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    Lactic acid is one of the key biobased chemical building blocks, given its readily availability from sugars through fermentation and facile conversion into a range of important chemical intermediates and polymers. Herein, well-defined rubbery polymers derived from butyl lactate solvent were successfully prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of the corresponding monomeric acrylic derivative. Good control over molecular weight and molecular weight distribution was achieved in bulk using either monofunctional or bifunctional trithiocarbonate-type chain transfer agents. Subsequently, poly(butyl lactate acrylate), with a relative low Tg (-20 °C), good thermal stability (5% wt. loss at 340 °C) and low toxicity was evaluated as a sustainable middle block in all-acrylic ABA copolymers using isosorbide and vanillin-derived glassy polyacrylates as representative end blocks. Thermal, morphological and mechanical properties of copolymers containing hard segment contents of <20 wt% were evaluated to demonstrate the suitability of rubbery poly(alkyl lactate) building blocks for developing functional sustainable materials. Noteworthy, 180° peel adhesion measurements showed that the synthesized biosourced all-acrylic ABA copolymers possess competitive performance when compared with commercial pressure-sensitive tapes.


    Nabil Bensabeh, Ana Jiménez-Alesanco, Ilme Liblikas, Juan C Ronda, Virginia Cádiz, Marina Galià, Lauri Vares, Olga Abián, Gerard Lligadas. Biosourced All-Acrylic ABA Block Copolymers with Lactic Acid-Based Soft Phase. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Dec 05;25(23)

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    PMID: 33291362

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