Using carbon dioxide and its sulfur analogues as monomers in polymer synthesis

The alternating copolymerization of one-carbon (C1) building blocks including carbon dioxide (CO2) and its sulfur analogues of carbon disulfide (CS2) and carbonyl sulfide (COS) with epoxides afford new copolymers, namely polycarbonates and polythiocarbonates, with tailored chain structures and properties.

This review mainly focuses on the recent advances in C1-involved copolymerization via heterogeneous catalysis of zinc-cobalt(III) double metal cyanide complex [Zn–Co(III) DMCC] catalyst. The chemistry of zinc-hydroxyl bond of Zn–Co(III) DMCC is responsible to the copolymerization of these C1 monomers with epoxides through the formation of C–O (S) bond. The syntheses of CO2-based copolymers with various topologies are also reviewed in detail.

The utilization of CO2, COS and CS2 as monomers for polymer synthesis have significant contributions to the sustainable use of renewable resources.

This article originally appeared in Polymer 82, 2016, Pages 406-431