Designing End-of-life Recyclable Polymers via Diels-Alder Chemistry: A Review on the Kinetics of Reversible Reactions

Paul van den Tempel, Francesco Picchioni, Ranjita K Bose*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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The purpose of this review is to critically assess the kinetic behaviour of the furan/maleimide Diels-Alder click reaction. The popularity of this reaction is evident and still continues to grow, which is likely attributed to its reversibility at temperatures above 100°C, and due to its bio-based "roots" in terms of raw materials. This chemistry has been used to form thermo-reversible crosslinks in polymer networks, and thus allows the polymer field to design strong, but also end-of-life recyclable thermosets and rubbers. In this context, the rate at which the forward reaction (Diels-Alder for crosslinking) and its reverse (retro Diels-Alder for de-crosslinking) proceed as function of temperature is of crucial importance in assessing the feasibility of the design in real-life products. Differences in kinetics based from various studies are not well understood, but are potentially caused by chemical side groups, mass transfer limitations, and on the analysis methods being employed. In this work we attempt to place all the relevant studies in perspective with respect to each other, and thereby offer a general guide on how to assess their recycling kinetics. This review sheds light on the kinetics on the furan/maleimide Diels-Alder reaction. This popular reaction opens up a path to develop end-of-life recyclable polymer networks with self-healing properties. The factors affecting reaction kinetics are discussed, and the importance of accurate reaction kinetics in the context of polymer reprocessing is highlighted. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2200023
Number of pages13
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number13 (SI)
Early online date3-Mar-2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2022

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