Functionalization of Syndiotactic Polystyrene Aerogels by Incorporation of Functionalized Atactic Polystyrene

Thursday, October 20, 2011: 1:20 PM
L100 A (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Xiao Wang and Sadhan C. Jana, Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH

 Functionalization of syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) aerogel was achieved by incorporation of functionalized atactic polystyrene (aPS) into the gel system. Firstly, functionalization of aPS was performed via chloromethylation reaction, which provides access to further functionzalization. Thanks to the high reactivity of chloromethyl groups, various functional groups are able to be grafted onto aPS, e.g., chelating group, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBZ), which is capable of adsorbing heavy metal ions. Secondly, a functionalized gel was formed by thermo-reversible gelation, whereby a solution of sPS and functionalized aPS was cooled to room temperature. Finally, the functionalized aerogel was obtained by drying the gel under supercritical condition. The morphology of functionalized aerogel was investigated by scanning electron microscopy. It was seen that the functionalized aerogel presented uniform porous morphology as those observed in native sPS aerogel, indicating uniform dispersion of functionalized aPS onto sPS network. The heavy metal adsorption behavior was studied using elemental analysis technique to further demonstrate the efficiency of this approach.

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