March 2021

Special Focus: Petrochemical Technology

A novel polymerization retarder with boosted performance and improved handling characteristics

Styrene monomer production plants continually face a need to slow polymerization rates in the purification section of the production process to increase monomer production rates, reduce polymerization/fouling and tar formation, and protect against equipment plugging, especially in the event of unplanned shutdowns.

Crom, B., Hood, D., Patel, N., Hong, M., SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions

Styrene monomer production plants continually face a need to slow polymerization rates in the purification section of the production process to increase monomer production rates, reduce polymerization/fouling and tar formation, and protect against equipment plugging, especially in the event of unplanned shutdowns.1,2 This protection is typically accomplished by the application of polymerization retarders and true polymerization inhibitors, two related chemistry classes that slow the propagation of polymers.1,2,3 The polymerization of styrene monomer begins with the formation of styryl radicals. Under anaerobic conditions, styryl radicals can go on to react with molecules of styrene, forming

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