Progress in reactor engineering of controlled radical polymerization: a comprehensive review
Controlled radical polymerization (CRP) represents an important advancement in polymer chemistry. It allows synthesis of polymers with well-controlled chain microstructures. Reactor engineering is essential in bringing lab-scale chemistry to industrial realization. This paper reviews the research progress in reactor engineering of CRP, namely, atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer radical polymerization (RAFT), and nitroxide-mediated or stable free radical polymerization (NMP or SFRP). Research activities in semi-batch reactors, tubular reactors, and continuous stirred-tank reactors (CSTR) of both homogeneous (bulk and solution) and heterogeneous (emulsion, mini-emulsion, heterogeneous catalyst, etc.) CRP systems are summarized. Typical examples are selected and discussed in detail. Perspectives on the current status and future development are also provided.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Review Articles