Free radical polymerization of butyl acrylate in monodispersed droplets: Comparison between two heating strategies

Authors

  • Liu Zhendong,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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  • Lu Yangcheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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  • Yang Bodong,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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  • Luo Guangsheng

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Abstract

Monodispersed droplets could be easily generated in coaxial microdevice, and a reaction based upon these discrete droplets is an attractive approach thanks to isolated reaction units, efficient mixing, and precise residence time control. In this work, free radical polymerization of butyl acrylate was conducted in monodispersed droplets of several hundred microns. Two different heating methodologies, microwave heating and conventional heating with oil bath were adopted to initiate polymerization, respectively. The polymerization under conventional heating could be regarded as an isothermal process, while the polymerization under microwave heating gradually underwent a temperature increase. So the poly (butyl acrylate) obtained by microwave heating has larger average molecular weight and higher polydispersity index. Meanwhile, the conversion of butyl acrylate was significantly improved by microwave heating compared with conventional heating, even though the reaction temperature under microwave heating might be lower than the temperature of the oil bath. This remarkable enhancement was a direct proof of the nonthermal effect of the microwave field for free radical polymerization. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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