Polymeric materials derived from biological sources are of emerging interest because of their renewability, enantioselective purity, and their high potential to replace materials synthesized from fossil fuels and gases in future times. The current bottleneck during processing of these materials is the significantly decreasing average molecular weight of these polymers at temperatures only slightly higher than their melting points. Modification of the biopolymers by physical and/or chemical cross-linking significantly enhances their mechanical properties and can pave the way to competitive bio-derived materials which are potential substitutes for oil-based polymers.
Within this project, the processing parameters of microbe-derived poly(ester)s and co-polyesters will be further explored and optimized. Focus will be put on parameters important for applications such as molecular mass distribution, thermal and mechanical properties, surface tension, and optical properties of thin films.