CH 106 - Lesson 2
Home Table of Contents Preliminary Information Bonding Alkenes Polymers Alkynes Aromatic Compounds Physical Properties Infrared Spectra Wrap-Up


Polymerization of Alkenes
Lab Work


The plastics, out of which so many things are made these days, are polymers. Polymers are large molecules made by joining small molecules together in very long chains. Those long chains are sometimes branched or cross-linked.

Small molecules can be joined together in various ways to make polymers. There   are many types of natural and synthetic polymers.

Plastics are polymers.
Complex carbohydrates such as starch, glycogen and cellulose are polymers.
Proteins are polymers.
Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) are polymers.

In this lesson, we will focus on how alkene molecules can be joined together to make polymers. These polymers are sometimes referred to as addition polymers because of the way they are made. Please note that these polymers do not generally contain double bonds (although some do) so they are not alkenes (or unsaturated) even though they are derived from alkenes.


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