Scale-up polymerization of L-lactide in supercritical fluid

Benedictus Prabowo, Se Yoon Kim, Dong Hoon Choi, Soo Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the purpose of the pre-industry production of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and full understanding of the supercritical polymerization system, large scale polymerization of L-lactide initiated by 1-dodecanolJ stannous 2-ethyl-hexanoate (DoOHJSn(Oct)2) was carried out in supercritical chlorodifluoromethane under various reaction conditions (time, temperature and pressure) and reactants (monomer and supercritical solvent) concentrations. A 3 L sized-reactor system was used throughout this study. The monomer conversion increased to 72% on increasing reaction time to 5 h. The molecular weight of PLLA product also increased to 68000 gJmol over the same period. An increase in monomer concentration resulted in a higher molecular weight, up to 144000 gJmol and 97% of monomer conversion. Raising the reaction pressure from 130 to 240 bar also resulted in an increased monomer conversion and molecular weight. To increase heat resistivity of PLLA, methanol treatment and heat-vacuum methods were evaluated. Both of them successfully improved the heat resistivity property of PLLA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-288
Number of pages5
JournalPolymer (Korea)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul


  • Large scale polymerization
  • Polylactide
  • Supercritical fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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