Addition polymerisation


  • Alkenes can be used to make polymers such as poly(ethene) and poly(propene) by addition polymerisation.

In addition polymerisation reactions, many small molecules (monomers) join together to form very large molecules (polymers).

For example:

In addition polymers the repeating unit has the same atoms as the monomer because no other molecule is formed in the reaction.

Students should be able to:

  • recognise addition polymers and monomers from diagrams in the forms shown and from the presence of the functional group C=C in the monomers
  • draw diagrams to represent the formation of a polymer from a given alkene monomer
  • relate the repeating unit to the monomer.

MS 5b -Visualise and represent 2D and 3D forms including two dimensional representations of 3D objects

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.