Absolute molecular weight distributions were determined for different medium-chain-length poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (MCL PHAs) with predominantly 3-hydroxyoctanoate (PHO), 3-hydroxynonanoate (PHN) or 3-hydroxydodecanoate content. This is the first study to estimate the Mark-Houwink constants of these polymers in the commonly employed GPC carrier solvent tetrahydrofuran (THF). The absolute molecular weight averages were determined via triple-detector size exclusion chromatography and combined with analyses using various detectors. Unlike with the short-chain-length poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), PHB, uncorrected polystyrene calibration in THF provided a good estimate (within 10 %) of absolute MW values for these MCL PHAs, irrespective of side chain length. Weight-average MW values ranged from 172,000 Da for PHO to 18,200 for PHN with 30 mol% 3-hydroxyheptanoate, and dispersities of all samples were close to two. Melt viscosity data suggested an entanglement molecular weight around 8 × 104 Da, significantly higher than most polymers.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate Medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoate Viscosity Absolute molecular weight
Vaidya A, Pandey R, Mudliar S, Kumar M, Chakrabarti T, Devotta S (2005) Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 35:429–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar