Optimal design of bypass line for an industrial-scale 8‑leg polyolefin loop reactor to manage slurry dispersion using hydraulic and CFD simulations

Yuehao Li, Jielin Yu, Rupesh Reddy, Abhijit Rao, Sameer Vijay, Erno Elovainio, Christof Wurnisch, Krishnaswamy Nandakumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The pump power oscillation caused by slugs in slurry phase polymerization reactors limits production capacity. A bypass line connecting two locations of a loop reactor is suggested in patent literature to dissipate slugs. The optimal design of such bypass lines is studied through a hierarchy of modeling approaches applied to an industrial-scale reactor. In the design process, 1D hydraulic calculations guide the selection of optimal bypass pipe sizes to maximize slurry velocity. 2D CFD simulations provide data on slug dissipation processes. 3D simulations guide selection of optimal installation angle to maximize solid intake into the bypass line. By combining these approaches, a bypass line connecting the second and sixth legs by 6 in. pipes at a 45° angle is found to be optimal for reactor considered here. Such designs achieves high slurry velocity in the bypass line while maximizing slug dissipation, and the approach is applicable for other loop reactor configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6068-6079
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume57
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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