Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

StaMiStAP:a static mixer reactor for starch graft polymerization

The project involves grafting (meth)-acrylates onto starch, with a continuous static mixer reactor. The interest in products of starch, grafted with (meth)acrylates, originates from the fact that they are useful as super absorbing materials, detergent compounds and in products for the paper industry. As starch is a biodegradable material, the use of these products to replace the non-degradable materials, used at this moment, becomes interesting.

Start up experiments with the grafting reaction were carried out to determine the influence of different reaction parameters. A suitable analytical technique is being developed to analyse the reaction mixtures on composition, graft efficiency and graft yield start designing and constructing a static mixer reactor. Initial experiments with the grafting reaction were performed. With native starch and acrylic acid as the reaction components, several aspects were researched: different initiator systems; the influence of the amount of monomer; the effect of the reaction temperature. The samples of the experiments were analysed for composition and graft efficiency. An analytical procedure was developed but proved to be inaccurate towards the separation of the different components. Therefore a new analytical procedure was set-up which is currently being tested Although the first analytical procedure was inaccurate, trends could be deduced concerning the performance of the initiator systems. Based on these results and the applicability of the systems for the target products, a selection of initiators could be made. The static mixer reactor was designed. The specific demands of the reaction necessitated the design of a special gelatinization section and special mixing sections for the acrylic acid and the second initiator part. Therefore the design of the static mixer reactor took considerably more time as expected.


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