Polymerizations in Liquid and Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
In the past few years, remarkable progress has been made in defining the scope and limitations of carbon dioxide (CO2) as an inert polymerization medium. It has appear that CO2 represents a viable solvent choice for a variety of propagation mechanisms including both chain growth and step growth polymerizations. When the environmental advantages of CO2 are combined with its ability to be used as a solvent/dispersing medium for a wide variety of chemical reactions, it becomes clear that CO2 may be the solvent of the future for the polymer industry. In addition, the design and synthesis of micelle-forming surfactants for CO2 opens the doors for use of surfactant-modified CO2 as the medium for heterogeneous polymerizations. This review will focus on the use of CO2 as an inert solvent for the synthesis and processing of polymers.