The Kinetics of Polymerization


A RECENT paper1 on the kinetics of gaseous polymerization reactions appears to lead to some doubts concerning the interpretation of experiments in the liquid phase. It is now found that gaseous styrene is stable at temperatures up to 400° C., a result which seems inconsistent with the published data on the rate of polymerization of liquid styrene. The results of Schulz and Husemann2 can be expressed by means of a unimolecular constant, given by while Suess, Pilch and Rudorfer3 find a bimolecular constant, Further, Wassermann4 has shown that the rates of a number of diene additions are the same in the gas phase and in solution, so that we can with some confidence employ the expressions above to calculate the rate of the gaseous polymerization.


  1. 1

    Harkness, Kistiakowsky and Mears, J. Chem. Phys., 5, 682 (1937).

  2. 2

    Schulz and Husemann, Z. phys. Chem., 36, B, 194 (1937).

  3. 3

    Suess, Pilch and Rudorfer, Z. phys. Chem., 179, A, 361 (1937).

  4. 4

    Wassermann, Farad. Soc., General Discussion, September, 1937.

  5. 5

    Blyth and Hofmann, Ann., 53, 315 (1845).

  6. 6

    Gee and Rideal, Trans. Farad. Soc., 32, 666 (1936).

  7. 7

    Starkweather and Taylor, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 52, 4708 (1930).

  8. 8

    Breitenbach and Raff, Ber., 69, 1107 (1936).

  9. 9

    Breitenbach, Z. Elekrochem., 43, 323 (1937).

  10. 10

    Blaikie and Crozier, Ind. Eng. Chem., 28, 1155 (1936).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

CUTHBERTSON, A., GEE, G. & RIDEAL, E. The Kinetics of Polymerization. Nature 140, 889 (1937).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.