Oligomeric poly(acetalcarbonates) obtained by repolymerisation of paraformaldehyde†
The synthesis and characterization of oligomeric poly(acetalcarbonates) obtained with the use of formaldehyde as a sustainable and renewable C1-building block is reported. Our approach involves generating monomeric formaldehyde in situ by depolymerisation of paraformaldehyde and repolymerisation to oligomeric poly(acetalcarbonates) using a bifunctional catalyst combination comprising a Lewis acid and Cs2CO3. Analysis of the chemical structure of the products revealed the presence of oligomeric polyoxymethylene sequences together with carbonate units and oxyethylene units along the polymer chain. The latter units act as zip stoppers, and lead to significant stabilisation of the polymer chains. Terminal OH groups allow for rich follow-up chemistry and render as products interesting bifunctional polymer building blocks.