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Title: Dynamic modelling and optimization of polymerization processes in batch and semi-batch reactors : dynamic modelling and optimization of bulk polymerization of styrene, solution polymerization of MMA and emulsion copolymerization of styrene and MMA in batch and semi-batch reactors using control vector parameterization techniques
Author: Ibrahim, W. H. B. W.
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
Dynamic modelling and optimization of three different processes namely (a) bulk polymerization of styrene, (b) solution polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and (c) emulsion copolymerization of Styrene and MMA in batch and semi-batch reactors are the focus of this work. In this work, models are presented as sets of differential-algebraic equations describing the process. Different optimization problems such as (a) maximum conversion (Xn), (b) maximum number average molecular weight (Mn) and (c) minimum time to achieve the desired polymer molecular properties (defined as pre-specified values of monomer conversion and number average molecular weight) are formulated. Reactor temperature, jacket temperature, initial initiator concentration, monomer feed rate, initiator feed rate and surfactant feed rate are used as optimization variables in the optimization formulations. The dynamic optimization problems were converted into nonlinear programming problem using the CVP techniques which were solved using efficient SQP (Successive Quadratic Programming) method available within the gPROMS (general PROcess Modelling System) software. The process model used for bulk polystyrene polymerization in batch reactors, using 2, 2 azobisisobutyronitrile catalyst (AIBN) as initiator was improved by including the gel and glass effects. The results obtained from this work when compared with the previous study by other researcher which disregarded the gel and glass effect in their study which show that the batch time operation are significantly reduced while the amount of the initial initiator concentration required increases. Also, the termination rate constant decreases as the concentration of the mixture increases, resulting rapid monomer conversion. The process model used for solution polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in batch reactors, using AIBN as the initiator and Toluene as the solvent was improved by including the free volume theory to calculate the initiator efficiency, f. The effects of different f was examined and compared with previous work which used a constant value of f 0.53. The results of these studies show that initiator efficiency, f is not constant but decreases with the increase of monomer conversion along the process. The determination of optimal control trajectories for emulsion copolymerization of Styrene and MMA with the objective of maximizing the number average molecular weight (Mn) and overall conversion (Xn) were carried out in batch and semi-batch reactors. The initiator used in this work is Persulfate K2S2O8 and the surfactant is Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS). Reduction of the pre-batch time increases the Mn but decreases the conversion (Xn). The sooner the addition of monomer into the reactor, the earlier the growth of the polymer chain leading to higher Mn. Besides that, Mn also can be increased by decreasing the initial initiator concentration (Ci0). Less oligomeric radicals will be produced with low Ci0, leading to reduced polymerization loci thus lowering the overall conversion. On the other hand, increases of reaction temperature (Tr) will decrease the Mn since transfer coefficient is increased at higher Tr leading to increase of the monomeric radicals resulting in an increase in termination reaction.
Supervisor: Mujtaba, Iqbal M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.547569  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bulk polymerization ; Solution polymerization ; Emulsion copolymerization ; Batch reactor ; Temperature ; Modelling ; Optimization ; Styrene ; Methyl methacrylate (MMA) ; Semi-batch reactor ; gPROMS (general PROcess Modelling System) software
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