Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2022) | Viewed by 21295

Special Issue Editors

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, 4-10 Agriculture/Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
Interests: polymer, organic photovoltaic polymers; electronic structure calculations; modelling of optoelectronic materials; non-fullerene polymers; density functional theory (DFT)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Interests: polymer; biopolymer; composite; composites design; biocomposite; nanocomposite; smart materials; additive manufacturing; celluloses; fiber; nanocelluloses; lignin; carbon-based materials; formulation; process optimization; performance; economic feasibility studies; machine learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fossil-fuel-based synthetic polymers have great properties but they can remain in the environment for several decades and do not degrade. Therefore, renewable-resource-based biopolymers, which are sustainable and potentially biodegradable, have been attracting the interest of researchers worldwide. Although a substantial amount of progress has been made in the last two decades, only a limited amount of success has been achieved in the substitution of fossil-fuel-based polymers with bio-based polymers.

Bio-based polymers may be classified into three main categories: polymers directly extracted from biomass; polymers produced by micro-organisms or genetically modified bacteria; and polymers synthesized using bio-based monomers. To date, the major focus has been on the extraction and utilization of polymers from biomass, such as cellulose, starch, and protein. Only a limited number of studies have reported on the synthesis of monomers and biopolymers from renewables. At present, we have a great opportunity to produce renewable polymers from biomass; however, there are several challenges that need to be overcome, particularly those associated with the synthesis, properties and processing of such polymers.

This Special Issue aims to present a collection of original research papers and review articles that focus on challenges in and opportunities for the synthesis of bio-based monomers.

Dr. Aman Ullah
Dr. TriDung Ngo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bio-based monomers
  • chemicals
  • homopolymers
  • copolymers
  • synthesis
  • processing
  • properties

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 607 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG)-Based Polyurethane and Effect of Chain Extender on Its Associated Properties
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3436; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193436 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3960
Abstract
This study depicts the investigations of the effect of composition of aromatic polyester polyol produced from terephthalic acid (TPA) and different concentrations of mono ethylene glycol (mEG) as a chain extender on the mechanical properties of polyurethane (PU) elastomer. Aromatic polyester polyols are [...] Read more.
This study depicts the investigations of the effect of composition of aromatic polyester polyol produced from terephthalic acid (TPA) and different concentrations of mono ethylene glycol (mEG) as a chain extender on the mechanical properties of polyurethane (PU) elastomer. Aromatic polyester polyols are prepared via the poly-esterification of adipic acid, terephthalic acid, catalyst, and mono ethylene glycol; while a polyurethane elastomer is formulated via the pre-polymerization of polyol with pure monomeric Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI.) Mechanical properties of polyurethane elastomers are examined, such as hardness via shore A hardness, apparent density via ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D1622–08, and abrasion wear resistance via a Deutches Institut fur Normung (DIN) abrasion wear resistance tester. Structural properties are investigated through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. Results reveal that the shore A hardness of the PU elastomer increases with an increasing concentration of mEG from 4g to 12g. Nevertheless, the elastomer’s density depicts a reduction with an increasing extender content. The abrasion wear resistance of polyurethane, however, increases with an increasing concentration of glycol. A structural analysis through FTIR confirms the formation of polyurethane elastomer through the characteristic peaks demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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13 pages, 4434 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Characterization of a Bioconjugate Based on Oleic Acid and L-Cysteine
Polymers 2021, 13(11), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13111791 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3342
Abstract
One of the main challenges facing materials science today is the synthesis of new biodegradable and biocompatible materials capable of improving existing ones. This work focused on the synthesis of new biomaterials from the bioconjugation of oleic acid with L-cysteine using carbodiimide. The [...] Read more.
One of the main challenges facing materials science today is the synthesis of new biodegradable and biocompatible materials capable of improving existing ones. This work focused on the synthesis of new biomaterials from the bioconjugation of oleic acid with L-cysteine using carbodiimide. The resulting reaction leads to amide bonds between the carboxylic acid of oleic acid and the primary amine of L-cysteine. The formation of the bioconjugate was corroborated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In these techniques, the development of new materials with marked differences with the precursors was confirmed. Furthermore, NMR has elucidated a surfactant structure, with a hydrophilic part and a hydrophobic section. Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) was used to determine the critical micellar concentration (CMC) of the bioconjugate. Subsequently, light diffraction (DLS) was used to analyze the size of the resulting self-assembled structures. Finally, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was obtained, where the shape and size of the self-assembled structures were appreciated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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24 pages, 16556 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Solution Properties of a Novel Hyperbranched Polymer Based on Chitosan for Enhanced Oil Recovery
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092130 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
A new type of chitosan-modified hyperbranched polymer (named HPDACS) was synthesized through the free-radical polymerization of surface-modified chitosan with acrylic acid (AA) and acrylamide (AM) to achieve an enhanced oil recovery. The optimal polymerization conditions of HPDACS were explored and its structure was [...] Read more.
A new type of chitosan-modified hyperbranched polymer (named HPDACS) was synthesized through the free-radical polymerization of surface-modified chitosan with acrylic acid (AA) and acrylamide (AM) to achieve an enhanced oil recovery. The optimal polymerization conditions of HPDACS were explored and its structure was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance, and environmental scanning electron microscopy. The solution properties of HPDACS in ultrapure water and simulated brine were deeply studied and then compared with those of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) and a dendritic polymer named HPDA. The experimental results showed that HPDACS has a good thickening ability, temperature resistance, and salt resistance. Its viscosity retention rate exceeded 79.49% after 90 days of aging, thus meeting the performance requirements of polymer flooding. After mechanical shearing, the viscosity retention rates of HPDACS in ultrapure water and simulated brine were higher than those of HPAM and HPDA, indicating its excellent shear resistance and good viscoelasticity. Following a 95% water cut after preliminary water flooding, 0.3 pore volume (PV) and 1500 mg/L HPDACS solution flooding and extended water flooding could further increase the oil recovery by 19.20%, which was higher than that by HPAM at 10.65% and HPDA at 13.72%. This finding indicates that HPDACS has great potential for oil displacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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15 pages, 5526 KiB  
Article
Density-Adjustable Bio-Based Polysulfide Composite Prepared by Inverse Vulcanization and Bio-Based Fillers
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2127; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092127 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2852
Abstract
Excess sulfur has become a global problem in petrochemical industry. Inexpensive and easily available cottonseed oil (CSO) is still underutilized. To resolve these issues, bio-based polysulfide composites were prepared via inverse vulcanization of sulfur and CSO. The density of polysulfide composites was adjusted [...] Read more.
Excess sulfur has become a global problem in petrochemical industry. Inexpensive and easily available cottonseed oil (CSO) is still underutilized. To resolve these issues, bio-based polysulfide composites were prepared via inverse vulcanization of sulfur and CSO. The density of polysulfide composites was adjusted by fillers. The results showed that Elm and cattail as the fillers had no effects on the thermal properties and chemical structures of polysulfide composites. However, the morphologies of polysulfide composites were significantly influenced by the fillers. Different types and amounts of fillers produced significantly different holes and folds in the composites. The fillers were embedded in polysulfide composites by physical filling. This study provides an alternative and promising approach for preparing affordable density-adjustable bio-based polysulfide composite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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20 pages, 1728 KiB  
Article
A Study of Some Mechanical Properties of Composite Materials with a Dammar-Based Hybrid Matrix and Reinforced by Waste Paper
Polymers 2020, 12(8), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12081688 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2367
Abstract
When obtaining environment-friendly hybrid resins made of a blend of Dammar natural resin, in a prevailing volume ratio, with epoxy resin, it is challenging to find alternatives for synthetic resins. Composite materials reinforced with waste paper and matrix made of epoxy resin or [...] Read more.
When obtaining environment-friendly hybrid resins made of a blend of Dammar natural resin, in a prevailing volume ratio, with epoxy resin, it is challenging to find alternatives for synthetic resins. Composite materials reinforced with waste paper and matrix made of epoxy resin or hybrid resin with a volume ratio of 60%, 70% and 80% Dammar were studied. All samples obtained have been submitted to tensile tests and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis. The tensile response, tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, elongation at break and the analysis of the fracture surface were determined. The damping properties of vibrations of bars in hybrid resins and in the composite materials under study were also examined. The mechanical properties of the four types of resins and of the composite materials were compared. The chemical composition for a hybrid resin specimen were obtained using the Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Energy, Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS) analyzes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Review

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42 pages, 2429 KiB  
Review
Current Trends in the Utilization of Essential Oils for Polysaccharide- and Protein-Derived Food Packaging Materials
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061146 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4517
Abstract
Essential oils (EOs) have received attention in the food industry for developing biopolymer-derived food packaging materials. EOs are an excellent choice to replace petroleum-derived additives in food packaging materials due to their abundance in nature, eco-friendliness, and superior antimicrobial and antioxidant attributes. Thus [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EOs) have received attention in the food industry for developing biopolymer-derived food packaging materials. EOs are an excellent choice to replace petroleum-derived additives in food packaging materials due to their abundance in nature, eco-friendliness, and superior antimicrobial and antioxidant attributes. Thus far, EOs have been used in cellulose-, starch-, chitosan-, and protein-based food packaging materials. Biopolymer-based materials have lower antioxidant and antibacterial properties in comparison with their counterparts, and are not suitable for food packaging applications. Various synthetic-based compounds are being used to improve the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of biopolymers. However, natural essential oils are sustainable and non-harmful alternatives to synthetic antimicrobial and antioxidant agents for use in biopolymer-derived food packaging materials. The incorporation of EOs into the polymeric matrix affects their physicochemical properties, particularly improving their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. EOs in the food packaging materials increase the shelf life of the packaged food, inhibit the growth of microorganisms, and provide protection against oxidation. Essential oils also influence other properties, such as tensile, barrier, and optical properties of the biopolymers. This review article gives a detailed overview of the use of EOs in biopolymer-derived food packaging materials. The innovative ways of incorporating of EOs into food packaging materials are also highlighted, and future perspectives are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Bio-Based Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities)
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