What is Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)?

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What is Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)? Blog Image

Overview:

Researchers have recently discovered a new deep-sea enzyme that can degrade Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).

About Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET):

  • It is the most commonly used thermoplastic polymer in the world.
  • It belongs to the family of polyesters.
  • Production:
    • PET is produced by the polymerization of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.
    • When heated together under the influence of chemical catalysts, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid produce PET in the form of a molten, viscous mass that can be spun directly to fibres or solidified for later processing as plastic.
    • Properties:
    • It is highly flexiblecolorless and semi-crystalline resin in its natural state.
    • It shows good dimensional stability, resistance to impact, moisture, alcohols and solvents.
    • It exhibits excellent electrical insulating properties.
    • It is very lightweight, which reduces transportation costs.
    • It has good gas (oxygen, carbon dioxide) and moisture barrier properties.
    • It is recyclable. It can be commercially recycled by thorough washing and re-melting, or by chemically breaking it down to its component materials to make new PET resin.
  • Applications:
    • It is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially convenience-sized soft drinks, juices and water.
    • The polymer finds use in fabrics, and the textile industry.
    • It is also used in films to mold parts for automotive, electronics, etc.
    • PET's insulating properties and resistance to moisture make it suitable for various electrical and electronic components, such as insulation for electrical wires and connectors.

 


Q1) What is a Polymer?

Polymer is any of a class of natural or synthetic substances composed of very large molecules, called macromolecules, that are multiples of simpler chemical units called monomers. Polymers make up many of the materials in living organisms, including, for example, proteins, cellulose, and nucleic acids. 

Source: Newly discovered deep-sea enzyme breaks down PET plastic