Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The possibility of reducing monomer residues in polymers

19.12.2002


POLYMAT, the University of the Basque Country’s Institute of Polymer Materials, is helping to solve the problem of contamination of polymers obtained through polymerisation processes involving emulsions. With European funding obtained four years ago, the project on removing monomer residues from polymers was undertaken. POLYMAT has been working in this field with the collaboration of three other universities (from Germany, Greece and Switzerland) as well as three foreign companies.



Unfortunately, in emulsion-based polymerisation processes, total polymerisation (of all the monomers) is not achieved and the resulting latex contains both monomer residues and volatile compounds. For example, the acrylic monomer used in latex-based paints, apart from foul-smelling, contains contaminant substances. The research team at POLYMAT is looking into two procedures aimed at eliminating these and reducing the associated risks:

- Post-polymerisation: After the initial polymerisation process, extra initiator is added so that the reaction may continue on the residual monomers. It is cheaper than the second process (described below) as the whole process can be carried out in the same reaction chamber. However, we only manage to eliminate the monomer residues.


- Desvolatilisation: This is a process whereby the volatile organic substances are eliminated. Through a vacuum process and with the help of heat, both the residual monomers and the volatile organic substances are removed. It is a more expensive process and demands a different technology and equipment. In the case of latex, for example, the emulsifying agent is liberated from the latex thus generating a lot of foam and achieving a coagulation of the polymer.

The POLYMAT research team have investigated vinyl and acrylic industrial latexes. These latexes are widely used in paints and adhesives.

What the researchers from Donostia-San Sebastian have done is to optimise their results thanks to a methodology that combines both procedures. Having available the necessary technology and equipment for the desvolatilisation process, the simple incorporation of a small, additional quantity of the reaction initiator enables the rapid elimination of both monomer residue and volatile organic compounds.

Given the success of the research, the team has acquired a deeper understanding of the process involved and, moreover, a mathematical structure for it has been drawn up. As a result, they have managed to come up with the most suitable method for dealing with the problem and with perfecting this method. Although Basque industry has been slow in expressing interest, a fair number of Spanish companies have made orders with POLYMAT.

Maria Jesús Barandiaran
UPV/EHU
qppbasam@sq.ehu.es
(+34) 943015330

Maria Jesús Barandiaran | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.sc.ehu.es/powgep99/polymat/homepage.html

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials
21.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
20.07.2017 | University of Leeds

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>