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Issue 21, 2017, Issue in Progress
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A novel one-pot process for the preparation of linear and hyperbranched polycarbonates of various diols and triols using dimethyl carbonate

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Abstract

A new eco-friendly strategy for the preparation of linear and hyperbranched polycarbonates was developed. Our work referred to a one-pot condensation polymerization of various alcohols (diols and triols) with equivalent amounts of eco-friendly dimethyl carbonate (DMC) at 120 °C, atmospheric pressure and in 1,4-dioxane solution using 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) or lithium acetylacetonate (LiAcac) as a catalyst. Polymer chains were built by pure transesterification of hydroxyl and methyl carbonate chain ends, and the single byproduct (methanol) was removed using a pressure-equalized addition funnel filled with 4 Å molecular sieves as the crucial equipment in this work. Using this strategy, hyperbranched polycarbonates with high molar masses (Mn up to 10 000 g mol−1 and Mw up to 64 000 g mol−1) and high hydroxyl end group contents (up to 94%) were successfully prepared using dimethyl carbonate instead of toxic phosgene or phosgene-based monomers for the first time. In addition, linear aliphatic polycarbonates of various diols were also synthesized with Mn up to 16 000 g mol−1 and low molar mass distributions (ĐM < 1.70). Another eco-friendly aspect of this work was the use of equimolar amounts of DMC to avoid waste and the disposal of excess DMC; in a classic 2-step polycondensation for polycarbonate synthesis excess DMC is a prerequisite in order to obtain high molar masses.

Graphical abstract: A novel one-pot process for the preparation of linear and hyperbranched polycarbonates of various diols and triols using dimethyl carbonate

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
31 Jan 2017
Accepted
15 Feb 2017
First published
21 Feb 2017

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 12550-12560
Article type
Paper

A novel one-pot process for the preparation of linear and hyperbranched polycarbonates of various diols and triols using dimethyl carbonate

J. Sun, K. I. Aly and D. Kuckling, RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 12550
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA01317E

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