Acetylated methacrylated glycerol as a biobased substitute for hard, rigid thermoplastic and thermoset materials

Iowa State University researchers have produced a hard block thermoplastic from glycerol. Glycerol, which is produced abundantly during biodiesel refinement, is reacted with methacrylic acid and acetic anhydride. The resultant product is a hard block thermoplastic with tunable characteristics from biorenewable materials.

Glycerol is modified to acetylated methacrylated glycerol (AMG) via reactions with methacrylic acid and acetic anhydride. The modified glycerol can then be polymerized via free radical polymerization techniques such as Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) or Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) to produce thermoplastic hard blocks. The poly(acetylate methacrylate glycerol) (poly(AMG)) can be enhanced by modifying the remaining alcohols in the glycerol backbone with different functional groups allowing adjustment to mechanical, chemical, or physical properties, making the resultant polymer suitable for a wider range of applications.


  • Abundent feedstock of glycerol which can be made in biodiesel production or from petrochemical sources
  • Glycerol modification is tunable leading to tunable properties of the resultant polymer

Bioadvantaged replacement to hard plastics such as SBS or ABS type polymers


Development Stage:


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TTO Home Page:

Name: Jack Hartwigsen

Title: Technology Marketing Manager

Department: Iowa State Research Foundation


Phone: 515-294-4740