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Enzymatic Synthesis and Polymerization of Isosorbide-Based Monomethacrylates for High‑Tg Plastics

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2018, 00:00 by Livia Matt, Jaan Parve, Omar Parve, Tõnis Pehk, Thanh Huong Pham, Ilme Liblikas, Lauri Vares, Patric Jannasch
Isosorbide is a stiff bicyclic diol derived from glycose-based polysaccharides, and is thus an attractive building block for novel rigid bioplastics. In the present work, a highly regioselective biocatalytic approach for the synthesis of isosorbide 5-methacrylate was developed. The Lipozyme RM IM (Rhizomucor miehei lipase)-catalyzed process is straightforward, easily scalable, and chromatography-free; a simple extractive workup afforded the monomer at >99% purity and in 87% yield. The developed strategy was applied for the synthesis of a series of monomethacrylated isosorbide derivatives. Radical polymerization of the monomers produced rigid polymethacrylates with a certain side group in either endo or exo configuration, exclusively, which generated materials with great diversity of properties. For example, the two regioisomeric polymers carrying hydroxyl groups reached a glass transition temperature at Tg = 167 °C. The polymer tethered with dodecanoate chains in exo position showed crystallinity with an unexpectedly high melting point at Tm = 83 °C. In contrast, the corresponding sample with dodecanoate chains in endo positions was fully amorphous with Tg = 54 °C. Efficient biocatalytic synthesis combined with attractive polymer properties opens possibilities for production of these biobased polymers on an industrial scale.