Two-step biocatalytic route to biobased functional polyesters from omega-carboxy fatty acids and diols.

PMID 20000460


Biobased omega-carboxy fatty acid monomers 1,18-cis-9-octadecenedioic, 1,22-cis-9-docosenedioic, and 1,18-cis-9,10-epoxy-octadecanedioic acids were synthesized in high conversion yields from oleic, erucic and epoxy stearic acids by whole-cell biotransformations catalyzed by C. tropicalis ATCC20962. Maximum volumetric yields in shake-flasks were 17.3, 14.2, and 19.1 g/L after 48 h conversion for oleic acid and 72 h conversions for erucic and epoxy stearic acids, respectively. Studies in fermentor with better control of pH and glucose feeding revealed that conversion of oleic acid to 1,18-cis-9-octadecenedioic acid by C. tropicalis ATCC20962 occurred with productivities up to 0.5 g/L/h. The conversion of omega-carboxy fatty acid monomers to polyesters was then studied using immobilized Candida antarctica Lipase B (N435) as catalyst. Polycondensations with diols were performed in bulk as well as in diphenyl ether. The retension of functionality from fatty acid, to omega-carboxy fatty acid monomer and to corresponding polyesters resulted in polymers with with unsaturated and epoxidized repeat units and M(w) values ranging from 25000 to 57000 g/mol. These functional groups along chains disrupted crystallization giving materials that are low melting (23-40 degrees C). In contrast, saturated polyesters prepared from 1,18-octadecanedioic acid and 1,8-octanediol have correspondingly higher melting transitions (88 degrees C). TGA results indicated that all synthesized polyesters showed high thermal stabilities. Thus, the preparation of functional monomers from C. tropicalis omega-oxidation of fatty acids provides a wide range of new monomer building blocks to construct functional polymers.

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