Polycarbonates are highly prized as engineering plastics, combining transparency and other optical benefits with excellent mechanical and thermal properties. These characteristics support broad application in the manufacture of, for example, food and beverage containers, optical displays, protective shields and lenses. However, conventional polycarbonate production is based on bisphenol A (BPA), a petrochemical feedstock known to be an endocrine disrupter, with potential to cause reproductive, developmental, and other health issues1. BPA-free polycarbonates are therefore highly desirable.
Isosorbide is a bio-based diol that can be used in place of BPA to eliminate health concerns and synthesize more sustainable polycarbonates. At the same time, isosorbide-based polycarbonates demonstrate significantly improved properties relative to conventional analogues.
- Relative to conventional BPA polycarbonates, isosorbide-based polycarbonates offer improved: scratch resistance: UV resistance, heat resistance, impact resistance and strength, birefringence, and other optical properties.
- POLYSORB® is a highly consistent, high purity isosorbide, produced at commercial scale by Roquette, that enables polycarbonate producers to capitalize on this potential. The data presented here helps to illustrate what is feasible and show how the inclusion of isosorbide can support the development of polycarbonates that answer more successfully to both new and evolving applications than conventional engineering polymers.
In this article we introduce POLYSORB® from Roquette, a commercial 100% bio-based isosorbide of exemplary quality, and explore its exciting potential for polycarbonate production.