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Advanced Control of Batch Reactor Temperature
This paper describes the application of an advanced model predictive adaptive controller to the problem of batch reactor temperature control. Although a great deal of work has been done to improve reactor throughput using batch sequence control, the control of the actual reactor temperature remains a difficult problem for many operators of these processes. Temperature control on these systems is difficult for conventional Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers because the response is characterized bynan open loop integrator with long delay and time constant. Temperature control is important as many chemical reactions are sensitive to temperature for formation of desired products and reaction rates can be highly temperature dependent. The applications discussed in this paper include a PVC reactor and an Ethoxylated fatty acid reactor. In each case, the variability of the reactor temperature was reduced by 60% or more. Improved temperature control permitted operation at higher reaction temperatures with higher sustained feed rates of reactants and catalysts while remaining within product temperature limits. Batch cycle times were reduced by as much as 35% due to the higher sustained reaction rates. The applications demonstrate the attractive economics for optimization of batch reactors with model predictive controls and highlight the opportunity for tremendous improvements in batch consistency, reduced batch cycle times, and improved productivity.
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