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Improved Fiber-Optic Method for Monitoring Emulsion Composition Using Raman Scattering

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Emulsion polymerization is one of the predominant processes used for commercial polymerization of numerous materials, including latex paints, adhesives, and synthetic rubber. In a typical process, polymerization is started when an initiator is dissolved into an aqueous phase that contains an emulsified suspension of 1- to 10-μm-diameter immiscible droplets of monomer. As the reaction progresses, the monomer droplets are slowly converted into particles of polymer or copolymer, which remain suspended in the aqueous phase. During this process, it is important to monitor the progress of conversion of monomer into polymer, particularly during the early phases of polymerization. Since water is the predominant component in most emulsion reactors, Raman scattering should be an effective method for monitoring changes in composition because of its relative immunity to interference from the aqueous background.

Keywords: Emulsion polymerization; Epi-illumination; Fiber-optic probe; Optical fibers; Process monitoring; Raman scattering

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 2: Health Sciences Research Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6113

Publication date: August 1, 1996

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