Event Title

On the Favorability of the Initiation Reaction of Polymerization of Various Polymers

Session Number

Project ID: CHEM 08

Advisor(s)

Dr. Joseph Golab, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Discipline

Chemistry

Start Date

20-4-2022 10:45 AM

End Date

20-4-2022 11:00 AM

Abstract

Polymers such as polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and nylon are very useful materials; they’re used in everything from packaging to piping to other everyday plastics. Every polymer is made up of many, many monomers stitched together to make a new substance. Their syntheses are very elaborate processes and are made up of multiple steps. The step to focus on is the initiation step: the step in which a free radical bonds to a monomer in an addition reaction to create a modified monomer that now also has a free radical. This will lead into the next step, but that is beyond the scope of this project.

The initiation step of any polymerization reaction requires energy to start, and some polymers have more “energy expensive” initiation steps than others. The purpose of this project is to compare the initiation reactions of various polymers (polystyrene, PVC, nylon) and find the temperature at which their initiation is the most favored. The change in Gibbs free energy of each reaction will be studied and compared using SPARTAN computation to find the temperature at which it is the lowest. The results from this computation will be used to find the most “energy cheap” reaction.

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Apr 20th, 10:45 AM Apr 20th, 11:00 AM

On the Favorability of the Initiation Reaction of Polymerization of Various Polymers

Polymers such as polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and nylon are very useful materials; they’re used in everything from packaging to piping to other everyday plastics. Every polymer is made up of many, many monomers stitched together to make a new substance. Their syntheses are very elaborate processes and are made up of multiple steps. The step to focus on is the initiation step: the step in which a free radical bonds to a monomer in an addition reaction to create a modified monomer that now also has a free radical. This will lead into the next step, but that is beyond the scope of this project.

The initiation step of any polymerization reaction requires energy to start, and some polymers have more “energy expensive” initiation steps than others. The purpose of this project is to compare the initiation reactions of various polymers (polystyrene, PVC, nylon) and find the temperature at which their initiation is the most favored. The change in Gibbs free energy of each reaction will be studied and compared using SPARTAN computation to find the temperature at which it is the lowest. The results from this computation will be used to find the most “energy cheap” reaction.