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Polymer-reaction monitoring

By Mary Page Bailey |

There are many critical parameters that are important to monitor and measure in industrial polymer reactions, including molecular weight, viscosity and residual monomer concentration. Typically, polymer reactions are characterized offline and intermittently in a quality-control laboratory, or via inferential models and data simulation from spectroscopic probes. Now, a new technology that allows for direct, online, continuous monitoring of polymerization reactions has been commercialized by Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies, Inc. (APMT; New Orleans, La.; www.apmtinc.com). APMT’s product, called Automatic Continuous Online Monitoring of Polymerization Reactions (ACOMP), comes after 18 years of research at Tulane University (New Orleans, La.; www.tulane.edu), much of it funded by large chemical companies, says APMT CEO, Alex Reed. Interest in the technology has been diverse across many industry sectors, including both producers of specialty and commodity polymers, as well as natural products producers, explains Reed, emphasizing that “the ability to make these types of measurements on fundamental polymer properties online and in near realtime allows manufacturers to more efficiently control the process.” The ACOMP technology…
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