Molecular Weight Distribution of Polymers Produced by Anionic Polymerization Enables Mixability Evaluation

In the anionic polymerization of styrene using a flow microreactor, there was a strong correlation between the molecular weight distribution (<i><i>M</i></i><sub>w</sub>/<i><i>M</i></i><sub>n</sub>) of the polymer and the mixing speed. By taking advantage of this relationship, a new type of mixability evaluation was developed using the flow microreactor system. The new method allowed the mixability to be evaluated at 0 °C or a lower temperature with high accuracy. With the ability to be applied for a wider range of reaction conditions, it offers a great advantage over other evaluation procedures such as the Dushman reaction, which requires reaction temperatures to be above 0 °C. The presented method is a promising alternative as a new evaluation technique for mixing efficiency.