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Polyvinyl Alcohol Prep and Activities

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Publication 10395

Price: FREE

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is the world’s largest volume, synthetic, water soluble polymer. PVA is nonhazardous and is used in many adhesives, films and elastomers. Its most popular use in schools is in the preparation of “slime.” PVA is a polymer with a repeating vinyl alcohol unit and its molecular weight can range from 25,000 to 300,000. {10395_Introduction_Figure_1} Polyvinyl Alcohol Rope Ropes of polyvinyl alcohol can be produced from aqueous solutions of polyvinyl alcohol and acetone. Polyvinyl alcohol is soluble in water but insoluble in acetone. Layering acetone over a 4% solution of polyvinyl alcohol creates a white interface of fibers which can be pulled upwards through the acetone to produce a polyvinyl alcohol rope. This demonstration is similar to the nylon demonstration but it is less expensive and uses less hazardous materials.