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Addition polymerisation

Description

Alkenes (carbon compounds containing double bonds) undergo addition reactions. In this experiment molecules of phenylethene (styrene) – the monomer – add on to each other to form polyphenylethene (polystyrene) - the polymer.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
addition-polymerisation



Apparatus Chemicals

The teacher of working group will require:

Eye protection

Disposable nitrile gloves

Access to a fume cupboard

Boiling tube, 150 x 25 mm

Bung, one-holed, fitted with a 20 cm length of glass tubing (see diagram below)

Beaker (100 cm3, 250 cm3), 1 of each

Glass stirring rod

Stand and clamp

Either: Electric hotplate with thermostatic control or Bunsen burner, tripod, gauze and heat resistant mat (Note 1)

Phenylethene (styrene) (HARMFUL, FLAMMABLE), 5 cm3, (Note 2)

Di(dodecanoyl)peroxide (lauroyl peroxide) (OXIDISING), 0.1 g

Ethanol (IDA – Industrial Denatured Alcohol) (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, HARMFUL), 50 cm3 (Note 3)

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 







Page last updated October 2015

Alkenes (carbon compounds containing double bonds) undergo addition reactions. In this experiment molecules of phenylethene (styrene) – the monomer – add on to each other to form polyphenylethene (polystyrene) - the polymer.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.