Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 637-661
Published online 2011-10-21
Cyclic carbonates as monomers for phosgene- and isocyanate-free polyurethanes and polycarbonates*
Polyurethanes and polycarbonates are widely used in a variety of applications including engineering, optical devices, and high-performance adhesives and coatings, etc., and are expected to find use also in the biomedical field owing to their biocompatibility and low toxicity
. However, these polymers are currently produced using hazardous phosgene and isocyanates
, which are derived from the reaction between an amine and phosgene. Extensive safety procedures are required to prevent exposure to phosgene and isocyanate because of its high toxicity
. Therefore, the demand for the production of isocyanate-free polymers has now emerged. Among the alternative greener routes that have been proposed, a popular way is the ring-opening polymerization
(ROP) of cyclic carbonate in bulk or solution, usually using metallic catalyst
, metal-free initiator
, or biocatalyst
. This review presents the recent developments in the preparation and application of cyclic carbonates as monomers for ROP, with emphasis on phosgene- and isocyanate-free polymerization
to produce aliphatic polycarbonates and polyurethanes and their copolymers.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 84, 411–860 (2012). A collection of invited papers for the IUPAC project 2008-016-1-300 “Chlorine-free Synthesis for Green Chemistry”.
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