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