Synthesis and Phase Behavior of a Platform of CO2-Soluble Functional Gradient Copolymers Bearing Metal-Complexing Units

Polymers (Basel). 2022 Jun 30;14(13):2698. doi: 10.3390/polym14132698.


The synthesis and characterization of a platform of novel functional fluorinated gradient copolymers soluble in liquid and supercritical CO2 is reported. These functional copolymers are bearing different types of complexing units (pyridine, triphenylphosphine, acetylacetate, thioacetate, and thiol) which are well-known ligands for various metals. They have been prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization in order to obtain well-defined gradient copolymers. The copolymers have been characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamical scanning calorimetry (DSC) and cloud point measurements in dense CO2. All the investigated metal-complexing copolymers are soluble in dense CO2 under mild conditions (pressure lower than 30 MPa up to 65 °C), confirming their potential applications in processes such as metal-catalyzed reactions in dense CO2, metal impregnation, (e.g., preparation of supported catalysts) or metal extraction from various substrates (solid or liquid effluents). Particularly, it opens the door to greener and less energy-demanding processes for the recovery of metals from spent catalysts compared to more conventional pyro- and hydro-metallurgical methods.

PMID:35808744 | DOI:10.3390/polym14132698


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