© www.CHEMSHEETS.co.uk 15-Jul-12 Chemsheets A2 025
Condensation polymerisation = reaction where many small molecules (monomers) join together to make a long chain molecule with a small molecule (often water) also formed.
Many natural polymers are condensation polymers, e.g. silk, starch and DNA.
The two main types are polyesters and polyamides.
Esters are formed on reaction between carboxylic acids and alcohols.
Polyesters are formed when dicarboxylic acids react with diols.
ethane-1,2-dstrong acid or specific enzyme
Terylene (PET) is a good example of a polyester, made as shown below:
OHn+ nbenzene-1,4-dicarboxylic acidethane-1,2-diolstrong acid or specific enzyme
Polyesters are hydrolysed (in the presence of strong acid or a specific enzyme) into their constituent acid and alcohol, so they are bio-degradable. The ester linkage (which is polar) is broken.