Hydrolysis of polyamides and polyesters

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  • Created by: Anon
  • Created on: 30-03-15 11:38

Introduction

POLYMERS

  • Polyesters and polyamides are a type of polymer called a condensation polymer
  • This means that when they are formed many monomers join together while a small molecule, water, is released
  • Just as these polymers can be formed, they can also be broken down with acid or alkaline hydrolysis
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Polyamides- acid

  • Polyamides can be identified by their characteristic O=C-N-H bond
  • Polyamides will hydrolyse with an acid much more readily than they will with a base

POLYAMIDE + H2O + HCl ------- > DICARBOXYLIC ACID + DIAMMONIUM SALT

  • In this reaction the acid acts as both a catalyst and a reagent
  • Although technically hydrolysis is the breakdown of the polymer using water, this reaction is so slow that it can be almost disregarded
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Polyamides- alkaline

  • Polyamides can also be hydrolysed using alkaline hydrolysis
  • Polyamides are much more resistant to this type of hydrolysis

POLYAMIDE + NaOH --------- > DIAMINE + DICARBOXYLATE SALT

  • Here, the base only acts as a reagent and not a catalyst
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Polyesters- acid

  • Polyesters can also be hydrolysed by acid and alkaline hydrolysis
  • Although, in a way, polyesters are the opposite of polyamides because they are hydrolysed much more readily by alkaline hydrolysis than acid hydrolysis

POLYESTER + H2O ------------ > DICARBOXYLIC ACID + DIOL

  • Unlike with polyamides, the acid is simply a catalyst and does not take part in the overall reaction
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Polyesters- alkaline

  • Polyesters hydrolyse more readily with alkaline hydrolysis 

POLYESTER + NaOH -------- > DICARBOXYLATE SALT + DIOL

  • Again, the base is just a reagent, not a catalyst
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