Lactide Monomer : Precursor for the Polylactide Biopolymer

Lactide

Lactide, the dimer of lactic acid, is derived from renewable agricultural resources such as beet sugar, cane sugar, corn starch etc.  The process involves the fermentation of the plant sugars to get lactic acid.  In commercial production of lactide, first, lactic acid is polymerized to get oliomers of polylactic acid.  Then through the controlled depolymerization, oligomers are converted to the cyclic dimer, lactide.

Stereoisomers of Lactide

As lactic acid is a chiral molecule, a racemic mixture of lactic acid could produce two optically active enantiomeric forms L-lactide, D- Lactide, and the meso form D, L-lactide.  The properties of

D-lactic-Acid_Structure

D-lactic-Acid_Structure

L Lactide Structure and Properties

L-lactic-acid-molecule-structure

L-lactic-acid-molecule-structure

D Lactide Structure and Properties

 

(D,L Lactide) (Meso Lactide) Strcture and Properties

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