Synthesis of Polylactic Acid

Studenteropgave: Speciale

  • Pranas Vitkevicius
4. semester, Kemiteknik, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The goal of this project is to investigate the possibility of using alternative methods, like Ultrasonic Sonochemistry and Microwave Induced Polymerization to synthesize polylactic acid and discuss the possibility of applying mentioned techniques for industrial production.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is biodegradable, highly versatile, aliphatic polyester which can be produced from 100 % renewable resources, like corn and beets. PLA proved to be a promising alternative to petroleum-based polymers as its properties are on a par with currently widely used polymers like PET, PVC etc.
Current industrial production methods of PLA require high temperatures and high pressures in order to achieve the required final product. Alternative methods, like Sonochemistry and Microwave Induced reactions are growing in popularity and could be considered as faster and more energy-efficient methods to synthesize PLA.
Experimental set-up was created according to the information provided in the literature and attempt was made to successfully synthesize PLA with properties comparable to PLA produced by the industrial methods.
Analyses of the products were performed using Raman Spectroscopy and then analyzed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), in order to understand progression of the reaction.
None of the produced PLA could be compared to industrial products as resulting polymer showed subpar properties. Analysis with PCA suggested that reaction was happening in the right direction. Experimental set-up should be adjusted further in order to achieve more successful results. However, none of these alternative methods alone seemed to be as a viable pick for industrial application.
SpecialiseringsretningIndustriel bioteknologi
Udgivelsesdato30 jun. 2017
Antal sider101
ID: 260406222