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1 Typical semibatch emulsion copolymerization reactor.

1 Typical semibatch emulsion copolymerization reactor.

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With an annual worldwide production well in excess of 100 million metric tons, synthetic polymers constitute a significant part of the modern chemical process industry. Polymer reactors - operated in continuous, batch, or semibatch mode - are therefore important processing units, but there are unique problems associated with controlling them effect...

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... We discuss next a convergence analysis that considers a linearized version of System (7) and the linear integral control law (32). With the linear model, ...
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A batch process is characterized by the repetition of time-varying operations of finite duration. Due to the repetition, there are two independent "time" variables, namely, the run time during a batch and the batch index. Accordingly, the control and optimization objectives can be defined for a given batch or over several batches. This chapter describes the various control and optimization strategies available for the operation of batch processes. These include online and run-to-run control on the one hand, and repeated numerical optimization and optimizing control on the other. Several case studies are presented to illustrate the various approaches.
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Knowledge of the average composition and molecular weights of copolymers containing functional groups is often not enough to ensure product quality, as the distribution of the reactive moieties among the chains affects performance. This work couples a kinetic Monte Carlo model, previously verified as providing an accurate description of the semi-batch radical solution copolymerization of butyl methacrylate with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate under constant-feed higher-temperature conditions, with an optimization procedure designed to maintain the robust features of starved-feed operation (with no on-line measurements of reactant concentrations or polymer properties) while reducing batch time and keeping product properties at target values. The optimizer calculated piece-wise time-varying dosing strategies for monomer, comonomer, and initiator feeds that reduced reaction time by 75% while improving the uniformity of the product molecular weight, composition, and non-functional fraction. The strategy was successfully tested in a 1 L lab-reactor, and then scaled to a larger test system of 5 L to demonstrate the feasibility of significantly reducing the total reaction time while simultaneously improving the quality of the resin.