Fouling formation in reactor vessels poses a serious threat to the safe operation of the industrial low-density polyethylene (LDPE) polymerization. Fouling also degrades the polymer quality and causes productivity loss to some extent. In this work, neural Wiener model predictive control (NWMPC) is introduced to address the fouling concern. In addition, a soft sensor model is used to activate the fouling-defouling (F-D) mechanism when the fouling surpasses the thickness limit to prevent vessel overheating. NWMPC is proven to be fast, stable, and robust under various control scenarios. The use of a soft sensor model in conjunction with NWMPC enables the online monitoring and controlling of the F-D processes. When comparison is made with a state space (SSMPC) utilizing only the linear block, NWMPC is found to be able to control the LDPE grade with quicker grade transition and lower resource consumption.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.