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International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering

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

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1542-6580
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Residence Time Distribution Determination of a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor using Computational Fluid Dynamics and its Application on the Mathematical Modeling of Styrene Polymerization

Ignacio L. Gamba
  • 1Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química INTEC (CONICET-UNL) Argentina
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/ Santiago Marquez Damian
  • 2Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química INTEC (CONICET-UNL) Argentina
  • Email:
/ Diana A. Estenoz
  • 3Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química INTEC (CONICET-UNL) Argentina
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/ Norberto Nigro
  • 4Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química INTEC (CONICET-UNL) Argentina
  • Email:
/ Mario A. Storti
  • 5Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química INTEC (CONICET-UNL) Argentina
  • Email:
/ David Knoeppel
  • 6TOTAL Petrochemicals USA
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Published Online: 2012-08-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1542-6580.3057

Abstract

The continuous operation of a stirred tank reactor for styrene polymerization was modeled. The proposed approach consists of an iterative procedure between two modules that considers the fluid-dynamics and kinetics respectively. The kinetic module considers a complex kinetic mechanism and is used to predict the time evolution of global variables, such as conversion and species concentrations, physicochemical properties and molecular structure characteristics of the final product. In order to obtain a 3D representation of the flow field, the simulation of the hydrodynamics of the reactor was carried out with the aid of a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. Because CFD is capable to predict the complete velocity distribution in a tank, it provided a good alternative to carry out residence time distribution (RTD) studies. It was found that the stimulus-response tracer method is reasonably accurate to obtain a complete RTD compared to the particle tracking method. The obtained RTD results showed a good agreement when validated with experimental data and literature information.From the estimates of the kinetic module and the RTD predictions, a statistical calculus allows the determination of the average properties at the reactor outlet. The convergence of the iterative procedure was tested and reasonable predictions were achieved for an industrial reactor.

Keywords: CFD; residence time distribution; CSTR; polymerization

About the article

Published Online: 2012-08-06


Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1542-6580.3057. Export Citation

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