Real-time monitoring of emulsion polymerization by Raman spectroscopy has been performed.
Raman spectroscopy has advantages over other techniques being implemented for process monitoring. It is wellsuited for emulsion polymerization reactions because the aqueous solvent does not interfere with the analyte signal by either contributing to the Raman signal or by masking the analyte signal by self-absorption processes. In addition, as it is a scattering phenomenon, the turbidity of an emulsion process is not a severe impediment.
On the other hand there are experimental difficulties arising from the possibility that there is fluorescence emission interfering with the Raman signal, and from the difficulties in extracting signals through windows in reactor walls or in slip streams. In order to avoid these problems a near infrared excitation laser (785 nm) and an immersion probe dipped directly in the reaction medium have been used.
Two parallel ways for data analysis have then been undertaken. The first is based on a mathematical deconvolution of the Raman bands whereas the second relies on more sophisticated multivariate analysis (Chemometrics).
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