Continuous emulsion polymerization. Modeling oscillations in vinyl acetate polymerization



A theoretical investigation of the emulsion polymerization of vinyl acetate in a continuous stirred tank reactor operating under conditions of sustained oscillations is reported here. Models of two levels of sophistication are developed: a comprehensive model that solves for the age distribution function of polymer particles and a simplified model that assumes discrete nucleation periods. The latter model should find use in adaptive control of latex reactors. These models adequately simulate experimental data after Greene et al.2 for the emulsion polymerization of vinyl acetate under conditions of sustained oscillations.