Posted by: tvasailor | May 1, 2011

Preparation of polyester samples for composition analysis

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This post discusses the reference in Analytical Chemistry of a method we developed in our laboratory for the identification of polyesters and the quantitation of their monomer compositions.  I don’t have a reprint or prepress for this article, so you would have to order a copy.

Below is the hydrolysis and analysis approach for polyesters using DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) as the organic solvent:

tindall_hydrolysis_2

Preparation of polyester samples for composition analysis
By: Tindall, G. William; Perry, Randall L.; Little, James L.; Spaugh, Arthur T., Jr.
Analytical Chemistry (1991), 63(13), 1251-6.

Link_to_paper

Abstract:  A mixture of hydroxide, MeOH (methanol), and DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) solvolyzes polyesters at rates much faster than any reagent previously described for hydrolysis to monomers prior to analysis.  Even highly crystalline polyesters can be solvolyzed to their corresponding monomers in a few minutes with this reagent.  Three methods for the analysis of polyesters are described that use this reagent for the rapid preparation of the polymer sample.  Methods for the determination of acids, diethylene glycol in poly(ethylene terephthalate), and glycols and diacids by NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) are described.  The reagent can be used to prepare samples for analysis by chromatography or NMR.

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