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Kinetic modeling of free radical polymerization of styrene initiated by the bifunctional initiator 2,5-dimethyl-2,5-bis(2-ethyl hexanoyl peroxy) hexane

This paper deals with the kinetic study of bulk free radical polymerization of styrene initiated with the commercial bifunctional initiator 2,5-dimethyl-2,5-bis(2-ethyl hexanoyl peroxy)hexane (Lupersol 256). The polymerization kinetics is investigated by DSC measurement for temperatures between 80 and 110°C and for initiator initial concentration from 0.115 up to 0.46 mol%. The experimental conversion and reaction rate are compared and discussed with the calculated values. For modeling the polymerization rate, a reaction scheme similar to the one given by Yoon and Choi (Polymer 1992;33(21):4582–4591) has been used and adapted. A detailed diffusional and semi-empirical model proposed by Chiu et al. (Macromolecules 1983;16(3):348–357) has been modified by Rouge (Etude de la polymérisation radicalaire du styrène initiée par un amorceur bifonctionnel dans un réacteur tubulaire à recyclage, Diploma work, DC, EPF, Lausanne, 1997) in order to describe these results. The model allows the description of the number molecular weight, but the polydispersity is underestimated for conversion higher than 70%. For temperature higher than 100°C, thermal initiation must be taken into account. The efficiency factor is found close to 1, but seems to decrease for temperatures above 100°C.

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