474607 Mass Transfer Scale-up in Melt Polymerization Processes

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 8:30 AM
Union Square 5 & 6 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Micaela Caramellino, DSM, Geleen, Netherlands, Eric Grolman, DSM Ahead B.V., DSM, Geleen, Netherlands and Louis Pitet, Ahead Research and Development, DSM, Geleen, Netherlands

Many different polymerization processes are of relevance for the production of performance polymers at DSM, from slurry to melt polymerization ones. For all, the understanding of the main limitations to the reaction speed during polymerization is of fundamental importance, especially when new technologies are brought to the market and need to be scaled-up. In this paper, the case of a batch melt-polymerization reactor will be presented. In particular, the interplay of mixing, heating, and mass transfer phenomena on the final batch time will be the focus, for different polymer grades of interest. It is known in literature, that bubbles generation as well as surface renewal of the polymer melt are important factors to determine a complete and fast polymerization in melt processes, by allowing transfer between the melt phase and the gas phase. Both experimental techniques as well as modeling have been used to show the relevance of each of the aforementioned factors, especially when scaling up from laboratory set-up to pilot plant to, finally, commercial scale batch plant. The outcome of the experimental work can be used for the new design of reactors, allowing for an increased productivity of the plant during polymerization.

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See more of this Session: Process Scale-up Techniques
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division