HETEROGENOUS ETHYLENE POLYMERIZATION IN A MICRO REACTOR SYSTEM
Choi, Kyu Yong
Ohadi, Michael M
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Micro reactors provide enhanced mass and heat transfer owing to their high surface area to volume ratio. These reactors offer precise control and selectivity and can be used for synthesizing specifically engineered and technically sophisticated olefin polymers. An unsteady state reactor model (using coordination reaction kinetics) was developed to study the concentration profiles of monomer, catalyst, polymer and its molecular weight distribution along the length of the reactor with time. Nano silica particles of diameter 400nm were synthesized as a support for the metallocene catalyst. Heterogeneous ethylene polymerization was carried out in tubular reactors of diameters 800 µm, 1 mm, and 2.37 mm under 2-phase flow conditions. This thesis investigates the effect of operating conditions in a micro reactor on the qualitative and quantitative properties of the polymer. The results can be extended to propose applications for synthesis of polymers with unique morphology using the inherent advantages of these reactors.