Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 93–104 | Cite as

Microwave-Assisted Solvent-Free or Aqueous-Based Synthesis of Biodegradable Polymers

  • Balint KoroskenyiEmail author
  • Stephen P. McCarthy


Microwave radiation was used as the energy source for various types of chemical derivatizations of polysaccharides and for the synthesis of biodegradable polyesters in solvent-free or aqueous-based reaction systems. A medium to high degree of substitution was obtained for starch acetates, starch succinates, carboxymethyl konjac, aminated starch, and aminated chitosan. Ring-opening polymerization of lactide and ε-caprolactone proceeded rapidly even at low power output in the presence of tin octanoate catalyst. Complete monomer conversion and high molecular weight were achieved in less than 6 minutes under nonisothermal conditions. The yield rapidly increased with increasing power output and showed no significant change in a wide range of batch sizes. Polycaprolactone was successfully grafted from starch and konjac acetate in 3 minutes, yielding as high as 24% grafting efficiency and 25% grafting degree.

Microwave polyester polysaccharide synthesis derivatization 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NSF Biodegradable Polymer Research Center, Department of Plastics EngineeringUniversity of Massachusetts, LowellLowell

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