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Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies

Authors: Satya P. Dubey, Hrushikesh A. Abhyankar, Veronica Marchante, James L. Brighton, Björn Bergmann


PLA emerged as a promising polymer because of its property as a compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable sources. PLA can be polymerized from monomers (Lactide or Lactic acid) obtained by fermentation processes from renewable sources such as corn starch or sugarcane. For PLA synthesis, ring opening polymerization (ROP) of Lactide monomer is one of the preferred methods. In the literature, the technique mainly developed for ROP of PLA is based on metal/bimetallic catalyst (Sn, Zn and Al) or other organic catalysts in suitable solvent. However, the PLA synthesized using such catalysts may contain trace elements of the catalyst which may cause toxicity. This work estimated the usefulness and drawbacks of using different catalysts as well as effect of alternative energies and future aspects for PLA production.

Keywords: Alternative Energy, ring opening polymerization (ROP), bio-degradable, metal catalyst, poly lactic acid (PLA)

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