Composition control of batch copolymerization reactors

Matthew Tirrell, Kevin Gromley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Composition control of free-radically initiated batch copolymerization reactor by temperature manipulation is investigated through a program of calcula and experiment. The work of Ray and Gall is extended to explicit calculation of temperature vs time policies which eliminate or minimize composition dr Both continuous and discrete, piecewise-constant policies have been computed. The former are disjoint policies which can be found simply by manipulatin monomer mass balances; the latter are found through application of the discrete version of the maximum principle. Calculations are compared to experime done on the system styrene-acrylonitrile. It is demonstrated that implementation of some of the computed policies is feasible and quite beneficial. The discrete policies with small numbers of stages (less than ∼six) perform much more poorly than the continuous policies indicating that the copolymeriz reactor is much more sensitive to deviations from optimality than batch reactors operating with other reaction schemes. Thus, effective implementatio tracking a continuous trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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