Dictionary > Depolymerization

Depolymerization

Definition
noun, plural: depolymerizations
The act of process of breaking down a polymer into smaller units or monomers
Supplement
Depolymerization is the process or act of breaking down a polymer into its monomeric components. It is the opposite of polymerization, which is the act or process where monomers join together to form a polymer.
The tendency of a polymer to revert into monomeric constituents is associated with its ceiling temperature. A polymer at its ceiling temperature indicates that the rate of polymerization is equal to the rate of depolymerization. Polymers when exposed to high temperatures go through significant chemical changes. One of these changes is the breaking of the bonds that link its monomeric constituents. The breakage of bonds may occur at random positions or at the ends of a chain. The depolymerization process wherein monomers are released from the ends of a polymeric chain is referred to as end-chain depolymerization.
Example of a biological depolymerization is the digestion of food. Macromolecules in food such as carbohydrates and proteins are degraded into simpler forms. The process is often facilitated by the catalytic action of various enzymes. For example, the amylase in the saliva degrades polysaccharide starch into maltose. Maltose (a disaccharide) is further degraded into glucose units through the action of the enzyme maltase.
Variant(s):

  • depolymerisation

See also:

  • polymerization
  • Related form(s):

    • depolymerize (verb, to undergo or subject to depolymerization)


    You will also like...

    green leaf - close up view
    Leaves

    Leaves are the major photosynthetic organ of a plant. Apart from that, they are also crucial to water movement. In this ..

    running freshwater community
    Running Water Freshwater Community Factors

    This tutorial noted some of the physical and chemical factors that provide the framework of a running water community in..

    Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication
    Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication

    Homeostasis is the relatively stable conditions of the internal environment that result from compensatory regulatory res..

    Neural Control Mechanisms
    Neural Control Mechanisms

    Neurons generate electric signals that they pass along to the other neurons or target tissues. In this tutorial, you wil..

    Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid
    Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid

    This tutorial describes the role of gibberellin family in plants. Find out the effects of gibberellin on plant growth an..

    Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
    New Zealand’s Unique Geographical History

    Explore why New Zealand has such unique flora and fauna, and learn why long periods of geographical isolation. This less..