Kinetics studies and characterization of poly(furfuryl alcohol) for use as bio-based furan novolacs

JM Sadler and IC Yeh and FR Toulan and IM McAninch and BC Rinderspacher and JJ La Scala, JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 135, 46608 (2018).

DOI: 10.1002/app.46608

Poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA) is an attractive target for the development of bio-based novolac resins. However, control of the polycondensation reaction is not well understood and side reactions are an important factor for PFA and the development of new resins. The polymerization reactions and kinetics of furfuryl alcohol and 2-furyl ethanol into polymeric resins are detailed in this work. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis of reaction kinetics, molecular weight analysis, and rheology analysis confirm that the polymerization reaction rate of 2-furyl ethanol is much faster than that of furfuryl alcohol because the addition of this methyl group serves to stabilize the carbocation transition state. Side reactions, such as Diels-Alder crosslinking and in particular branching, are quantified and were found to be much more prevalent in the polymerization of PFA. The glass transition temperature was measured to be 376 K for PFA and only 294 K for poly(2-furyl ethanol). Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the alternative structure that forms in PFA that causes branching results in greater backbone rigidity causing its higher glass transition temperature. (c) 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2018, 135, 46608.

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