In a study published online on January 29, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Biomacromolecules, U.S. researchers describe a simple and scalable synthesis to bio-based epoxy resins that might be a suitable replacement for bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE, CAS 1675-54-3). BADGE is the primary chemical building block for epoxy resins often used as a coating for food contact packaging materials. The final properties of BADGE-based materials are excellent. However, there are serious concerns regarding their use, as bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) has endocrine disrupting properties and may migrate from the coating into the food. Maiorana and colleagues therefore prepared a series of bio-based epoxy monomers from diphenolic acid (DPA, CAS 126-00-1) by transforming the free acid into n-alkyl esters and the phenolic hydroxyl groups into diglycidyl ethers. The synthesized bio-based epoxy resins were used without purification to prepare cured resins that exhibit qualities of engineering materials. Comparisons of the properties of these cured epoxy materials with those of BADGE provide a compelling case for the potential future use of bio-based DPA esters, the authors state.

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Maiorana, A. et al. (2015). “A bio-based alternative to the diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A with controlled materials properties.Biomacromolecules (published online Janaury 29, 2015).