A pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor was built and used to study and gain a better understanding of the propylene polymerization process at conditions similar to those of industrial fluidized-bed reactors. Propylene polymerization reaction was carried out continuously in the reactor and dynamic temperatures, and propylene and hydrogen concentrations data were collected. Simulated dynamic profiles of the two-phase model and the well-mixed model were compared with the actual plant data. It was found that predictions of the two-phase model were in better agreement with the pilot plant data at typical industrial operating conditions. This agreement is due to the realistic assumptions of the two-phase model as compared to the well-mixed model. The maximum deviations between the pilot plant data and the two-phase model prediction for the propylene, hydrogen concentrations, reactor temperature, and polypropylene production rate were about 3.4 mol %, 0.15 mol %, 2.4°C, and 0.8 g/s, respectively.
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