An Optimized Flow Chemistry Method for Synthesizing Well-Defined Polymers

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Synthesizing well defined polymers (narrow molecular weight distribution) has traditionally been achieved by using anionic polymerization methodologies. However, this precise control is accompanied by very high sensitivity to impurities, temperature changes, and fast polymerization rates, which leads to high demands on the process control along with challenging laboratory work. More recently radical polymerization methods such as the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization technique have been the focus of polymer research as alternative methods to synthesize well-defined polymers from a variety of monomers.

In a new published paper, a model-assisted approach to develop and optimize a flow chemistry reaction system for the RAFT polymerization of MMA is presented. A reaction kinetics and a heat-transfer model were used together with in-line NMR spectroscopy to gain insight into the polymerization process in order to develop strategies for the process optimization. A screening method was used to investigate a broad range of different residence times in a single experiment. Adjustments were made to the composition of the reaction mixture, the temperature, and the flow chemistry reactor setup.

Download this technical paper to find out how to solve your well-defined polymerization problems, courtesy of Uniqsis.

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