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Keywords:

  • polymerization reaction monitoring;
  • light scattering;
  • polymerization kinetics;
  • copolymerization;
  • polyelectrolyte;
  • living polymerization;
  • emulsion polymerization

Abstract

A brief overview of the principles and associated instrumentation used to monitor polymerization reactions by automatic continuous online monitoring of polymerization reactions (ACOMP) is presented. ACOMP can be used as an analytical method in R&D, as a tool for reaction optimization at the bench and pilot plant level and, eventually, for feedback control of full-scale reactors. ACOMP measures in a model-independent fashion the evolution of average molar mass and intrinsic viscosity, monomer conversion kinetics and, in the case of copolymers, also the average composition drift and distribution. A summary of areas of ACOMP application is given, which include free radical and controlled radical homo- and copolymerization, polyelectrolyte synthesis, heterogeneous phase reactions, including emulsion polymerization, adaptation to batch and continuous reactors, and modifications of polymers. Finally, a brief sketch of two novel complementary methods is given: automatic continuous mixing (ACM) and simultaneous multiple sample light scattering (SMSLS). Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry