Emulsification in batch emulsion polymerization

M.F. Kemmere, J. Meuldijk, A.A.H. Drinkenburg, A.L. German

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Dispersion of liquid-liquid systems is often applied in industrial processes such as extraction, suspension, and emulsion polymerization. The influence of emulsification of the monomer in the aqueous phase on the course and outcome of the batch emulsion polymerization of styrene has been studied. A visual criterion was applied for determining the lowest impeller speed for sufficient emulsification (N*). It appeared that in polymerization experiments under the same conditions, N* was the critical value above which no further increase in polymerization rate was observed. Using a turbine impeller instead of a pitched blade impeller as well as using a larger impeller diameter provides better emulsification at constant power input. The results indicate that scale-up with constant impeller tip speed is most appropriate in case of a turbine impeller.


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