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 The stacked colour sensor
16.11.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3-D microstructures
16.11.2017 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>