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29.10: Preparation of Synthetic Polymers

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  • A prevalent but erroneous notion is that useful polymer, such as those given in Table 29-1, can be, and are, made by slap-dash procedures applied to impure starting materials. This is far from the truth; actually, the monomers used in most large-scale polymerizations are among the purest known organic substances. Furthermore, to obtain uniform commercially useful products, extraordinary care must be used in controlling the polymerization reactions. The reasons are simple - namely, formation of a high-molecular-weight polymer requires a reaction the proceeds in very high yields, and purification of the product by distillation, crystallization, and so on, is difficult, if not impossible. Even a minute contribution of any side reaction that stops polymer chains from growing further will seriously affect the yield of high polymer.

    Contributors and Attributions

    John D. Robert and Marjorie C. Caserio (1977) Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry, second edition. W. A. Benjamin, Inc. , Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-8053-8329-8. This content is copyrighted under the following conditions, "You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format."

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