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Radiofrequency controlled continuous polymer synthesis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Currently, the field of polymer synthesis is based on batch operations which have implicit drawbacks such as the use of large volumes of hazardous chemicals and low heat transfer rate. Continuous flow processes offer a potential breakthrough in this field by making it more flexible, cleaner and faster. Considerable interest in alternative and more efficient methods of initiating these reactions has been explored such as via photoinitiation or microwave irradiation. Radiofrequency heating is a green and innovative technology with enhanced temperature control, which enables the location specific temperature control while maintaining a very high heat transfer rate. This project will evaluate radiofrequency heating as an efficient method of initiating controlled polymerization reactions. The combination of flow operation with radiofrequency heating will allow optimisation of the polymerization in terms of controlling the polymer molecular weight distributions, particle sizes and minimising unwanted side-reactions. A detailed thermal profiling and analysis-feedback method using advanced fibre optics will enable this optimization while transient operation using the radiofrequency system could provide enhanced control over the reaction conditions, enabling preparation of novel materials.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

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