Ultrahigh Thermoresistant Lightweight Bioplastics Developed from Fermentation Products of Cellulosic Feedstock

Aniruddha Nag, Mohammad Asif Ali, Hideo Kawaguchi, Shun Saito, Yukie Kawasaki, Shoko Miyazaki, Hirotoshi Kawamoto, Deddy Triyono Nugroho Adi, Kumiko Yoshihara, Shunsuke Masuo, Yohei Katsuyama, Akihiko Kondo, Chiaki Ogino, Naoki Takaya, Tatsuo Kaneko, Yasuo Ohnishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Production of bioplastics from renewable biological resources is a prerequisite for the development of a circular and sustainable society. Current bioplastics are mostly heat-sensitive aliphatic polymers, requiring thermoresistant aromatic bioplastics. Herein, 3-amino-4-hydroxybenzoic acid (AHBA) and 4-aminobenzoic acid (ABA) are produced from kraft pulp, an inedible cellulosic feedstock, using metabolically engineered bacteria. AHBA is chemically converted to 3,4-diaminobenzoic acid (DABA); subsequently, poly(2,5-benzimidazole) is obtained by the polycondensation of DABA and processed into an ultrahigh thermoresistant film. The copolymerization of DABA with a small amount of ABA dramatically increases the degradation temperatures of the resulting films (over 740 °C) to yield the most thermoresistant plastic on record. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the incorporation of ABA strengthens the interchain hydrogen bonds between aromatic imidazole rings. Thus, an alternative organic molecular design is proposed for thermoresistant plastics without using heavy inorganics, although continuous aromatic heterocycles are widely considered ideal for polymer thermoresistance. This innovative macromolecular design increases thermoresistance and can be widely applied to well-processable plastics for the production of lightweight materials and is expected to contribute to the development of a more sustainable society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000193
JournalAdvanced Sustainable Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • bioplastics
  • cellulose
  • density functional theory
  • high performance polymers
  • polybenzimidazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science


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