What is ε-caprolactone

ε-Caprolactone is a colorless oily liquid with an aromatic odor, flammable, and easy to polymerize. It forms a dimer when heated. Its molecular formula is C6H10O2. It is easily soluble in polar solvents such as water, ethanol, and benzene, and is insoluble in petroleum. ether.

Uli-ECO’s ε-Caprolactone can be used as a strong solvent and has good dissolving power for poorly soluble resins. poly caprolactone has high reactivity, and its carbonyl group is easily attacked by active hydrogen. It can polymerize under heating conditions to form dimers or high-molecular polyester; and the polymer produced is not easy to decompose.

Caprolactone polyols are a new type of polyester monomer, mainly used in the production of synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber and synthetic resin.

Polycaprolactone (PCL) degradable plastic is the largest application field of caprolactone.

Polycaprolactone degradable plastic has broad market prospects in the fields of biodegradable materials, medical devices, drug carriers and 3D printing due to its excellent biodegradation and biocompatibility properties.


After caprolactone is ring-opened, caprolactone derivatives such as caprolactone polyol are used as modifiers. They are widely used in the modification of polyurethane, acrylic acid, polyester, epoxy resin and other materials, giving them excellent flexibility. properties, impact resistance, weather resistance, solubility resistance, water resistance, and improved color.

Among them, because the C-C bonds and C-O bonds in the molecular chain can rotate freely, this structure makes PCL have good flexibility and processability and can be extruded, injection molded, wire drawing, film blowing, etc. The presence of ester groups makes PCL a material with good biocompatibility and biodegradability. In addition, the flexibility and repetitive structure of PCL give it shape memory, that is, the phenomenon that a product with an initial shape can be restored to its original shape after being deformed and fixed by external stimulation methods such as heating. And because PCL has a slow degradation rate and good biocompatibility, it can be used as a carrier for controlled drug release and as a suture for soft tissue connected to bone and has been clinically applied. This can replace traditional surgical methods, greatly improve the convenience of surgery, and also reduce the pain of patients. As a completely biodegradable material, in terms of environmental protection, it is an important way to truly reduce plastic waste, protect the ecological environment and open up new plastic raw materials. In nature, the ester-based structure is easily decomposed by microorganisms or enzymes, and the final products are CO2 and H2O

The synthesis method of ε-caprolactone is divided into the following:

Among several methods for oxidizing cyclohexanone to synthesize e-caprolactone, the peroxy acid oxidation method was first used in industrialization and is currently the most commonly used method. However, during the production process, high-concentration and explosive peroxides are easily produced; H2O2 oxidation, O2/air oxidation, and biological oxidation are relatively clean production processes.

Biological oxidation methods are currently only in the laboratory development stage. O2/air oxidation method Due to the low activity of molecular oxygen, the reaction conditions of the O2/air oxidation method are quite harsh and the yield is low.

The H2O2 direct oxidation method is still difficult to apply due to problems such as difficulty in dehydration and easy hydrolysis of the product;

The H2O2 indirect oxidation method is not only beneficial to environmental protection but also reduces costs because the solvent and dehydrating agent used can be recycled. It also avoids the safety hazards caused by concentrated peroxyacid in the peroxyacid oxidation method. However, it is currently also There are many shortcomings, such as long reaction time, low yield and difficult separation.

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