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Journal of Flow Chemistry
Authors: Dambarudhar Parida, Christophe A. Serra, Rigoberto Ibarra Gómez, Dhiraj K. Garg, Yannick Hoarau, Michel Bouquey, and René Muller

We report on the synthesis of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) in tubular microreactors. Different process parameters, temperature, pressure, and shear rate, were considered to accelerate the reaction. Increase in temperature induced a faster reaction, but controlled nature of ATRP decreased past a threshold value that can be increased up to 95 °C by reducing the residence time. Positive effect of pressure was observed since significant increases in monomer conversion (+12.5 %) and molecular weight (+5,000 g/mol) were obtained. Moreover, polydispersity index was found to decrease from 1.52 at normal pressure to 1.44 at 100 bars. Benefit of pressure was more visible in smaller reaction space (smaller tube diameter). Finally, shear rate has quite an influence on the early stage of the polymerization and is expressed by an increase in the reaction rate. However, the effect was dimed for long residence times.

Open access