The synthesis of bio-based high-performance polyamide from biogenic residues.
A research team from the Fraunhofer Society and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) led by chemist Volker Sieber has developed a new polyamide family which can be produced from a byproduct of cellulose production – a successful example for a more sustainable economy with bio-based materials.
Polyamides are important plastics. They can be found in ski bindings and in cars or items of clothing. Commercially, they have been made predominantly from crude oil up until now; there are just a few “green” alternatives, such as polyamides based on castor oil.
Bio-based compounds are often significantly more expensive to produce and have therefore only been able to penetrate the market before now if they have had particular properties.
A team led by Volker Sieber, Professor of the Chemistry of Biogenic Raw Materials at TU Munich, has now developed a completely new polyamide family which can be produced from a byproduct of cellulose production.
New polyamide family
The biogenic starting material, (+)-3-carene, is made up of two rings which are fused to one another. The chemists at the TUM and the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Straubing have now modified one of the rings in such a way that it can be opened up, yielding a long chain of molecules, a polymer.
The second ring remains intact here. In this way, instead of a linear polymer chain like in traditional polyamides, a chain which bears many small rings and other side groups emerges. This gives the polymer completely new functions.
The new polyamides impress thanks to their special properties which make them attractive for many applications. For example, they melt at higher temperatures than the competing crude oil derived products. In addition, the new compounds can be produced transparently as well as in a partially crystalline manner, which increases its later application possibilities using the same starting substance.
“By way of reaction conditions and catalysts during synthesis, we can easily control whether we will obtain a transparent or partially crystalline polyamide in the end,” explains Sieber. “However, the basis for this is offered above all by the specific structure of the bio-based starting material which would be very expensive to obtain from fossil raw materials.”
From an industrial point of view, it is important that the synthesis basically takes place in one reaction container. This “one-pot” process would not just allow a significant reduction in costs, but would also mean a clear increase in sustainability, according to Sieber.
The biogenic starting material (+)-3-carene can actually be distilled at a high purity and comparatively low cost from the turpentine oil produced as a secondary product in the cellulose industry.
Up until now, the turpentine oil was only heated in the cellulose factories. “We use it as a vital starting material for plastics,” says Sieber. “This is an enormous increase in value.”
No competition with food production
Sieber points out that with turpentine oil being a side product of the forest industry, in contrary to the use of castor oil, we are not competing against food production. The researchers are not yet completely satisfied with the achieved overall yield of the process, this is at 25 percent by mass.
“Thanks to the simple scalability, the potential for an efficient process is very high,” says Paul Stockmann, whose doctoral thesis at the TUM is based on the findings. At the Fraunhofer IGB, the chemist is now working on establishing (+)-3-carene-based polyamides on the market as alternatives to crude-oil-based high-performance polyamides.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Alternative to crude oil
- Oil Holds Above $80 as IEA Warns of Volatility, Higher Prices
Oil held above $80 a barrel after a four-day advance as the global energy crisis fanned demand and the International Energy Agency warned of a spike in volatility and scope for higher prices. West ...
- Oil prices drop amid worries that inflation may dent fuel demand growth
A strong US dollar, trading near a one-year high, also weighed on oil prices, as it makes oil more expensive for those holding other currencies.
- Oil falls on concerns of faltering economic growth to hit demand
Oil prices edged down on Wednesday on concerns that oil demand growth will fall as major economies suffer through inflation and supply chain issues though surging prices for power generation fuel such ...
- Oil falls on fears inflation may dent fuel demand growth
Oil prices dropped on Wednesday, after a mixed finish in the previous session, amid worries that soaring coal and natural gas prices in China, India and Europe will stoke inflation and slow global ...
- U.S. likely to ask OPEC for more oil supplies, Yergin says
The U.S. is likely to ask OPEC member states to pump more crude to help ease a surge in energy prices, according to oil historian . “Joe Biden knows that high gasoline prices are not good for ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Alternative to crude oil
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Arkema To Build new Bio-Based Polyamide 11 Powders Plant In China
In parallel with its major project to increase global capacity of bio-based polyamide 11 by 50 percent in Singapore, Arkema announces the construction of a polyamide 11 powders plant on its Changshu ...
- Phase Change Materials Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Growth And Change
Major players in the phase change materials market are Honeywell Electronic Materials Inc, Microtek Laboratories, Croda International, Sasol, Henkel, Climator, PCM Products, Phase Change Energy ...
- Explore the Size and Share of the Bio-Based and Synthetic Dimethyl Ether (DME) Market in 2021, as well as the Industry Forecast to 2027
Market Report Covers Industrial Analysis, Market Growth Stimulators, And Future Scope. Global Bio-Based and Synthetic Dimethyl ...
- Chanel unveils fragrance bottle caps made with bio-based Sulapac material
The Les Eaux De Chanel collection is topped with a bio-based cap, which Chanel has developed in partnership with Sulapac.
- Chanel and Finnish start-up Sulapac develop bio-based perfume caps
The French fashion and beauty house has announced that the 125ml perfume bottles of ‘Les Eaux de Chanel’ collection is now topped with a bio-based cap, which Chanel has developed in partnership with ...