This work illustrates the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for monitoring of the suspension polymerization of vinyl chloride in real time. Obtained results showed that it is possible to track in situ and in real time important morphological properties of PVC resins, such as BD (bulk density), CPA (cold plasticizer absorption), PSD (particle size distribution) and Dp (average particle diameter). It was also shown for the first time that it is possible to analyze quantitatively, with the help of in situ NIRS probe, the morphological structure of the PVC particles. As a consequence, it was shown that is possible to inject dispersants and vary the agitation speed during the reaction for proper control of BD, CPA and the PSD of PVC, before attainment of the particle identification point. Through the proposed monitoring and control strategies, it is possible to anticipate reactor disturbances (increasing the process safety) and to reduce the time needed for development of resins with different morphological characteristics (avoiding losses caused by off-specification), allowing for optimization of the product development process.
Poly(vinyl chloride); NIR spectroscopy; suspension polymerization; morphological properties