Modeling of a fluidized bed propylene polymerization reactor operated in condensed mode

TitleModeling of a fluidized bed propylene polymerization reactor operated in condensed mode
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsUtikar, RP, Harshe, YM, Mehra, A, Ranade, VV
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Date PublishedMAY
Type of ArticleArticle
KeywordsModeling, Polyolefins, Ziegler-Natta polymerization

The gas-phase polymerization of propylene is one of the most widely accepted and commercially used processes for the manufacture of polypropylene (PP). Because of the highly exothermic nature of polymerization reactions, temperature runaway and subsequent polymer melting and agglomeration may occur, and the reactor has to be operated in a small operating window for safety. The addition of liquid monomer for heat removal (condensed mode) broadens the operating window and can substantially increase (by 50-100%) the capacity of given reactor hardware. This article describes the extension of a comprehensive mathematical model for the simulation of fluidized bed PP reactors to include the condensed mode of operations. The model is used to determine the influence of the operating parameters on the polymer properties and particle size distribution. The model is also used to determine the effects of two active sites and the reaction kinetics on macroscopic variables. The developed framework is useful for simulating multimonomer, multisite Ziegler-Natta-type olefin fluidized bed polymerization reactors operated under condensed mode. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 108: 2067-2076, 2008.

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Chemical Engineering & Process Development