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Name: Dina
Status: N/A
Grade: N/A
Location: AZ
Country: USA
Date: April 2005

What are the differences between neutral polymer and polyelectrolyt?

A neutral polymer is one that has no electrical charge or ionizable groups such as polyethylene oxide, cellulose, sugar, polyvinyl alcohol, or polystyrene. There are many other examples. Some neutral polymers are water soluble, others are not.

A polyelectrolyte is a polymer that has an electrical charge. The electrical charge (most frequently negative) usually makes such polymers water soluble if the ionizable groups are neutralized. Many biological polymers fall into this category. Synthetic polymers, for example, polyacrylic acid fall into this class. There are also inorganic polyelectrolytes like poly phosphates and poly silicates.

Vince Calder

Most synthetic polymers are "neutral" polymers in that none of the chemical bonds in the repeating structure of the polymer are ionic. As such the bonds do not ionize in water or under an electric field. Polyelectrolytes on the other hand have, somewhere within the repeat unit of the polymer, a bond that will ionize in water (like a salt), or is able to release a small ion that can carry a charge.

Greg (Roberto Gregorious)

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