Chemically Recyclable Poly(β-thioether ester)s Based on Rigid Spirocyclic Ketal Diols Derived from Citric Acid

Rauno Sedrik, Olivier Bonjour, Siim Laanesoo, Ilme Liblikas, Tõnis Pehk, Patric Jannasch, Lauri Vares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incorporating rigid cyclic acetal and ketal units into polymer structures is an important strategy towards high-performance materials from renewable resources. In the present work, citric acid, a widely used platform chemical derived from biomass, has been efficiently converted into diand tricyclic diketones. Ketalization with glycerol or trimethylolpropane afforded rigid spirodiols, which were obtained as complex mixtures of isomers. After a comprehensive NMR analysis, the spirodiols were converted into the respective di(meth)acrylates and utilized in thiol-ene polymerizations in combination with different dithiols. The resulting poly(β-thioether ester ketal)s were thermally stable up to 300 °C and showed glass transition temperatures in a range from -7 to 40 °C, depending on monomer composition. The polymers were stable in aqueous acids and bases, but in a mixture of 1 M aq. HCl and acetone, the ketal functional groups were cleanly hydrolyzed, opening the pathway for potential chemical recycling of these materials. We envision that these novel bioderived spirodiols have a great potential to become valuable and versatile bio-based building blocks for several different kinds of polymer materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2685–2696
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Polymer Technologies
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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