Personnel > Postgraduate Students > Rebecca Elgebrandt
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Rebecca Elgebrandt
PhD Student
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Ph: +61-2-9351 4337
Fax: +61-2-9351 2854
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, 2006
Framework for modeling of emulsion polymerisation in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics
Emulsion polymerisation is widely used in industry to produce products ranging from bulk commodities to consumer goods. The process is preferred because the reaction medium (water) facilitates agitation and ease of heat and mass transfer whilst being environmentally friendly, as well as providing an inherently safe process. However, modelling and simulation of emulsion polymerisation is a challenging task because complex physico-chemical sub-processes exist within the multi-phase process.

Framework So far most available models in emulsion polymerisation only take into account the kinetics of the reaction, assuming perfect mixing in the reaction vessel. This assumption excludes a number of important phenomena such as the effect of shear on the particle size distribution (PSD), the change in rheology of the latex during the course of the reaction and the effect of mixing on the reaction kinetics. The aim of my work is to produce a framework for modelling emulsion polymerisation taking all these factors into account by using a kinetic model in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The framework can be used for more rigorous modelling in emulsion polymerisation, reactor design as well as to provide better insight into what phenomena are actually occurring inside the reaction vessel.

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