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Thermogravimetric analysis of polyethylene oxide (powder and nanofibers obtained by force spinning water or chloroform solutions of polyethylene oxide) was studied using different theoretical models such as Friedman and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa. A semiempirical approach for estimating the “sigmoid activation energy” from the thermal degradation was suggested and confirmed by the experimental data on PEO powder and nanofibers' mats. The equation allowed for calculating a “sigmoid activation energy” from a single thermogram using a single heating rate without requiring any model for the actual complex set of chemical reactions involved in the thermal degradation process. For PEO (powder and nanofibers obtained from water solutions), the “sigmoid activation energy” increased as the heating rate was increased. The sigmoid activation energy for PEO mats obtained from chloroform solutions exhibited a small decrease as the heating rate was increased. Thermograms' derivatives were fitted to determine the coordinates of the inflection points. The “sigmoid activation energy” was compared to the activation energy determined from the Flynn-Wall-Ozawa model. Similarities between the thermal degradation of polyethylene oxide powder and of the nanofibers obtained from water solutions were discussed. Significant differences between the sigmoid activation energies of the mats obtained from water and chloroform solutions were reported.


© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Polymer Science





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