Lactide: Production Routes, Properties, and Applications

Bioengineering (Basel). 2022 Apr 7;9(4):164. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering9040164.

ABSTRACT

Lactide dimer is an important monomer produced from lactic acid dehydration, followed by the prepolymer depolymerization process, and subsequent purification. As lactic acid is a chiral molecule, lactide can exist in three isomeric forms: L-, D-, and meso-lactide. Due to its time-consuming synthesis and the need for strict temperature and pressure control, catalyst use, low selectivity, high energy cost, and racemization, the value of a high purity lactide has a high cost in the market; moreover, little is found in scientific articles about the monomer synthesis. Lactide use is mainly for the synthesis of high molar mass poly(lactic acid) (PLA), applied as bio-based material for medical applications (e.g., prostheses and membranes), drug delivery, and hydrogels, or combined with other polymers for applications in packaging. This review elucidates the configurations and conditions of syntheses mapped for lactide production, the main properties of each of the isomeric forms, its industrial production, as well as the main applications in the market.

PMID:35447724 | DOI:10.3390/bioengineering9040164

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