The Role of Chemists in Minimising Environmental Waste by the Development of Degradable Polymers

A mindmap about the role of chemists in minimising environmental waste through the development of degradable polymers.

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  • The Role of Chemists in Minimising Environmental Waste by the Development of Degradable Polymers
    • Definitions
      • BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER
        • A polymer that breaks down completely into carbon dioxide and water.
      • DEGRADABLE POLYMER
        • A polymer that breaks down into smaller fragments when exposed to light, heat or moisture.
    • Scientists have begun to investigate and develop renewable & sustainable polymers for packaging due to...
      • Customer Demand
      • Environmental Pressures
      • The Spiralling Cost of Crude Oil
    • Biodegradable polymers often have chemical bonds that can undergo hydrolysis...
      • E.g.poly(lactic acid)
        • made from lactic acid
          • derived from corn starch
        • used for ..
          • compost bags
          • disposable tableware
          • food packaging
      • E.g. poly(glycolic acid)
        • made from glycolic acid
          • isolated from sugar cane and unripe grapes
        • used in surgery for stitches
      • E.g. synthetic biodegradable polyesters
        • made from cellulose and potato  starch
        • used for thermoformed trays
        • used for disposable cups, bowls and plates
    • Photodegradable Polymers
      • These polymers are designed to become weak  and brittle during  prolonged exposure to sunlight.
        • can be made by...
  • E.g.poly(lactic acid)
    • made from lactic acid
      • derived from corn starch
    • used for ..
      • compost bags
      • disposable tableware
      • food packaging

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