Bifunctional and Recyclable Polyesters by Chemoselective Ring-Opening Polymerization of a δ-Lactone Derived from CO2 and Butadiene

26 February 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


When aiming at the direct use of CO2 for the preparation of advanced/value-added materials, the synthesis of CO2/olefin copolymers is very appealing but challenging. The δ-lactone 3-ethylidene-6-vinyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-one (EVP), synthesized by telomerization of CO2 with 1,3-butadiene, is a promising intermediate. However, chemoselective ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of EVP is hampered by unfavorable thermodynamics and the competitive polymerization of highly reactive C=C double bonds. Herein, we report the first chemoselective ROP of EVP using a phosphazene/urea binary catalyst, affording exclusively a linear unsaturated polyester poly(EVP)ROP, with a molar mass (Mn) up to 6.5 kg·mol-1 and narrow distribution (Ð = 1.24), which can be fully recycled back to the pristine monomer, thus establishing a monomer-polymer-monomer closed-loop life cycle. Remarkably, poly(EVP)ROP features two pendent C=C double bonds per repeating unit, which show distinct reactivity and thus can be properly engaged in sequential functionalizations towards the synthesis of bifunctional polyesters. This methodology provides a facile access to bifunctional and recyclable polyesters from readily available feedstocks. In these polyesters, the carbon dioxide content reaches 33 mol% (29 wt%). The reasons for the remarkable chemoselectivity observed were investigated by Density-functional theory (DFT) calculations.


Ring-Opening Polymerization
Recyclable Polyester
binary catalyst

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Full experimental details and the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article and its Supplementary Information.


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