What are biodegradable polymers? Present some examples.


These are polymers that can be broken into small segments by enzyme-catalysed reactions. The required enzymes are produced by microorganism. It is a known fact that the carbon-carbon bonds of chain growth polymers are inert to enzyme-catalysed reactions, and hence they are non biodegradable. To make such polymers biodegradable we have to insert certain bonds in the chains so that these can be easily broken by the enzymes. Now when such polymers are buried as waste, microorganisms present in the ground can degrade the polymer.

One of the most excellent methods of making a polymer biodegradable is by introducing hydrolysable ester group into the polymer.

For example if acetal is added to an alkene undergoing radical polymerisation, ester group will be inserted into the polymer.

The weak links in the polymer are susceptible to enzyme catalysed hydrolysis.

Aliphatic polyesters are one of the significant categories of biodegradable polymers. Some other examples of biodegradable polymers are described below:

(i) PHBV (Poly-hydroxybutrate-co- 856_Biodegradable1.png-hydroxy valerate):  it is a copolymer of 3-hydroxy butyric acid and 3-hydroxypentanoic acid.

PHBV is used in orthopaedic devices and controlled drug release. The drug put in PHBV capsule is released after this polymer is degraded by enzymatic action. It can also be degraded by bacterial action.

(ii) Poly glycolic acid and poly lactic acid: these are also biodegradable polymers and are used for post operative stitches. These are bioabsorbable structures.

(iii) Nylon-2-Nylon: it is an alternating polyamide copolymer of glycine2233_Biodegradable3.png  and amino caproic acid1005_Biodegradable4.png and is biodegradable.







   Related Questions in Chemistry

  • Q : Macromolecules what are condensation

    what are condensation polymerization give in with 2 examples

  • Q : Explosions produce carbon dioxide

    Illustrate all the explosions produce carbon dioxide?

  • Q : Colligative property problem Which is

    Which is not a colligative property: (a) Refractive index (b) Lowering of vapour pressure (c) Depression of freezing point (d) Elevation of boiling point    

  • Q : Question based on relative lowering of

    Give me answer of this question. When a non-volatile solute is dissolved in a solvent, the relative lowering of vapour pressure is equal to: (a) Mole fraction of solute (b) Mole fraction of solvent (c) Concentration of the solute in grams per litre

  • Q : Question associated to vapour pressure

    Choose the right answer from following. The vapour pressure lowering caused by the addition of 100 g of sucrose(molecular mass = 342) to 1000 g of water if the vapour pressure of pure water at 25degree C is 23.8 mm Hg: (a)1.25 mm Hg (b) 0.125 mm Hg (c) 1.15 mm H

  • Q : Film Mass Transport Sulfur trioxide

    Sulfur trioxide (SO3) is manufactured by the gas-phase oxidation of SO2 over a platinum catalyst: SO2 + ½ O2 à SO3 The catalyst is a non-porous ext

  • Q : Solubility product On passing H 2 S gas

    On passing H2S gas through a particular solution of Cu+ and Zn+2 ions, first CuS is precipitated because : (a)Solubility product of CuS is equal to the ionic product of ZnS (b) Solubility product of CuS is equal to the solubility product

  • Q : What are haloalkanes and haloarenes and

    Alkyl halides or haloalkanes are the compounds in which a halogen is bonded to an alkyl group. They have the general formula RX (where R is alkyl grou

  • Q : Direction of dipole moment expected

    Illustrate the direction of the dipole moment expected for hydrogen bromide?

  • Q : Solution and colligative properties

    what is molarity of a solution of hcl which contains 49% by weight of solute and whose specific gravity is 1.41

©TutorsGlobe All rights reserved 2022-2023.