Radiation-induced graft copolymerization of styrene to cellulose


  • Part of this paper was presented at the symposium “Graft Polymerization onto Cellulose” during the 161st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Los Angeles, March 28–April 2, 1971.


The radiation-induced graft copolymerization of styrene to cellulose has been studied in vacuo at 30°C and at dose rates from (0.37 to 8.73) × 10−2 W/kg. Dioxan was used as solvent for monomer and polystyrene homopolymer, and water (2% total volume) was incorporated as swelling agent for cellulose. The concentration of styrene in the bulk medium was varied from 0.432 to 3.46 moles/l., and the rates of both grafting and homopolymerization were shown to be proportional to [monomer] · [intensity]1/2. The value of 3.3 × 10−4 l. mole−1 sec−1 derived for kp2/kt in homopolymerization is similar to that for normal free-radical polymerization of styrene. However, reduced termination during grafting yielded a much higher value (58 l. moles−1 sec−1). Degradation of cellulose in the absence of monomer was followed viscometrically, and values of 13.5 and 24.6 were derived for G (scission) in vacuo and in air, respectively.