Bioprocessing of glycerol into glyceric Acid for use in bioplastic monomer

Tokuma Fukuoka, Hiroshi Habe, Dai Kitamoto, Keiji Sakaki
Journal of Oleo Science 2011, 60 (7): 369-73
Utilization of excess glycerol supplies derived from the burgeoning biodiesel industry has recently become very important. Glyceric acid (GA) is one of the most promising glycerol derivatives, and it is abundantly obtained from glycerol by a bioprocess using acetic acid bacteria. In this study, a novel branched-type poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was synthesized by polycondensation of lactide in the presence of GA. The resulting branched PLA had lower crystallinity and glass transition temperatures than the conventional linear PLA, and the peak associated with the melting point of the branched PLA disappeared. Moreover, in a blend of the branched polymer, the crystallization of the linear PLA occurred at a lower temperature. Thus, the branched PLA containing GA synthesized in this study could potentially be used as a novel bio-based modifier for PLA.

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