The use of vegetable oil macromonomers (VOMMs) as comonomers in emulsion polymerization enables good film coalescence without the use of solvents that constitute volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOMMs are derived from renewable resources and offer the potential of post-application crosslinking via auto-oxidation. However, chain transfer reactions of VOMMs with initiator and/or polymer radicals during emulsion polymerization reduce the amount of allylic hydrogen atoms available for primary auto-oxidation during drying. Vegetable oils and derivatives were reacted with butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate via solution polymerization, and the polymerization was monitored using in situ infrared spectroscopy to determine the extent of chain transfer. 1H NMR spectroscopy was used to determine the loci of chain transfer and the molecular weight characteristics of the polymers were characterized by SEC. Solution polymerization was utilized because this limited temperature fluctuations and insolubility of the polymer. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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