• polyamides;
  • polycondensation;
  • polyesters;
  • renewable resources;
  • thermal properties


The Diels–Alder adduct of levopimaric acid with acrylonitrile was efficiently prepared from resin acids. Excellent addition reaction yields (ca. 95%) were obtained. The adduct was converted into polyamides by polycondensation with diamines. When the same adduct was subjected to a dehydrodecarboxylation reaction, a novel ketone dinitrile derivative was obtained. This trifunctional product was also converted into polyamides by polycondensation with diamines. When the ketone dinitrile was hydrolyzed in the presence of alkalies and the reaction product was chlorinated, a ketone diacid chloride was obtained. A polyester was synthesized by the polycondensation of the diacid chloride with a diol. The structures of the Diels–Alder adduct, ketone dinitrile derivative, ketone diacid chloride, and polymers were established by means of elemental analysis, IR and NMR spectroscopy, and molecular weight determinations. Both the polyamides and the polyester were low-molecular-weight polymers soluble in polar solvents. The thermal behavior of the monomers and polymers was evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis. The thermal studies showed that the polymers were fairly thermostable substances, except the polyester, which appeared to be a substance with good thermal stability. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 43: 6308–6322, 2005