The products obtained on vacuum pyrolysis of poly(p-N,N-diethylaminostyrene) are described. The effect of sample molecular weight and pyrolysis temperature are compared with that observed for polystyrene degraded under identical conditions. The liquid products were separated using gas–liquid chromatography and identified using Kovat's retention index and mass spectrometry. Significant differences were found between the products arising from the two polymers which are discussed in terms of mechanisms involving N-alkyl and N-aryl bond scission and the subsequent reactions of the generated radicals. Comparative quantitative studies are described and discussed.
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