Transient Behavior and Control of Polyethylene Production in a Fluidized Bed Reactor Utilizing Population Balance Model

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In this study, a fluidized bed reactor for polyethylene production was employed using a dry mode approach, where the recycle stream may contain components of a nature that cannot be condensed through standard cooling. To analyze the behavior of the fluidized bed reactors during the copolymerization of ethylene with butene, a dynamic population balance model was employed. The study includes sensitivity analyses through computer simulations to examine the variations in reactor temperature, molecular weights, catalyst feed rate, and monomer/comonomer concentrations in the fluidized bed reactor. It is noteworthy that the reactor exhibits instability under normal operational conditions and is sensitive to changes in the catalyst feed rate and coolant temperature of the heat exchanger. The findings also highlight challenges such as temperature fluctuations above the polymer melting point. This underscores the importance of implementing a temperature control system to prevent issues like reactor shutdown due to elevated temperatures. Dynamic instabilities were observed under specific circumstances and were successfully controlled using Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control strategies. The population balance model is essential for understanding the complexity of transient polymerization reactions. It enables researchers to simulate and optimize polymerization processes by utilizing the detailed kinetics of the reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2602
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • PID control
  • fluidized bed
  • polyethylene
  • polymerization
  • population balance
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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