Decrease of methyl methacrylate miniemulsion polymerization rate with incorporation of plant oils
Miniemulsion polymerization reactions of methyl methacrylate were conducted in the presence of plant oils, in order to investigate the effect of different types (linseed oil and andiroba oil) and amounts of oils on the polymerization reaction rates and on the molecular weight of the produced polymers. A decrease in the reaction rate, that was proportional to the number of double bonds present in the triglycerides, was observed. Polymers with lower molecular weights were obtained when triglycerides with higher number of double bonds were used. The experimental data were analyzed with a mathematical model developed to represent the kinetics of these reactions, including the kinetic mechanisms associated to free radical miniemulsion polymerization with an oil-soluble initiator, and the model was able to predict the variation in the polymerization reaction rate depending on the type and amount of the plant oil.