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Thermal and microwave-assisted oxidative degradation of poly(ethylene oxide)

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Abstract

The kinetics of the thermal and microwave-assisted oxidative degradation of poly(ethylene oxide) were determined with potassium persulfate as the oxidizing agent. Gel permeation chromatography was used to determine the variation of the molecular weight with time. The degradation was studied as a function of the temperature and persulfate concentration, and it was found that the degradation rate increased with the temperature and concentration of persulfate. Continuous distribution kinetics were used to determine the rate coefficients for the degradation process, and the activation energies were obtained. The results indicated that the microwave-assisted process had a lower activation energy of 10.3 kcal/mol, whereas that of the thermal degradation was 25.2 kcal/mol. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 96: 2090–2096, 2005

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