In the ongoing energy, materials and feedstock transition, the development of sustainable resins, polymers and coatings with high percentages of biobased content is a highly desirable goal. The aim of the project is the further development of waterborne polymers and coatings based, for instance, on the furfural-derived butenolide motif, which functions as a sustainable acrylate alternative.
In previous work in the Feringa group at the University of Groningen, biobased coatings have been prepared from substituted butenolides. Furfural, which is derived from biomass, can be converted into these butenolides using photochemistry and condensation/acylation reactions. These substituted butenolides can be co-polymerizaed with vinyl ethers, vinyl esters or vinyl lactams to generate co-polymers, with tunable properties. Furthermore, using UV-curing biobased coatings can be made.
Building on this fundament, this project focuses on the transition from solventborne to waterborne butenolide polymers and coatings. In order to reach industrial application of sustainable polymers, water has to replace organic solvents as carrier in paints or coatings formulations. Next, this project will focus on post-polymerization reactivity using the acetal moiety of the butenolide co-polymers and coatings.