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Latin American applied research

versión impresa ISSN 0327-0793


VEGA, J. R.; GUGLIOTTA, L. M.  y  MEIRA, G. R.. Emulsion copolymerization of acrylonitrile and butadiene in an industrial reactor: Mathematical modeling, estimation, and control of polymer quality variables on the basis of calorimetric measurements. Lat. Am. appl. res. [online]. 2003, vol.33, n.2, pp.115-122. ISSN 0327-0793.

An industrial emulsion copolymerization of acrylonitrile and butadiene carried out in a batch (or semibatch) reactor for the production of nitrile rubber (NBR) is investigated. The effect of variable amounts of deactivating impurities on the predictions of a global polymerization model is analyzed; and the advantages of using the model predictions in combination with on-line calorimetric measurements are shown. The adjusted polymerization model allows to adequately monitor main quality variables of the process, such as: monomer conversion, average copolymer composition, average molecular weights, and degree of branching. The semibatch addition of the comonomers and/or the chain transfer agent along the reaction was investigated with the aim of controlling the polymer quality characteristics and increasing the productivity. It is possible to obtain a uniform-composition copolymer with pre-specified profiles of the average molecular weights or the degrees of branching. Furthermore, the NBR productivity can be increased by about 5%, without deteriorating the final copolymer quality with respect to that produced in the more conventional batch operation.

Palabras clave : Emulsion Copolymerization; NBR; Mathematical Model; Calorimetric Estimations; Polymer Quality Control.

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