FTIR study of the thermal degradation of poly(vinyl alcohol)

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Journal Article
Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2001, 64 (2), pp. 501 - 508
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The degradation of poly(vinyl alcohol) was investigated using TG analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to determine the effect of atmosphere on the process of degradation. In the spectra, four vibrational modes were identified that characterised the major steps of the degradation process. These were the O-H, C-H, C=O and C=C stretching modes. The mechanism observed for degradation in an inert atmosphere was in accordance with the accepted mechanism of elimination followed by pyrolisation. Evidence of conjugated polyenes, however, was not observed. For the air atmosphere, oxidation in both steps of the degradation process was observed.
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