Molecular weight distribution in continuous stirred tank vinyl acetate emulsion polymerization



Emulsion polymerization typically produces polymers of high molecular weight with broad distributions of molecular size. Many models have been proposed that use either a Flory type distribution, resulting in a polydispersity of two, or a distribution function to represent the breadth of the distribution. In this work, a model for the distribution of molecular weights is derived as a approximation from a detailed molecular weight model that was previously developed. The model is found to approximate the distribution of molecular weights well for several emulsifier concentrations is continuous stirred tank emulsion polymerization of vinyl acetate. An analysis is also conducted of the transformation of gel permeation chromatography data to weight and number fractional distributions of the molecular sizes.