Special Issue "Polymers from Renewable Resources"
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 (10 April 2018) | Viewed by 235248
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: sustainable and green industrial chemistry; polymer nanocomposites; materials characterization
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The use of polymeric materials from renewable resources dates very back in history, as naturally occurring polymers were among the first materials used by men. In the 19th century, natural materials, such as casein, natural rubber, and cellulose, were modified to obtain useful polymeric materials. Over the past few decades, the production and applications of synthetic polymers showed an almost exponential increase. However, concerns regarding depletion of fossil resources, wastes’ disposal and related issues, as well as government policies, have led to a continuously growing interest in the development of sustainable, safe and environmentally friendly plastics from renewable resources.
There are three approaches towards renewable plastics. The first approach is associated with the biorefinery concept, so that renewable oil and green monomers are produced from biomass, for polymer syntheses.
Through the second route, renewable polymers are isolated from natural biopolymers or synthesized from biobased monomers. Carbohydrates such as cellulose, lignin, starch, terpenes, proteins, chitosan, and also biopolyesters can be chemically modified. In fact, efforts are being made to synthesize traditional monomers and platform chemicals from renewable resources. Thus, from bioethanol, ethylene, propylene, as well as butadiene can be produced. Diols, such as ethylene glycol, 1,3-propanediol, 1,4-butanediol, and also polyols, diacids, etc., are also available. Thus, traditional polymers, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, poly(ethylene terephthalate), or polystyrene, can be now considered biobased materials. In addition, new biobased sustainable thermoplastic and thermoset polymers have gained increasing interest. Organic acid monomers from renewable resources include glycolic, 3-hydroxypropionic, lactic, succinic, itaconic, muconic, adipic, levulinic, vanillic and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acids, while important alcohol monomers such as isosorbide, xylitol, sorbitol, glycerol can be derived from sugars.
Poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF) is a typical example of a new and most promising biobased polyester. Furthermore, biodegradable polymers, such as poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) and others, are of special importance among sustainable polymers from renewable resources, considering the end of their life cycle.
Finally, there is a third route to synthesize renewable polymers by activating and polymerizing carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can react with oxiranes for example, to produce cyclic carbonates. Non-isocyanate polyurethanes and polypropylene carbonate can be obtained.
The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight the progress on monomers, synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of polymers, copolymers, blends and composites from renewable resources.
Prof. Dr. George Z. Papageorgiou
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Sustainable Polymeric Materials from Renewable Resources in Polymers (75 articles)