04. September 2018 | Raw & Auxiliary Materials

Polyamides from wood

Bausteine für biobasierte Kunststoffe
From wood waste to high-performance polymers: Terpenes from turpentine are converted to bio-based, transparent and heat-stable polyamides under application of a new catalytic process.
Source: Fraunhofer IGB
The natural substance 3-carene is a component of turpentine oil, a waste stream of the production of cellulose from wood. Up to now, this by-product has been incinerated for the most part. Fraunhofer researchers are using new catalytic processes to convert 3-carene into building blocks for biobased plastics. The new polyamides are not only transparent, but also have a high thermal stability.

In the joint project “TerPa – Terpenes as building blocks for biobased polyamides”, researchers at the Straubing BioCat branch of Fraunhofer IGB have now succeeded in optimizing the synthesis of lactams from the terpene 3-carene and converting them into a scalable, competitive process on a potentially industrial scale. Lactams are building blocks for the production of polyamides. The Straubing experts could already show that terpenes such as α-pinene, limonene and 3-carene are suitable raw materials for the synthesis of biobased lactams. Our October issue avr 5-18 (publication date October 19) reports in detail about the project "TerPa".


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