Lipase-catalyzed polyester synthesis

Zhuo-Lin Wang, Kari Hiltunen, Petri Orava, Jukka Seppälä, Yu-Yen Linko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The use of lipase as biocatalyst in polyesterification of aliphatic diacids or their derivatives, and diols in an organic solvent has been discussed. We have demonstrated that bis(2-chloroethyl) esters of succinic, fumaric, and maleic acid, and bis(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl) sebacate and -dodecanedioate can be polymerized by lipase-catalyzed polytrans-esterification. Maleate was isomerized to fumarate even under mild reaction conditions, resulting in poly(1,4-butyl fumarate). In order to obtain a high mass-average molar mass of the polyester, solid Mucor miehei lipase was found to be the best lipase and diphenyl ether the best solvent of several investigated. There was no clear relationship with the log P value of the solvent and the polyesterification activity of lipase. The highest degree of polymerization (DP = 184) of poly(1,4-butyl sebacate) with a mass-average molar mass of 46,600 g·mol-1 was obtained in polytransesterification of bis(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl) sebacate and 1,4-butanediol using a programmed vacuum profile. However, a mass-average molar mass as high as about 42,000 g·mol-1 (DP = 167) was also obtained with free sebacic acid when vacuum was employed to remove the water formed during esterification. The mass average molar mass of the polyester increased with an increase in the relative quantity of lipase up to 1 g per 1.5 mmol of diacid, with an increase in the molar mass of the aliphatic diol up to 1,5-pentanediol, and with an increase in the concentration of substrates up to 0.83 M.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)599-612
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Macromolecular Science Part A: Pure and Applied Chemistry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Aliphatic diols
    • Diphenyl ether
    • Lipase
    • Poly(1,4-Butyl sebacate)
    • Polyester
    • Polyesterification
    • Polytransesterification
    • Sebacic acid

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