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Chemoselective Ring-Opening Polymerization of Bio-Renewable α-Methylene-γ-Butyrolactone via an Organophosphazene/urea Binary Synergistic Catalytic System Toward a Sustainable Polyester

submitted on 19.01.2020, 05:52 and posted on 21.01.2020, 10:52 by Yong Shen, Wei Xiong, YongZheng Li, ZhiChao Zhao, Hua Lu, Zhibo Li
Despite the great potential of bio-renewable a-methylene-g-butyrolactone (MBL) to produce functional recyclable polyester, the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of MBL remains as a challenge due to the competing polymerization of the highly reactive exocyclic double bond and the low strained five membered ring. In this contribution, we present the first organocatalytic chemoselective ROP of MBL to exclusively produce recyclable unsaturated polyester by utilizing a phosphazene base/urea binary catalyst. We show that delicate chemoselectivity can be realized by controlling the temperature and using selected urea catalysts. Experimental and theoretical calculations provide mechanistic insights and indicate that the kinetically controlled ROP pathway is favored by using urea with stronger acidity at low temperatures.


Email Address of Submitting Author


College of Chemical Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

no conflict of interest