Ring-opening-polymerization catalyst system to produce polyesters and polyamides

Description:

Project ID:  D2019-05

 

Background
Polyesters and polyamides are commonly used to make products such as packaging, containers, and coatings. Some of these compounds, such as polycaprolactone and polyglycolide are biodegradable and are of particular interest since they can be prepared from renewable resources. Ring-Opening Polymerization (ROP) is a technique often employed to make these compounds from precursors such as lactones, lactides, and lactams. Tin metal complexes are the most common catalysts for ROP, but have the disadvantage of high cost, low activity, and unwanted residues. Therefore, there is a need for a lower cost, higher yield approach with improved selectivity and activity, and improved control over polymer properties.
 

Invention Description 
Researchers at the University of Toledo have shown that alkylaluminophosphonate catalysts will polymerize lactones, lactides, and lactams. 

 

 

Product Example

Time

Yield

Polycaprolactone (PCL)

1.0 hr

99%

Polylactic Acid (PLA)

24.0 hr

59%

 

Applications
Production of precursors for the manufacturing of:

  • Medical devices,
  • Paint or coatings
  •  Packaging
  • Shale oil/gas extraction
  • Automotive

Advantages

  • Applicable to several commercial polyesters and polyamides
  • Customizable to allow for optimization of a desired monomer
  • Can be prepared from renewable biomass
  • Can be produced in a single step
  • Catalyst contains aluminum - a highly abundant, low cost metal
  • Avoids the use of tin; no tin residues
  • Precursors are available commercially

IP Status:     Patent pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Katherine Pollard
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
419-530-6228
katherine.pollard@utoledo.edu
Inventors:
Mark Mason
Morteza Jandaghi
Keywords:
Alkylaluminophosphonate
Catalyst
Polyamide
Polycaprolactone
Polyester
Ring-opening polymerization