Precision Production of Polymers: A New Age of Polymer Reaction Engineering
Seminar | November 15 | 3-4 p.m. | 180 Tan Hall
Shiping Zhu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China
Chemical engineering deals with production and processing of materials and chemicals. Polymers are macromolecules that have thousands of small molecules joined together by covalent bonds. Polymer reaction engineering is about industrial production of polymers. Polymers are chain molecules and their materials properties are determined to a large extent by their chain microstructures. Different from small molecules, polymers are the products of not only recipes but also processes. Precision production of polymers having pre-designed chain microstructures represents a new trend in polymer reaction engineering. Presented in this seminar is a big picture and personal viewpoints on the evolution of chemical engineering and the development of advanced materials. Also presented are several research stories that include high-strength polyethylene fibers by nano-extrusion polymerization; long-chain-branched polyethylenes for the best combination of melt strength and processability; semi-batch reactor technology for controlled gradient copolymers; re-dispersible latexes prepared by CO2-switchable surfactant, as well as preparation of highly sensitive and strong foams that can feel mosquitos and stand for elephants.