Polymerization reactions in industry

Polymerization reactions in industry

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Criteria for the reactor design

The following criteria must be taken into account for the design of the reactor:

  • Reaction speed
  • Required amount of polymer
  • Physical state of monomers and polymers
  • Solubilities of Monomers and Polymers
  • Thermostability
  • Heat development
  • viscosity
  • Desired appearance (pearls, granules, powder, etc.)
  • Influence of impurities
  • Operating mode: continuous or discontinuous
  • Technical possibilities for material transport
  • Dwell time
  • Last but not least, economic aspects such as energy consumption, costs, prices, etc.

Women in chemistry and pharmaceuticals are still disadvantaged

This year, for the seventh time since 1990, the VAA carried out its survey on the professional situation of male and female managers in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. The results show that women are still less likely to reach higher career levels than men.

23 percent of the women and 40 percent of the men who participated in the survey are executives. 1.0 percent of women and 1.5 percent of men are in management or on the board of directors. The proportion of women is therefore significantly lower in the higher hierarchical levels. Around half of women (49 percent) hold a position without employees, compared to only a third (33 percent) of men. There are also clear differences in functions with highly qualified employees: only 32 percent of women, but 44 percent of men hold such a position. As in the 2015 survey, this gender difference in the career level reached was examined to determine to what extent other factors such as age, qualifications, length of employment or part-time employment play a role. As a result, the differences cannot be explained by these socio-demographic characteristics alone. Women are therefore disadvantaged when they are awarded management positions.

VAA General Manager Gerhard Kronisch: “Even 30 years after the first VAA equal opportunities survey, the equity gap in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries has not yet been closed. As long as our survey confirms this finding, we will consistently make it an issue and continue our activities against this disadvantage. "

Compared to the last survey, the disadvantage of women has decreased slightly: Among male survey participants aged up to 51 years, the proportion of managerial employees has decreased significantly since 2015, while the proportion of AT employees has increased. This trend cannot be observed in the same way among the female participants. Thus, the discrepancy between the proportion of male and female participants in management positions in this age group has become smaller.

A rapprochement between the sexes has also taken place among the younger participants with regard to parental leave. Among the under 41-year-olds, men and women reported equally often that they had already taken parental leave. However, the length of parental leave is still much longer for women. The current equal opportunities survey also shows that these models are still very attractive for many respondents. Compared to the 2015 survey, the preferences of both genders have moved away from part-time and towards mobile working. The VAA expressly supports the expansion of mobile work if a functioning culture of trust is established and the protection of employees is guaranteed regardless of where they work.

The VAA has been conducting its survey on the professional situation of male and female managers in the chemical industry every five years since 1990. For the 2020 Equal Opportunities Survey, all VAA members who are working were written to. Of the 2,187 people who took part in the survey, 67 percent were men and 33 percent were women.

Table of contents

the History of chemistry is in its roots closely connected with manual activities already in the most ancient times. Metallurgy, the smelting of metals such as copper or iron from ores, dyeing, beer brewing and the manufacture of medicines or poisons must be understood as pre-forms of chemical action. Chemistry in antiquity differs from today's manufacturing processes in technical chemistry only in that they were based on pure experience without a solid theoretical foundation.

Theories developed a second root, alchemy, which is based on methods practiced in the Middle and Far East and which were combined by the Arab scholars with the views of ancient Greece. The theories of the alchemists in chemistry in the Middle Ages arose not only from their experimental experiences, but also from the teachings of astrology and an understanding of the world that today would be called esoteric, but which was actually an early attempt at a phenomenological theory within the framework of the axiomatics of the time .

From the 12th century - thanks to the contacts with the Arab alchemists - the "alchemy boom" broke over Europe: In 1085 Gerhard von Cremona wrote in Toledo the first chemistry book Europe: "The book of alums and salts", Albertus Magnus researched in Cologne from 1193-1280, and even the church scholar Thomas Aquinas operated "studiae alchymicae" with reference to Aristotle and the Bible. Roger Bacon (1210-1292) introduced the experiment as the most important working method of the alchemists ("Sine experimentil nihil sufficienter sciri potest": Without experiments nothing can be sufficiently known), - the scales, however, remained a device for measuring the starting substances. It was not until Lavoisier - from 1775 - that it became a means of measuring research.

Albertus Magnus was nevertheless an important alchemist and chemist of the Middle Ages who, as a Dominican monk, kept his theories strictly within the limits set by the church. He was the first to isolate the element arsenic.

One of the main objectives of alchemy was to find the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life. The mainspring for this was the belief that it could turn lead into gold or overcome death. But even this pre-scientific method, like chemistry today, sought to explain certain aspects of the world. Spectacular chemical processes in which it pops, hisses, foams, colored flames arise, liquids change their color etc. as an outgrowth of alchemy in the 18th century were often used by "quacks" and impostors to impress their victims. With the promise to make gold, combined with spectacular chemistry shows, Giacomo Casanova, for example, was able to lure noble ladies a lot of money and precious stones out of their pockets.

Nevertheless, there were also important discoveries in the earliest modern times: In 1669, Hennig Brand, a German pharmacist and alchemist, while searching for the philosopher's stone (when he distilled urine and glowed the residue) discovered the chemical element phosphorus and in search of it "Philosopher's Stone" was invented by the alchemist and chemist Johann Friedrich Böttger together with Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus in 1708, the European equivalent of Chinese porcelain, but the "Philosopher's Stone" remained a fantasy.

Chemistry *

A modern chemistry, which provides answers to the wishes, challenges and problems of an energy- and environmentally conscious society, includes not only the knowledge of the complex relationships, but also the ability to develop new, creative and scientifically sound solutions and concepts. This requires individual options and freedom, which the master's degree in chemistry at the TU Clausthal offers.
The synthesis of new organic and inorganic materials, their detailed analysis and the elaboration of structure-property relationships are researched as well as new energy and recycling concepts or environmentally friendly polymers.

Job description and job market

Chemistry is an important cross-sectional and key science that has an impact on many industries and areas of life. Thanks to the wide-ranging knowledge acquired in the master’s degree at the TU Clausthal, Clausthal chemists have excellent career prospects. In addition to the core area of ​​the chemical industry, our graduates find employment in marketing, consulting or administration and of course in research and development.
The Master of Science in Chemistry, which is recognized throughout Europe, also provides ideal conditions for a scientific doctorate in chemistry or in the fields of materials science, process engineering and life science.

Occupational fields and areas of activity

  • Laboratory manager in the chemical industry
  • Production Manager
  • Research and Development
  • Quality control / management
  • Consulting
  • marketing
  • Specialist librarian in authorities and associations
  • Science editor
  • Expert reviewer

What is special about the course in Clausthal

In line with the profile of the TU Clausthal, the master’s degree in chemistry is material and process-oriented. Building on the solid technical knowledge imparted in the bachelor’s course, the master’s course offers the possibility of individual specialist deepening through two fields of study. The qualification for independent, interdisciplinary scientific work is the focus of the study concept and is conveyed through research internships and a comprehensive master's thesis.
The master’s program is ideal for studying abroad, be it through the European ERASMUS program, on your own or through the lecturers.

Structure of the course

The Clausthal master's degree in chemistry is divided into three sections:

  • Deepening of chemical knowledge
  • Development of professional core competencies
  • practical, scientific work on the core competencies

In the Applied Chemistry major, areas can be selected individually from the chemical subjects and also from environmental chemistry, materials science and physics. The polymer chemistry course focuses on chemical plastics through modules on macromolecular chemistry, physical chemistry of polymers and plastics processing. Research internships in the core areas, an interdisciplinary research internship and the master's thesis round off the course. This stage of study is also ideal for a stay abroad.

Energy efficiency in industry

This book quantifies the potential for more energy efficiency in industry using technology and sector-related analyzes. Starting from the methodological basics, the electricity and heat-based basic technologies and cross-sectional processes are discussed in the first part using numerous application examples. In addition to classic topics such as lighting or heat recovery, processes that have so far not been given much attention are also covered, such as drying or painting. The second part is dedicated to the energy-intensive industries, in particular metal production and processing, the manufacture of the non-metallic materials cement and glass as well as the chemical, paper, plastics and food industries. Finally, both parts are placed in a larger energy and economic context. The findings are condensed into checklists in many places and summarized in the end to form general recommendations.

PD Dr.-Ing. Markus Blesl, Born in 1968, studied physics at the Universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart and received his doctorate in the field of energy technology from the University of Stuttgart in 2002. In 2014 he completed his habilitation and received venia legendi for the subject of energy systems and technology analysis. He heads the Department of Systems Analysis Methods and Heat Market (SAM) at the Institute for Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use (IER) at the University of Stuttgart.

Dr.-Ing. Alois Kessler, Born in 1965, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart and earned his doctorate in 1997 as a part-time job. From 1992 to 2000 he worked as a power plant engineer at EVS AG and later at EnBW Kraftwerke AG. Since 2000 he has been a senior consultant and since 2015 team leader for research and development at EnBW AG and since 2012 lecturer for energy efficiency at the University of Stuttgart.

Chemistry *

The modern world today is full of chemistry. Whether as chemical raw materials, polymers or drugs, whether in innovative energy storage systems or as the latest nanomaterials: chemistry is omnipresent. The Bachelor's degree in chemistry at Clausthal University of Technology provides the understanding and ability to help shape this exciting area of ​​our life. Clausthaler Chemie is practice-oriented. We therefore not only teach the basic theories, but also teach experimental skills in many internships.

Chemistry is networked worldwide. That is why we teach with a new one German-English teaching and learning concept and convey the English technical language competently and stress-free.

Job description and job market

As qualified scientists, chemists have excellent career prospects. In addition to the core area of ​​the chemical industry, our graduates find employment in marketing, consulting and administration. With the Europe-wide recognized Bachelor of Science in chemistry, the optimal conditions for a master's degree in chemistry or another advanced degree in the fields of materials science, process engineering and life science are laid.

In many cases, the Master of Science is followed by a doctorate, in which demanding scientific research challenges one's own creativity.

Clausthal University of Technology recommends its graduates to take up a master’s degree.

Johann Wolfgang Breitenbach

Johann Wolfgang Breitenbach (* June 22, 1908 in Vienna † January 6, 1978 ibid) was an Austrian chemist and full professor of physical chemistry at the University of Vienna. His specialty was plastics chemistry.

After graduating from high school in 1927, Breitenbach studied physics and chemistry at the University of Vienna, but had to interrupt his studies for lack of money and do a dyeing apprenticeship. After continuing his studies, he received his doctorate in 1937 under Hermann Mark at the I. Chemical Laboratory of the University of Vienna on the subject of the kinetics of thermal polymerization reactions (radical polymerization reactions with thermally induced radical formation). Breitenbach was employed at this institute, initially as a research assistant, until his death. In 1938 he became a university assistant. After Austria's annexation in 1938, both his doctoral supervisor Mark and his friend and fellow student Rudolf Raff had to emigrate. He completed his habilitation in 1943 under Mark's successor, Ludwig Ebert, for physical chemistry and became head of the physical-chemical internship.

Breitenbach's research was declared important to the war effort, so that he was only drafted as a soldier in the last days of the war. Since he was formally a member of the NSDAP like more than half of his colleagues, he fell under the Prohibition Act of May 8, 1945, according to which party membership for lecturers at the university resulted in the automatic suspension of the license to teach. In the faculties, special commissions were set up to assess the lecturers, who had a certain amount of discretion. In a letter from the Dean's Office of the Philosophical Faculty to the Federal Ministry for Education on June 24, 1945, he is described as “valuable offspring for this rare subject”. During this time, Breitenbach lived without interruption in the I. Chemical Institute on Währinger Strasse, which was not destroyed in the war.

In the 1930s, German was the standard language in chemistry, in which, for example, Japanese researchers published their results. After the end of the war, Breitenbach discovered that many important research results were only available to him now and only in English. From 1950 he began to publish partly in English. Founded in 1946 by Hermann Mark Journal of Polymer Science, in which he was later also a member of the editorial committee, there are both English and German-language articles by him, and most of his articles were still in German.

In 1951 Breitenbach received the title of associate professor, in 1954 he became associate professor. Since the mid-1950s, he has received research funding from, among others, DuPont, Dow Chemical, BASF and Ciba, so that he could always keep his laboratory up to date. In 1965 he became a full professor for physical chemistry at the University of Vienna. From 1965 until his death in 1978 he was co-director of the Physico-Chemical Institute, the former I. Chemical University Laboratory. He turned down the offer to become dean of the Philosophical Faculty because he could no longer devote himself to his research.

Chronology of the chemical discoveries

the History of chemistry is a constant sequence of discoveries and inventions that have been combined on the two bases of ancient chemical skills on the one hand and medieval alchemy on the other hand with the help of scientific working methods to form today's chemistry.

Since the discovery of fire, the history of chemistry can be divided into:

  • the history of the inventions and discoveries by ancient "masters" of the art of experimentation (chemistry in ancient times),
  • the history of chemistry in the Middle Ages and of alchemy, and
  • the history of chemistry in modern times and its researchers, who had more and more knowledge and techniques at their disposal since the introduction of scientific methods.

In addition to the Main article History of Chemistry This article therefore lists the history of the many individual discoveries, events and inventions in the research of substances and the transformations of substances from which - like the little pieces of a puzzle - the worldview and the state of research of today's chemistry have developed. Its creation can be followed using the many links in the following chronology to the individual articles and discoveries.

Physicist as IT manager in industry

The request from my former department to write about my career as a physicist in IT management at a large company surprised me: I spontaneously asked myself: Who should be interested in the career of a physicist who has been unfaithful to his subject? and then, throughout his entire industrial career, he occasionally remembers the times with a little sadness when he was still in the midst of physics. Isn't that rather demotivating for young people who are toying with the idea of ​​studying physics?

But it quickly became clear to me that my message is quite different: if you study physics with fun and commitment, you don't have to worry about your professional future! Of course, the dream of a lifelong career at the front of research is only fulfilled for a few. The rest of us earn our bread sooner or later in more or less non-specialist areas. But this then proves that studying physics involves much more than just imparting specialist knowledge. The ability to systematically and consistently solve problems probably plays the most important role. But “soft skills” such as the ability to work in a team and openness to innovative ideas are also trained - almost on the side.

I left physics pretty soon after my doctorate and found my way into the pharmaceutical industry. This step was made easier for me by the promise that I would be equipped with the most modern technology and sufficient computer capacity for the work expected of me. The first task was to develop software tools to automate processes in the company's research laboratories - a task to which I was able to use the computer skills I had acquired as part of a doctoral project. It was the era in which computers were still programmed very individually: Everyone who was self-conscious in laboratory work wrote their programs personally and was also concerned about "secondary things" - e.g. B. that the operating system parked the read head in the optimal hard disk segment. It was a question of honor to program "his" Fourier transformation of EEG potential leads oneself and to use FORTRAN or even assembler for it. With the 8-bit computers that were common at the time (and the 16-bit computers that were already in the high-end sector at the time), the finite computational accuracy had to be carefully taken into account in such programs - and that was of course very familiar to every physicist. So one was alienated from physics, but not yet completely alienated from its methods.

The world of computer science has developed at a rapid pace since then. The relational databases have finally seen their triumphant advance through all areas of data processing, the computers offer sufficient performance for every industrial requirement, so that they can be bought "off the shelf" as required and the international infrastructure, especially WEB technology, is today the basis of all information management. The question rightly arises at what point in the development phase the physicist became an IT manager.

Was it back then when he still personally bought, implemented, developed, maintained and scrapped information technology? Or is it today, where the database from the LAN socket is a matter of course, a WEB service is sometimes quickly integrated into a system landscape and sometimes a portal is quickly put together on topics that everyone has wanted to know but never understood Has? Or to put it another way: Has the rapid development of information technology made the physicist in this area superfluous or are there still tasks to which he can contribute his skills?

I mean yes, because physicists in particular were the “engines” for a lot of change in information technology. Physicists have already developed, tested and used new methods and concepts (e.g. the WWW) long before they thought of commercial use. This is why the physicist can easily find an information management service that is rapidly changing. It is he who, thanks to his training, can span the spectrum from signal to information to evaluation.

In the age of explosively growing amounts of information, the challenges of the IT manager will no longer lie solely in the definition of meaningful system environments. The evolution of today's IT manager will result in a new type of service in which it helps its users to find the most appropriate answers to a question from a jungle of information. In view of the increasing complexity of the system and information worlds, the physicist will, in my opinion, have the best prerequisites for developing understandable models of knowledge management. Whether he will still be called IT manager in 10 years' time is another matter.

My conclusion: If you enjoy physics, I can still unreservedly recommend this course today - there will be no lack of exciting professional challenges in the future. Actually, a nice perspective if you can largely reconcile economic and intellectual interests. And if you are lucky enough that one of the employers in the company's magazine circulation also offers lighter meals such as B. 'Physics in our time' served on the desk, then you can even keep a little contact with current research.

Good project work, lots of third-party funding

At an age when other scientists are already retiring, Gauglitz continues to acquire new projects with undiminished momentum. As head of the “Analytical Chemistry” department, the 66-year-old has recently extended his contract with the University of Tübingen until April 2011. If everything goes well, he can certainly imagine working here for longer: “I still enjoy research and teaching, and I also oversee numerous projects, including two EU projects and two from the working group Industrial research associations AIF are funded. ”The main topics of his department are spectroscopy, kinetics, optics, bio- and chemosensors. All projects have been successful so far: “I owe a large part of the good results to the employees. I have also always received a lot of support from the university, ”said Gauglitz.

The extension of the major project "CARE-MAN - HealthCARE by Biosensor Measurements and Networking" is particularly close to his heart. With a volume of 17 million euros, it is currently one of the largest third-party funded projects at the University of Tübingen. Gauglitz coordinates the work of the 30 project partners from universities and industry and he heads the sub-projects at the IPC. The aim is to develop a fully automated and modular measuring device for medical diagnostics. Transduction principles are combined with biochemical detection methods and modern communication options in order to be able to record several parameters characteristic of certain diseases at the same time. The "MoDekt" project in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart within the framework of the IZST (Inter-University Center for Medical Technologies Stuttgart - Tübingen) had a similar objective. It was so successful "that we have already been asked by the project management organization and the BMBF to apply for an extension," said Gauglitz.

Course of study Chemical and bioengineering process technology

Chemistry or bio? Or both?
Do you like chemistry and bio and enjoy technical issues? Do you want to know how the world works and want to study something that will be systemically relevant in 10 years?

Our application portal for the Bachelor in Chemical and Bioengineering is open. The course is admission-free, i.e. you need your university entrance qualification, proof of a study orientation process, internet access and a scanner. And you're ready to go. In case you have any questions, here is a brief explanation of each step.

Do you want to know more or are you still undecided? On Tuesday, June 29th at 5 p.m. we put in the lecture "Studying the future" the chemical and bioengineering and technical biology courses and answer your questions. You can find the whole program here.

Why study chemical and bioengineering?

Do we still need engineers when our environment is getting smarter and robots can also take on complex tasks? How can you know what will or will not be systemically relevant in 10 years' time?

In the course of digitization, engineers are being entrusted with completely new tasks. This includes more interdisciplinarity, more automation and more knowledge.

Creative problem solvers

We are on. For 50 years, students studying chemical and bioengineering have understood the world of today a little better every day and get to know the tools to shape the world of tomorrow. The diversity of the chemical and bioengineering degree opens up to you nationally and internationally crisis-proof career prospects in research and business in order to develop solutions for problems in the areas of nutrition, medicine, mobility, energy and the environment. With this degree, you have secure future prospects, in systemically relevant and also in other branches and branches.

Video: Free radical polymerization (July 2022).


  1. Maurn

    Agree, very useful piece

  2. Nathalia

    Nice blog, but worth adding more information

  3. Kassa

    You are wrong, it is obvious.

  4. Meldrick

    have something to choose

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