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Recent Advances in the Enzymatic Synthesis of Polyester

Polyester is a kind of polymer composed of ester bond-linked polybasic acids and polyol. This type of polymer has a wide range of applications in various industries, such as automotive, furniture, coatings, packaging, and biomedical. The traditional process of synthesizing polyester mainly uses metal catalyst polymerization under high-temperature. This condition may have problems with metal residue and undesired side reactions. As an alternative, enzyme-catalyzed polymerization is evolving rapidly due to the metal-free residue, satisfactory biocompatibility, and mild reaction conditions. This article presented the reaction modes of enzyme-catalyzed ring-opening polymerization and enzyme-catalyzed polycondensation and their combinations, respectively. In addition, the article also summarized how lipase-catalyzed the polymerization of polyester, which includes (i) the distinctive features of lipase, (ⅱ) the lipase-catalyzed polymerization and its mechanism, and (ⅲ) the lipase stability under organic solvent and high-temperature conditions. In addition, this article also focused on the advantages and disadvantages of enzyme-catalyzed polyester synthesis under different solvent systems, including organic solvent systems, solvent-free systems, and green solvent systems. The challenges of enzyme optimization and process equipment innovation for further industrialization of enzyme-catalyzed polyester synthesis were also discussed in this article.

Publication date: 22/11/2022

Author: Hong Wang

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14235059

MDPI (polymers)


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.