In this work, a well-known single-particle model (the multigrain model) is applied to simulate size growth and morphology evolution of polyethylene particles obtained through a slurry phase, catalytic polymerization in semibatch reactor. The model explicitly accounts for diffusion limitations within the polymer particle and between the particle and the solvent, as well as void fraction variations due to the particle growth. Catalyst behavior is described assuming a two-site model, a good compromise between accuracy and simplicity, along with a conventional kinetic scheme, whose kinetic parameters are determined by fitting the model predictions to the experimental data. Polymer molecular weight is evaluated from population balances, solved through the method of moments. The semibatch reactor is modeled by means of fundamental mass conservation equations. Simulations show that the proposed model is able to describe not only the polymer properties of interest but also the evolution of the average particle size, thus providing a comprehensive overview of the system behavior. The model is further validated through regression-free simulation of additional sets of experimental data, including materials with a bimodal molar mass distribution: the good agreement also found in this case confirms the robustness of the model and the estimated parameter values. (Figure presented.).

Modeling of Polyolefin Polymerization in Semibatch Slurry Reactors: Experiments and Simulations

Casalini T.;Storti G.;Morbidelli M.
2017

Abstract

In this work, a well-known single-particle model (the multigrain model) is applied to simulate size growth and morphology evolution of polyethylene particles obtained through a slurry phase, catalytic polymerization in semibatch reactor. The model explicitly accounts for diffusion limitations within the polymer particle and between the particle and the solvent, as well as void fraction variations due to the particle growth. Catalyst behavior is described assuming a two-site model, a good compromise between accuracy and simplicity, along with a conventional kinetic scheme, whose kinetic parameters are determined by fitting the model predictions to the experimental data. Polymer molecular weight is evaluated from population balances, solved through the method of moments. The semibatch reactor is modeled by means of fundamental mass conservation equations. Simulations show that the proposed model is able to describe not only the polymer properties of interest but also the evolution of the average particle size, thus providing a comprehensive overview of the system behavior. The model is further validated through regression-free simulation of additional sets of experimental data, including materials with a bimodal molar mass distribution: the good agreement also found in this case confirms the robustness of the model and the estimated parameter values. (Figure presented.).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1129350
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