The Effects of Reaction Variables on Solution Polymerization of Vinyl Acetate and Molecular Weight of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Using Taguchi Experimental Design
Poly(vinyl acetate) is synthesized via solution polymerization, and then it is converted to poly(vinyl alcohol) by alkaline alcoholysis. The aim of the work study was to investigate statistically the influence of reaction variables in vinyl acetate polymerization, the conversion of this monomer to polymer, degree of branching of acetyl group in poly(vinyl acetate), as well as the molecular weight of poly(vinyl alcohol), using Taguchi experimental design approach. The reaction variables were polymerization time, molar ratio of initiator to monomer, and volume ratio of monomer to solvent. The statistical analysis of variance of the results revealed that all factors have significantly influenced the conversion and degree of branching. Volume ratio of monomer to solvent is the only factor affecting the molecular weight of poly(vinyl alcohol), and has the greatest influence on all responses. By increasing this ratio, the conversion, degree of branching of acetyl group in poly(vinyl acetate), and molecular weight of poly(vinyl alcohol) were increased.