Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MS Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Stanzione, Joseph F.

Committee Member 1

La Scala, John J.

Committee Member 2

Sadler, Joshua M.


Epoxy resins, Polyarylate, Polycarbonate, Polyester, Thermoplastic, Thermoset


Biomass chemicals


Chemical Engineering


The development of high performance polymers from renewable feedstocks is a crucial step toward a global economy that is less dependent on fossil resources and has been a field of increasing study. The development of novel and interesting bio-based monomers, resins, and functional building blocks is critical to the improvement of polymers produced across the field, as well as to increasing the resource base from which chemical and materials engineers can draw to meet specific polymer property requirements. To this end, interesting tri-functional (trisguaiacol) and 4-vinyl guaiacol based hetero-difunctional monomers were developed and screened for preliminary polymer properties. The applications of these and other similar building blocks for various polymer applications are numerous and varied and, therefore, are worthy of investigation and inclusion in the body of this work.

Currently, most plastics, synthetic fibers, and composite materials that are ubiquitous throughout every aspect of modern life utilize petrochemical feedstocks, an unsustainable model for the future. Lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose are the most abundant renewable biopolymers in the world and offer a sustainable alternative for fine chemicals and platform molecules in the future. Depolymerized, these biomass sources afford many different building block chemicals that can be functionalized and utilized in polymer and materials applications. In this work, epoxy resins, polycarbonates, and polyesters derived from lignin were synthesized and characterized by 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, FTIR, GPC, DMA, TGA, and DSC. In the case of epoxy resins, a cellulose-derived diamine curing agent, 5,5'-methylenedifurfurylamine (DFDA), was used alongside lignin-derived glycidyl ethers to prepare highly bio-based thermosetting resins. Lignin-derived aromatic polycarbonates and polyesters were also synthesized to investigate the utility of bio-based monomers in important thermoplastics. The resulting polymers displayed high thermal stability and high moduli as well as moderate glass transition temperatures due to high aromatic content and other unique structural effects.