(596e) Manipulating Thermodynamics to Achieve Process Intensification: A Case Study of Polymer Based Systems

Authors: 
Deshpande, K., The Dow Chemical Company
Dixit, R., The Dow Chemical Company
Somasi, S., Dow Chemical Company
Jain, P., The Dow Chemical Company


                                                                                             Manipulating thermodynamics to achieve Process Intensification: A case study of polymer based systems

                        Kishori Deshpande, Russell Anderson, Elizabeth Price, Serena Stephenson, Sweta Somasi, Ravi Dixit, Pradeep Jain

                                                                                              The Dow Chemical Company

                                                                                                 Session: 12E06: Case Studies in Process Intensification and Microprocess Engineering

As the world’s population rises and new economies emerge, society requires novel solutions to meet its most basic needs, including energy, water, housing, food, health, and transportation. However, limited natural resources entail their efficient use while simultaneously enhancing the quality of life of current and future generations. In this respect, process intensification is becoming an immensely important tool to achieve overall sustainability of the chemical process industry and the reduction of our energy footprint through controlled plant size. 

Single phase solution polymerization renders itself aptly for overall energy reduction by applying process intensification principles. In particular, energy intensive solvent recovery after polymerization results in high energy foot print. Selection of appropriate solvent to lower polymer solubility and form two phases i.e. polymer phase and solvent phase provides an energy efficient alternative. The heavier polymer phase can be separated using a decantation step after polymerization to remove up to 50% of the solvent leading to lower solvent separation costs. This talk will focus on two phase dispersion polymerization for energy efficient synthesis. Specifically criteria for solvent selection and its influence on process thermodynamics along with impact of processing conditions on important polymer properties will be discussed. Further, efforts on dispersion reactor modeling will also be presented.

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