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Molecular Database

High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

Micro- and nano-plastics
CAS number: 9002-88-4


High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a long-chain polymer synthesized at low temperatures and pressures, using Ziegler-Natta and metallocene catalysts or activated chromium oxide (known as a Phillips catalyst). [1].

Properties and uses

Its structure allows the polymer chains to pack closely together due to the lack of branches, resulting in a dense, highly crystalline material of high strength and moderate inflexibility. Due to its melting point more than 20 °C it can be sterilized. HDPE is used for blow-molded bottles for milk and household cleaners, blow-extruded grocery bags, construction film, agricultural mulch, injection-molded pails, caps, appliance housings, and toys [1].


It possess many risks if it leaks into food products or the environment, it can cause dermatitis, asthma, irritation, and hormonal disruption in human beings[2].

[1] https://www.britannica.com/science/high-density-polyethylene

[2] A. Bacha, et al. Biodegradation of macro- and micro-plastics in environment: A review on mechanism, toxicity, and future perspectives, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 858, Part 3,2023,160108,ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160108

Identification peaks (cm-1)

1062, 1129, 1171, 1296, 1418, 1438, 1458