Soap, Detergents and Polymers: Some Important Biodegradable Polymers (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Some Important Biodegradable Polymers Are

(PHBV) Poly-Hydroxybutyrate – Co – Β – Hydroxy Valerate

PHBV is a copolymer of 3 – hydroxy butanoic acid, and (3 – hydroxy pentatonic acid) , in which, the monomer units are connected by ester linkages.

Poly Hydroxybutyrate

The properties of PHBV vary according to the ratio of both the acids. 3 – Hydroxy butanoic acid provides stiffness and 3 – hydroxy pentatonic acid imparts flexibility to the copolymer.


  • PHBV is used in orthopedic devices and
  • In controlled drug release. The drug put in PHBV capsule is released after this polymer is degraded by enzymatic action. It can also be degraded by bacterial action.


Polyglycolic acid is obtained by the chain polymerization of dimer of glycolic acid, .

Polyglycolic Acid


Polylactic acid is obtained by polymerization of the dimer of lactic acid or by micro biological synthesis of lactic acid followed by the polycondensation and removal of water by evaporation.

Polylactic Acid (PLA)


Poly (E – caprolactone) is obtained by chain polymerization of the lactone of 6 – hydroxy hexanoic acid.

Poly (E – Caprolactone)

Most of the biodegradable polymers find use in stitching wounds and cuts.

  • In medical goods such as surgical sutures.
  • In agriculture materials such as films, seed coatings.
  • In food wrappers, personal hygiene products, etc.

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