Enzymatic Synthesis and Polymerization of Cyclic Trimethylene Carbonate Monomer with/without Methyl Substituent



The direct enzymatic synthesis of a cyclic trimethylene carbonate (1,3-dioxane-2-one) monomer with/without a methyl substituent was carried out using dimethyl or diethyl carbonate and 1,3-diol with the objective of producing aliphatic poly(trimethylene carbonate), a typical biodegradable synthetic plastic. The lipase-catalyzed condensation of dimethyl or diethyl carbonate with aliphatic 1,3-diols using immobilized Candida antarctica lipase (lipase CA) in an organic solvent at 70 °C afforded the corresponding methyl-substituted and unsubstituted cyclic trimethylene carbonates. The cyclic trimethylene carbonates obtained by the reaction of dimethyl or diethyl carbonates with 1,3-propanediol and 2-methyl-1,3-propanediol were polymerized by lipase to produce the corresponding polycarbonates.

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Total TMC yield as a function of the reaction time.