Microwave-Assisted Catalytic Synthesis of Bio-Based Copolymers from Waste Cooking Oil

Materials (Basel). 2017 Mar 20;10(3):315. doi: 10.3390/ma10030315.


Solvent-free copolymerization of epoxides derived from fatty esters of waste cooking oil with phthalic anhydride using (salen)CrIIICl as catalyst and n-Bu₄NCl/DMAP (tetrabutylammonium chloride/4-(dimethylamino)pyridine) as co-catalysts was carried out for the first time under microwave irradiation, where reaction time was reduced from a number of hours to minutes. The polyesters were obtained with molecular weight (Mw = 3100-6750 g/mol) and dispersity values (D = 1.18-1.92) when (salen)CrIIICl/n-Bu₄NCl was used as catalysts. Moreover, in the case of DMAP as a co-catalyst, polyesters with improved molecular weight (Mw = 5500-6950 g/mol) and narrow dispersity values (D = 1.07-1.28) were obtained even at reduced concentrations of (salen)CrIIICl and DMAP. The obtained products were characterized and evaluated by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (¹H-NMR) spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) Techniques.

Keywords: copolymerization; microwaves; phthalic anhydride; waste cooking oil.