Styrofoam Dissolving In Acetone Is What Giving Up Looks Like

Styrofoam Dissolving in Acetone Is What Giving Up Looks Like

This cute little styrofoam cup is meeting its gruesome end with a brave face.

Seriously though, the way acetone eats through styrofoam cups is mind-boggling, both in how fast it works, and because the cup seems to just disappear as if it's slipping through some weird chemical portal. How's it doing that?

The short answer is that acetone is a really good solvent, especially of polystyrene — and styrofoam is just polystrene and a lot of air. When it dissolves it seems to disappear because styrofoam contains so little actual material. That said, no amount of scientific knowledge will help me feel less bad for that poor, evaporating smiley face.


Comments

    Styrofoam is not polystyrene and air.
    Styrofoam is a registered trademark for polystyrene. They were the first to make extruded polystyrene but every one does now and the name for it stuck.

    I'm going back to hoover my carpets now.

    Last edited 28/03/16 6:02 pm

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