Poly(styrene sulfonate) is not a defined single compound. The concept of molecular weight is not a particularly useful one for polymers.
monomer that can be used to make poly(styrene sulfonate) is sodium
styrene sulfonate. This compound has a molecular weight of 206, so I
believe that is the second number you mention.
The styrene group
in that monomer can undergo an initiation reaction, which then allows it
to react with a second styrene group, which can react with a third, and
so on until all the monomer in your reaction vessel is used up or until
the chain is terminated by other chemical processes. The number of
styrenes linked together can be quite high, but the reactions aren't
perfectly consistent - each chain initiated will terminate at a
different point, usually giving you a gaussian distribution of chain
lengths for your final molecule. There are ways of controlling how long
the chains will get and partially controlling the spread of chain
lengths in the final mixture, but for polymers you ordinarily report an
average molecular weight. The "70,000 kDa" you report would be
absolutely enormous (an average molecular weight of 70,000,000) - I
suspect it's actually 70 kDa? Or was that actually a decimal number you
Either way, my guess is that the 206 g/mol is the
molecular weight of the monomer, and the "70.000 kDa" is the average
molecular weight of that particular batch of polymer.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Why does Poly(styrene sulfonate) have 70.000kDa and 206g/mol as its MW? how are they different?
at May 24, 2016
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