Toluene is flammable and toxic. Avoid breathing the fumes.
Chemicals and Solutions
- Styrofoam cups
- Dishes Water
- "Eco-Foam" starch based packing material (from American Excelsior Co. Arlington, Texas 76011)
- Dissolve some pieces of styrofoam in toluene. (Like dissolves like! The toluene is like a black hole for styrofoam.)
- Allow the solution to evaporate in the hood. The clear film residue remaining after the toluene evaporates is also polystyrene.
- Dissolve some of the starch "Eco-foam" packing pellets in water: like dissolves like again!
- Try dissolving the styrofoam in water and the "eco-foam" in toluene. They do not dissolve.
Polystyrene has the following structure:
The structure of toluene is: