The purpose of this monograph is to provide a thorough outlook on the topic related to the synthesis and characterization of original macromolecular materials derived from plant oils, an important part of the broader steadily growing discipline of polymers from renewable resources. The interest in vegetable oils as sources of biodiesel and materials has witnessed a remarkable growth of scientific and industrial interest since the beginning of the third millennium responding to the pressing drive to implement sustainability in the energy and materials sectors.
The book highlights the most relevant strategies being pursued to elaborate polymers derived from a variety of common oils, by direct activation or through chemical modifications yielding novel monomers. Because glycerol is the main byproduct of biodiesel production, it is treated here as the other logical source of macromolecular synthesis. Each of the different approaches is illustrated by an introductory layout of the underlying chemical mechanisms, followed by examples of notable achievements in terms of the properties and potential applications of the ensuing materials, which span a wide range of structures and performances. In particular, original pathways involving click-chemistry reactions as thiol-ene and Diels-Alder couplings and metathesis polymerizations are discussed and shown to reflect the involvement of a growing number of research programs worldwide.
It is important to underline that the book is not a scientific review covering the details of all relevant literature, but instead a reasoned and well-documented presentation of the state-of-the-art aimed at professionals in the field of polymer science, as well as at both undergraduate and graduate students and, more generally at chemists interested in the rational exploitation of renewable resources.