Real-time observer modelling of a gas-phase ethylene polymerisation reactor.
The desire for precise polymer property control, minimum wastage through grade transitions, and early instrument fault detection, has led to a significant effort in the modelling and control of ethylene polymerisation world-wide. Control is difficult due to complex inter-relationships between variables and long response times from gas to solid phase. The approach in this study involves modelling using the kinetic equations. This forms the basis of a scheme for real-time kinetic parameter identification and Kalman filtering of the reactor gas composition. The scheme was constructed off-line and tested on several industrial polymer grades using historical plant data. The scheme was also converted into a form for use on the linear low-density polyethylene plant, Poly 2, at POLlFIN Limited. There proved to be no difficulty in the identification step, but the Kalman filter requires more tuning for reliable fault detection. The software has been commissioned on-line and results from the POLlFIN plant match the off-line model exactly.