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Copolymerization of Carbon Dioxide with Optically Active Propylene Oxide


Alternate copolymerization of carbon dioxide with optically active propylene oxide using a diethylzinc–water system as catalyst was investigated. The hydrolysis of the copolymer, poly(propylene carbonate), followed by subsequent treatment with p-nitrobenzoyl chloride, transformed the epoxide unit of the copolymer into the form of propylene glycol bis-p-nitrobenzoate. The determination of the optical activity of this ester led to the conclusion that the ring opening of propylene oxide takes place predominantly at the methylene–Oxygen linkage in the copolymerization, which suggests the anionic nature of the reaction. The optical rotatory behavior of the copolymer is also described.


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Inoue, S., Koinuma, H. & Tsuruta, T. Copolymerization of Carbon Dioxide with Optically Active Propylene Oxide. Polym J 2, 220–224 (1971).

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  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Copolymerization
  • Diethylzinc
  • Optical Activity
  • Poly(propylene carbonate)
  • Propylene Oxide
  • Ring Opening
  • Alternation

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