Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.87, No.1, 129-135, 2009
SOLUTION POLYMERIZATION OF STYRENE USING BIODIESEL AS A SOLVENT: EFFECT OF BIODIESEL FEEDSTOCK
Increasing environmental concerns regarding solvents commonly used in solution polymerization has led to a search for alternatives, such as biodiesel (a.k.a. fatty acid methyl esters or FAME). The effect of the feedstock used in biodiesel production when FAME is used as a polymerization solvent was studied for styrene. A series of homopolymerizations was carried out at different solvent concentrations for two biodiesel feedstocks: soybean oil and 50% yellow grease-50% canola oil. Results were compared to FAME produced from canola oil. Considerable differences in the rate of polymerization were observed, while chain transfer to solvent constants had comparable values. The collected kinetic experimental data were modelled using a polymerization simulator.