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 Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride
18.07.2018 | Science China Press

nachricht In borophene, boundaries are no barrier
17.07.2018 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>