The aim of this study was to gain some fundamental knowledge on the thermal degradation pathways of poly(N-vinyl pyrrolidone) using Thermogravimetry coupled with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (TG–FTIR) in addition to IR and 1H NMR spectroscopic studies of the partially degraded samples. It was found that the vinyl pyrrolidone is the main volatile products of the thermal degradation of PVP which implies that the predominant mechanism during thermal degradation of this polymer is the depolymerization to monomer of the polymeric main chain; however, it is evident that simultaneous reactions may be involved yielding oligomers. FTIR and 1H NMR spectra of partially degraded samples of PVP exhibited very similar characteristics to that observed for undegraded samples although the 1H NMR spectra suggest the presence of simultaneous reactions as the fragmentation of polymeric main chain.
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