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Depending upon the microorganism, many of which are genetically engineered for this purpose, and the cultivation conditions, homo- or copolyesters with different hydroxyalkanic acids may be generated.

Bisphenol A is prepared by the acid-catalyzed condensation of acetone with phenol. PLA can be processed like most thermoplastics into fibers and films. Comments, questions and errors should be sent to whreusch msu.

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As the name implies, this reaction moves a carbon radical from one location to another by an intermolecular or intramolecular hydrogen atom transfer colored green.

Two experimentally determined values are common: This is an example of anionic polymerization, the course of which is described by the following equations.

The polyester Dacron and the polyamide Nylon 66, shown here, are two examples of synthetic condensation polymers, also known as step-growth polymers. In practice, larger numbers of moderately sized chains are formed, indicating that chain-terminating reactions must be taking place. As the name suggests, side chains of a given monomer are attached to the main chain of the second monomer: Species that have been used to initiate mehtoody polymerization include alkali metals, alkali amides, alkyl lithiums and various electron sources.

Chain transfer reactions are mthoody prevalent in the high pressure radical polymerization of ethylene, which is the method used to make LDPE low density polyethylene. The glycoside linkages in polysaccharides and the ester groups in polyesters represent points of attack by the enzymes of microorganisms that facilitate their decomposition. The most common termination processes are Radical Combination and Disproportionation. In situations that require a high level of impact strength, the toughness of PLA in its pristine state is often insufficient.


Polyesters, polyamides and polyolefins are usually spun from melts, provided the T merhoody is not too high. At this metholdy, our discussion will be limited to an application of anionic polymerization.

Chain growth ceases when the terminal carbocation combines with a nucleophile or loses a proton, giving a terminal alkene as shown here.

It remains an open question whether it’s more energy and cost efficient to use biodegradable plastic or to recycle petroleum-based plastic. In the anionic polymerization of styrene described abovea reactive site remains at the end of the chain until it is quenched. This gfeek the fact that above T g they may be shaped or pressed into molds, spun or cast from melts or dissolved in suitable solvents for later fashioning. These include pigments for coloring, solid fibers in composites, stabilizers and plasticizers.

However, it is important to recognize that proper composting is necessary.

By clicking on the following diagrama cartoon of these changes will toggle from one extreme to the other. Formation of alternating copolymers is favored when the monomers have different polar substituents e. To begin with, cellulose chains easily adopt a stable rod-like conformation. M nthe number average molecular weight, is calculated from the mole fraction distribution of different sized molecules in a sample, and M wthe weight average molecular weight, is calculated from the weight fraction distribution of different sized molecules.

Elastomers are amorphous polymers that have the ability to stretch and then return to their original shape at temperatures above T g. In the manufacture of piano keys and billiard balls plastics have replaced ivory, assisting the survival of the elephant. Finally, a random arrangement of substituent groups is referred to as atactic. Many polymeric materials having chain-like structures similar to polyethylene are known.


Once inside the body of a bigeye tuna or a king salmon, they become part of our food chain.

Such biodegradable materials can be composted, broken down and returned to the earth as useful nutrients. This contrasts with elastomeric polymers, for which the stretched or aligned morphology is unstable relative to the amorphous random coil morphology. The many types of polymers that we lump together as plastics are, in general, inexpensive, light weight, strong, durable and, when desired, flexible.

The most useful acetate material is the diacetate, in which two thirds of the cellulose hydroxyl groups have been esterified. Treatment of a cold THF solution of styrene with 0. The latter is particularly attractive since a majority of plastics are made from petroleum, a diminishing resource with a volatile price. Once in the ocean, nurdles may absorb up to a million times the level of any organic pollutants found in surrounding waters.

The high T g and T m values for the amorphous polymer Lexan are consistent with its brilliant transparency and glass-like greeo. Condensation polymers form more slowly than addition polymers, often requiring heat, and they are generally lower in molecular weight. The two natural polyesters that are finding increasing use as replacements for petroleum based plastics are polylactide PLA and polyhydroxyalkanoates PHAthe latter most commonly as metthoody with polyhydroxybutyrate PHB.

This, however, depends on using appropriate materials.

In cases where the relative reactivities are different, the copolymer composition can sometimes be controlled by continuous introduction of a biased mixture of monomers into the reaction.