In 1861 Butlerow obtained a sugar-like substance, methylenitan, by digesting trioxymethylene, the solid polymer of formaldehyde, with lime.
The properties of caoutchouc clearly show, however, that its actual molecular structure is considerably more complex than is represented by the empirical formula, and that it is to be regarded as the polymer of a terpene or similar hydrocarbon and composed of a cluster of at least ten or twenty molecules of the formula C5H8.
Metacrolein, (C 3 H 4 0) 3, is a polymer of acrolein.
When cyanogen is prepared by heating mercuric cyanide, a residue known as para-cyanogen, (CN)x, is left; this is to be regarded as a polymer of cyanogen.
Tschermak, in 1878, regarded them as isomorphous mixtures of the following fundamental molecules: H 2 KA1 3 (SiO 4) 3, corresponding with muscovite; Mg 6 Si 3 0 12, a hypothetical polymer of olivine; and H4S15012, a hypothetical silicic acid.
The change was impeded by the lack of order in the polymer chains.