This paper presents results from thermal analysis of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) plasticized with glycerin, where effects from the high purity glycerin (glycerol) and other additives to glycol were studied. Using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) at high heating rate (90 °C/min) and inert atmosphere, we observed a decrease in the melting temperature of PAN (from 290 °C to 217 °C) owing to the presence of glycerol. The Kissinger's method was used to investigate the kinetics of thermal degradation for acrylonitrile (AN) with vinyl acetate (AV). The apparent activation energy for the copolymer AN/AV was calculated as 149 kJ.mol-1. The AV comonomer resulted in a lower degradation enthalpy for the copolymer AN/AV (353 J.g-1) compared with the comonomers comprising a precursor PAN for carbon fibers (988 J.g-1).
Polyacrylonitrile; glycerin; thermal analysis; Kissinger's method