Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Susan H. Smith
Title:Extraction of Additives from Polystyrene and Subsequent Analysis
Degree:Master of Science
Committee Chair: Larry T. Taylor
Committee Members:Gary L. Long
James F. Wolfe
Keywords:High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Supercritical Fluid Extraction, Polymer Additives, Polystyrene
Date of defense:June 11, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


The extraction of fifteen (15) polymer additives with supercritical carbon dioxide which are used as antioxidants, uv stabilizers, process lubes, flame retardants and antistats from eight formulations of polystyrene is demonstrated and compared to traditional dissolution/precipitation extractions. The purpose of the study was twofold: 1) the development of a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method(s) for the additives and 2) the determination of the viability of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) for the additives from polystyrene. Separation of some of the additives was achieved using reversed phase liquid chromatography. Nine of the additives were assayed in this manner while, the remaining six additives could not be assayed using reversed phase liquid chromatography. In order to develop an extraction method for the additives, the effects of static extraction time, CO2 density, and temperature were first investigated. These preliminary extractions revealed that a static extraction period which afforded an opportunity for the polymer to swell combined with a high CO2 density and extraction temperature above the glass transition (Tg) yielded quantitative recoveries of the additives. Triplicate extractions of the various polystyrene formulations matched additive recoveries obtained by the traditional dissolution/precipitation method.

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