ORGANOSILICON BIOTECHNOLOGY: A BIO-INSPIRED APPROACH TO THE HYDROLYSIS OF ALKOXYSILANES and THE LIPASE-CATALYZED SYNTHESIS OF SILOXANE-CONTAINING POLYESTERS AND POLYAMIDES
Frampton, Mark B.
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The first part of this thesis studied the capacity of amino acids and enzymes to catalyze the hydrolysis and condensation of tetraethoxysilane and phenyltrimethoxysilane. Selected amino acids were shown to accelerate the hydrolysis and condensation of tetraethoxysilane under ambient temperature, pressure and at neutral pH (pH 7±0.02). The nature of the side chain of the amino acid was important in promoting hydrolysis and condensation. Several proteases were shown to have a capacity to hydrolyze tri- and tet-ra- alkoxysilanes under the same mild reaction conditions. The second part of this thesis employed an immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B (Novozym-435, N435) to produce siloxane-containing polyesters, polyamides, and polyester amides under solvent-free conditions. Enzymatic activity was shown to be temperature dependent, increasing until enzyme denaturation became the dominant pro-cess, which typically occurred between 120-130ᵒC. The residual activity of N435 was, on average, greater than 90%, when used in the synthesis of disiloxane-containing polyesters, regardless of the polymerization temperature except at the very highest temperatures, 140-150ᵒC. A study of the thermal tolerance of N435 determined that, over ten reaction cycles, there was a decrease in the initial rate of polymerization with each consecutive use of the catalyst. No change in the degree of monomer conversion after a 24 hour reaction cycle was found.