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Oxidative coupling of eugenol: production of sustainable oligomers and polymers

Grant number: 22/08113-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Talita Martins Lacerda
Grantee:Pedro Vitor Santos de Araújo
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil


The presence of polymers in all society's sectors is irreversible and has generated debates about the harmful consequences they have caused to the environment, such as the emission of greenhouse gases and the generation of incalculable amounts of waste. In this context, efforts have been directed, in academic and industrial sectors, to the development of alternative materials based on renewable resources, in a very promising strategy that opens the way to produce original polymers with reduced environmental impact. It is necessary, therefore, that the production and development of such materials are increasingly aligned with the principles of green and sustainable chemistry, which include avoiding the production of waste, designing synthetic methodologies that can maximize the incorporation of all starting materials in the final product, and prioritizing the use of renewable platforms. It is of interest, therefore, that the choice of less harmful raw materials in polymer synthesis is associated with polymerization routes that have less intrinsic environmental impact, and enzymatic catalysis appears as a promising alternative in this context. In the present project, we intend to establish a suitable method for the oxidative coupling of eugenol - an aromatic substance that can be directly produced from renewable resources -, via enzymatic catalysis (Horseradish peroxidase - HRP and laccase), aiming at the production of oligomers and polymers. For this purpose, different experimental parameters such as enzyme load, eugenol:oxidizing agent ratio and solvent properties will be tested, and the formation of superior oligomers and polymers will be monitored as a function of reaction time. Additionally, an analogous chemical route will be conducted in the presence of iron/hydrogen peroxide for comparison purposes. The reaction products will be characterized, and the overall project is expected to contribute to the development of fully sustainable macromolecular materials.

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