New bio-based monomers: Tuneable polyester properties using branched diols from biomass

Thomas James Farmer, James William Comerford, Mark Mascal, Maximilian Schmid, Sacha Perocheau Arnaud, Linglin Wu, Maria-Angelica Wong Chang, Fei Chang, Zheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A family of monomers including 2,5-hexandiol, 2,7-octandiol, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) , terephthalic acid (TA), and branched-chain adipic and pimelic acid derivatives all find a common derivation in the biomass-derived platform molecule 5-(chloromethyl)furfural (CMF). The diol monomers, previously little known to polymer chemistry, have been combined with FDCA and TA derivatives to produce a range of novel polyesters. It is shown that the use of secondary diols leads to polymers with higher glass transition temperatures (Tg) than those prepared from their primary diol equivalents. Two methods of polymerisation were investigated, the first employing activation of the aromatic diacids via the corresponding diacid chlorides and the second using a transesterification procedure. Longer chain diols were found to be more reactive than the shorter chain alternatives, generally giving rise to higher molecular weight polymers, an effect shown to be most dramatic when using the transesterification route. Finally, novel diesters with high degrees of branching in their hydrocarbon chains are introduced as potential monomers for low surface energy materials applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberFD-ART-02-2017-000057.R1
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
Issue number202
Early online date3 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • bio-based monomers
  • bio-based polymer
  • Platform molecules
  • tranesterification
  • polymerisation

Cite this