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Thiol‐Aldehyde Polycondensation for Bio‐based Adaptable and Degradable Phenolic Polymers

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Designing sustainable materials with tunable mechanical properties, intrinsic degradability, and recyclability from renewable biomass through a mild process has become vital in polymer science. Traditional phenolic resins are generally considered to be not degradable or recyclable. Here we report the design and synthesis of linear and network structured phenolic polymers using facile polycondensation between natural aldehyde-bearing phenolic compounds and polymercaptans. Linear phenolic products are amorphous with Tg between -9 oC and 12 oC. Cross-linked networks from vanillin and its di-functional derivative exhibited excellent mechanical strength between 6-64 MPa. The connecting dithioacetals are associatively adaptable strong bonds and susceptible to degradation in oxidative conditions to regenerate vanillin. These results highlight the potential of biobased sustainable phenolic polymers with recyclability and selective degradation, as a complement to the traditional phenol-formaldehyde resins.

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