Condensation Polymerisation

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Describe the reaction involved when a condensation polymer is formed

  • Condensation polymers are one of two products made in condensation polymerisation reactions, the other product being a small molecule (often water).
  • The formation of cellulose is an example of a condensation polymerisation reaction:
        n(HO–C6H10O4–OH) → H–(O–C6H10O4)n–OH + (n – 1)H2O
  • In the formation of cellulose, n glucose molecules combine to form the cellulose chain and (n – 1) molecules of water, which is in this case the small molecule product that is characteristic of such reactions.
  • When two glucose monomers react, a hydroxyl group from each combine to condense a water molecule, leaving an oxygen atom linking the two monomers.
  • This process repeats to form a chain.
The condensation polymerisation reaction of glucose to cellulose