Aspen Plus: Process Simulation with Aspen Polymers

Course Id:  EAP281   |   Duration:  3.00 day(s)   |   CEUs Awarded:  2.1   |   Level:  Introductory

Course Objective

Learn how to use Aspen Polymers to model polymerization processes. Acquire knowledge on polymer thermodynamics and phase equilibria and the modeling approach for polymerization kinetics. Understand the basic steps for developing polymer process models.

Course Overview

  • After completing this training course you will be able to model polymerization processes using Aspen Polymers.  Through a combination of classroom-style instructions and hands-on workshops, you will learn to:
  • Define a complete polymer process flowsheet model, including the polymer characterization, the unit operations, and the physical property models
  • Specify various polymerization kinetic schemes, starting from background theoretical information, to their implementation and use in Aspen Polymers
  • Use reactor tuning parameters, as they apply to variables in a polymer process, in order to achieve convergence
  • Estimate polymer properties and also regress them from experimental data
  • Perform engineering studies and plant data fitting
  • Apply models to test concepts for plant improvements


  • Gain an overview of the key modeling issues for polymer processes
  • Acquire knowledge about polymer thermodynamics and phase equilibria
  • Learn the modeling approach for a variety of polymerization kinetics
  • Understand the basic steps for quickly and successfully developing polymer process models
  • Know how to use Aspen Polymers in combination with Aspen Plus to develop advanced models of polymerization processes


  • R&D staff responsible for developing polymer process models
  • Anyone interested in optimizing their polymer processes and improving the plant productivity and product quality 
  • Anyone who wishes to learn about modeling polymer systems


  • Instruction on basic topics
  • Detailed discussion of technical foundation for simulator features for polymer processes
  • Demonstrations of features
  • Instructor-guided exercises
  • Hands-on workshops that apply learned concepts
  • Detailed course notes


  • Must have attended “EAP101 Aspen Plus: Process Modeling” training course or have a good working knowledge of using Aspen Plus
  • EAP201 Aspen Plus: Physical Properties for Process Engineers

Subsequent Courses

  • EAP 2121 Process Flowsheet Convergence in Aspen Plus
  • Advanced polymers training is available by arrangement

Class Schedule

Class Agenda

EAP281: Aspen Plus: Process Simulation with Aspen Polymers

Introduction to Aspen Polymers and Polymerization Process Modeling

  • Discuss and review background information about; Aspen Polymers, polymerization processes and process  modeling

Component Characterization
  • Demonstrate how to setup and characterize components for modeling a polymerization process
  • Demonstrate how to view polymer attribute results
  • Workshop: Setup and characterize the components for modeling a styrene free radical solution polymerization process.

Selecting the Right Option Set
  • Identify and explain the Property Option Sets in Aspen Polymers
  • Review the criteria for selecting a Property Option Sets
  • Workshop: Specify the property option set for a styrene free radical solution polymerization process.

Overview of Polymer Property Models
  • Identify and explain Polymer Thermo-physical Property Models
  • Discuss and review the technical details of the model
  • Determine how to verify pure component properties
  • Workshop: Estimate/fit van Krevelen density parameters for a segment that does not exist in the databank.

Phase Equilibrium – Polymer Activity Coefficient Models
  • Review phase equilibrium calculations with activity coefficient option sets and the model parameters
  • Review the procedure to verify phase equilibrium calculations and fit binary interaction parameters if necessary
  • Review the procedure to estimate NRTL binary interaction parameters using the UNIFAC model
  • Workshop: Regress the POLYNRTL asymmetric binary interaction parameters for Polystyrene – Methylcyclohexane (MCH).

Phase Equilibrium – Polymer Equation-of-State
  • Review phase equilibrium calculations with equation-of-state option sets and the model parameters
  • Review the procedure to verify physical property and phase equilibrium calculations, and fit unary/binary interaction parameters when necessary
  • Workshop: Fit the heat of polymerization and the heat capacity of polyethylene using the PCSAFT EOS.

Polymer Product Properties Structure-Property Correlations
  • Polymer Product Quality Measure
  • Review Structure – Property Correlations
  • Discuss interfacing Structure – Property Correlations to Aspen Polymers model

Polymerization Kinetics: Background
  • Review and discuss the following topics; Classification of Polymerization Kinetics, Chain-Growth Reactions, Molecular Weight Distribution

Free-Radical Polymerization Kinetics
  • Review the built-in reactions in the free radical kinetic model
  • Identify and explain how to setup free radical polymerization kinetics
  • Workshop: Develop familiarity with the free-radical kinetic model features.

Ziegler-Natta Polymerization Kinetics
  • Identify and explain the built-in reactions in the Ziegler-Natta kinetic model
  • Discuss how to select appropriate reactions for a particular catalyst and setup Ziegler-Natta polymerization kinetics
  • Workshop: Setup Ziegler-Natta kinetics for a HDPE solution process.

Step-Growth Polymerization Kinetics
  • Review the step-growth kinetic model features
  • Discuss how to setup reactions for a condensation polymerization
  • Workshop: Use the step-growth kinetics model to simulate the first stages of a nylon-6 process.

Segment-Based Power-Law Kinetics
  • Review the segment-based kinetic model use and its features
  • Discuss how to setup reactions
  • Workshop: Learn about the features and usage of the Segment-Based polymer modification reaction model.

Emulsion Polymerization Kinetics
  • Introduce emulsion polymerization
  • Review the emulsion polymerization kinetic model features
  • Discuss how to setup reactions
  • Workshop: Develop familiarity with emulsion polymerization kinetics

Ionic Polymerization Kinetics
  • Introduce ionic polymerization
  • Review ionic polymerization kinetic model features
  • Discuss how to setup reactions
  • Workshop: Develop familiarity with ionic polymerization kinetics.

Reactor Modeling
  • Review the reactor models in Aspen Plus
  • Discuss details of rate-based reactor models

Troubleshooting Convergence Problems
  • Discuss and review details of reactor and flowsheet convergence

Data Regression
  • Learn how to use the Data-Fit feature in Aspen Plus to fit polymerization kinetic parameters
  • Workshop: Fit kinetic parameters for the thermal polymerization of styrene

Aspen Technology, Inc. awards Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for training classes conducted by our organization. One CEU is granted for every 10 hours of class participation.