• degradation;
  • GPC;
  • catalysts


The kinetics of thermal degradation of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) in solution was investigated at various temperatures (210–250°C). The degradation rate coefficients were determined from the time evolution of the molecular weight distribution (MWD). The energy of activation, determined from the temperature dependence of the rate coefficient, was 26.6 kcal/mol. The degradation of PVC was also studied in the presence of a catalyst (HZSM-5 zeolite). The results indicated that increase of the degradation rate of PVC is first order with the HZSM-5 concentration up to 50 g/L and zero order at higher concentrations. The thermal degradation kinetics of PVC in the presence of 50 g/L of the catalyst was studied at various temperatures. The temperature dependency of the rate coefficient was used to calculate the activation energy (21.5 kcal/mol). This is consistent with the observation that the presence of a catalyst generally decreases the activation energy and promotes degradation. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 84: 791–796, 2002; DOI 10.1002/app.10332