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control of molecular weight in a batch polymerization reactor using ...

control of molecular weight in a batch polymerization reactor using ...

control of molecular weight in a batch polymerization reactor using

Downloaded By: [HEAL-Link Consortium] At: 12:27 29 July 2008 Chem. Eng. Comm. 1990, Vol. 92, pp. 1-22 Reprints available directly from the publisher. Photocopying permitted by license only. 0 1990 Gordon and Breach Science Publishers S.A, Printed in the United States of America CONTROL OF MOLECULAR WEIGHT IN A BATCH POLYMERIZATION REACTOR USING LONG-RANGE PREDICTIVE CONTROL METHODS C. KIPARISSIDES,* E. SIDIROPOULOU, S. VOUTETAKIS and C. FROUSAKIS Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 540 06 Thessaloniki, Greece (Received July 12, 1988; in final form Nouember 1. 1989) Recently two powerful control algorithms, namely, dynamic matrix control (DMC) and extended self-tuning regulator (ESTR), have bee1 advocated for the design of robust industrial controllers. The present paper demonstrates the appkation of DMC and ESTR algorithms to a bulk methyl methacrylate batch polymerization reaztor operating under strong diffusional limitations of termination and propagation reactions. .\ realistic mathematical model is employed to simulate the strong nonlinear, time-varying dynami~ of the polymerization process. The general control objective is to maintain the monomer conversion and number-average molecular weight along some desired state trajectories despite the presence of process disturbances in the total initiator concentration. It is shown that both controllers can satisfactorily control the monomer conversion and number-average molecular weight by manipulating the polymerization temperature. The similarities and the main operating features of the two controllers are examined and their closed-loop performance is directly compared to the performance of a conventional linear quadratic controller (LQC). Finally the effects of DMC and ESTR tuning parameters on the calculated control action are investigated. KEYWORDS Control Predictive Batch reactor Polymerization. In the polymerization industry there is considerable economic incentive to develop real-time computer control policies that will increase production and produce a polymer of desired quality. The term "polymer quality" includes a set of structural characteristics of the polymer macromolecules such as molecular weight distribution (MWD), copolymer composition distribution (CCD), degree of branching distribution (DBD), etc. These molecular properties determine to a great extent the mechanical and physical properties of polymers. Although computer automation has been successfully applied to the polymerization industry over the past twenty years, application of closed-loop control to polymerization reactors has been largely limited to the control of temperature To whom all correspondence should be addressed.

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