Polymerization of Nonfood Biomass-Derived Monomers to Sustainable Polymers

  • Yuetao ZhangEmail author
  • Eugene Y-X Chen
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 353)


The development of sustainable routes to fine chemicals, liquid fuels, and polymeric materials from natural resources has attracted significant attention from academia, industry, the general public, and governments owing to dwindling fossil resources, surging energy demand, global warming concerns, and other environmental problems. Cellulosic material, such as grasses, trees, corn stover, or wheat straw, is the most abundant nonfood renewable biomass resources on earth. Such annually renewable material can potentially meet our future needs with a low carbon footprint if it can be efficiently converted into fuels, value added chemicals, or polymeric materials. This chapter focuses on various renewable monomers derived directly from cellulose or cellulose platforms and corresponding sustainable polymers or copolymers produced therefrom. Recent advances related to the polymerization processes and the properties of novel biomass-derived polymers are also reviewed and discussed.


Biomass Cellulose Polymerization Renewable monomer Sustainable polymer 







Atom transfer radical polymerization


n-Butyl acrylate




Me2Si(η 5-(Me4C5)( t BuN)




Classical Lewis pair


η 5-Cyclopentadienyl




Diisooctyl phthalate






Department of energy


C2H4(η 5-4,7-dimethylindenyl)2


C2H4(η 5-indenyl)2


Frustrated Lewis pair


η 5- or η 3-Fluorenyl


Furfuryl alcohol


Furfuryl methacrylate


Greenhouse gas


Gel permeation chromatography


Group transfer polymerization












Isotactic (mm)


Lactic acid or lactide


Lewis pair polymerization






Maleimide methacrylate


Methyl methacrylate

Mn (Mw)

Number (weight) average molecular weight


Molecular weight


Molecular weight distribution


N-Heterocyclic carbene


Oligo(isosorbide adipate)


Oligo(isosorbide suberate)


Poly(aspartic acid)


Polydispersity index


Poly(ethylene terephthalate)


Poly(2,5-furandimethylene succinate)


Poly(glutamic acid)


Bis-hydroxylated poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) oligomers






Poly(methyl methacrylate)




Rare earth metal


Ring-opening polymerization


Trialkylsilyl methyl dimethylketene acetal


Room temperature


Syndiotactic (rr)


Succinic acid


Isosorbide dihexanoate


Scanning electron microscopy


Glass transition temperature




Turnover frequency





This work was supported by the 1,000 Talents Young program and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) program (grant #21374040 to Y. Zhang) and by the US Department of Energy-Office of Basic Energy Sciences, grant DE-FG02-10ER16193 (to E. Y.-X. Chen).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials, College of ChemistryJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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