Making Plastic From Coffee
Polycarbonates based on bisphenol A (BPA) are a mainstay in engineering and medical applications. However, renewable resources that preclude the need for BPA would represent a sustainable alternative and would avoid the toxic and carcinogenic legacy of this compound and the degradation products of such polymers.
Quinic acid, from coffee beans and other plants, gives novel degradable engineering polymers, poly(quinic acid carbonates), according to a US team. Condensation polymerization with phosgene generated in situ from trichloromethyl chloroformate generated high molecular weight polymers.