Polystyrene - (C8H8)n

What is Polystyrene ((C8H8)n)?

(C8H8)n is a synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer with chemical name Polystyrene. It is a hard, brilliantly transparent, stiff resin. It is produced by the polymerization of styrene and is the most widely used plastic. At room temperature, the thermoplastic polymer is a solid but when heated above 100 °C it flows. It becomes rigid again when it cools down. Polystyrene is insoluble in water. This compound is non-biodegradable with a couple of exceptions. It is easily dissolved by many aromatic hydrocarbon solvents and chlorinated solvents. It is widely used in the food-service industry as rigid trays, containers, disposable eating plates, bowls, etc.

Properties of Polystyrene – (C8H8)n

(C8H8)n Polystyrene
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 104.1 g/mol
Density 1.04 g/cm³
Solubility in water Insoluble
Melting Point Approx 240 °C

Polystyrene structure ((C8H8)n Structure)

Polystyrene structure

Polystyrene ((C8H8)n ) Uses

  • Medically it is used for sterilizing test tubes, diagnostic components, and other medical devices.
  • It is used to manufacture car parts which include knobs, instrument panels, sound dampening foam, etc.
  • Polystyrene foodservice packaging keeps the food fresh for a longer period of time and is less expensive than alternatives.
  • It is used in packaging consumer goods such as DVD cases, egg cartons, to protect against spoilage or damage.
  • It provides thermal insulation and is used in refrigerators, freezers, etc.
  • Used in housing in all IT equipment such as Television, computer, etc.

Discover more about the physical and chemical properties, structure and uses of (C8H8)n from the experts at BYJU’S.

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