Session S76 (Thursday, 9:30am, Wartik 107)

P919: Incorporation of polymeric materials to enhance the laboratory component of the beginning course in organic chemistry.

Bob Howell (Central Michigan University, USA)

There are a number of readily available polymer experiments which may be utilized to enhance laboratory instruction in the sophomore organic chemistry course. Perhaps the most popular with students (the experiment most remembered by students years later) and faculty is the interfacial polymerization of hexamethylenediamine and sebacoyl chloride to produce nylon 6,10. The polymer which forms at the interface between an aqueous phase containing the diamine and an organic phase containing the acid chloride may be continuously removed as a strand to be rolled onto a cardboard roller (a paper towel roller works well). The ring-opening polymerization of lactide promoted by tin octonoate with benzyl alcohol as initiator is another excellent example that permits a discussion of green chemistry (the polymer is totally derived from a renewable biosource) and molecular weight determination by end-group analysis using proton NMR spectroscopy (may be done with simple instrumentation). Yet another example is the polymerization of L-aspartic acid (a naturally-occurring amino acid) to form poly(succinimide) which may be hydrolyzed to sodium poly(aspartate), a commercial scale inhibitor in water and stream lines. In this case, molecular weight may be determined titrametrically.


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