Mixing effect on emulsion polymerization in a batch reactor



The emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was carried out in a lab-scale reactor, which was equipped with a pitched blade turbine, four baffles, a U shaped cooling coil, and a temperature controller. Potassium persulfate was used as the initiator and sodium dodecyl sulfate as the surfactant. The effects of impeller speed, mounting baffles, and reaction temperature on the monomer conversion, polymer nano particle size and number, and molecular weight were examined in detail. An increase in the impeller speed up to 250 rpm enhanced the polymer properties but further agitation reduced the conversion, particle size, and molecular weight. The installation of the baffles enhanced the particle size and molecular weight but reduced the conversion and particle number. The use of baffles resulted in a narrower size distribution throughout the polymerization process. While the particle size and molecular weight were reduced with an increase in the reaction temperature, the monomer conversion and particle number were improved. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 55:945–956, 2015. © 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers