Biobased Biodegradable Copolyesters from 2,5-Thiophenedicarboxylic Acid: Effect of Aliphatic Diols on Barrier Properties and Degradation

Qianfeng Wang, Jiayi Li, Jinggang Wang, Han Hu, Yunxiao Dong, Drow Lionel O’Young, Di Hu, Xiaoqin Zhang, Dong Qing Wei, Jin Zhu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The demand for sustainable development has led to increasing attention in biobased polyesters due to their adjustable thermal and mechanical properties and biodegradability. In this study, we used a novel bioderived aromatic diacid, 2,5-thiophenedicarboxylic acid (TDCA) to synthesize a list of novel aromatic-aliphatic poly(alkylene adipate-co-thiophenedicarboxylate) (PAATh) copolyesters through a facile melt polycondensation method. PAAThs are random copolyesters with weight-average molecular weights of 58400 to 84200 g·mol-1 and intrinsic viscosities of 0.80 to 1.27 dL·g-1. All PAAThs exhibit sufficiently high thermal stability as well as the highest tensile strength of 6.2 MPa and the best gas barrier performances against CO2 and O2, 4.3- and 3.3-fold better than those of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT). The biodegradability of PAAThs was fully evaluated through a degradation experiment and various experimental parameters, including residue weights, surface morphology, and molecular compositions. The state-of-the-art molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were applied to elucidate the different enzymatic degradation behaviors of PAAThs due to the effect of diols with different chain structures. The sterically hindered carbonyl carbon of the PHATh-enzyme complex was more susceptible to nucleophilic attack and exhibited a higher tendency to enter a prereaction state. This study has introduced a group of novel biobased copolyesters with their structure-property relationships investigated thoroughly, and the effect of diol components on the enzymatic degradation was revealed by computational analysis. These findings may lay the foundation for the development of promising substitutes for commercial biodegradable polyesters and shed light on their complicated degradation mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5884-5897
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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