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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408181

Research Project: Commercial Products from Lipids and Fibers

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Title: Synthesis of Poly(styrene)-g-poly(oleic acid) graft copolymers via reversible addition/fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization using a poly oleic acid macro-RAFT agent

item GOKTAS, MELAHAT - Yuzuncu Yil Centennial University
item AYKAC, CENGIZ - Yuzuncu Yil Centennial University
item HAZER, BAKI - Bülent Ecevit University
item Ashby, Richard - Rick

Submitted to: Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/28/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Plastic disposal is quickly becoming one of the most urgent issues facing humanity today. Because many of the petroleum-based plastics are resistant to typical degradation processes, they tend to remain in the environment for extended periods. Polystyrene is one such material that is produced at a scale of several million tons per year. It is widely used to produce styrofoam which has many different applications is such items as fast food containers, packing peanuts etc. The use of naturally degradable, environmentally benign materials in the formation of different types of styrene-based plastics has its benefits as these materials are less pervasive than polystyrene while maintaining much of its beneficial properties. Oleic acid is a natural, plentiful component of animal fats and vegetable oils. It is naturally biodegradable and presents many opportunities for use in polymerization processes because of its chemical composition. In this manuscript an established procedure is utilized to produce a polystyrene-graft-poly(oleic acid) copolymer that maintains many of the favorable properties of polystyrene. These new partially biobased plastics will enhance the application base for these materials while, at the same time, helping to manage the negative environmental footprint of polystyrene.

Technical Abstract: In this study, a new polymeric oleic acid-derived macro reversible addition/fragmentation transfer (RAFT) agent was utilized to produce a poly(styrene)-g-poly(oleic acid) graft copolymer. The double bond of oleic acid was initially saturated with bromine and the condensation polymerization between the carboxylic acid and the bromide resulted in polyoleic acid with pendant bromide groups. Xanthate groups were exchanged with the bromide groups to obtain the poly(oleic acid) macro RAFT agent (Pole-Xa). Poly(styrene)-g-poly(oleic acid) (PS-g-Pole) graft copolymers were synthesized via RAFT polymerization of styrene and the reaction was evaluated in view of the polymerization kinetics. The effects of polymerization temperature and reaction time on graft copolymer yield, conversion and molecular weight were investigated. In the RAFT polymerization of styrene, the rate constant (k) was found to be 1.83x10-3 L mol-1 dk-1 and 7.27x10-4 L mol-1 dk-1 for the polymerization temperatures of 80 degrees-C and 90 degrees-C, respectively. The structural characteristics and thermal properties of the obtained products were characterized using FT-IR, 1H-NMR, GPC, TGA and DSC.