Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Hung T. Chen

Second Advisor

Teddy Greenstein

Third Advisor

Dimitrios P. Tassios


The effects of mixing on polymerizations in batch reactors are examined theoretically for initiations by thermal decomposition of catalyst and by absorption of ionizing radiation. Mathematical expressions for predicting the first three moments of the dead polymer size distribution are presented. Two extreme mixing states. perfect and no mixing. are considered. It is shown that in batch reactors mixing in any direction in which nonuniform initiations exist increases the polymerization reaction rate and the number average molecular weight, and decreases the weight average and the polydispersity.

Experimentally, the effects of mixing were studied in a solution polymerization system, in a batch reactor. Two states of mixing were studied, perfect and no mixing for a catalyst initiated polymerization.

The experimental work verified that the polymerization rate for the perfect mixing state is greater than for the no mixing state at zero hours reaction time, for a total reactor volume/volume of catalyst solution (τ) = 35.7. It was also shown that for a total reactor volume/volume of catalyst solution (τ) = 1, that no or negligible mixing effects exist.



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