Dynamic Optimization of a MMA with VAC Copolymerization Reactor

Increasing worldwide market competitiveness and reduced profit margins are pressing chemical and process industries to move towards a predictive control approach, based on first-principles mathematical models, as well as plant dynamic optimization. In this perspective, the paper focuses on the development of anonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) to manage the copolymerization process of methyl methacrylate (MMA) with vinyl acetate (VAc), consisting of ajacketed continuous stirred tank reactor, a separator, and a recycle loop. This system presents a highly complex behavior, thus making difficult the success of controllers based on linear models. A detailed differential and algebraic mathematical model consists of 53 equations and is implemented in Fortran 90/95 to simulate the plant and setup the NMPC. The numerical solution is performed by using IMSL library. NMPC is proved to be superior to a linear model predictive control approach and appears to hold a considerable promise for such a reactor system.