Use of curcumin and glycerol as an effective photoinitiating system in the polymerization of urethane dimethacrylate
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The objectives of this study were to verify the viability of the photoinitiating system using curcumin as a photoinitiator and glycerol as a coinitiator, to analyze the thermal and morphological features of the polymers produced, and finally evaluate the possibility of removing toxic Ethyl-p-dimethylaminobenzoate from the photoinitiating system. Curcumin, an orange–yellow dye extracted from the rhizoids of the plant Curcuma longa, is known to be a common photosensitizer, and the type II photoinitiating system consisting of a dye and an amine is long known to be effective. In recent years, the production of biodiesel has increased, and consequently, so has the generation of its main by-product, glycerol. Thus, it becomes necessary to study ways to incorporate glycerol into products. Using thermoanalytical methods (Thermogravimetry, Differential Thermal Analysis, and Differential Scanning Calorimetry), Middle Infrared Spectroscopy, and Scanning Electronic Microscopy, it was possible to assess the thermal and morphological characteristics of the polymers produced, and compare whether the presence or lack of tertiary amine, as well as the addition of different molar ratios of glycerol, had any significant impact on these characteristics. Results suggested that neither the removal of tertiary amine nor the addition (in different proportions) of glycerol affected the thermal stability of the polymers. Also, removing the tertiary amine enhanced the total conversion degree of the polymers.