CHE Seminars  

Speaker Prof. Giridhar Madras, Department of Chemical Engineering IISc Bangalore
Topic Polymer degradation in solution
Date May 30, 2005 (Monday)
Place L-12 Lecture Hall Complex
4.00 to 5.00 p.m.

The study of thermolytic degradation of polymers is of considerable importance both from practical and theoretical standpoints. Among the various applications, degradation has been extensively used to recycle waste plastics and convert plastics into useful end products. The conventional technique has been the use of thermal energy by pyrolysis. Degradation of plastics in solution is a new process and we are studying the kinetics and degradation rate of various polymers in solution. Due to high heat transfer rates, the degradation temperature is much lower than the degradation temperature of the polymer in pyrolysis. We have investigated the use of the ultrasound, acids, microwaves and UV light as a means for degradation. Further, we have studied how the nature of the solvent influences degradation. Based on the current studies, it has been determined the rates are considerably enhanced by the use of these non-conventional techniques. The kinetics of the reactions are investigated and radical mechanisms are proposed to satisfactorily explain the experimental data.