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Cost-Effective Control of Molecular Weight in Ultrasound-Assisted Emulsion Polymerization of Styrene

Ibrahim Korkut, Fuat Erden, Salih Ozbay


This paper focuses on the determination of economically most feasible conditions to obtain polystyrene with various target molecular weights through ultrasound-assisted emulsion polymerization. Briefly, batch polymerizations of styrene have been performed by ultrasound-assisted emulsion polymerization process using different reaction feed compositions. Polymerization rates were calculated using the monomer conversions at various reaction times. Also, molecular weights of the synthesized polymers, as well as the Mark-Houwink constants, were determined by intrinsic viscosity and gel permeation chromatography measurements. It was found that the polydispersity index of the polymers is ranging from 1.2 to 1.5, and the viscosity average molecular weights are in between 100000-1500000 g/mol depending on the reaction conditions. Finally, model equations were also developed for response variables, and the most economical ways of reaching various target molecular weights were interpreted by response surface methodology based multi objective optimization.


Ultrasound; polystyrene; emulsion polymerization; molecular weight; cost performance

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Copyright (c) 2020 Ibrahim Korkut, Fuat Erden, Salih Ozbay

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