Chapter 9. Polyolefins and Acrylics

9.1. Background

In organic chemistry, an alkene, also called an olefin, is a chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond. The simplest alkenes, with only one double bond and no other functional groups, form a homologous series of hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n. The two simplest alkenes of this series are ethylene and propylene. When these are polymerized, they form polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are two of the plastics discussed in this chapter. A slightly more complex alkene is 4-methylpentene-1, the basis of poly(methyl pentene), known under the trade name of TPX™. If one of the hydrogens on the ethylene molecule is changed to chlorine, the molecule is ...

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