Bio-Based Composites and Their Applications for Auto Interior Parts
Polylactide (PLA), which is one of the most important biocompatible polyesters that are derived from annually renewable biomass such as corn and sugar beets, has attracted much attention for automotive parts application. The manufacturing method of PLA is the ring-opening polymerization of the dimeric cyclic ester of lactic acid, lactide. For the PLA composites including stereocomplexed with L- and D-PLA, we developed the unit processes such as fermentation, separation, lactide conversion, and polymerization. We investigated D-lactic acid fermentation with a view to obtaining the strains capable of producing D-lactic acid, and through catalyst screening test for polycondensation and depolymerization reactions, we got a new method which shortens the whole reaction time of lactide synthesis step. Poly(d-lactide) is obtained from the ring-opening polymerization of d-lactide. Also we investigated several catalysts and polymerization conditions.