what do you think happens to F , Cl, or other heteroatom groups on the polymer chain as the backbone decays?
The most typical processes when the backbone of polimer decays are combustion and oxidation. When organic compounds burn, halogens form hydro halic acids. RCl +O2->HCl Also oxidation and combustion are radical processes. The halogens will form radicals which in term can further react and form haloalkanes. RCl->Cl∙ CH4+Cl∙->CH3∙+HCl CH3∙+Cl∙->CH3Cl The last point is the formation of oxohalogen derivatives. RCOnClm+O2->COCl2