For many polymerization processes it is of funamental importance to know the concentration of monomer at the polymerization site to determine, and tailor, the final properties of the polymer. This is particularly true is such processes in which three phases are involved, and the monomer needs to transfer from a gas phase to a liquid phase to the solid phase.
In this work, different approaches have been used to determine the concentration of the monomer in the diluent phase of the reaction, as a consequence of the existing mass transfer in the particular batch reactor of use. Namely, laboratory and pilot equipment of different sizes have been used to experimentally determine the gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient, and its dependency on different process parameters and geometry configurations. Based on literature relationships, the same mass transfer has been extrapolated to plant production conditions, and verified as well by meas of CFD simulations.
The results of the measurement and simulations at different scales have been put together to understand the governing factors in the reactor, and to be used for process and product development purposed.
It has been seen that the geometrical configuration of the different scale reactors if of fundamental importance to generate the right monomer concentration conditions, as well as to define and optimize the batch plant productivity.
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division