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Study of sulfonation mechanism of low-density polyethylene films with fuming sulfuric acid

Authors

  • Masashi Kaneko,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Research and Development, Japan Vilene Company, Ltd., 7-Kitatone, Sowa-machi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki 306-0213, Japan
    • Department of Research and Development, Japan Vilene Company, Ltd., 7-Kitatone, Sowa-machi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki 306-0213, Japan
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  • Satoshi Kumagai,

    1. Department of Research and Development, Japan Vilene Company, Ltd., 7-Kitatone, Sowa-machi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki 306-0213, Japan
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  • Tatsuo Nakamura,

    1. Department of Research and Development, Japan Vilene Company, Ltd., 7-Kitatone, Sowa-machi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki 306-0213, Japan
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  • Hisaya Sato

    1. Department of Organic and Polymer Materials Chemistry, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan
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Abstract

Sulfonation of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films with fuming sulfuric acid was studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and attenuated total reflectance (ATR) infrared spectroscopy. The ATR spectra showed the formation of C[DOUBLE BOND]C double bonds and multiple sulfur atom containing groups for the sulfonation of LDPE films. This led us to propose that the abstraction reaction of hydride ion by sulfur trioxide (SO3) in fuming sulfuric acid might account for the formation of the C[DOUBLE BOND]C double bonds. It was considered that after the abstraction reaction, these double bonds react with SO3, resulting in the production of alkene sulfonic acids and sultones, along with the formation of sulfate groups as a result of reaction of the double bonds with sulfuric acid. Experimental data by treatment of the sulfonated LDPE films with KOH and thiourea supported the proposed idea, estimating the approximate molar ratio of the products. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 2435–2442, 2004

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