Melting Styrofoam with Nail Polish Remover: the Separation of Polymers
Grade Level: 3rd to 8th; Type: Chemistry
This experiment demonstrates the separation of polymers by melting Styrofoam cups with nail polish remover.
- Why does acetone melt the cup, but water or soda does not?
- What is this reaction called?
- Acetone (nail polish remover)
- Styrofoam cups
- Metal bowl or pot
- WARNING: Please follow the manufacturer's warnings on the container of acetone. Only adults should use acetone. The solvent is very flammable and harmful if inhaled, so conduct this experiment outside!
- Pour ½ cup of acetone into the bowl.
- Slowly lower a Styrofoam cup into the acetone. Observe the reaction between the acetone and the Styrofoam.
- See what happens when you put more than one cup into the acetone at the same time.
Terms/Concepts: polymers, monomers, chemical reactions
References: Polymers and Monomers: http://www.materialsworldmodules.org/resources/polimarization/2-polymers+monomers.html
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