Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Chuanbing Tang


In the dissertation work, new chemical intermediates, monomers and thermoplastic polymers were derived from renewable soybean oil. Elastomers were further developed using monomers and polymers from soybean oil. The properties of these polymeric materials were characterized and discussed.

In Chapter 1, the overall background and recent development polymers from renewable biomass, especially plant oils, is introduced. Major research objectives of my doctoral research were described.

The first section of the dissertation, on the preparation of renewable intermediates, novel monomers and homopolymers, is provided in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. In Chapter 2, amidation of soybean oil with amino alcohols was developed for making hydroxyl fatty amides as novel chemical intermediates. Monomers with various polymerization groups (methacrylate, norbornene, cyclic imino ethers) were then prepared for subsequent polymerization. Chapter 3 describes a methodological study over the amidation of soybean oil with amino alcohols for sixteen (meth)acrylate monomers. Understanding on the structure-property relationship for the obtained homopolymers was provided.

The second section of the dissertation, on the preparation of elastomeric materials from soybean oil derived monomers and homopolymers. For the work in Chapter 4, an acrylate monomer (SBA) and a norbornene monomer (SBN) from soybean oil were utilized to make the elastic components of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). A-B-A triblock copolymer and multi-graft copolymer TPEs were prepared and compared. Chapter 5 describes how cross-linked elastomers were prepared from Diels-Alder cross-linking of furan-modified soybean oil polymers with a di-functional maleimide cross-linker. The mechanical properties of the elastomers were dependent on the polymer backbone of the precursors and the cross-linking density. The thermally reprocessed materials exhibited similar elastomer property. Chapter 6 describes the preparation of thermoset elastomers using crosslinking between azide functionalized soybean oil polymers and alkyne modified lignin through thermally promoted azide-alkyne cyclization. A model study was carried out to prove the reactivity between azide from polymers and alkyne from lignin.

Finally, a summary is given in Chapter 7. In addition, suggestions about future research directions on the preparation of polymer products from renewable plant oils are provided.


© 2016, Liang Yuan

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