Issue Date: November 10, 2008
I congratulate and thank C&EN for publishing an excellent article on biomass-derived polymers (C&EN, Sept. 29, page 21). Acrylic monomers and polymers can be made efficiently from inexpensive lactic acid. The pyrolysis of acetyl methyl lactate (methyl acetoxypropionate) produces methyl acrylate, which can be converted into acrylic acid and various acrylic esters. The copolymerization of 95% of ethyl acrylate and 5% of vinyl 2-chlorethyl ether gives a useful specialty elastomer.
Charles H. Fisher
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