Supercritical Fluid Technology Applied to the Development of a Low cost Production Process for Phosphazene Polymers
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AbstractResearch to find supercritical fluid conditions capable of supporting polymerization of hexachlorocyclophosphazene trimer to high molecular weight poly (dichlorophophazene) is proposed. The dichloro polymer is the key intermediate in production steps that lead to a class of polymers having useful engineered applications, often where extremes of temperature and environment exist. A supercritical polymerization process could eliminate the hazards, handling, environmental concerns, and waste disposal costs associated with the current solvent-intensive polyphosphazene processes. The unique extraction and separation properties of supercritical fluids will be exploited to produce poly (dichlorophosphazene) free of contaminants and at a molecular weight useful for further modification. This proposal addresses issues related to solubilizing high molecular weight intermediate and promoting high yield polymerization in the supercritical medium. The cost benefits associated with supercritical fluid polymerization will be evaluated by carrying out an economic viability analysis of the process.
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