Essay On Polymers

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What are polymers?
Polymers are long chains of molecules which can also be cross-linked, joining any other chains together. They are made from smaller molecules called monomers. Some examples of polymers are Jelly, rubber bands, plastic bags and chewing gum.

Natural and synthetic polymers and their sources
There are two different types of polymers know synthetic and natural. Synthetic polymers are obtained from petroleum oil and are made by scientists and engineers. Examples of synthetic polymers include nylon, polyethylene, polyester, Teflon, and epoxy.
However Natural polymers are nature made which can be extracted. They are mostly water-based. Examples of natural polymers are silk, wool, DNA, cellulose and proteins.
Polymerisation
Some small molecules join together and make very long molecules called polymers. This process is known as polymerisation. Many polymers are created from chemicals that are obtained from crude oil. For example molecules of ethene join together to make poly ‘ethene’ and now it is commonly known as polythene.
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This is useful as they are harmless and can be used for storing food and chemicals safely. However this this property makes also makes difficult to dispose of polymers. Therefore they are every so often burned or buried in landfill sites.
Landfill
Waste polymers that are not needed are disposed in landfill sites. However this uses up valuable and a lot of land. The site that’s chosen for polymer tends to fill up very quickly.
Incineration
Polymers release a lot of heat energy when they burn. An advantage of this is that the energy that is released can be used to heat homes or generate electricity. However it also had an environmental disadvantage. Carbon dioxide is produced, which contributes to global warming. Toxic gases are also produced, unless the polymers are incinerated at high

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