A series of spray dried zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs = ZIF-8, ZIF-67, and Zn/Co-ZIF) are used as a catalyst for the bulk ring-opening polymerization of δ-valerolactone without any co-catalyst to generate polyvalerolactone. Interestingly, using the same catalyst under the same reaction conditions could manipulate the structure of the product polymer, and thus its physical properties. Thus, using a dried substrate leads to the formation of the cyclic polymer while a linear polymer was formed on using the commercially available substrate. An activated monomer mechanism has been suggested where the propagating zinc alkoxide undergoes an intramolecular transesterification to release cyclic or linear polyvalerolactone. The ROP of δ-VL without drying shows that the polymeric zwitterions have little tendency to cyclize in the presence of moisture. At 140 °C, ZIF-8 shows a superior catalytic activity resulting in the production of cyclic polyvalerolactone having a high molecular weight as compared to ZIF-67 or Zn/Co-ZIF due to the presence of highly active sites. The catalyst could be recycled and reused without any significant loss of catalytic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Inorganic Chemistry