Polymers: Natural Polymers- Semisynthetic Polymers- Synthetic Polymers Definition and Examples | Chemistry for Biologists

The word Polymer has a Greek origin, which means many units(parts) . Polymer is defined as a chemical substance of a high molecular mass formed by the combination of a large number of simple molecules, called monomers. The process by which the monomers get combined and transformed into polymers is known as polymerization.

1. Classification of Polymers Based on Source of Origin

i) Natural Polymers: Those polymers which occur in nature i,e., plants or animals, are called Natural polymers.

·         Examples: Starch, Cellulose -Monomer is glucose, Proteins -Monomer is amino acids,  Natural Rubber- Monomer is isoprene

Natural Polymer -Natural Rubber

ii) Synthetic Polymers: The polymers which are prepared in the laboratory are known as synthetic polymers or man-made polymers.

·       Example: Polythene, Synthetic Rubber, Poly vinyl chloride (PVC), Nylon66, Teflon, Orlon etc

iii) Semisynthetic Polymers: Polymers obtained by making some modification in natural polymers by artificial means, are known as semisynthetic polymers.

·       Example: cellulose acetate(rayon), Vulcanized rubber etc.

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