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Cyclic Carbonates and Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes: CO2 as a Building Block for High-Performance Polymers

Ryan Maynard
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 400
Organic Seminar

The production of commodity plastic is predicted to increase substantially in upcoming decades.1 Many common plastics are derived from petroleum, which is a finite resource. Because of this, much work has been done to design materials based on sustainable feedstocks.2 Carbon dioxide, which is abundantly available, is an appealing source of carbon and is already used in numerous chemical processes.3 In this presentation, the reaction of carbon dioxide with epoxides to form cyclic carbonates will be discussed with an emphasis on application to sustainable non-isocynate polyurethanes (NIPUs).4 NIPUs offer advantages over traditional polyurethanes and have a wide variety of applications including films, self-healing materials, and nanocomposites.5,6,7 Advances in NIPUs are leading toward sustainable alternatives to traditional polyurethanes.


  1. Geyer, R.; Jambeck, J. R.; Law, K. L. Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made. Science Advances 2017, 3 (7).
  2. Cornille, A.; Auvergne, R.; Figovsky, O.; Boutevin, B.; Caillol, S. A Perspective Approach to Sustainable Routes for Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes. European Polymer Journal 2017, 87, 535–552.
  3. Liu, Q.; Wu, L.; Jackstell, R.; Beller, M. Using Carbon Dioxide as a Building Block in Organic Synthesis. Nature Communications 2015, 6 (1).
  4. Kamphuis, A. J.; Picchioni, F.; Pescarmona, P. P. CO2-Fixation into Cyclic and Polymeric Carbonates: Principles and Applications. Green Chemistry 2019, 21 (3), 406 -448.
  5. Wulf, C.; Reckers, M.; Perechodjuk, A.; Werner, T. Catalytic Systems for the Synthesis of Biscarbonates and Their Impact on the Sequential Preparation of Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2019, 8 (3), 1651–1658.
  6. Dong, J.; Liu, B.; Ding, H.; Shi, J.; Liu, N.; Dai, B.; Kim, I. Bio-Based Healable Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes Driven by the Cooperation of Disulfide and Hydrogen Bonds.Polymer Chemistry 2020, 11 (47), 7524–7532.
  7. Doley, S.; Sarmah, A.; Sarkar, C.; Dolui, S. K. In Situ Development of Bio-Based Polyurethane-Blend-Epoxy Hybrid Materials and Their Nanocomposites with Modified Graphene Oxide via Non-Isocyanate Route. Polymer International 2018, 67 (8), 1062–1069.

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