New bio-based monomers: tuneable polyester properties using branched diols from biomass†
A family of monomers, including 2,5-hexandiol, 2,7-octandiol, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), terephthalic acid (TA), and branched-chain adipic and pimelic acid derivatives, all find a common derivation in the biomass-derived platform molecule 5-(chloromethyl)furfural (CMF). The diol monomers, previously little known to polymer chemistry, have been combined with FDCA and TA derivatives to produce a range of novel polyesters. It is shown that the use of secondary diols leads to polymers with higher glass transition temperatures (Tg) than those prepared from their primary diol equivalents. Two methods of polymerisation were investigated, the first employing activation of the aromatic diacids via the corresponding diacid chlorides and the second using a transesterification procedure. Longer chain diols were found to be more reactive than the shorter chain alternatives, generally giving rise to higher molecular weight polymers, an effect shown to be most pronounced when using the transesterification route. Finally, novel diesters with high degrees of branching in their hydrocarbon chains are introduced as potential monomers for possible low surface energy materials applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bio-resources: feeding a sustainable chemical industry