Synthesis of Polylactide (PLA): PLA resin Production
Synthesis of PLA can be achieved in two different routes; namely, condensation
polymerization of lactic acid to produce polylactic acid, or by the ring opening
polymerization of lactide to produce Polylactide.
However, the condensation polymerization usually doesn't produce PLA resin
with a reasonable molecular weight, due to the formation of water as a
byproduct at each step of the polymerization.
Synthetic routes for the production (synthesis) of PLA
Thus, commercial production of polylactide is done through the ring opening
polymerization of lactide.
Commercial production of PLA resin involves following steps:
- Fermentation of Sugar to get Lactic acid
- Synthesis of Polylactide prepolymer (Molecular weight~ 5000)
- Synthesis of Lactide through thermal crecking of oligomers
- Ring Openning Polymerization of Lactide to get high molecular weight PLA.
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