Novel Solvent Application for the Free Radical Solution Plymerization of Styrene

Author: Owolabi, Rasheed Uthman

Supervisors: Kehinde A. J. and Usman M. A.

Polymers are materials with more sterling qualities than other traditional materials. For instance, they have less weight, higher energy efficiency, better performance and durability, and greater flexibility in design and processing (Erdmenger et al., 2009). They constitute an important material for meeting the demands of specialized fields such as engineering, technology and medicine. In the last three decades especially, polymers were not only used as industrial bulk materials but also attracted greater attention in highly specialized fields such as nanotechnology, optics and biomaterials (Bledzki et al., 1981). Each usage requires different specifications of the polymers. In modern time, there is hardly any sphere of human endeavour (electronics, packaging, construction, automobile, etc) where polymers are not being used in one form or another. The lifestyle of humankind would have been quite miserable without the applications of polymers; infact, polymers form the backbone of the modern society. It is often said that man live in a polymer age (Mishra and Kumar, 2012). Polymerization reactions for the synthesis of polymers are therefore very important chemical processes. Plastic consumption of the world was estimated to be around 200 milion tonnes in 2000 (Rosato et al., 2001). Polyethylene and polystyrene are vinyl based polymers that have found a growing demand and a wide range of applications ( Ring, 1999). In this study, polystyrene is the focus of this research because it remains one of the most important and necessary polymers in the polymer processing industry. PS was first produced in 1930 by Dow and BASF in USA (Murat, 2012). It is one of the most widely used thermoplastic in a variety of industrial applications such as packaging, consumer electronics, appliances.