Structure-property relations in polymers from renewable resources

Martino, Lucrezia (2014) Structure-property relations in polymers from renewable resources , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6484.
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The present research project focuses its attention on the study of structure-property relations in polymers from renewable sources (bio-based polymers) such as polymers microbially produced, i.e. polyhydrohyalkanoates (PHAs) or chemically synthesized using monomers from renewable sources, i.e. polyammide 11 (PA11). By means of a broad spectrum of experimental techniques, the influence of different modifications on bio-based polymers such as blending with other components, copolymerization with different co-monomers and introduction of branching to yield complex architectures have been investigated. The present work on PHAs focused on the study of the dependence of polymer properties on both the fermentation process conditions (e.g. bacterial strain and carbon substrate used) and the method adopted to recover PHAs from cells. Furthermore, a solvent-free method using an enzyme and chemicals in an aqueous medium, was developed in order to recover PHAs from cells. Such a method allowed to recover PHA granules in their amorphous state, i.e. in native form useful for specific applications (e.g. paper coating). In addition, a commercial PHA was used as polymeric matrix to develop biodegradable and bio-based composites for food packaging applications. Biodegradable, non-toxic, food contact plasticizers and low cost, widely available lignocellulosic fibers (wheat straw fibers) were incorporated in such a polymeric matrix, in order to decrease PHA brittleness and the polymer cost, respectively. As concerns the study of polyamide 11, both the rheological and the solid-state behavior of PA11 star samples with different arm number and length was studied. Introduction of arms in a polymer molecule allows to modulate melt viscosity behavior which is advantageous for industrial applications. Also, several important solid-state properties, in particular mechanical properties, are affected by the presence of branching. Given the importance of using ‘green’ synthetic strategies in polymer chemistry, novel poly(-amino esters), synthesized via enzymatic-catalyzed polymerization, have also been investigated in this work.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Martino, Lucrezia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Polyhydrohyalkanoates, Polyamides, Star polymers, Thermal properties, Mechanical properties, Crystal structure, Plasticizers, Native amorphous granules, Recovery
Data di discussione
11 Aprile 2014

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