Cross-linked starch nanoparticles stabilized Pickering emulsion polymerization of styrene in w/o/w system
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- Nikfarjam, N., Taheri Qazvini, N. & Deng, Y. Colloid Polym Sci (2014) 292: 599. doi:10.1007/s00396-013-3102-y
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Here, we present a method to synthesize expandable spherical polystyrene beads containing well-dispersed water microdroplets. The beads, 2–3 mm in diameter, were prepared through surfactant-free Pickering emulsion polymerization in water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) system using cross-linked starch nanoparticles (CSTN) as emulsifier. The CSTNs were in situ surface-modified by styrene maleic anhydride copolymer as confirmed by infrared spectroscopy and contact angle analysis. The entrapped water microdroplets with the average size of 3–4 μm were shown to be surrounded by a dense layer of the CSTN. The number droplet density as well as water encapsulation efficiency in the polystyrene beads increased with the CSTN concentration. Furthermore, regardless of CSTN content, all samples exhibited high encapsulation stability of over 68 % after 3 months. These characteristics along with good expansion behavior suggest the synthesized beads as expandable polystyrene containing water as a green blowing agent.