Optimal hybrid modeling approach for polymerization reactors using parameter estimation techniques

Farouq S. Mjalli*, Ahmad S. Ibrehem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamics of polymerization catalytic reactors have been investigated by many researchers during the past five decades; however, the emphasis of these studies was directed towards correlating process model parameters using empirical investigation based on small scale experimental setup and not on real process conditions. The resulting correlations are of limited practical use for industrial scale operations. A statistical study for the relative correlation of each of the effective process parameters revealed the best combination of parameters that could be used for optimizing the process model performance. Parameter estimation techniques are then utilized to find the values of these parameters that minimize a predefined objective function. Published real industrial scale data for the process was used as a basis for validating the process model. To generalize the model, an artificial neural network approach is used to capture the functional relationship of the selected parameters with the process operating conditions. The developed ANN-based correlation was used in a conventional fluidized catalytic bed reactor (FCR) model and simulated under industrial operating conditions. The new hybrid model predictions of the melt-flow index and the emulsion temperature were compared to industrial measurements as well as published models. The predictive quality of the hybrid model was superior to other models. The suggested parameter estimation and modeling approach can be used for process analysis and possible control system design and optimization investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1087
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Catalytic reactor
  • Neural networks
  • Parameter estimation
  • Polymerization reactor
  • Three phase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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