Green Polymers

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 26 July 2011
  • Copyright: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Green Chemistry/RSC
thumbnail image: Green Polymers

Supercritical fluids have come to the fore as useful potential alternatives to volatile organic solvents. They have the clear advantage over VOCs of not being flammable nor toxic and of being isolable from product simply through release of the pressure so that they revert to the gas phase.

UK chemists have now used 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) in supercritical CO2 to carry out a ring-opening polymerisation of DL-lactide to polylactic acid. This "green" process avoids toxic solvent and expensive metal catalysts and
occurs at a lower temperature than industrial polymerization.

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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH