, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 12-20
Date: 19 Jan 2006

Perspectives for synthesis and production of polyurethanes and related polymers by enzymes directed toward green and sustainable chemistry

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Enzyme-catalyzed polymerization and degradation will play an important role in both the synthesis and chemical recycling of green and sustainable polyurethane. This minireview covers the new synthetic routes to polyurethane without using diisocyanate, the biodegradation of polyurethane, and the enzymatic synthesis and the chemical recycling of poly(ester-urethane) (PEU) and poly(carbonate-urethane) (PCU). The lipase-catalyzed polymerization of low molecular weight and biodegradable urethanediols with short-chain dialkyl carbonate and alkanedioates produced PCU and PEU, respectively. They were readily degraded in an organic solvent into the repolymerizable cyclic oligomers by lipase as a novel chemical recycling. These results will be applicable for the production strategies of green and sustainable polyurethanes.