Emulsion copolymerization of styrene and butyl acrylate in the presence of a chain transfer agent. Part 2: parameters estimability and confidence regions

Accurate estimation of the model parameters is required to obtain reliable predictions of the products end-use properties. However, due to the mathematical model structure and/or to a possible lack of measurements, the estimation of some parameters may be impossible. This paper will focus on the case where the main limitations to the parameters estimability are their weak effect on the measured outputs or the correlation between the effects of two or more parameters. The objective of the method developed in this paper is to determine the subset of the most influencing parameters that can be estimated from the available experimental data, when the complete set of model parameters cannot be estimated. This approach has been applied to the mathematical model of the emulsion copolymerization of styrene and butyl acrylate, in the presence of n-dodecyl mercaptan as a chain transfer agent. In addition, a new approach is used to better assess the true confidence regions and evaluate the accuracy of the parameters estimates in more reliable way.