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Molecular Mass Of Polymers And Biodegradable Polymers

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Molecular Mass Of Polymers And Biodegradable Polymers - Lesson Summary

The molecular mass of polymers determines most of their physical properties such as viscosity, tensile strength and toughness. The better the physical properties of a polymer, the more is its commercial importance.
The molecular masses of polymers are best described as a distribution of molecular masses because polymer samples are mixtures of molecules with different numbers of repeating units.
The average molecular mass of polymer samples can be determined using a variety of methods.
Most synthetic polymers are non-biodegradable and persist in the environment for a very long time. These polymers are responsible for the accumulation of solid waste, which causes acute environmental problems.
Plastics contribute to environmental pollution. Many plastics can be recycled. Recycling starts with the collection of post-consumer and post-industrial plastics.
Thermoplastic polymers can be recycled and reused to make new products.

Biodegradable polymers that are synthesised contain functional groups similar to the functional groups in biopolymers.
Important biodegradable polymers include PHBV, nylon 2-nylon 6 and polylactic acid.

Using biodegradable polymers has some benefits. They don’t require incineration, so they lower carbon dioxide emissions.
They decrease environmental pollution, as they can be readily degraded. They can be used as internal sutures that don’t have to be surgically removed.


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