(769a) Strategic Assemblies of Wood-Derived Building Blocks for the Sustainable Redesign of BPA-Based Polymers

Authors: 
Stanzione, J. F. III, Rowan University
La Scala, J. J., Army Research Laboratory
Bisphenol A (BPA)-based polymers are utilized ubiquitously in today’s society as the bisphenolic structure of BPA provides molecular rigidity and toughness to polymer networks resulting in outstanding thermal and mechanical performance. However, the use of BPA in polymers has received a great deal of scrutiny as BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. Human exposure from polymers occurs through leaching of BPA from resins and food and beverage can coatings, thus, driving the search for suitable alternatives that are both renewable and nontoxic. Fortunately, governments, academia, and the private sector are making significant strides in supplying society with biofuels and wood-derived building blocks (xylochemicals) from biomass processed in second-generation lignocellulosic biorefineries. The strategic and efficient utilization of xylochemicals for polymers, including replacing BPA-based polymers, is imperative to transforming our society from a largely hazardous, petroleum-based, linear economy to a safer, renewable-based, circular economy. In this paper, we present our work on fundamentally understanding the processing-structure-property-toxicity relationships of epoxy resins, vinyl ester resins, polycarbonates, and polyesters based on xylochemicals that are BPA-free.

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