Polymer chemistry

P. Christian,     The University of Manchester, UK


In this chapter we will look at the nature, preparation and properties of degradable polymers. We will discuss both natural and synthetic polymers and look at how they are either isolated or prepared and also at how they degrade via both biotic and abiotic pathways.

Key words



degradation mechanism

natural polymers

synthetic polymers

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 Polymers

Polymers or so-called macromolecules are large molecular structures containing one or more units which are repeated within the molecule. The term ‘polymer’ has its origin in Greek and derived from the term ‘poly’ meaning many and ‘mer’ meaning unit. Polymers as molecules have pervaded ...

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