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ERIC Number: EJ824958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Ring-Opening Polymerization of Lactide to Form a Biodegradable Polymer
Robert, Jennifer L.; Aubrecht, Katherine B.
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n2 p258-260 Feb 2008
In this laboratory activity for introductory organic chemistry, students carry out the tin(II) bis(2-ethylhexanoate)/benzyl alcohol mediated ring-opening polymerization of lactide to form the biodegradable polymer polylactide (PLA). As the mechanism of the polymerization is analogous to that of a transesterification reaction, the experiment can be used to demonstrate reactions of carboxylic acid derivatives. The polymerization can be successfully carried out using standard teaching laboratory (non-Schlenk) conditions. Analysis of polymer stereochemistry by [to the first power]H NMR and a discussion of the effect of monomer stereochemistry on the stereochemistry of the polymer are included in the experiment. The effect of adventitious water on the rate of the polymerization and the number-average molecular weight, M[subscript n] of the resulting polymer are discussed in the Supplemental Material. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A