Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Chuanbing Tang


In this thesis, monomers and polymers derived from high oleic soybean oil are investigated. The properties of these monomers and polymeric materials are characterized and discussed. Chapter 1 describes an overall background of bio-based resources, monomers, polymers, and their potential impact on society. Polymerization techniques are introduced, and the overall objective of my research is described. Chapter 2 outlines the large scale preparation of a soybean based monomer and the use of this monomer in thermoset elastomers. The synthetic procedures and characterizations of the monomers and polymers are discussed. A model study using oleic acid is described and proved to be successful. The methods from the model study were applied to a soybean based monomer to obtain novel thermoset elastomers which incorporated high weight percentages of the soy based monomer and showed promising mechanical properties. Different curing experiments were completed and two different curing processes were developed. In Chapter 3 a hydrogen bonding donor/acceptor strategy was used to create thermoplastic elastomers by free radical polymerization. The use of high Tg monomers with hydrogen bonding properties allowed for good mechanical properties to be achieved, ranging from thermoplastic elastomers to thermoplastics. The synthetic procedures and characterizations of the polymers are discussed. Promising results were obtained using even higher weight percentages of the soybean based monomer than in the thermoset elastomers. This led to creating a one pot method to form a triblock TPE using the same monomers as before. To achieve this, a difunctional RAFT agent was synthesized and a one pot RAFT polymerization method was developed. The synthetic strategies for both the difunctional RAFT agent and the one pot polymerization method are discussed. An overall summary of my research as well as suggestions on future research directions in my projects and renewable polymer materials are given in Chapter 4.

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