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Abstract

The feasibility of dimethylaniline (DMA)–benzyl chloride (BC) mixture to initiate graft polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) onto partially carboxymethylated cotton was examined. The graft yield depends on the nature of the solvent used along with water; ethanol proved to be the best at a water;ethanol ratio of 90:10. Considerable grafting occurred in the presence of acetic acid at a concentration of 200 mmol/l. Higher concentrations of this acid decrease grafting significantly. The graft yield obtained in the presence of formic acid was much lower than that obtained in the presence of acetic acid. Inclusion of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid in the graft polymerization system prevent grafting. A DMA–BC mixture at a concentration of 0.08:0.087 mole/l. constitutes the optimal concentration for grafting. This contrasts with 0.32:0.35 mole/l. for total conversion. The rate of grafting increases by raising the polymerization temperature; it follows the order 50°>60°>65°>70°>75°C. Furthermore, increasing the monomer concentration caused a significant enhancement in the graft yield and total conversion.