(432b) Design Limits of Commercial Polymerization Reactors

Authors: 
Villa, C., The Dow Chemical Company
Jain, P., The Dow Chemical Company



Polymerization reactions are notorious for the significant amount of energy they release.  This may not be too problematic in small reactors.  In large reactors, however, it leads to significant complications, and the effects can be felt even in the design choices for process equipment other than the reactor itself.  Those design choices affect both the capacity that one can practically achieve and the uniformity of properties of some product grades.  We discuss the evolution in polymerization reactor design as higher throughput is expected from world scale plants.  Commercial applications are used to illustrate the problems faced by polymer reaction engineers.