The bulk oxypropylation of chitin and chitosan and the characterization of the ensuing polyols


Chitin and chitosan were converted into viscous polyols through a simple oxypropylation reaction, with the aim of valorising the less noble fractions or by-products of these valuable renewable resources. This process bears “green” connotations, given that it requires no solvent, leaves no by-products and no specific operations (separation, purification, etc.) are needed to isolate the entire reaction product. Chitin or chitosan samples were preactivated with KOH and then reacted with an excess of propylene oxide (PO) in an autoclave. In all instances, the reaction product was a viscous liquid made up of oxypropylated chitin or chitosan and POhomopolymer. The two fractions were separated and thoroughly characterized by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy, DSC, TGA and viscosity.


Fernandes S, Freire CSR, Pascoal Neto C, Gandini A

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