Chapter 7: Radical Polymerisation under Flow Conditions
Published:18 Sep 2019
L. Brocken and I. R. Baxendale, in Flow Chemistry
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Polymers are an important class of compounds used in many commercial products; for example, in the aerospace and automotive industries functioning as low weight construction parts and seals, through into the packaging of food and drink and even as aqueous soluble polymers, which are found in numerous detergents and other cleaning products. Significant research has, therefore, been invested towards the design and synthesis of new polymers using a variety of polymerisation techniques to deliver specifically tailored structures with refined macromolecular structures including tailoring parameters such as molecular weight, polydispersity and tacticity. One interesting approach, which has started to demonstrate value in the synthesis of polymers, is the conducting of polymerisation processes in a dynamic continuous flow scenario. Flow polymerisation has been shown to facilitate access to new polymers which cannot be synthesised or would be difficult to prepare under conventional batch conditions through improved control over the various reaction parameters. In this chapter, a brief selective overview is given of the various syntheses of polymers and polymeric particles that have been reported in the literature via flow processes to date.