Dissolving in acetone

Dissolving styrofoam in acetone

Scientific name: Dissolving styrofoam in acetone gives dissolved polystyrene

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Safety

Acetone is a flammable liquid, be careful with acetone and its fumes. Acetone is toxic, do this experiment in a well-ventilated area. Wear eye protection goggles.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reagents

  1. Acetone
  2. Polystyrene

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Take a metal or glass container.
  2. Pour acetone in the container.
  3. Place a piece of styrofoam in acetone.

Scientific background

Styrofoam is made of polystyrene. Usually it is used for thermal insulation and craft applications. Styrofoam contains a lot of air? this is the reason why styrofoam floats and why it has insulating properties.

When we dropped the styrofoam in acetone, the foam reduced in size because the air exits the porous material. This occurs because polystyrene is readily soluble in acetone. If you get polystyrene from acetone, it hardens very quickly due to evaporation of acetone.

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Published on 24 April 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst