Location: Bio-oils Research Unit
Title: Polymerization of euphorbia oil with Lewis acid in carbon dioxide media Authors
Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 5, 2012
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Liu, Z., Shah, S.N., Evangelista, R.L., Isbell, T. 2013. Polymerization of euphorbia oil with Lewis acid in carbon dioxide media. Industrial Crops and Products. 41:10-16. Interpretive Summary: In this research, we discovered that euphorbia oil (EO), a natural epoxy oil, could be converted into useful biodegradable polymers in liquid carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is inexpensive, readily available and nonflammable. CO2 is also an environmentally friendly processing and reaction medium with no toxic residue in the final product. Using “green” reaction media to make plant oil based polymers is a very attractive area. The polymers prepared by this method will be converted into surfactants for household, personal and health care applications.
Technical Abstract: Boron trifluoride diethyl etherate (BF3-OEt2) Lewis acid catalyzed ring-opening polymerization of euphorbia oil (EO), a natural epoxy oil, in liquid carbon dioxide was conducted in an effort to develop useful vegetable oil based polymers. The resulting polymers (RPEO) were characterized by FTIR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, solid state 13C-NMR spectroscopies, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The results indicated that the ring-opening polymerization of EO occurred at mild conditions, such as at room temperature, and a subcritical CO2 pressure of 65.5 bar. The formed RPEO materials were cross-linked polymers. The glass transition temperatures of these polymers ranged from -15.0 deg C to -22.7 deg C. TGA results showed that the RPEO polymers were thermally stable at temperatures lower than 220 deg C and significant decomposition mainly occurred above 340 deg C.