Polyethylene is Extremely Harmful

  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |

Polyethylene is a polymer consisting of long chains of the monomer ethylene normally called ethene. The recommended scientific name polyethene is systematically derived from the scientific name of the monomer. It is normally a translucent, tough, waxy solid which is unaffected by water. The difference is that polyethylene has a frosted appearance and is less likely to be affected by static than polypropylene. Polyethylene is also available in sheet protectors.

Polyethylene has been irradiated with Ultra Violet light of different wavelengths and in various atmospheres. Measuring the tensile strength, molecular weight, carboxylic acid end groups, and fluorescence emission of the polymer monitored the extent of degradation. The importance of wavelengths <315 nm in causing deterioration was demonstrated to be mainly due to strong surface absorption which results in surface crazing and ultimate fracture under stress. Irradiation in nitrogen and under vacuum was found to give similar results, but with oxygen present in the system, several significant differences were observed. In no oxidative irradiations, cross-linking and discoloration of the polymer occurred. Under oxidative conditions, chain scissions and fluorescent material build-up resulted, whereas no cross-linking and only slight discoloration was observed. The possibility of a photo-oxidation reaction has thus been suggested, involving hydro peroxide formation, to explain the discrepancy in results obtained for the two types of environments.

The wide use of polyethylene makes it an important environmental issue. Though it can be recycled, most of the commercial polyethylene ends up in landfills and in the oceans making the great pacific patch. Polyethylene is not considered biodegradable, as it takes several centuries until it is efficiently degraded. Recently in Ottawa discovered that sphingomonas, a type of bacteria, can degrade over 40% of the weight of plastic bags in less than three months. The applicability of this finding is still a matter for the future.

Feroz Ahmed Bawany goal is to increase my knowledge and to understand the only civilized creations of Almighty Lord are HUMAN. He is a regular contributer to TRCB.com.

 

Grow your Social Media Friends at OpenNetworker.com

Article Rating (3 stars):
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article no star
  • article no star
Rate this Article:
  • Article Word Count: 300
  • |
  • Total Views: 1539
  • |
  • permalink
  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |
>