The optimal conditions of emulsion polymerization of styrene and the influence of
pertinent parameters such as operating temperature, agitation speed, oil to water ratio, as well as
the concentration of surfactant and initiator have been investigated simultaneously in a batch
stirred tank reactor by using Taguchi method. In most industrial scale plants, more than one
parameter controls the overall process. When several factors are suspected to have influence on
the result, it is tempting to run a one-factor-at-a-time experiment, as it may appear to be simpler
to perform, and in some cases the number of experiments may be smaller. But such experiments
usually fail to test for all possible factor combinations and produce reliable results. What we need
is experiments of limited size that allow us to test factors at more combination and make better
prediction about factor behavior. Then Taguchi method
could be applied for satisfying the latter.
The results of experimental runs showed that the monomer conversion increases by increasing
temperature, SDS and KPS concentration, but monomer conversion first increases by increasing
the impeller speed and then decreases.