Toluene is flammable and toxic. Avoid breathing the fumes.
Chemicals and Solutions:
"Eco-Foam" starch based Packing Material
from American Excelsior Co. Arlington, Texas 76011
Dissolve some pieces of styrofoam in toluene. (Like dissolves like! The toluene is like a black hole for styrofoam.) Allow the solution to evaporate in the hood. The clear film residue remaining after the toluene evaporates is also polystyrene.
Dissolve some of the starch "Eco-foam" packing pellets in water: like dissolves like again!
Try dissolving the styrofoam in water and the "eco-foam" in toluene. They do not dissolve.
Polystyrene has the following structure:
The structure of toluene is: