Type of Document Dissertation Author Seavey, Kevin Christopher Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04172003-134414 Title Research and Development of Simulation and Optimization Technology for Commercial Nylon-6 Manufacturing Processes Degree PhD Department Chemical Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Liu, Y. A. Committee Chair Adjerid, Slimane Committee Member Baird, Donald G. Committee Member Bremner, Tim Committee Member Chen, Chau-Chyun Committee Member Davis, Richey M. Committee Member Keywords
- vacuum devolatization
- finishing reactor
Date of Defense 2003-04-14 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis dissertation concerns the development of simulation and optimization technology for
industrial, hydrolytic nylon-6 polymerizations. The significance of this work is that it is a
comprehensive and fundamental analysis of nearly all of the pertinent aspects of
simulation. It steps through all of the major steps for developing process models,
including simulation of the reaction kinetics, phase equilibrium, physical properties, and
mass-transfer- limited devolatization. Using this work, we can build accurate models for
all major processing equipment involved in nylon-6 production.
Contributions in this dissertation are of two types. Type one concerns the formalization
of existing knowledge of nylon-6 polymerization mixtures, mainly for documentation and
teaching purposes. Type two, on the other hand, concerns original research contributions.
Formalizations of existing knowledge include reaction kinetics and physical properties.
Original research contributions include models for phase equilibrium, diffusivities of
water and caprolactam, and devolatization in vacuum- finishing reactors.
We have designed all of the models herein to be fundamental, yet accessible to the
practicing engineer. All of the analysis was done using commercial software packages
offered by Aspen Technology, Cambridge, MA. We chose these packages for two
reasons: (1) These packages enable one to quickly build fundamental steady-state and
dynamic models of polymer trains; and (2) These packages are the only ones
commercially available for simulating polymer trains.
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