Enzymatic synthesis and curing of biodegradable epoxide-containing polyesters from renewable resources.Biomacromolecules. 2003 Mar-Apr; 4(2):211-5.B
Epoxide-containing polyesters were enzymatically synthesized via two routes using unsaturated fatty acids as starting substrate. Lipase catalysis was used for both polycondensation and epoxidation of the unsaturated fatty acid group. One route was synthesis of aliphatic polyesters containing an unsaturated group in the side chain from divinyl sebacate, glycerol, and the unsaturated fatty acids, followed by an epoxidation of the unsaturated fatty acid moiety in the side chain of the resulting polymer. In another route, epoxidized fatty acids were prepared from the unsaturated fatty acids and hydrogen peroxide in the presence of lipase catalyst, and subsequently the epoxidized fatty acids were polymerized with divinyl sebacate and glycerol. The polymer structure was confirmed by NMR and IR, and for both routes, the high epoxidized ratio was achieved. Curing of the resulting polymers proceeded thermally, yielding transparent polymeric films with high gloss surface. Pencil scratch hardness of the present films improved, compared with that of the cured film obtained from the polyester having an unsaturated fatty acid in the side chain. The obtained film showed good biodegradability, evaluated by BOD measurement in an activated sludge.