Submitted to: Green Materials
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2013
Publication Date: 3/7/2013
Citation: Liu, Z., Knetzer, D.A. 2013. Catalyzed ring-opening polymerization of epoxidized soybean oil by hydrated and anhydrous fluoroantimonic acids. Green Materials. 1:87-95.
Interpretive Summary: In this research, we discovered that epoxidized soybean oil can be converted into biodegradable polymers by a super acid catalyst. The catalyst can be easily neutralized by washing with base solutions. It is a clean reaction. The development of new uses for soybean oil is eagerly needed in order to prevent price depression due to oversupply. The soybean oil-based polymers prepared by this method will be converted into surfactants for personal care, health care and food applications.
Technical Abstract: Ring-opening polymerization of epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) catalyzed by the super acid, fluroantimonic acid hexahydrate (HSbF6-6H2O), and the anhydrous form (HSbF6) in ethyl acetate was conducted in an effort to develop useful biodegradable polymers. The resulting polymerized ESO (SA-RPESO and SAA-RPESO) was characterized using infrared (IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, solid state 13C-NMR, and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The results indicated that ESO was effectively polymerized by fluoroantimonic acid and formed polymers with relatively high cross-link density. Glass transition temperatures of these polymers ranged from -15°C to -21°C. TGA results showed the SA-RPESO and SAA-RPESO polymers were thermally stable at temperatures up to 200°C. Decomposition of the polymers was found to occur at temperatures greater than 350°C. GPC results indicated the extracted soluble substances from SA-RPESO polymers were oligomers of ESO. These soybean oil-based polymers will be explored for their application in the personal and health care areas.