Glycerol is the main co-product of biodiesel industries with a global production higher than 3 billion lbs that is expected to double by 2020 reaching nearly 6 billion lbs. Glycerol polyesters have been synthesized by previous researchers mainly for biomedical applications using pure glycerol with 99wt% of glycerol content. Technical glycerol, an industrial refined glycerol from biodiesel industries with 97% or higher glycerol content is a potential candidate for the synthesis of polyesters in applications where glycerol purity is not a crucial issue. In this work, technical glycerol based polyesters were synthesized by simple polycondensation procedures with diacids as comonomers and subsequently these polyesters were blended with several biodegradable plastic matrices in a extrusion procedure. The effect of the molar ratio of reactants, type of diacid employed and reactive extrusion mode in the mechanical properties of the biobased blends have been studied. It has been found that the thermoplastic materials produced with up to 20wt% of glycerol polyester in the blend have acceptable mechanical and rheological properties for injection molding applications.
The authors are thankful to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)- University of Guelph Bioeconomy-Industrial uses Research Program Theme (Project # 200001); OMAFRA – New Directions & Alternative Renewable Fuels Research program (Project # SR9223); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada for the Discovery grants individual (Project # 400322); and the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI), Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence Round - 4 program (Project # 050231 and 050289) for their financial support to carry out this research work. The first author acknowledges Chilean National Scholarship Program for Graduate studies from CONICYT-Chile for their financial support. The authors are also thankful to BIOX Corporation, Methes Energies International Ltd and Veenstra Farms, Canada, for providing crude glycerol samples.
See more of this Group/Topical: Forest and Plant Bioproducts Division - See also ICE