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Vitrimerization of Poly(butylene succinate) By Reactive Melt Mixing Using Zn(II) Epoxy-Vitrimer Chemistry
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Evaluation of the Parameters of Poly(Butylene succinate) Enzymatic Polymerization †

Christina I. Gkountela
Dimitrios N. Markoulakis
Dimitrios M. Korres
Stamatina N. Vouyiouka
Laboratory of Polymer Technology, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 2nd International Online Conference on Polymer Science—Polymers and Nanotechnology for Industry 4.0, 1–15 November 2021; Available online:
Mater. Proc. 2021, 7(1), 11;
Published: 1 November 2021


Poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) is a bio-based and biodegradable polyester that can be used in numerous applications, ranging from clothing to food packaging and from the car industry to the biomedical sector (e.g., drug release systems). The conventional polymerization method of PBS requires the presence of metal-based transesterification catalysts (e.g., titanium-based catalysts) and high reaction temperatures (T > 150 °C). However, under these conditions side reactions may occur along with undesirable yellowing. Green polymerization routes such as biocatalysis are being developed. However, there is a very limited literature on the enzymatic synthesis of PBS. Additionally, in most of the works where high-molecular-weight PBS is produced from the typical monomers (BDO and DES), several drawbacks, e.g., the use of various solvents for polymer isolation and the requirement of high vacuum for by-products removal may impede the process being scaled up. On that basis, an eco-friendly, solvent-free, enzyme-based process for the production of PBS was applied. It was conducted in two steps with the use of Novozym 435: the first at 40 °C, under atmospheric pressure for 24 h, and the second at 90 °C, 20 mbar for 2 h. This work focused on the optimization of the second step’s conditions, by varying reaction temperature (80–95 °C), pressure (20 mbar, 200 mbar) and reaction time (2 h, 6 h). Based on the optimization results, the process was scaled up (ca. 10 g of product). A PBS grade free of thermal degradation and metal catalyst residues, of weight-average molecular weight 4700 g/mol and melting point 103 °C, was obtained.

Supplementary Materials

The poster presentation is available online at

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to time restrictions.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gkountela, C.I.; Markoulakis, D.N.; Korres, D.M.; Vouyiouka, S.N. Evaluation of the Parameters of Poly(Butylene succinate) Enzymatic Polymerization. Mater. Proc. 2021, 7, 11.

AMA Style

Gkountela CI, Markoulakis DN, Korres DM, Vouyiouka SN. Evaluation of the Parameters of Poly(Butylene succinate) Enzymatic Polymerization. Materials Proceedings. 2021; 7(1):11.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gkountela, Christina I., Dimitrios N. Markoulakis, Dimitrios M. Korres, and Stamatina N. Vouyiouka. 2021. "Evaluation of the Parameters of Poly(Butylene succinate) Enzymatic Polymerization" Materials Proceedings 7, no. 1: 11.

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