(668d) Morphology and Surface Properties of Polyethylene Oxide / Syndiotactic Polystyrene Aerogels
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 1:45pm to 2:10pm
Polyethylene oxide (PEO) was used to render hydrophobic syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) aerogels hydrophilic. Such materials are useful in absorption of moisture and removal of particulate solids. Solutions of sPS and PEO in tetrahydrofuran were converted into gels by cooling at room temperature. The PEO/sPS aerogels were obtained by drying the gels under supercritical condition. The effect of PEO molecular weight and concentration on morphology and surface properties of PEO/sPS aerogels were investigated. It was seen that the introduction of PEO helped regulate the pore structure of PEO/sPS aerogels, the extent of which depended on the molecular weight and concentration of PEO. New micron pores were created when high molecular weight of sPS was used, and the size of micron pores increased with increasing PEO concentration; while the morphology of the aerogels did not change when low molecular weight PEO was incorporated. The presence of PEO increased surface hydrophilicity and maintained high surface area of the aerogels, which contributed to the high moisture absorption properties of PEO/sPS aerogels.