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Quantifying Polymer Plasticizer Content Through Direct Analysis of Tracer Compounds

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246667D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-24
Document File: 8 page(s) / 233K

Publishing Venue

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Abstract

Measuring the concentration of plasticizers in plasticized polymers often requires time- and labor-intensive extraction of the plasticizer, followed by chromatographic separation and then analysis. Direct analysis of plasticizer content is highly desirable for faster feedback and improved efficiency and accuracy, but can be difficult, due to limited structural differences between plasticizers and base polymers. An advantageous process for quantifying plasticizer content includes: 1) incorporating a tracer compound into a plasticizer that is added to a polymerization plant, 2) using a direct analytical method to measure the concentration of the tracer compound relative to that of the plasticized polymer, and 3) applying factors to translate the measured tracer compound concentration to the plasticizer concentration, based on the relative addition rates and the relative persistence of the plasticizer and tracer. Preferably, the tracer is already routinely added to the process to preserve product stability or enhance performance (e.g. antioxidant or UV stabilizer). This process is applicable to the analysis of discrete product samples in a laboratory and continuous measurement using analyzer probes within a polymerization or polymer-blending plant.

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Quantifying Polymer Plasticizer Content Through Direct Analysis of Tracer Compounds

Abstract: Measuring the concentration of plasticizers in plasticized polymers often requires time- and labor- intensive extraction of the plasticizer, followed by chromatographic separation and then analysis. Direct analysis of plasticizer content is highly desirable for faster feedback and improved efficiency and accuracy, but can be difficult, due to limited structural differences between plasticizers and base polymers. An advantageous process for quantifying plasticizer content includes: 1) incorporating a tracer compound into a plasticizer that is added to a polymerization plant, 2) using a direct analytical method to measure the concentration of the tracer compound relative to that of the plasticized polymer, and 3) applying factors to translate the measured tracer compound concentration to the plasticizer concentration, based on the relative addition rates and the relative persistence of the plasticizer and tracer. Preferably, the tracer is already routinely added to the process to preserve product stability or enhance performance (e.g. antioxidant or UV stabilizer). This process is applicable to the analysis of discrete product samples in a laboratory and continuous measurement using analyzer probes within a polymerization or polymer-blending plant.

Background:

Plasticizers represent an important class of polymer additives. U. S. Patent 7,910,637 describes many of the benefits of adding plasticizers to polymers and provides a broad description of base polymer types (including EP Rubber and EPDM), plasticizer types (including extension oils), and polymerization process options. 1

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