Copolyesters of isosorbide, succinic acid, and isophthalic acid: Biodegradable, high Tg engineering plastics


Correspondence to: H. R. Kricheldorf (E-mail:


Isosorbide, succinyl chloride and isophthaloyl chloride are polycondensed under various reaction conditions. The heating in bulk with or without catalysts as well in an aromatic solvent without catalyst, and polycondensation with the addition of pyridine only yield low molar mass copolyesters. However, heating in chlorobenzene with addition of SnCl2 or ZnCl2 produces satisfactory molar masses. The number average molecular weights (Mn) of most copolyesters fall into the range of 7000–15,000 Da with polydispersities (PD) in the range of 3–9. The MALDI-TOF mass spectra almost exclusively displayed peaks of cyclics indicating that the chain growth was mainly limited by cyclization and not by side reactions, stoichiometric imbalance or incomplete conversion. The glass-transition temperatures increased with the content of isophthalic acid from 75 to 180 °C and the thermo-stabilities also followed this trend. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2013, 51, 2464–2471