Lifelong Learning: Batch Reactor Kinetic and Heat Transfer Modeling of the METHOCEL™ Production Process

  • Logan Matthews Michigan State University,
  • Alan Murley The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674
  • Anja Puettmann Dow Wolff Cellulosics Gmbh, August-Wolff-Str. 13, Bomlitz, 29699, Germany
  • Daniel Hickman The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674
  • Paul Witt The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674

Abstract

 

 A summer internship project at The Dow Chemical Company developed a simulation of a METHOCEL™ production process. The investigation required knowledge from a variety of core chemical engineering principles, involving reaction kinetics, transport, and process control. The model, based on empirically derived kinetics and heat transfer models, was validated against real plant data, providing reasonable accuracy. The utility of the model was further demonstrated through batch optimization trials, delivering clear economic value.

Author Biographies

Logan Matthews, Michigan State University,

Logan Matthews is a PhD Student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University. He is a 2013 graduate of Michigan State University, where his design of a biomass to bio-oil plant received first place nationally in the AIChE Individual Student Design Competition. His research at Princeton with Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas focuses on process synthesis and supply chain optimization for liquid fuels and chemicals production from hybrid feedstocks.

Alan Murley, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674

Alan Murley is Technology Associate in the Dow Pharma & Food Solutions Technology Center at The Dow Chemical Company. Since joining Dow in 1982, he was worked on many capital projects and process optimizations for several manufacturing processes. He holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Anja Puettmann, Dow Wolff Cellulosics Gmbh, August-Wolff-Str. 13, Bomlitz, 29699, Germany

Dr. Anja Puettmann is Senior Process R&D Engineer in Dow’s Food & Pharma division with broad background in solids processing and reactor simulation. She completed her Ph.D. “Comminution of brittle materials in fluidized-bed processes “ in Process Engineering at the University of Technology, Hamburg-Harburg (Germany) in 2010. She developed unit operation models and applied them in the flowsheet simulation framework “SolidSim” to optimize the energy and material balance of complex fluidized-bed systems. In her current Process R&D role at Dow Chemical, Anja is involved in plant optimization and capacity creep projects and is acting as subject matter expert in several projects for the development and simulation of new solid processing units.

Daniel Hickman, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674

Dan Hickman is a Fellow in the Reaction Engineering group in Core R&D at The Dow Chemical Company. Dan has been a subject matter expert and technical leader in reaction engineering and process development for numerous reaction systems across a variety of Dow businesses and technologies. In addition to holding 11 patents, Dan’s contributions at Dow include designing reactors for three commercial processes, two currently in operation and a third under construction.

Paul Witt, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48674

Paul M. Witt is the Senior Technical Leader of the Reaction Engineering group in Core R&D at The Dow Chemical Company. Through various roles, he has supported numerous undergraduate and graduate internships supporting reaction engineering and process optimization. He also benefited from 2 multi-year internships while an undergraduate student at Iowa State University.

Published
2015-11-04
Section
Manuscripts