371684 Scalable Production of Mechanically Tunable Block Polymers from Sugar

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 8:48 AM
204 (Hilton Atlanta)
Mingyong Xiong, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Deborah Schneiderman, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Frank S. Bates, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Marc A. Hillmyer, Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and Kechun Zhang, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Development of sustainable and biodegradable materials is essential for future growth of the chemical industry. For a renewable product to be commercially competitive, it must be economically viable on an industrial scale and possess properties akin or superior to existing petroleum-derived analogs. Few bio-based polymers have met this formidable challenge. To address this challenge, we develop an efficient bio-based route to the branched lactone, β-methyl-δ-valerolactone (βMδVL), which can be transformed into a rubbery (i.e., low glass transition temperature) polymer. Key features of this work include the creation of an artificial biosynthetic route to produce βMδVL and an efficient semisynthetic approach that employs high-yield chemical reactions to transform mevalonate (88 g/L) to βMδVL, and the use of controlled polymerization strategies to produce a new class of high performance polyesters with tunable mechanical properties. This comprehensive strategy offers an economically viable approach to sustainable plastics and elastomers for a broad range of applications. (Reference: Scalable production of mechanically tunable block polymers from sugar, PNAS 2014, IN PRESS)

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