Hydrogenation of diene elastomers, their properties and applications: a critical review

Singha, N. K. ; Bhattacharjee, S. ; Sivaram, S. (1997) Hydrogenation of diene elastomers, their properties and applications: a critical review Rubber Chemistry & Technology, 70 (3). pp. 309-367. ISSN 0035-9475

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Official URL: http://www.rubberchemtechnol.org/resource/1/rctea4...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5254/1.3538435


This chemistry and technology of hydrogenation of diene elastomers have substantially grown during the past decade. New applications of hydrogenated elastomers have emerged. Homogeneous hydrogenation has several advantages over heterogeneous hydrogenation because of its higher selectivity, faster rate and cleaner end products. However, separation of catalysts and recycle/reuse of expensive metals still poses problems. The preferred alternative for the hydrogenation of elastomers in solution is the use of Zeigler type catalyst which are less expensive than the noble metal catalysts like Rh, Pd etc. However, such catalysts are not effective when strongly coordinating groups are present in the elastomer. One approach would be to use transition metals, which have less tendency to coordinate with polar monomers in the elastomer. Research is also warranted in the use of less expensive metals for elastomer hydrogenation (Ni, Co, Ru). Use of large quantities of solvent (to keep the solution viscosity low) is another significant cost center in elastomer hydrogenation. Novel agitator systems/reactor configuration to handle higher concentration of rubber in solution, yet provide adequate heat and mass transfer in gas-liquid hydrogenation reaction, needs to be explored. Hydrogenation of diene elastomers in the latex form using water soluble catalyst appear to be hold great promise at the present time since many diene elastomers (like SBR, CR and NBR etc.) are commercially produced directly in the form of latex. Creative exploitation of biphasic catalysts for hydrogenation is expected to gain momentum since early results look promising. This would require greater fundamental understanding of the aqueous-organic interphase in a latex process and the mechanism of transport of catalytic reagent across this interphase. More studies are needed to achieve homogeneous chemical reaction inside of each individual latex particles.

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