College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-06 06:17:00


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course

CHEE 497-001

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


Anionic polymerizations are a common type of reaction used to produce synthetic rubber. During these reactions, it is necessary to charge initiators, modifiers, and other substances, through pressurized containers that are sealed with rubber septa. These septa prevent oxygen and moisture from entering the pressurized container, and the reactor, though they need to be cleaned before use to remove other impurities. Currently a glass Soxhlet Extractor is used to remove such impurities, and though effective, it has a limited capacity, so it has to run frequently. This limitation led to the commissioning of the Septa Extractor, which is an automated process unit designed to perform the same cleaning function on a larger scale. A standard anionic polymerization to produce a polybutadiene will be used to assess the differences between the 6 types of septa, obtained commercially and prepared in-house. Molecular weight and vinyl content of the product as well as the conversion of the monomer will be compared to determine the importance of impurity removal from the septa and the optimal extraction approach. The project's main goal is to determine the required operating time for the Septa Extractor Unit and to identify whether commercially available alternatives are acceptable.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby

First Reader

Dr. Steven Baldwin

Second Reader

Dr. Timothy Tartamella

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Jones - Final Signature Page.pdf (247 kB)
Final Report Signature Sheet



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