Performance polyamides built on a sustainable carbohydrate core

Lorenz Manker, Maxime A. Hedou, Clement Broggi, Marie J. Jones, Kristoffer Kortsen, Kalaiyarasi Puvanenthiran, Yildiz Kupper, Holger Frauenrath, François Marechal, Veronique Michaud, Roger Marti, Michael Shaver, Jeremy S. Luterbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sustainably producing plastic precursors that lead to performance properties in a variety of material chemistries is a major challenge—especially considering that most performance materials use aromatic structures that are still difficult to source sustainably. Here, we demonstrate catalyst-free, melt polymerization of dimethyl glyoxylate xylose (DMGX), a stabilized-carbohydrate that can be synthesized from agricultural waste with 97 % atom efficiency, into amorphous polyamides with semi-aromatic performance. Despite the presence of a carbohydrate core, these materials retained their thermomechanical properties through multiple rounds of high-shear mechanical recycling and could be chemically recycled. Technoeconomic and life cycle analyses suggested selling prices comparable to those of nylon 66 with a reduction of global warming potential of up to 75 %. This work illustrates the versatility of a stabilized-carbohydrate monomer to impart semi-aromatic performance in both degradable polyesters and highly durable engineering polyamides.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Sustainability
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2023


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