Reactor platforms for rapid screening of emulsion polymerisation formulations

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Chemical and Process Engineering


Cascades of mini continuous stirred tank reactors have been widely utilised as an alternative to tubular systems for conducting multi-phase chemical reactions in flow. At U. Leeds, we have developed and commercialised a reactor (the fReactor) which has been used to conduct single and multi-phase continuous processes including reactions, emulsifications and crystallisation. We have also used fReactors to successfully conduct controlled polymerisations in solution and dispersion systems.
The main objective of this PhD is to configure a continuous-flow reactor platform capable of rapidly screening emulsion polymerisation formulations by combining continuous-flow reactor technologies, computer control and modular online analysis. It will require design of a bespoke reactor platform consisting of pumps connected to switching valves and agitated reactors. Online monitoring instrumentation will also enable constant observation of the reaction composition and provide opportunities for real time self-optimisation. The outcome will be an example of an innovative and disruptive technology which provide opportunities for accelerating the discovery and development of new polymer materials in a more sustainable and more cost effective manner.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517860/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2440764 Studentship EP/T517860/1 01/10/2020 31/03/2024 Peter Michael Pittaway