolecular Theory and Simulations, 2005, Volume 14, Number 6, Page 374
[3]
Peter M.M. Van Erdeghem, Filip Logist, Christoph Dittrich, and Jan F. Van Impe
Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2012, Volume 37, Page 40
[4]
Naveen Agrawal, G.P. Rangaiah, Ajay K. Ray, and Santosh K. Gupta
Chemical Engineering Science, 2007, Volume 62, Number 9, Page 2346

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