Degradable plastic by DMDO: 'Unnecessary' component key

November 11, 2019

Associate Professor Kohsaka states, "The fun part of polymer science is that your results are tangible. You can measure, quantify and even feel the properties of the plastic that you produce!" Associate Professor Yasuhiro Kohsaka of the Research Initiative for Supra-Materials (RISM) and Mai Yamashita (Graduate School of Textile Science and Technology) et al. of Shinshu University built upon a plastic reported by a research group lead by Professor Xiao-Bing Lu of Dalian University of Technology. With the study "Synthesis of Poly(Conjugated Ester)s by Ring-Opening Polymerization of Cyclic Hemiacetal Ester Bearing Acryl Skeleton", Associate Professor Kohsaka and his colleagues developed a new polyester, enabling simple and inexpensive production. The research demonstrated that this plastic, prepared by 2,6-dimethyl-5-methylene-1,3-dioxan-4-one (abbreviation: DMDO), reacts with chemical substances and decomposes. These results are anticipated to lead to a possible solution of the plastic waste problem. The research paper was published as an invited paper in European Polymer Journal (Elsevier; Switzerland) on August 25, 2019.

The polymerization reaction in the study was performed by adding alcohol as a reaction initiator to DMDO and diphenyl phosphate as a catalyst. According to the theory, DMDO should be incorporated into the polymer skeleton as it is, but it was found that a structure partially missing from DMDO is incorporated into the polymer skeleton. The raw material is DMDO, but the product has the same chemical structure as the polymer polymerized by α-methylene-β-butyrolactone, MβBL. DMDO contains useless chemical structures that cannot be incorporated into polymers, but it can be synthesized from existing basic chemicals at room temperature and pressure, and can be stored stably.

In other words, productivity and storage are overwhelmingly superior to MβBL. Therefore, it is viewed as a possible alternative raw material for MβBL. Research is being continued to add functions such as heat resistance, water repellency, and shape memory to degradable plastics.

Ms. Mai Yamashita, co-author and a first year Masters student in Dr. Kohsaka's lab says that "my professor often says that chemistry experiments is a lot like cooking. We follow a recipe, and you have multiple pots cooking at the same time. I think that if you enjoy "cooking", even if you're not good at it in the beginning, if you continue to work on problems you will get better. Science is a fact-based discipline but I think emotions play a role in whether you will make progress or not. I really enjoy the process of experiments, and I believe good results will follow if I continue to do what I love."

Please view the video for more information on the study.
-end-


Shinshu University

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.