Morphological study on the reactivity of styrene-divinylbenzene copolymers in a chloromethylation reaction

Authors

  • Viviane G. Teixeira,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Química Analítica, Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-909, Brazil
    • Departamento de Química Analítica, Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-909, Brazil
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  • Fernanda M. B. Coutinho

    1. Departamento de Processos Químicos, Instituto de Química, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro 20550-900, Brazil
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Abstract

Styrene-divinylbenzene (S-DVB) copolymers with different kinds of porous structures were synthesized by aqueous suspension polymerization using n-heptane as the pore forming agent. The amount of this solvent (monomer dilution degree) and the DVB content in the organic phase were varied. The combination of three different dilution degree values and three DVB contents yielded three series of copolymers with a variety of porous structures. The three series were composed by copolymers with pore diameters (D) in the following ranges: D < 500 Å, 500 < D < 1000 Å, and D > 1000 Å, respectively. The effect of synthesis conditions on the pore size distribution and on the copolymer matrix rigidity was evaluated. These copolymers were submitted to a chloromethylation reaction with a paraformaldehyde/gaseous HCl mixture in the presence of zinc chloride as a Lewis acid catalyst and 1,2-dichloroethane as solvent. The effect of the copolymer porosity on the chloromethylation reaction extension was evaluated. It was possible to observe that a gel copolymer with a high swelling capacity in the reaction medium achieved the same chloromethylation yield observed for a high porous copolymer. This result thus indicates that, in the case of the chloromethylation reaction studied here, the high swelling capacity of the gel copolymer can counterbalance its limited surface area, turning this type of polymer structure as reactive as a macroporous one. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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