In the chemical industry is important to control the process in order to guarantee the quality and repeatability of the final product. Using sensors in the industrial plant allows a large volume of data to be captured regarding the process. These data can be used for modelling to better understanding and predict the properties of the product in the process. In this work, two types of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and the hybrid model Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) were used to predict the density of polystyrene along the styrene polymerization process. The dataset used was extracted from the batch of polymerization reactions performed in open-loop, manual control and closed-loop and monitored in each 5 seconds. The Feedforward and Elman ANN has coefficient of correlation (R) equal 94.2%. However, the best topology obtained to Feedforward ANN presents 2 hidden layers and error index RMSE (Root Mean Squared Error) equal to 2.69x10-2. The Elman ANN presents only 1 hidden layer and RMSE of 3.39x10-2. The ANFIS model, in turn, presented R equal to 91% and RMSE of 0.2123. Therefore, ANFIS model did not prove to be the most adequate for the prediction of the polystyrene density in the studied process.
Polymerization process pose significant challenges to the industrial community as it is difficult to control with high nonlinearity behaviour and fast dynamic response. The monitoring and control of polymer processes guarantee to the final product the qualities required by the market. Muhammad and Aziz (2017), for instance, studied the production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and presented a review of the control strategies developed for the LDPE process. The strategies presented were developed in tubular and autoclave reactors and highlights the importance of nonlinear control in polymerization process.
The use of sensors to monitor production allows a large volume of process data to be collected. Therefore, it is necessary to construct mathematical models of prediction to interpret and correlate significant patterns, indispensable to assist in the management of decisions and risk analysis.
The development of phenomenological models for polymerization is complex and requires deep knowledge about the processes involved in each step. Modelling using artificial intelligence is a strategy that can provide valuable information about the process and allows the construction of an intelligent model capable of predicting process response based on parameters provided. ANN and ANFIS are artificial intelligence tools that can be used to build predictive models. In supervised learning, the data are presented to the network and its main objective is to provide a model that correctly correlates the pairs inputs - outputs of the problems. The use of ANN and ANFIS to predict the density of the polystyrene produced in the process becomes attractive since it is a type of non-linear modelling.
Jumari and Mohd-Yusof (2017) presents models to measure melt flow index (MFI) in industrial polypropylene loop reactors using first principle (FP) model and ANN model. The authors state that the prediction of the ANN model is more accurate compare to the MFI calculated by the FP model. Furthermore, the CPU time recorded that ANN model is much faster than FP model.
This work aims to develop direct and recursive ANN and ANFIS models from a set of experimental data from a controlled styrene polymerization plant capable of predicting the density of the product satisfactorily.