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Synthesis and characterization of polymers from renewable resources based on furanic monomers

Grant number: 11/23328-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): June 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Antonio José Felix de Carvalho
Grantee:Aline Cristine Nanuh da Silva
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:07/08394-7 - Reactive extrusion (REX) of thermoplastic starch: Reactive blending and chemical modification via depolymerization/polymerization, AP.JP


Owing to the predictable future scarcity of fossil resources, the number of studies that tackle the development of materials produced from renewable sources has been increasing dramatically in recent years. In this context, the vegetable biomass emerges as a promising source of polymers from renewable resources, particularly those derived from furan compounds. The main precursors of furan derivatives are furfural (F) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), obtained from the acid dehydration of sugars (pentoses and hexoses) or polysaccharides. These compounds display a pronounced dienic character, when compared to their heterocyclic homologues thiophene and pyrrole, which makes them highly suitable reagents in the Diels-Alder reaction.The Diels-Alder reaction involving furans as dienes, typical of "click chemistry", has the interesting property of being thermally reversible in an accessible range of temperatures, which allows the materials to be reverted to their precursors by increasing the system temperature (retro-DA reaction). Systems that best represent this polymer application are those involving polyfunctional monomer combinations of furan derivatives as dienes and maleimides as dienophile, which makes it possible to prepare a wide variety of new materials that are thermoreversible, and have the advantage of being based on renewable sources, at least for the furan components. These polymers display, among other properties, recyclability and self-mendability.This effervescent field of macromolecular research has provided promising results, much remains to be studied, both in terms of new systems (new monomers, different polymeric architectures, etc..), more detailed studies on the kinetics of the reactions, the reproducibility of multiple of DA / retro-DA cycles, and the search for applications of the ensuingmaterials. The purpose of this project is to investigate some of these crucial aspects by using new systems based on the furan-maleimide combination.