International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

online first only

A simulation study of heat transfer in polymerization reactors

In this paper, the heat transfer in polymer reactors has been investigated. The study of various methods of heat transfer in jacketed agitated vessels and the impact of altering different agitators on the heat transfer are indicated. A computer program is developed to calculate the heat transfer parameters and the heat duty required for each case. The PVC polymer reactor in the Egyptian Petrochemical Company is chosen as a case study. This reactor is modeled by Microsoft Excel and simulated by a VisiMix simulation program version turbulent SV. In addition, the chemical reaction is modeled by Aspen HYSYS V8, and eventually the modeling results are validated with the actual design data. Meanwhile, a comparison between various heat transfer methods is generated to set the preferable design and the topmost impeller for high heat transfer conditions. Furthermore, this preferable design is adopted to analyze the alteration on its performance. The result indicates that, the retreating turbine impeller is the best for a high inside heat transfer coefficient and the half coil jacket is the best for a maximum outside heat transfer coefficient. The performance investigation shows that this design is preferable for the optimum recommended flow velocity in the jacket of v=2.3m/s, as the outside heat transfer coefficient would increase by 31.47%. Finally, the new approach which is released by Vinnolit Uhde Company is applied and its result show that the heat duty would increase by 32% due to the installation of an inner cooler inside the reactor wall, which represents a significant stride for a high performance polymer reactor.
PAPER REVISED: 2018-01-08
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2018-01-28
  1. Levenspiel, O., Chemical reaction engineering, Industrial & engineering chemistry research, 38 (1999), 11, pp.4140-4143
  2. Hemrajani, R., et al., Mechanically stirred vessels, Handbook of industrial mixing, science and practice, 2004
  3. Luyben, W.L., Chemical reactor design and control, John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
  4. Kars, J., Hiltunen P., Agitation Handbook, 2007
  5. Hewitt, et al., Process heat transfer, Boca Raton, 1994
  6. Jeschke, D., Heat transfer and pressure loss in coiled pipes, Ergaenzungsheft Z. Ver. Disch Ing., 68 (1925), pp.24-28
  7. Carpenter, K.J., Agitated vessel heat transfer, 2014.
  8. Sharratt, P.N., Handbook of batch process design, Springer Science & Business Media, 1997
  9. Dream, R.F., et al., Heat transfer in agitated jacketed vessels, Chemical Engineering, 106(1999), 1, p.90
  10. Da Silva Rosa, V., De Moraes JĂșnior, D., Design of Heat Transfer Surfaces in Agitated Vessels, Heat Exchangers-Design, Experiment and Simulation, InTech, (2017), DOI: 10.5772/66729.
  11. El-Shazly, A.H., Elsayed, OS., Effect of cooling rate on improving the performance of the catalytic PVC reactor in Egyptian petrochemical company, Proceedings, International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, 2014.
  12. Ozdemir, M., Durmaz, U., An approach to obtain the heat transfer coefficient of aqueous sucrose solutions in agitated boiling vessels, THERMAL SCIENCE, 19 (2015), 3, pp. 1025-1036
  13. Albright, S.C., VBA for modelers, developing decision support systems with Microsoft Excel, Duxbury, 2001.
  14. McKetta, Jr., John, J., Heat transfer design methods, CRC Press, 1991.
  15. Garvin, J., Heat transfer and friction in dimple jackets, Chemical engineering progress, 97 (2001), 4,pp.73-75.
  16. Saeki, Y., Emura, T., Technical progresses for PVC production, Progress in polymer science, 27 (2002), 10, pp.2055-2131.
  17. Bondy, F., Lippa, S., Heat-transfer in agitated vessels, Chemical Engineering, 90 (1983), 7, pp.62-71.
  18. Garvin, J., Understand the thermal design of jacketed vessels, Chemical engineering progress, 95 (1999), 6, pp.61-8.
  19. Moss, D.R., Pressure vessel design manual, Elsevier, 2004.