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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 220; doi:10.3390/polym8060220

Multiphasic Reaction Modeling for Polypropylene Production in a Pilot-Scale Catalytic Reactor

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
2
UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced Centre (UMPEDAC), Wisma Research & Development, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 59990, Malaysia
3
Chemical Engineering Division, School of Engineering, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Philipp Vana
Received: 19 March 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016

Abstract

In this study, a novel multiphasic model for the calculation of the polypropylene production in a complicated hydrodynamic and the physiochemical environments has been formulated, confirmed and validated. This is a first research attempt that describes the development of the dual-phasic phenomena, the impact of the optimal process conditions on the production rate of polypropylene and the fluidized bed dynamic details which could be concurrently obtained after solving the model coupled with the CFD (computational fluid dynamics) model, the basic mathematical model and the moment equations. Furthermore, we have established the quantitative relationship between the operational condition and the dynamic gas–solid behavior in actual reaction environments. Our results state that the proposed model could be applied for generalizing the production rate of the polymer from a chemical procedure to pilot-scale chemical reaction engineering. However, it was assumed that the solids present in the bubble phase and the reactant gas present in the emulsion phase improved the multiphasic model, thus taking into account that the polymerization took place mutually in the emulsion besides the bubble phase. It was observed that with respect to the experimental extent of the superficial gas velocity and the Ziegler-Natta feed rate, the ratio of the polymer produced as compared to the overall rate of production was approximately in the range of 9%–11%. This is a significant amount and it should not be ignored. We also carried out the simulation studies for comparing the data of the CFD-dependent dual-phasic model, the emulsion phase model, the dynamic bubble model and the experimental results. It was noted that the improved dual-phasic model and the CFD model were able to predict more constricted and safer windows at similar conditions as compared to the experimental results. Our work is unique, as the integrated developed model is able to offer clearer ideas related to the dynamic bed parameters for the separate phases and is also capable of computing the chemical reaction rate for every phase in the reaction. Our improved mutiphasic model revealed similar dynamic behaviour as the conventional model in the initial stages of the polymerization reaction; however, it diverged as time progressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: polypropylene production; multiphasic model; CFD; pilot scale experimental validation polypropylene production; multiphasic model; CFD; pilot scale experimental validation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jakir Hossain Khan, M.; Azlan Hussain, M.; Mujtaba, I.M. Multiphasic Reaction Modeling for Polypropylene Production in a Pilot-Scale Catalytic Reactor. Polymers 2016, 8, 220.

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