Automatic Control of Polymer Molecular Weight Results Presented at AIChE 2017 Spring Meeting

APMT Research Engineer Natalie Leonardi is making a presentation on Automatic Control of Polymer Molecular Weight during a Free Radical Polymerization at the 2017 AIChE Spring Meeting and 13th Global Congress on Process Safety. The Spring Meeting is taking place in San Antonio, TX at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and Natalie’s talk is scheduled in the Manufacturing Control and Reliable Operations session for Tuesday, March 28 at 8:20 a.m. in conference room 212B. 

Natalie’s presentation will discuss a model-free, fully automatic molecular weight controller that was developed by APMT and Tulane-PolyRMC. The controller uses real-time data provided by ACOMP, and it has successfully controlled the molecular weight of linear chain growth free radical polymerizations. Using ACOMP measurements, the instantaneous weight average molecular weight is computed and used to create a chromatography-free molecular weight distribution (MWD). Therefore, the evolution of the MWD is available for real time monitoring and active control.

Natalie’s talk will also discuss achieving multimodal distributions through the control of monomer and chain transfer agent concentration. Additionally, the APMT/PolyRMC controller has successfully controlled co-monomer composition and molecular weight by computing comonomer conversion kinetics and instantaneous comonomer fraction.