Chemical Synthesis of Polymers

Iodine and its compounds are very active catalysts for many reactions. One of the principal uses is as catalyst in the production of synthetic rubber or stereospecific polymers, such as polybutadiene rubber and polysoprene polymers. Iodine as a catalyst is also found in the processing of rosins, tall oil, and other wood products, for their conversion to more stable forms.


Iodine plays a significant role in the synthesis of intermediate compounds for the production of polymers. For instance, Iodine pentafluoride (IF5) is widely used in the production of alkyl iodides containing fluoride, valuable intermediates in the synthesis of perfluor-organic compounds. These are used to produce water and oil repellent emulsions for the treatment of textiles and leathers and for fire extinguishing foams.