Two new polymers have been made from the building blocks isoidide and isomannide: one stretchable like rubber and a second tough but pliable like most commercial plastics. Chemically they are so similar (stereochemistry) that they can be mixed to obtain improved properties. It is also noteworthy that the materials retained their mechanical properties after mechanical recycling through pulverisation and thermal processing.
University of Birmingham Enterprise and Duke University have jointly filed a patent application. The researchers are now looking for industrial partners who are interested in licensing the technology.
The invention was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Image: suteelak phundang/Shutterstock