Monomers can be classified in many ways. They can be subdivided into two broad classes, depending on the kind of the polymer that they form. Monomers that participate in condensation polymerization have a different stoichiometry than monomers that participate in addition polymerization:
Other classifications include:
The polymerization of one kind of monomer gives a homopolymer. Many polymers are copolymers, meaning that they are derived from two different monomers. In the case of condensation polymerizations, the ratio of comonomers is usually 1:1. For example, the formation of many nylons requires equal amounts of a dicarboxylic acid and diamine. In the case of addition polymerizations, the comonomer content is often only a few percent. For example, small amounts of 1-octene monomer are copolymerized with ethylene to give specialized polyethylene.
Some of the main biopolymers are listed below: