Chapter 7Green Route to Prepare Renewable Polyesters from Monomers: Enzymatic Polymerization

Toufik Naolou

Institute of Biomaterial Science and Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Teltow, Germany

7.1 Philosophic Statement

Enzymatic polymerization has emerged in the last two decades due to their advantages for polymer synthesis compared to conventional catalysts. Besides the nontoxicity, enzymes can also support sustainably the synthesis of polymer by allowing the polymerization process to be conducted under mild conditions and in a shorter time. Additionally, enzymes allow clean synthesis of linear and comb-like polyesters with free reactive groups, such as double bond, hydroxyl, thiol, or epoxy groups, in one step without the need for protection/deprotection steps, which otherwise would be necessary when conventional catalysts are used for such synthesis. These unique features of enzymes make them suitable candidate for the green synthesis of polyesters.

7.2 Introduction

The last century had witnessed a revolutionary advance toward the development of novel materials that could meet the needs of our modern life. Polymers, indeed, occupy a prominent place among these materials, with a worldwide demand in excess of 393 million tons in 2013 [1]. Polymers have become indispensable for our today's life, due to their superior advantages and properties such as attractive cost/performance ratio, rapid production with low cost, ease ...

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