Ninth grade students have got
a project task about polymers, their importance in our everyday life and impact
on the environment.
One group has chosen to
concentrate on the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or by its trademarked brand name - Styrofoam. They
found that Expanded Polystyrene is produced from solid Polystyrene beads.
(Polystyrene (PS) is a
that contains long chains,
which are made from the monomers (basic units) of styrene).
Polystyrene is closed-cell foam, rigid and tough, usually white, but can also
very good insulation properties and is used in many types of products, from
cups and containers that keep our beverages and food hot or cold to packaging
material that keep our computers safe during shipping. EPS can be used even as
thermal insulation for building and construction.
Usage examples of the EPS:
Alongside many benefits Expanded Polystyrene has
negative impacts on environment, such as air pollution by chemical
by-products released during the creation of EPS, it is
non-biodegradable, EPS waste takes up a lot of space, etc.
Students decided to explore one of the possible
ways to reduce the EPS waste volume and to recycle it.
They had made a preliminary experiment and tried
to understand what has happened there.
The video below shows the experiment
Watch the video and help the group of
students to understand what has happened to the EPS: