Refining plant oils and sugars to platform chemicals, monomers, and polymers
As fossil resources continue to dwindle and environmental concerns are magnified, finding sustainable alternatives is the only way to mitigate resource availability and derisk the planet. The principles of Green Chemistry may provide guidance in this case, and renewable resources can be converted into useful platform chemicals, monomers, and polymers. This critical review examines the possibility of utilizing renewable plant oils and sugars to produce feedstock chemicals, monomers, and polymers. Among the seven isomerizing functionalization reactions of plant oils, isomerizing alkoxycarbonylation displays the highest terminal selectivity. Despite the low reactivity of sugar-derived isohexides, new strategies have been deployed to convert isohexides into difunctional monomers and polymers. The commercialization of isohexides and a few polymers derived from these building blocks has just commenced. Thus, challenges associated with isomerizing functionalization of plant oils and the use of sugar-derived isohexides in chemical syntheses have been summarized, and the potential of these renewable resources has been evaluated.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Green Chemistry Reviews