A bio-based route to the production of trans-β-farnesene has recently been commercialized. Trans-β-farnesene is capable of being polymerized by both anionic and cationic pathways, creating low molecular weight polymers with structure-property relationships unique within the diene class of monomers.
Trans-β-farnesene is produced through fermentation of sugar feedstocks. The pathway offers an alternative to petroleum-based feedstocks derived as by-products of naptha or ethane cracking. Anionic polymerization of the monomer produces a highly branched “bottle-brush” structure, with rheological properties that are markedly different than those of linear diene polymers. Specifically, a lack of entanglements is observed even at relatively high molar masses. For dihydroxyl-terminated oligomers, Tg as a function of molar mass follows a trend opposite non-functional materials.
The synthesis and characterization of trans-β-farnesene-based polymers will be presented, including anionically prepared low molecular weight diols and monols. Their main properties will be also reviewed in order to demonstrate their potential applications in Adhesive & Sealant Industry.
Steven K. HENNING, Taejun YOO and Nan TIAN