Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Use of Diphenolic Acid in Polymeric Materials Prep(ST6266-1)



This is a follow-on to a study of diphenolic acid (DPA) derivatives of levulinic acid. Biofine has a technology to make low-cost levulinic acid in the Biofine pilot facility in South Glens Falls. Levulinic acid has a small primary market, but could be used to economically produce other chemicals, such as DPA. The goal is to explore large-volume; short-term applications for DPA, particularly to displace currently marketed products made with a similar compound, bisphenol A (BPA). In the first study, researchers made and evaluated small (5-10 gram) samples of three different copolymers of DPA and BPA, as well as a DPA homopolymer.

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Project Description

Researchers at RPI: 1) prepared and evaluated DPA/BPA copolymers; 2) prepared and evaluated hyperbranched esters derived from DPA; 3) evaluated ionomer formation from ester sidechains; 4) studied DPA/BPA polymer blends; and 5) selected compounds for further study.


Identification of expanded market opportunities for DPA would create growth opportunities for the Biofine levulinic acid technology, leading to economic development in New York State, , better use of waste biomass, and potential displacement of materials that otherwise would be derived from petroleum.

Project Results

Researchers produced and evaluated new DPA polymers with improved characteristics compared to BPA. They have shown they can control the composition of DPA and copolymers, and demonstrated that composition control can affect properties of interest. For example, the addition of functional groups could enhance strength and impact resistance compared to GE's Lexan. A thesis was prepared based on the work.


Rensselaer Research Admin & Finance Payment Center
Hartford, CT 06150

Principle Investigator

James Moore

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Indigenous/Renewable Energy Resources

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6266-1

Last Updated: 11/18/2010