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Bio-based aliphatic/aromatic poly(trimethylene furanoate/sebacate) random copolymers: Correlation between mechanical, gas barrier performances and compostability and copolymer composition

Highly promising fully biobased random copolyesters, poly(trimethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate-co-trimethylene sebacate) (PTFcoPTSeb), were synthesized by using bio derived 1,3-propanediol, dimethyl ester of 2,5- furandicarboxylic acid, and sebacic acid, through eco-friendly polycondensation in the melt. Copolymers with high molecular weight containing 5, 15, 25 mol % of PTSeb were obtained, and their chemical structure confirmed by 1H NMR and FTIR spectroscopy. The thermal, tensile and gas barrier properties and composability were studied in relation to the copolymer supramolecular structure. As expected, introduction of PTSeb co-units results in lowering of glass transition temperature of copolymers and improves their flexibility. Besides, all copolymers showed outstanding gas barrier properties to O2 and CO2, with copolymer containing 15 mol % of PTSeb showing exceptional gas barrier properties, better than those of PTF and comparable to those of EVOH, currently used in multilayer packaging films. The same copolymer exhibited temperature induced shape memory behaviour. It was found that low amounts (15-25 mol %) of PTSeb in copolymer significantly modifies PTF thermal, mechanical and barrier properties and renders the final material compostable. Copolyesters containing 15 and 25 mol % of PTSeb can compete in some applications with commercially available compostable Ecoflex® polymer, but with markedly improved barrier properties.

Publication date: 01/01/2022

Author: Agata Zubkiewicz, Anna Szymczyk, Rafaël J. Sablong, Michelina Soccio, Giulia Guidotti, Valentina Siracusa, Nadia Lotti

Polymer Degradation and Stability


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.