Synthesis of Biodegradable Polyester&ndash;Polyether with Enhanced Hydrophilicity, Thermal Stability, Toughness, and Degradation Rate
Novel poly(butylene succinate-butylene furandicarboxylate/polyethylene glycol succinate) (PBSF-PEG) was synthesized using two-step transesterification and polycondensation in the melt. There are characterized by intrinsic viscosity, GPC, 1H NMR, DSC, TGA, tensile, water absorption tests, and water degradation at different pH. GPC analysis showed that PBSF-PEG had high molecular weight with average molecular weight (Mw) up to 13.68 &times; 104 g/mol. Tensile tests showed that these polymers possessed good mechanical properties with a tensile strength as high as 30 MPa and elongation at break reaching 1500%. It should be noted that the increase of PEG units improved the toughness of the polyester material. In addition, the introduction of PEG promoted the water degradation properties of PBSF, and the copolymer showed a significantly faster water degradation rate when the PEG unit content was 20%. This suggests that the amount of PEG introduced could be applied to regulate the water degradation rate of the copolymers. Hence, these new polymers have great potential for application as environmentally friendly and sustainable plastic packaging materials.