Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Zernike (ZIAM) Macromolecular Chemistry and New Polymeric Materials Loos Group

Yi Jiang

Auteur:M. ter Wal
Email Y.Jiang at
Phone +31 503634453
Room number


Enzymatic Synthesis of Bio-based Polyesters from Renewable Resources


Polyesters are widely used commodity polymers in our daily life. They are frequently applied as food containers, packing materials, fiber materials, and coating materials. Normally there are two methods for polyester synthesis, including ring-opening polymerization and step-growth polycondensation. The common polyester monomers are lactones, diacids, diesters and diols. And the conventional catalysts are metal oxidesf . Most of these building blocks are derived from fossil stocks.

However, fossil stocks are limited in storage and depletedff faster due to huge daily demands. Severe environmental problems are induced by the waste and emission generated from petroleum consumptions . As a result, seeking alternating renewable resources for replacement becomes appealing both in industrial and academic fields. It attracts increasing attention in recent years .

Bio-based monomers are chemicals generated from biomass stocks from solar energy. They can be natural substances existed in plants or synthetic compounds fermented or chemical modified from carbohydrates . In 2004, the US Department of Energy released a report which identified ‘TOP 10’ category of building blocks that could be potentially produced from renewable resources . Many green monomers for polyester synthesis can be directly or further derived from this category, or from other eco-friendly technologies.

Enzymatic polymerization is a powerful and versatile approach towards polymeric materials. It can compete with conventional techniques and will provide an essential contribution for achieving future sustainability. Many polymers can be enzymatically produced, like polyesters, polyamides, vinyl polymers, polysaccharides , etc. Among them, polyesters are the most extensively studied polymers via biocatalytic approach . However, So far most research in this field still focused on enzymatic polymerization of conventional petroleum-based monomers. The use of bio-based monomers has not been well studied yet.

In this project, we are focusing on enzymatic synthesis of bio-based polyesters from green monomers. Both enzyme catalysts and bio-based monomers are renewable from solar energy rather than from depleted fossil stocks. This is an eco-friendly approach towards green polyesters. The research starts with screening some of the most prominent bio-based monomers for enzymatic polymerizations. Various biocatalysts are evaluated for their catalyzing efficiency. In order to produce functional/high molecular weight polyesters, co- and ter-synthesis strategy are applied and several polymerization methods are introduced. Moreover, the mechanism of enzymatic polymerizations is studied and the physical properties of the novel polyesters are characterized.

Laatst gewijzigd:01 juli 2015 10:53