Chemical Engineering Communications, Vol.205, No.7, 857-870, 2018
Integration of CFD and polymerization for an industrial scale cis-polybutadiene reactor
A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach, coupled with anionic polymerization kinetics, was used to investigate the solution polymerization in a 12 m(3) industrial scale cis-polybutadiene reactor. The kinetic model with double catalytic active sites was integrated with CFD by a user-defined function. The coupled model was successfully validated by the plant data and then used to investigate the key operating variables. Also, predictions of CFD model were compared with those of continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) model. Although the reaction mixture is well mixed in the middle and at the top of the reactor, there exists a poor mixing feeding zone at the bottom, which leads to serious deviations from the ideal CSTR. The polymerization process with nonideal mixing is very sensitive to the inlet temperature and the feeding rate. Enhancing the mixing performance in the feeding zone could be an effective way to improve the product quality.
Keywords:Cis-polybutadiene;computational fluid dynamics;molecular weight;polymerization kinetics;reactor analysis