What Is a Biopolymer?

A biopolymer is a polymer that is produced by a living organism, such as DNA, RNA, starch, cellulose and proteins. Cellulose is the most common biopolymer and organic compound found on Earth.

Biopolymers are not the same as polymers, and the two can be distinguished between easily. The major difference between the two is their structure. Biopolymers have a well-defined primary structure that folds into compact shapes, while polymers have random and simpler structures. Many biopolymers are biodegradable and used in compost. These biopolymers can break down up to 90 percent in as little as six months. The compostable biopolymers are broken down into carbon dioxide and water via microorganisms.