Radical polymerization demo

I am planning to show some free radical polymerization experiments of styrene and do some molecular weight determinations via viscosity experiments for a very low level (freshman-sophmore) undergraduate demonstration. My problem is one of facilities. While it may be possible to clean out the styrene of inhibitor, I effectively can't dry the system. So

  1. For AIBN-can some one tell me what type of molecular weights can be achieved in a wet system (even better, is there a "back of the envelope" measure of the chain transfer constants for wet, non degassed solvents like toluene)

  1. Can one think of a more friendly initiator system-say redox or peroxide? AIBN is available and handy, but I am not wedded to using it.

  2. Any "cookbook" hints that I can give without going into great detail about kinetics (very crude thermo effects that are measureable, say)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Brent Viers

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