Master of Science Tuomo Kainulainen
Faculty and research unit
University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry
Field of study
Date and time of the thesis defence
Place of the thesis defence
Linnanmaa L5. Remote connection: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/63262087858
Topic of the dissertation
Furfural-based 2,2'-bifurans: Synthesis and applications in polymers
Professor Heikki Tenhu, University of Helsinki
Adjunct Professor Juha Heiskanen, University of Oulu
High-performance bioplastics from furfural
In this work, new furfural-based bioplastics were investigated. Furfural is a simple plant-biomass derived renewable chemical that is produced at a commercial scale. In the current study, it was revealed that novel furfural-based bioplastics had several improved properties over traditional non-renewable plastics.
Developing renewable high-performance plastics is a significant challenge, which requires the identification and study of appropriate starting materials. In this study, the research was centered on so-called bifuran compounds, which are derived from furfural. For their synthesis, a new palladium catalyzed coupling reaction method was developed. Materials made from the bifuran compounds had several interesting properties, including strong UV-light filtering effect and lowered oxygen gas permeability. In terms of their other properties, these materials were found to bear resemblance to traditional materials currently in use.
Although furfural is a long-utilized renewable compound, the current results demonstrate that by using novel upgrading strategies it can serve as a starting material for high-performance bioplastics. These in turn can challenge traditional fossil-based plastics. The studied bifuran-based materials could be useful in, for instance, advanced renewable packaging materials.
Last updated: 19.11.2020