Advances in continuous polymer analysis in flow with application towards biopolymers
- Samuel B. H. Pattersona, Raymond Wongb, Graeme Barkera & Filipe Vilelaa
- aSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
- bShimadzu Centre of Excellence, Milton Keynes, UKRead the publication that featured this abstract
Biopolymers, polymers derived from renewable biomass sources, have gained increasing attention in recent years due to their potential to replace traditional petroleum-based polymers in a range of applications. Among the many advantages of biopolymers can be included their biocompatibility, excellent mechanical properties, and availability from renewable feedstock. However, the development of biopolymers has been limited by a lack of understanding of their properties and processing behaviours. Continuous analysis techniques have the potential to hasten progress in this area by providing real-time insights into the properties and processing of biopolymers. Significant research in polymer chemistry has focused on petroleum-derived polymers and has thus provided a wealth of synthetic and analytical methodologies which may be applied to the biopolymer field. Of particular note is the application of flow technology in polymer science and its implications for accelerating progress towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional petroleum-based polymers. In this mini review we have outlined several of the most prominent use cases for biopolymers along with the current state-of-the art in continuous analysis of polymers in flow, including defining and differentiating atline, inline, online and offline analysis. We have found several examples for continuous flow analysis which have direct application to the biopolymer field, and we demonstrate an atline continuous polymer analysis method using size exclusion chromatography.
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