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...

    Population Growth and Survivorship
    Population Growth and Survivorship

    This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..

    An artistic depiction of Dunkleosteus fish
    Fish

    The sea was teeming with life. Eventually, through reproduction and continued variation, fish came about. There are over..

    Physiological Homeostasis
    Physiological Homeostasis

    Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

    Biosecurity and Biocontrol
    Biosecurity and Biocontrol

    This lesson explores the impact of biosecurity threats, and why they need to be identified and managed. Examples to incl..

    Plant Auxins
    Plant Auxins – Phototropism & Geotropism

    Plants produce hormones to regulate their growth. Auxins, for instance, influence plant growth. Know the role of auxin i..

    Plant meristem
    Plant Meristems and Growth

    In plants, growth occurs in meristems, which are the site of repeated cell division of unspecialized cells. These cells ..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics