Improving Reactor Control Performance

by , | Sep 20, 2023 | Operational Excellence, Production | 0 comments

The upcoming October 11-13, 2023, Mary Kay O’Connor Safety & Risk Conference features numerous presentations about the safe and sustainable energy transition underway.

Advances in Reactor Measurement and ControlEmerson’s Greg McMillan will present Control Strategies to Improve Reactor Performance. Greg will share several examples from his book, Advances in Reactor Measurement and Control.

He opens the presentation by noting that for a liquid reactor, level control sets reaction time via residence time, temperature control sets reaction rate via energy, and composition control enforces the stoichiometric ratio.

The reactant feeds are from raw material storage for a reactor without recycle or from a separator downstream when excess reactants are recovered and recycled. If these reactant feeds are recycle streams, the corresponding separator volume level must be controlled by manipulating the makeup reactant feed to the separator volume.

The production rate can be maximized by an enhanced PID controller operating valve position control (VPC) that increases reactant feed till the jacket temperature valve reaches maximum position. It pushes the coolant valve to its maximum position to maximize the reactant feed rate. The PID controller should have smart integral action to prevent interaction and limit cycles.

Directional setpoint rate limits with dynamic reset limit in the enhanced PID temper integral action and help to achieve these optimization objectives.

This recap is just a small sample of what Greg will present, so plan to attend. Greg will also bring 20 free copies of the Reactor book to those attendees interested in going deeper into the subject.

You can find numerous other works from Greg available on and from other booksellers.

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