Simulation Studies of Low-density Polyethylene Production in a Tubular Reactor

Ashraf Azmi, Norashid Aziz
2016 Procedia Engineering  
This paper deals with the model based of an industrial low-density polyethylene (LDPE) tubular reactor. As the LDPE industry becomes more competitive, manufacturers have to come out with solutions to debottleneck the reactor output while abiding to the stringent product specification. In other words, they have to deal with maximization of the production (maximization of the monomer conversion for a given feed flow rate) and minimization of unwanted product (ethyl, butyl, vinyl and vinylidene
more » ... l and vinylidene groups), while maintaining the polymer pr oduct quality with regards to its molecular weight distribution (MWD). To achieve these goals, understanding the effects of operating variables manipulation as well as the dynamic behavior of tubular reactor is essential to develop high performance tubular reactor. In this study, the dynamic model of a tubular reactor for the production of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is simulated using MATLAB R2015a® in order to predict the temperature profile and monomer conversion percentage along the tubular reactor. The model consists of feed stream, reactor jacket, initiator injector and outlet stream. Several operating variables are involved, notably the feed flow rates, the inlet pressure and temperature with varying parameters to analyze the effect on the reactor productivity. Plots of reactor temperature profile and monomer conversion percentage are presented and from the result, it can be concluded that feed temperature gives significant impact as it effects monomer conversion rate.
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2016.06.620 fatcat:hzkk6btkyfbzfbzggtlbzjgl5u