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Combination of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide and Water for foaming of polymers

Project description

Supercritical Water could revolutionise the production of PMMA foams

The EU-funded Siphony project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between polymer science and the thermodynamics and process engineering of supercritical fluids. The project plans to use supercritical water in the foaming process of polymethyl methacrylate. Supercritical Water shows unique properties that bring promising features to the process - notably its high efficiency as solvent, stability, low toxicity and no environmental impact. Together with carbon dioxide, it will increase the efficiency of the plastic's chemical swelling and increase the thermodynamic energy of explosion by approximately six times compared to carbon dioxide on its own. The proposed process aims to create an exceptionally soft nanocellular polymer of approximately 10 times lower density that can shift the insulation industry's focus to developing lighter-weight eco-friendly products.


Siphony is a disruptive project created from a Breakthrough Materials Coalition between CellMat Laboratories and Dr. Danilo Cantero. This is a multidisciplinary venture involving the Physics and Chemistry of polymers and the Thermodynamics and Process Engineering of Supercritical Fluids. Sub and Supercritical water will be annex to the use of carbon dioxide in the foaming of Polymethyl methacrylate. The innovative and never seen before addition of sub and supercritical water will create benefits in the chemical swelling of the polymer and the addition of thermodynamic energy of explosion, approximately 5-6 times more than carbon dioxide itself. With this, it is expected to achieve the extra hit of power and material softening to reach an outstanding nano cellular polymer of very low density (10 times density reduction compared to initial polymer) and high pores density (>1013 pores/cm3). This kind of materials has outstanding properties as insulators (thermal and acoustic) in many fields of the industry. This proposed invention by employing Siphony process will create an exceptional rated polymer that will revolutionize the insulation industry by dropping insulators weight and increasing the heat transference resistant. Siphony also involves the application of the revolutionary concept invented by Danilo Cantero: the Continuous Sudden Expansion Reactor. The application of this technology to the foaming process of PMMA will bring unconventional properties to the product as well as to the process of foaming. This technology has demonstrated accurate control of residence time and temperature in a continuous mode. In this project, the technology will be redesigned to maximize the water/carbon dioxide dissolution in PMMA and the water/carbon dioxide expansion by sudden decompression in an isenthalpic stage. Also, the high level of shear that is incorporated by this process will be optimized to generate the best performing combination of PMMA particle size and cells size.



Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
Plaza santa cruz 8 palacio de santa cruz
47002 Valladolid

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Centro (ES) Castilla y León Valladolid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00