Making polymers from alkenes/ How do monomers join?

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Crude oil produces a range of hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can be used to:

  • make fuels - for transport
  • heat homes
  • electricity in oil-fired power stations

Then there are the chemicals:

  • Margarines
  • medicines
  • dyes
  • explosives
  • but mainly plastics!

Plastic are made up of huge molecules made from lots of small molecules that have joined together. The small molecules are monomers.  The huge ones are polymers. ( poly means many/ mono means one)

Different plastic are made using different monomers to create different properties.


  • Ethene (C2H4) is the smallest unsaturated


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