Polymerization Methods and Characterizations for Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) Based Polymers

  • Fathilah Binti AliEmail author
  • Norshafiq Ismail


Polymers based from petrochemical have been widely used in various applications due to their availability and lower cost. Products produced from petrochemicals have excellent properties. However their low biodegradability rate had caused terrible environmental problems. Therefore, polymers based on natural resources such as natural polymers, biopolymers, and synthetic polymers are highly in demand as they can be produced from natural sources which means they are sustainable. Apart of that, due to their nature, they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. There are many types of biopolymers such as cellulose, poly(lactic acid) (PLA), polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and much more. Among these biopolymers, PLA has high potential because it has similar properties to conventional polymers such as polystyrene (PS). This polymer is an aliphatic type polyester which can be polymerized from its’ monomer, lactic acid. Lactic acid (LA) can be obtained from the fermentation process of natural sources such as starch (Auras R, Harte B, Selke S; Macromol Biosci 4(9):835–864, 2004).


Isocyanate Chain extender Chemical structure Condensation polymerization Hydrolytic degradation Lactic acid Mechanical properties Poly(lactic acid) Polymerization Polyols Polyurethane Ring-opening polymerization Step growth polymerization Thermal properties 


  1. Ali FB, Kang DJ, Kim MP, Cho CH, Kim BJ (2014) Synthesis of biodegradable and flexible, polylactic acid-based, thermoplastic polyurethane with high gas barrier properties. Polym Int 63(9):1620–1626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Auras R, Harte B, Selke S (2004) An overview of polylactides as packaging materials. Macromol Biosci 4(9):835–864. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bae JY, Chung DJ, An JH, Shin DH (1999) Effect of the structure of chain extenders on the dynamic mechanical behaviour of polyurethane. J Mater Sci 34:2523–2527Google Scholar
  4. Chen CC, Chen CY, Tsay CY, Wang SY, Lin CK (2015) Influence of Fe3O4 nanoparticles on pseudocapacitive behavior of the charge storage process. J Alloys Compd 645:250–258. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. John Chiefari YKBC, Ercole F, Krstina J, Jeffery J, Le TPT, Mayadunne RTA, Meijs GF, Moad CL, Moad G, Rizzardo E, Thang SH (1998) Living free-radical polymerization by reversible addition−fragmentation chain transfer: the RAFT process. Macromolecules 31:5559–5562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kadkin O, Osajda K, Kaszynski P, Barber TA (2003) Polyester polyols: synthesis and characterization of diethylene glycol terephthalate oligomers. J Polym Sci A Polym Chem 41:1114–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kato M, Kamigaito M, Sawamoto M, Higashimura T (1995) Polymerization of methyl methacrylate with the carbon tetrachloride/dichlorotris- (triphenylphosphine)ruthenium(II)/methylaluminum Bis(2,6-di-tert-butylphenoxide) initiating system: possibility of living radical polymerization. Macromolecules 28(5):1721–1723. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nakajima-Kambe T, Shigeno-Akutsu Y, Nomura N, Onuma F, Nakahara T (1999) Microbial degradation of polyurethane, polyester polyurethanes and polyether polyurethanes. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 51(2):134–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Petrović ZS, Zhang W, Zlatanić A, Lava CC, Ilavský M (2002) Effect of OH/NCO molar ratio on properties of soy-based polyurethane networks. J Polym Environ 10(1–2):5–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wang Y, Hillmyer MA (2000) Synthesis of polybutadiene-polylactide diblock copolymers using aluminum alkoxide macroinitiators. Kinetics and mechanism. Macromolecules 33(20):7395–7403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wang J-S, Matyjaszewski K (1995) Controlled/“living” radical polymerization. Atom transfer radical polymerization in the presence of transition-metal complexes. J Am Chem Soc 117(20):5614–5615. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Yuzo Kotani MK, Kamigaito M, Sawamoto M (1996) Living radical polymerization of alkyl methacrylates with ruthenium complex and synthesis of their block copolymers. Macromolecules 29:6979–6982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Zalusky AS, Olayo-Valles R, Wolf JH, Hillmyer MA (2002) Ordered nanoporous polymers from polystyrene-polylactide block copolymers. J Am Chem Soc 124(43):12761–12773. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology EngineeringIIUMKuala LumpurMalaysia

Personalised recommendations