Dynamic Simulation, Optimization, and Control of Polymerization Reactors
Prof. Costas Kiparissides, Ph.D.
Zeit: Dienstag, 23. 10. 2001, 16:00
Ort: Hörsaal V 9.31 Pfaffenwaldring 9,
Although computer simulation and control have been applied to the chemical and
petrochemical processes, the routine, widespread application of computer simulation,
computer-aided design (CAD), computer aided process monitoring (CAPM), computer aided
process optimization and control (CAPOC) methods for the polymerization processes is still
very limited. However, as the polymer industry becomes more global and competitive
pressures are intensifying, leading polymer manufacturers are actively engaged with the
development of necessary CAD software tools for computer interated polymer manufacturing
The development of computer-aided design (CAD) tools has advanced dramatically in the
past ten years. Furthermore, the perspectives for the near future developments are even more
promising. The traditionally set path for the development of general purpose simulation
packages requires a CAD expertise as an added value to the mathematical models of unit
operations and physical properties evaluation, established in the literature. This modeling and
problem solving expertise encompasses a wide variety of interdisciplinary fields such as
numerical analysis for the solution of differential and algebraic equations, mathematical
programming for the solution of the optimization problems, and computer science in order to
keep up-to-date to the capabilities that the computer technology offers today. This latter
includes issues that range from hardware, to languages (FORTRAN, C++) and operating
systems, to programming approaches (mathematical modeling vs experts systems and
artificial intelligence) and software structure (modular, equation oriented, object oriented
Regarding the polymer manufacturing industry both the challenges and the rewards are
distinctively amplified. In contrast though to the general status and perspectives of computer
aided design, the polymer engineer can find little help in the established software packages
either because the pertinent modules are lacking completely or they are quite simplistic. The
fact that polymer reactors stand as the typical example for what the computer aided design
tools should "ultimately" address in the near future, increases the scope for the urgent
development of CAD packages for the polymer industry. Furthermore, what is vaguely called
a "polymer reactor" is a label for a whole field of diverse technologies.
The present lecture is focused on the development of CAD packages for polymerization
reactors. The overall goal of the software packages is to develop powerful, flexible, adaptive
design and predictive simulation tools that can follow and predict the operating conditions of
a given polymer reactor in an accurate, prompt and comprehensive way. Their range of use
includes the prediction in real time of the molecular properties of polymer produced in
polymer reactors, the estimation of control moves of key process variables as well as the
prediction of the operational and product characteristics of alternative design options. Major
points of consideration are the user friendliness of the input/output and the execution speed
enabling its online use as a predictive tool.
Diploma in Chemical Engineering, 1966-1971 - National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
M.Eng. in Chemical Engineering, 1974-1975 - McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, 1975-1978 - McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
1. Academic years 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69
Holder of a Scholarship awarded by the Greek Ministry of Labour
2. Academic year 1969/70
Holder of a Scholarship of the National Institute of Scholarships.
3. 1971 Texaco Award for best Diploma Thesis.
4. Academic years 1974/78
Teaching Assistantship, McMaster University, Canada.
5. Academic years 1979/80, 1980/81
Recipient of a salary supplement award, University of Alberta, Canada.
6. Academic year 1988/89
Recipient of the "Golden Apple Award", for best teacher, Queen's University, Canada.
1. Kraftwerk Wehrden, Volklingen, Germany, Summer 1970.
2. Greek Armed Forces, 1971-1973, Second Lieutenant.
3. Teaching Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, 1974-1977.
4. Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Alberta, Alberta,
Canada, September 1978 - June 1980.
5. Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Alberta, Alberta,
Canada, July 1980 - July 1983.
6. Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston,
Ontario, Canada, August 1987 - June 1989.
7. Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Thessaloniki, July 1981 - Now.
8. Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering University, University of Newcastle,
American Institute for Chemical Engineers (USA)
Hellenic Association of Engineers
Advisory Board of Chem. Proc. Engin. Res. Institute, Thessaloniki, Greece
Reviewer for Scientific Journals: AIChE, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., Chem. Eng. Sci., etc.
Reviewer of BRITE/EURAM Research Proposals (EC)
Reviewer of NSF grant applications (USA)
My main research activities fall into the following general areas: Polymer reaction engineering;
mathematical modelling of polymer reactors; computer control of polymerization reactors; software
and hardware sensor developments for the on line monitoring of polymer quality; modelling,
monitoring and diagnosis of polymer reactors by statistical process control and statistical quality
control methods; synthetic polymer hydrogels: structure function relationships; production of porous
and nonporous polymer microparticles; development of novel confinement methods and controlled
release studies; diffusion studies through polymer membranes and films. Coordinator of 10 EC
programmes with a total budget of 3 million ECUs.