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Keywords:

  • kinetics (polym.);
  • living polymerization;
  • miniemulsion;
  • reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT);
  • tubular reactor

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The number-average molecular weight of the polymers produced in the tubular reactor increased linearly with conversion, indicative of a controlled polymerization.

Summary: A unique, multi-tube, continuous reactor has been successfully designed and implemented for the study of reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) in miniemulsions. Data collection is greatly enhanced by the ability to simultaneously collect samples at five different residence times. The results of a styrene homopolymerization show that kinetically, the reactor exhibits similar behavior to a batch reaction. Number-average molecular weights increased linearly with conversion, typical of living polymerizations.