- Take a metal or glass container.
- Pour acetone in the container.
- Place a piece of styrofoam in acetone.
Dissolving styrofoam in acetone
Scientific name: Dissolving styrofoam in acetone gives dissolved polystyrene
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.
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.