This work is focused on the development and validation of a model accounting for the impact of the reactor residence time distribution in well-stirred slurry-phase catalytic polymerization of ethylene. Particle growth and morphology are described through the Multigrain model, adopting a two-site model for the catalyst and a conventional kinetic scheme. Particle size distribution and polymer properties (average molecular weights and polydispersity) are computed as a function of particle size through a segregated model, assuming that neither breakage nor aggregation occur. Reactors are modeled by means of fundamental mass conservation equations. The model is applied to a system constituted by a series of two ideal continuous stirred tank reactors, where the synthesis of polyethylene with bimodal molecular weight distribution is performed, employing the initial catalyst size distribution as the only adjustable parameter. The model provides insights at the single particle scale for each specific size, thus highlighting the inhomogeneity which arises from the synergic effects of chemical kinetics and residence time distributions in both reactors. The satisfactory agreement between model results and experimental data, in terms of particle size distribution and average molecular weights, confirmed the suitability of the model and underlying assumptions.

The Effect of Residence Time Distribution on the Slurry-Phase Catalytic Ethylene Polymerization: An Experimental and Computational Study

Casalini T.;Storti G.;Morbidelli M.
2018

Abstract

This work is focused on the development and validation of a model accounting for the impact of the reactor residence time distribution in well-stirred slurry-phase catalytic polymerization of ethylene. Particle growth and morphology are described through the Multigrain model, adopting a two-site model for the catalyst and a conventional kinetic scheme. Particle size distribution and polymer properties (average molecular weights and polydispersity) are computed as a function of particle size through a segregated model, assuming that neither breakage nor aggregation occur. Reactors are modeled by means of fundamental mass conservation equations. The model is applied to a system constituted by a series of two ideal continuous stirred tank reactors, where the synthesis of polyethylene with bimodal molecular weight distribution is performed, employing the initial catalyst size distribution as the only adjustable parameter. The model provides insights at the single particle scale for each specific size, thus highlighting the inhomogeneity which arises from the synergic effects of chemical kinetics and residence time distributions in both reactors. The satisfactory agreement between model results and experimental data, in terms of particle size distribution and average molecular weights, confirmed the suitability of the model and underlying assumptions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1129366
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