Optimal design and operation of batch reactors. 2. A case study Academic Article uri icon


  • In this work, the optimal design and operation methodology developed in part 1 of this study will be illustrated in a batch polymerization reactor system (polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) initiated by azobis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN) in toluene). Following the steps of the methodology, first a mathematical model of the process (which accounts for gel effect and volume shrinkage) is developed and then the performance indices and mode of operation are selected. The optimal loading conditions and reactor temperature profile (which minimize the polydispersity of the final polymer product and maximize the monomer conversion constrained to a desired value of the weight-average molecular weight at the end of the batch time) are computed numerically. After designing the heating/cooling equipment, its flexibility, controllability, and safety, as well as the feasibility of the computed optimal operating conditions, are investigated. A nonlinear temperature controller is finally synthesized to enforce the reactor startup conditions and the optimal temperature profile. © 1993, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Soroush, M., & Kravaris, C.

citation count

  • 51

publication date

  • May 1993