Modelling of reversible poly(ethylene terephthalate) reactors

Kumar, A. ; Gupta, S. K. ; Gupta, B. ; Kunzru, D. (1982) Modelling of reversible poly(ethylene terephthalate) reactors Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 27 (11). pp. 4421-4438. ISSN 0021-8995

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The second stage of batch poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) reactor with bis(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate (BHET) as the feed has been simulated. In this stage, the overall polymerization is not diffusion limited and is known to be a complex reaction. In this work it has been assumed to consist of polycondensation, reaction with monofunctional compounds (cetyl alcohol), redistribution, and cyclization reactions. The forward and reverse steps of each of these have been modelled in terms of the rate constants involving functional groups and the reacted bonds. The equations for the calculation of the molecular weight distribution (MWD) in batch reactors have been written and solved numerically. The MWD reported in this work is assumed to include the monofunctional products only, and, for the case where ethylene glycol is not removed from the reaction mass, it was found to be unaffected by the choice of the redistribution rate constant (kr). Since the removal of ethylene glycol is not mass transfer controlled, its concentration in the reaction mass is assumed be given by the vapor-liquid equilibrium existing at the pressure applied on the reactor. In this work, the level of ethylene glycol concentration, yg (≡[G]/[P1]0), has been taken as a parameter, and, on application of vacuum, the MWD results were found to vary with kr with the sensitivity increasing with yg. It was then shown that the importance of the redistribution reaction is enhanced when the cyclization reaction also occurs. The effect of vacuum on the performance of the reactor has been studied by varying yg. For yg less than 0.01, the change in the MWD of the polymer becomes very small. The effects of polymerization temperature and initial concentration of monofunctional compounds on MWD were found to be small.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons.
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Deposited On:31 Dec 2011 14:14
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