The present work aims to study the development of the production process of functionalized polyesters. By exploring materials produced by biological systems and modifying them by synthesis using renewable resources, a new class of biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters is being developed. The presence of specific functional groups opens up a wide range of possibilities for further modification of the polymer structure, and therefore of the respective final properties. Chemical modification of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was carried out by partial glycolization to reduce the molecular weight. Subsequently esterification with maleic anhydride and glycols was performed to obtain unsaturated polyester backbones (UP). The UP was then blended with styrene and crosslinked with different initiating systems. The commercial PHB used possibly contained specific compounds to stabilize the polymer, which present an inhibitory effect on the radical polymerization. Moreover, characterization of this material and the functionalized products was performed as well as the optimization of the synthesis procedure. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Year of publication: 2013