Initiator Replacement in Free Radical Polymerisation

A small niche manufacturer of electronics raw materials purchased new technology detailing the synthesis of a polymer in solvent solution that would allow them to expand their portfolio of products. They required a contract manufacturing partner to scale up and manufacture this new base polymeric material.

Scale up involved:-

  • Initial lab work using the purchased process showed an inconsistency in product properties due to low solubility of the initiator in the solvent required for further processing
  • Lab work on an alternative more soluble initiator gave acceptable materials but would need to be validated by pilot plant trials to provide enough material for real world application testing.

The customer wanted to scale up both processes to determine if their purchased technology gave the best performance:-

  • A 1T trial was made using aliquot additions of initiator slurry every 5 minutes while this was not a practical process it demonstrated that the purchased technology did give the performance required.
  • A 2nd 1T trial was carried out using the alternative initiator Witton had suggested and this gave almost identical performance but with a commercially viable process.

The product is currently successfully manufactured to this 2nd process.