Optimization and Modeling of an Emulsion Polymerization Reactor
thesisposted on 2021-05-23, 17:51 authored by Narges Ghadi
A mathematical model was developed to simulate emulsion polymerization in batch, semi-batch and continuous reactors for monomers with high water solubility and significant desorption such as vinyl acetate. The effects of operating conditions such as initiator and emulsifier concentration as well as reactor temperature have been studied. The simulation results revealed the sensitivity of polymer properties and monomer conversion to variation of these operating conditions. Furthermore, the impact of monomer soluble impurities on reduction of monomer conversion has been investigated. In order to control polymer molecular weight, application of chain transfer agents such as t-nonyl mercaptan was suggested. Generally, the simulation results fitted well [with] experimental data from the literature. Several optimizing policies were considered to enhance the reaction operation for better product quality. During continuous polymerization, the reactor demonstrates oscillatory behavior throughout the operation. A new reactor train configuration was consistent with the aim of damping the oscillations and producing high-quality latex.