A mathematical model has been developed to simulate a gas-phase ethylene polymerization reactor with internal cooler. The model was analyzed to determine the effects of reactor operating conditions on dynamics and stability. The reactor model employed assumed that both the gas and polymer phase in the reactor are well mixed. Comparing the present model to one with external heat exchanger confirms that, in either form, gas-phase polyethylene reactors are prone to show unstable steady states, limit cycles and excursions toward unacceptably high temperature steady states. It was also observed that, with internal cooler, minor design changes in the cooler area available for heat transfer and in the inlet temperature of the coolant have a significant effect on the low stable steady state range of catalyst feed rates. With internal cooler, the suitable operating range increased with the increase in the area available for heat transfer. This effect is insignificant in the case of a reactor with external heat exchanger. Manipulating the reactor coolant inlet temperature and/or gas velocity can increase the stability range in the reactor with internal cooler as against one with external heat exchanger.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering