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Addition polymerisation

- Polymers are large molecules formed from many repeat units of smaller molecules known as monomers.
- Unsaturated alkene molecules undergo addition polymerisation to produce long saturated chains w/ no double bonds.
- Addition polymers have high molecular masses.
- Synthetic polymers are named after the monomers that reacts to form it.
- Repeat unit from alkene has no double bond.


Biodegradability of polymers

- Polymers are readily available and cheap to process.
- Polymers are v unreactive which can be useful e.g storing food.
- But as they are not reactive, they are difficult to dispose.



- Recycling conserves finite fossil fuels as well as decreases the amount of waste going to landfills.
- Discarded polymers are sorted by type. If polymers are mixed, it makes product unusable.


Using waste polymers as fuel

- Some polymers are difficult to recycle.
- Waste products can be burned, which generates heat t hat can be used to generate electricity.
- Steam produced by heating can drive turbine producing electricity.


Removing toxic waste products to recycle

- Disposal of some polymers is dangerous e.g PVC because they make toxic products when burnt e.g HCl.
- New technology uses solvents to dissolve the polymer.
- High-grade PVC is then recovered by precipitation from solvent and the solvent is used again.


Feedstock recycling

- Feedstock recycling is the chemical and thermal process that can reclaim monomers, gases or oils from waste products.
- These materials can be used as raw materials.


Benefit of biodegradable and photodegradable polymers.

- Bioplastics produced from plant starch, cellulose etc. offer a renewable and sustainable alternative to oil-based products.
-Biodegradable polymers are broken down by microorganisms into water, carbon dioxide and biological compounds.
- Photodegradable polymers can be chemically broken down by light.
- These two types degrade and leave no visible or toxic residues.