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Keywords:

  • fixed bed;
  • heat transfer;
  • nascent polymerization;
  • olefin polymerization;
  • supported catalyst

Abstract

A fixed bed microreactor has been used to study heat transfer during the initial transient state of gas phase olefin polymerization on a supported catalyst. It has been shown that heat transfer during this stage of the polymerisation is critical, and under conditions found commercially problems can arise with hot spots and polymer melting. It is proven how the thermal properties of the gas mixture flowing on the catalytic bed exert great influence on heat dissipation reducing the sudden increase in temperature by as much as a factor of 5. Flow rate and especially the process gas composition are the key factors in controlling the bed temperature.