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Controlling the Polyethylene Molecular Weight Distribution Using Hydrogen Influent

[+] Author Affiliations
Emad M. Ali, Mohammad Al-haj Ali

King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Paper No. DSCC2010-4000, pp. 225-230; 6 pages
  • ASME 2010 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • ASME 2010 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Volume 2
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, September 12–15, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4418-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3884-6
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper addresses the feasibility of controlling the entire molecular weight distribution of the produced polymer in gas-phase ethylene polymerization reactors. Nonlinear model predictive controller is used to attain the control objective by utilizing the hydrogen feed rate as the only manipulated variable. The use of other manipulated variables is limited to avoid disturbing the process when influential inputs such catalyst and/or monomer inflows are used. The simulation results indicated successful implementation of the control algorithm to achieve the desired molecular weight distribution. The success depends on the improved hydrogen activities inside the reactor through a modified catalyst that is responsive to hydrogen variation and a wider admissible range of hydrogen feed rates.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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