Unique Base-Initiated Depolymerization of Limonene-Derived Polycarbonates

The depolymerization of poly­(limonene carbonate) (PLC) initiated by 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]­dec-5-ene (TBD) was investigated. The strong organic base TBD was capable of deprotonating the OH-terminated PLC, leading to fast degradation via backbiting reactions at high temperature. An interesting feature of the base-initiated breakdown of PLC lies in the quantitative depolymerization into the corresponding initial limonene oxide monomer. This result implies the complete back-to-monomer recyclability of the fully biobased PLC, which accordingly can be considered as a really sustainable material. Additionally, the stability of PLC when exposed to TBD was enhanced by an end-capping reaction, which further supported the proposed degradation pathway.