Goldsmiths’ 2013

Polymerisation of lactic acid This procedure is based on one developed by Horn, Bader and Buchholz (tested by David Read (School Teacher Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Southampton) and Rachel Hadi-Talab (Chemistry Technician, Science Learning Centre London)). The original documentation can be downloaded from: http://www.rsc.org/education/teachers/learnnet/green/docs/plastics.doc Curriculum links: Activity: In the plastics industry today, there […]

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Goldsmiths’ 2013

Making Cornstarch Bioplastic Many plastics are made using petroleum, a product of crude oil. There is a very limited supply of these fossil fuels left. Global oil reserves are estimated at 120 gigatons (1 gigaton = 109 tons). If worldwide consumption of oil is roughly 30 billion barrels per year, and the average barrel of […]

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Goldsmiths’ 2013

Preparing a polyurethane foam from castor oil Background: There are a huge range of different polymers in use around today with all sorts of useful properties. This has allowed us to create a more comfortable life for ourselves as well as helping us to make all kinds of useful materials at a low cost. One […]

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Goldsmiths’ 2013

Vulcanisation of latex Activity: The point of the experiment is to look at the modification of the properties of a material made from a natural, renewable resource. Sulphur is added to a suspension of natural latex and the mixture is heated in a process known as vulcanisation. Background: Latex (also known as natural rubber) is […]

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Goldsmiths’ 2013

Making Plastic from Milk! Milk contains a protein called casein—from the Latin word “caseus” meaning cheese. Casein is a polypeptide which is relatively insoluble in water. Milk is white because of the tiny particles of casein suspended in the solution—not dissolved. This experiment uses the casein present in milk to make a natural plastic. Materials: […]

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Goldsmiths’ 2013

Polymer Chemistry: Why it is important and how to be more green Dr Matthew Jones and Mr Tom Forder Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, Bath University Tom is about to complete a PhD on novel initiators for the production of copolymers. http://www.bath.ac.uk/csct/ http://www.bath.ac.uk/csct/dtc/ http://www.bath.ac.uk/chemistry/contacts/academics/matthew_jones/ http://www.bath.ac.uk/csct/people/ What is Green Chemistry???? Paul Anastas’ so called “12 Principles […]

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