Three-dimensional CFD model of the temperature field for a pilot-plant tubular loop polymerization reactor

Xi Gao, De Pan Shi, Xi Zhong Chen, Zheng Hong Luo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, using an Eulerian-Eulerian two-fluid model which incorporates the kinetic theory of granular flow, the energy balance and heat transfer equations, was developed to describe the steady-state liquid-solid two-phase flow in a loop propylene polymerization reactor composing of loop and axial flow pump. The entire temperature field in the reactor was calculated by the model. The predicted pressure gradient data were found to agree well with the classical calculated data. Furthermore, the model was used to investigate the influences of the circulation flow velocity, the slurry concentration, the solid particle size and the cool water temperature on the temperature field in the reactor. The simulation results showed that the whole loop can be divided into four sections. In addition, the simulation results also showed that the continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) assumption is invalid for the entire field in the loop reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-590
Number of pages17
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Loop reactor
  • Polyolefin
  • Temperature field


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