Dynamic optimization of semi-batch emulsion co-polymerization reactor for styrene/butyl acrylate in the presence of a chain transfer agent

We study dynamic optimization of a lab-scale semi-batch emulsion copolymerization reactor for styrene and butyl acrylate in the presence of n-dodecyl mercaptan as chain transfer agent (CTA). The previously developed mathematical model of the polymerization reactions is used to predict the glass transition temperature of produced polymer, the global monomer conversion, the number and weight average molecular weights, the particle size distribution, and the amount of residual monomers. This model is implemented within gPROMS environment for modeling and optimization. It is desired to compute optimal profiles of feed rate of pre-emulsioned monomers and CTA which optimize properties (quantitative as well as qualitative) of polymers produced during the reaction subject to operational conditions and constraints. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.