Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2014
Publication Date: 11/3/2014
Citation: Liu, Z. 2014. Preparation of biopolymers from plant oils in green media. In: Liu, Z., Kraus, G., editors. Green Materials from Plant Oils. Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 41-58.
Technical Abstract: Use of plant oils as starting materials to prepare polymers has attracted renewed attention in recent years to replace or augment the traditional petrochemical based polymers and resins. This is because of concern for the environment, waste disposal, and depletion of fossil and non renewable feedstocks. In this chapter, we summarized the work in our laboratory on the vegetable oil-based materials. Mainly, we focused on the polymerization of soybean oil (SBO), epoxidized soybean oil (ESO), and euphorbia oil (EuO) in carbon dioxide (CO2) media (subcritical and supercritical conditions) catalyzed by Lewis acids. The molecular structures of SBO, ESO, and EuO affected the polymerization. It showed that epoxidized plant oils are easier to polymerize than SBO. The resulting polymers 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). Epoxidized soybean oil polymer (RPESO) was converted into the HPESO polysoaps through saponification. It showed that HPESO polysoaps were effective at lowering the surface tension of water and interfacial tension of water-hexadecane and displayed minimum values in the range of 20-24 and 12-17 dyn/cm, respectively, at a concentration of 200-250 µM.