Dynamic Process Optimisation in Free-Radical Multicomponent Polymerisation: butyl methacrylate and butyl acrylate case study
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In the present work, an effective mathematical model for the calculation of entire molecular weight distribution (MWD) in free-radical copolymerisation is presented. The distribution is obtained by discretising the infinite chain length domain into a finite number of intervals. The model makes use of a pseudo-homopolymerisation approximation, thus allowing for a significant model simplification. An optimisation formulation is developed and tested for the butyl methacrylate-butyl acrylate (BMA-BA) copolymerisation system with the purpose of identifying optimal reactor conditions using the above model, revealing the ability to attain target MWD and copolymer composition, by manipulating process variables such as monomer and initiator feed rate profiles. 2010 Elsevier B.V.