Chitin was successfully grafted with polystyrene by free radical mechanism using ammonium persulfate (APS) initiator. The reaction was carried out in aqueous medium. The effect of pH, chitin:monomer weight ratio, APS, reaction time and reaction temperature were investigated. The results showed that the optimum conditions for grafting of polystyrene were found as follows: pH 7, chitin:monomer weight ratio of 1:3, 0.4 g of APS, reaction temperature of 60 °C and reaction time 2 h. The graft copolymer was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning electron microscopy (DSC). Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analysis carried out on the hydrolyzed graft copolymer showed that the Mn and Mw were 6.3395×10(4) g/mol and 1.69283×10(5) g/mol, respectively, with polydispersity index of 2.7.
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