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Title:
RENEWABLY SOURCED SOIL RELEASE POLYESTERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/105938
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Polyester comprising two or more structural units (a1), one or more structural units (a2) and either one or two terminal structural groups (a3) formula (I) wherein G1 is one or more (OCnhbn) with n being a number of from 2 to 10, preferably from 2 to 6 and more preferably (OC2H4), (OCsHe), (OC4H8) or (OC6H12), R1 is a C1-30 alkyl, preferably C1-4 alkyl and more preferably methyl, p is, based on a molar average, a number of from 1 to 200, preferably from 2 to 150 and more preferably from 3 to 120, q is, based on a molar average, a number of from 0 to 40, preferably from 0 to 30, more preferably from 0 to 20, and most preferably from 0 to 10, where the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)-groups of the terminal group (a3) may be arranged blockwise, alternating, periodically and/or statistically, preferably blockwise and/or statistically, either of the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- can be linked to R1- and -O, adjacent structural units (a1) are connected by the structural unit (a2), in the case that only one terminal group (a3) is present in the polymer, the other terminal group is selected from the group consisting of OH, OCH3, and G1OH and both terminal groups may be only linked to a structural unit (a1).

Inventors:
MUTCH, Kevin (Mainkurstrasse 32, Frankfurt, 60385, DE)
GILLISSEN, Martijn (Chattenweg 3, Frankfurt, 65929, DE)
Application Number:
EP2018/082718
Publication Date:
June 06, 2019
Filing Date:
November 27, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CLARIANT INTERNATIONAL LTD (Rothausstr. 61, 4132 Muttenz, 4132, CH)
International Classes:
C11D3/37; C08G63/672; C11D3/00
Foreign References:
EP3235848A12017-10-25
US20160311208A12016-10-27
JP2015105373A2015-06-08
GB1088984A1967-10-25
US3962152A1976-06-08
US3959230A1976-05-25
US3893929A1975-07-08
GB1466639A1977-03-09
US4132680A1979-01-02
US4702857A1987-10-27
EP0199403A21986-10-29
US4711730A1987-12-08
US4713194A1987-12-15
US4759876A1988-07-26
JP2015105373A2015-06-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PACZKOWSKI, Marcus (Industriepark Höchst / G 860, Frankfurt, 65926, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Patent Claims

1. Polyester comprising two or more structural units (a1 ), one or more structural units (a2) and either one or two terminal structural groups (a3)

wherein

G1 is one or more (OCnhten) with n being a number of from 2 to 10, preferably from 2 to 6 and more preferably (OC2H4), (OC3H6), (OC4H8) or (OC6H12),

R1 is a C1-30 alkyl, preferably C1-4 alkyl and more preferably methyl,

p is, based on a molar average, a number of from 1 to 200, preferably from

2 to 150 and more preferably from 3 to 120,

q is, based on a molar average, a number of from 0 to 40, preferably from 0 to 30, more preferably from 0 to 20, and most preferably from 0 to 10, where

the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)-groups of the terminal group (a3) may be arranged blockwise, alternating, periodically and/or statistically, preferably blockwise and/or statistically,

either of the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- can be linked to R1- and -O, adjacent structural units (a1 ) are connected by the structural unit (a2), in the case that only one terminal group (a3) is present in the polymer, the other terminal group is selected from the group consisting of OH, OCH3, and G1OH and

both terminal groups may be only linked to a structural unit (a1 ).

2. The polyester according to claim 1 , characterized in that the sum of p and q, based on a molar average, is a number of from 1 to 200, preferably a number of from 5 to 150 and more preferably a number of from 10 to 75.

3. The polyester according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that R1 is methyl.

4. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that G1 is (OC2H4) or (OCsHe).

5. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that it additionally comprises one or more structural units (a4), which may be indirectly linked to structural units (a1 ) or other structural units (a4) via the structural units (a2), or directly linked to a terminal group:

6. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the average molecular weight (Mw) is from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

7. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the average number of structural units (a1 ) is from 2 to 60, preferably from 2 to 50, more preferably from 3 to 40, and even more preferably from 4 to 30.

8. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that the total amount of terminal group (a3), based on the total weight of the polyester, is at least 40 wt.-%, preferably at least 50 wt.-%, more preferably at least 60 wt.-% and even more preferably at least 70 wt.-%.

9. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the total amount of repeating structural units (a1 ) and (a2) and of terminal group (a3), based on the total weight of the polyester, is at least 50 wt.-%, preferably at least 60 wt.-%, more preferably at least 70 wt.-%, and even more preferably at least 80 wt.-%.

10. The polyester according to one or more of claims 5 to 9, characterized in that the amount of structural units (a4), based on the total weight of the polyester, is at least 0.1 wt.-%, preferably from 0.1 wt.-% to 50 wt.-%, and more preferably from 0.5 wt.-% to 40 wt.-%.

11. The polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 4 and 6 to 9, characterized in that the structural units are exclusively selected from the group consisting of structural units (a1 ) and (a2). 12. A process for the preparation of a polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 11 , characterized in that it comprises the steps of heating furan-2,5- dicarboxylic acid, one or more alkylene glycols, and R1-(OC2H4)P-(OC3H6)q-OH, with the addition of a catalyst, to temperatures of from 160 to 220°C, firstly at atmospheric pressure, and then continuing the reaction under reduced pressure at temperatures of from 160 to 240°C.

13. The use of a polyester according to one or more of claims 1 to 11 as a soil release agent.

Description:
Renewably sourced soil release polyesters

The invention relates to polyesters based on renewably sourced raw materials, a process for their preparation and their use as soil release agents. The polyesters are useful as soil release agents in laundry detergent and fabric care products.

Polyester containing fabrics can be surface modified to increase the hydrophilicity of the fabric, which can improve soil removal. Such surface modification can be achieved through direct treatment of the fabric, as outlined for example in

GB 1 ,088,984, or more preferably through deposition of a surface modifying polymer in a washing process, as disclosed for example in US 3,962,152. The renewable soil release finish imparted through washing ensures the continuous protection of the fiber from oily stains.

The polymers used in these processes typically consist of a polyester midblock with either one or two endblocks of polyethylene glycol, as further outlined in US 3,959,230 and US 3,893,929.

The use of nonionic soil release agents in liquid laundry detergents is well known in the art. GB 1 ,466,639, US 4,132,680, US 4,702,857, EP 0 199 403,

US 4,711 ,730, US 4,713,194 and US 4,759,876 disclose aqueous detergent compositions containing soil release polymers.

Typically the polyesters described in the prior art comprise glycol terephthalate or glycol terephthalate / polyglycol terephthalate co-polymers. This is governed by the fact that most polyesters used in fiber making comprise ethylene terephthalate units. This structural similarity between polyester substrate and soil release polyester is often considered to be a prerequisite for a functioning soil release polymer.

However, many of the polyesters described in the prior art are difficult to formulate in some laundry detergent formulations due to being too hydrophobic, moreover, they are based on raw materials sourced from non-renewable feedstocks such as crude oil. There is also a growing consumer perception that“phthalate”-based ingredients may pose a general health risk; polyethylene terephthalate - polyoxyethylene terephthalate polymers would fall into this group. In the interests of the environment and of consumer perception, there is, therefore, a drive for renewably sourced soil release polymers exhibiting improved cleaning on polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene terephthalate containing materials, which are nevertheless themselves not based on terephthalates or at least contain reduced amounts of terephthalate units. In the extreme case of complete terephthalate replacement, this would allow the marketing of phthalate-free detergents displaying superior cleaning in the second and subsequent washes. Therefore, alternative structural moieties must be sought, which can be both renewably sourced and result in polymers with sufficient soil release properties.

Besides being based on raw materials sourced from non-renewable feedstocks, polyesters described in the prior art are prepared in high energy demanding processes via direct esterification or transesterification. Due to the limited solubility of terephthalic acid in typical reaction mixtures, elevated temperatures and pressures are required for a direct esterification process. In the case of

transesterification, distillates of low boiling alcohols are obtained which need to be disposed of. In the interest of the environment, there is a drive for soil release polymers, which can be prepared by more benign production processes.

Therefore, it was the object of the present invention to provide new soil release polyesters which are based on renewably sourced raw materials and which, due to their more hydrophilic structure, are easier to formulate in liquid laundry

detergents.

Surprisingly, it has been found that this problem can be solved by polyesters comprising structural elements based on 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid.

Therefore, the present invention provides polyesters comprising two or more structural units (a1 ), one or more structural units (a2) and either one or two terminal groups (a3) wherein

G 1 is one or more of (OCnhten) with n being a number of from 2 to 10, preferably from 2 to 6 and more preferably (OC2H4), (OC3H6), (OC4H8) or (OC6H12),

R 1 is C1-30 alkyl, preferably C1-4 alkyl and more preferably methyl,

p is, based on a molar average, a number of from 1 to 200, preferably from

2 to 150 and more preferably from 3 to 120,

q is, based on a molar average, a number of from 0 to 40, preferably from 0 to 30, more preferably from 0 to 20, and most preferably from 0 to 10, where

the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)-groups of the terminal group (a3) may be arranged blockwise, alternatingly, periodically and/or statistically, preferably blockwise and/or statistically,

either of the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- can be linked to R 1 - and -O, adjacent structural units (a1 ) are connected by the structural unit (a2), in the case that only one terminal group (a3) is present in the polymer, the other terminal group is selected from the group consisting of OH, OCH3, and G 1 OH, and

both terminal groups may only be linked to structural unit (a1 ).

Certain highly hydrophilic ethylene furanoate / polyethyleneglycol furanoate co-polymers have already been disclosed in the prior art, for example in

JP 2015-105373 A, either such polymers and their use as soil release additives for hydrophilic fabrics, such as cotton are described. However, the more hydrophobic derivatives were not sufficiently water soluble. Moreover, there is no mention of their use on polyester fabrics. One advantage of the polyester of the invention is that in laundry detergent compositions they lead to a high content of renewably based carbon, in cases where the amount of structural units (a1 ) and (a2) in the polymer is high.

In the polyesters of the invention structural units (a1 ) are linked via structural unit (a2), which results in the following structural entity:

The terminal group (a3) may not be linked to structural unit (a2) but may be linked to structural unit (a1 ), which results in the following structural entity:

In the case that one polyester molecule comprises two or more of structural units (a2), the definition of the group G 1 may, in these structural units (a2). Furthermore, in the case that one polyester molecule comprises two of the terminal groups (a3) the definition of R 1 may vary in these terminal groups.

In the case that both p and q of the terminal group (a3) adopt non-zero values, the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)-groups may be arranged blockwise, alternatingly, periodically and/or statistically, preferably blockwise and/or statistically. This means that in one instance the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- may be arranged, for example, in a purely statistically or blockwise form but may also be arranged in a form which could be considered as both statistical and blockwise, e.g. small blocks of (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- arranged in a statistical manner, or in a form where adjacent instances of statistical and blockwise arrangements of the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- exist. Both of (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- may be bonded to R 1 - and -O. This means for example, that both R 1 - and -O may be connected to a (OC3H6)- group, they may both be connected to a (OC2H4)- group or they may be connected to different groups selected from (OC2H4)- and (OC3H6)-.

In the polyesters of the invention, the sum of p and q of the terminal group (a3), based on a molar average, is preferably a number of from 1 to 200, more preferably a number of from 5 to 150 and even more preferably a number of from 10 to 75.

In the polyesters of the invention, R 1 is preferably methyl.

In the polyesters of the invention, G 1 is preferably (OC2H4) or (OC3H6). In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the polyesters of the invention additionally comprise one or more of the structural unit (a4), which may be linked to structural units (a1 ) or other structural units (a4) via the structural unit (a2), or directly linked to a terminal group:

In the case that the polyesters of the invention comprise the structural units (a4), these units may be linked to each other or to structural units (a1 ) via the structural unit (a2), which may result in the following structural entities:

co- CO

In addition, the terminal group (a3) may also be linked to the structural unit (a4), which results in the following structural entity:

The average molecular weight (M w ) of the polyester of the invention is preferably in the range of from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

The average molecular weight (M w ) of the polyester of the invention may be determined by GPC analysis, preferably as detailed in the following: 10 m I of sample is injected onto a PSS Suprema column of dimensions 300 x 8 mm with porosity 30 A and particle size 10 pm. The detection is monitored at 235 nm on a multiple wavelength detector. The employed eluent is 1 .25 g/l of disodium hydrogen phosphate in a 45 / 55 % (v/v) water / acetonitrile mixture. Separations are conducted at a flow-rate of 0.8 ml/min. Quantification is performed by externally calibrating standard samples of different molecular weight polyethylene glycols.

In the polyesters of the invention, the average number of repeating structural unit (a1 ) is preferably from 2 to 60, more preferably from 2 to 50, even more preferably from 3 to 40 and most preferably from 4 to 30, and within this preferred

embodiment may be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 , 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 or 30.

In the polyesters of the invention, the total amount of the terminal group (a3), based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 40 wt.-%, more preferably at least 50 wt.-%, even more preferably at least 60 wt.-% and most preferably at least 70 wt.-%.

In the polyesters of the invention, the total amount of structural units (a1 ) and (a2) and of the terminal group (a3), based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 50 wt.-%, more preferably at least 60 wt.-%, even more preferably at least 70 wt.-%, and most preferably at least 80 wt.-%.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the amount of structural unit (a4) in the inventive polyesters, based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 0.1 wt.-%, more preferably from 0.1 wt.-% to 50 wt.-%, and even more preferably from 0.5 wt.-% to 40 wt.-%.

In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the structural units are exclusively selected from the group consisting of repeating structural units (a1 ) and (a2).

In one particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the polyesters of the invention, described in the following and further referred to as“Polyester A”, comprise structural units exclusively selected from the group consisting of structural units (a1 ) and (a2) and the terminal group (a3), where two or more of structural units (a1 ), one or more of structural units (a2) and either one or two of the terminal groups (a3) must be present

wherein

G 1 is (OCsHe)

R 1 is CHs,

p is based on a molar average, a number of from 10 to 50

q is 0.

In Polyester A, adjacent structural units (a1 ) are connected by structural unit (a2). Furthermore, in the case that only one terminal group (a3) is present in the polymer, the other terminal group is selected from the group consisting of OH, OCH3, and G 1 OH. Both terminal groups may only be linked to the structural unit (a1 ).

In Polyester A, the average number of structural units (a1 ) is preferably from 2 to 30, more preferably from 3 to 20, and even more preferably from 4 to 15.

The average molecular weight (Mw) of Polyester A is preferably from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

In another particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the polyesters of the invention, described in the following and further referred to as“Polyester B”, comprise structural units exclusively selected from the group consisting of structural units (a1 ) and (a2) and the terminal group (a3), where two or more of the repeating structural units (a1 ), one or more of the repeating structural units (a2) and either one or two of the terminal groups (a3) must be present

wherein

G 1 is (OCsHe);

R 1 is CHs;

p is, based on a molar average, a number of from 10 to 50 and

q is, based on a molar average, a number of from 2 to 5.

In Polyester B, adjacent structural units (a1 ) are connected by the structural unit (a2). Furthermore, in the case that only one terminal group (a3) is present in the polymer, the other terminal group is selected from the group consisting of OH, OCH3, and G 1 OH. Both terminal groups may only be linked to the structural unit (a1 ). Furthermore, the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H 4 )-groups of the terminal group (a3) are arranged blockwise.

In Polyester B, the average number of structural units (a1 ) is preferably from 2 to 30, more preferably from 3 to 20, and even more preferably from 4 to 15.

The average molecular weight (Mw) of Polyester B is preferably from 2000 to 20000 g/mol. The groups -OC2H 4 in the structural units“R 1 -(0C2H 4 ) P -(0C3H6) q -0-” and in the structural units G 1 are of the formula -O-CH2-CH2-.

The groups -OC3H6 in the structural units“R 1 -(0C2H 4 ) P -(0C3H6)q-0-” and in the structural units G 1 are of the formula -0-CH(CH3)-CH2- or -0-CH2-CH(CH3)-, i.e. of the formula

The groups (OC 4 Hs) in the structural units G 1 are preferably of the

formula -0-CH(CH3)-CH(CH3)-, i.e. of the formula

CH 3 CH 3

-O-CH-CH—

The groups (OC6H12) in the structural units G 1 are preferably of the

formula -0-CH2-CH(n-C 4 H9)- or -0-CH(n-C 4 H9)-CH2-, i.e. of the formula

The invention further provides polyesters obtainable through a polymerization reaction of the following monomers:

I) 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid or its ester,

II) one or more alkylene glycols of the formula HOCnhtenOH, with n

being a number of from 2 to 10, preferably from 2 to 6 and more preferably HOC2H4OH, HOCsHeOH, HOC 4 H 8 OH or HOC6H12OH,

III) one or more alkyl capped polyalkylene glycols of the formula

R 1 -(OC2H4)p-(OC 3 H6)q-OH wherein

R 1 is a C1-30 alkyl, preferably a C1-4 alkyl and more preferably

methyl, the (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)-groups may be arranged blockwise, alternating, periodically and/or statistically, preferably blockwise and/or statistically, and wherein the connections of the groups (OC3H6)- and (OC2H4)- can be linked to R 1 - and -OH,

p is based on a molar average, a number of from 1 to 200,

preferably from 2 to 150 and more preferably from 3 to 120, q is based on a molar average, a number of from 0 to 40,

preferably from 0 to 30, more preferably from 0 to 20, and most preferably from 0 to 10,

IV) optionally one or more further monomers, that are different from the monomers I) to III), preferably selected from the group consisting of aromatic dicarboxylic acids, their derivatives and the salts thereof, more preferably terephthalic acid, phthalic acid, isophthalic acid, 3-sulfophthalic acid, 4-sulfophthalic acid, 5-sulfoisophthalic acid and their salts, and even more preferably terephthalic acid and its ester.

The polyesters of the invention obtainable through a polymerization reaction of the monomers I), II), III) and optionally IV) are referred to in the following as “Polyester C”. The sum of p and q in monomer III), based on a molar average, is preferably a number of from 1 to 200, more preferably a number of from 5 to 150 and even more preferably a number of from 10 to 75.

R 1 in the definition of monomer III) is preferably methyl.

Monomer II) is preferably HOC2H4OH or HOC3H6OH.

The one or more optional monomers IV) are preferably selected from the group consisting of aromatic dicarboxylic acids, their derivatives and the salts thereof, more preferably terephthalic acid, phthalic acid, isophthalic acid, 3-sulfophthalic acid, 4-sulfophthalic acid, 5-sulfoisophthalic acid and their salts, and even more preferably terephthalic acid and its ester.

The average molecular weight (M w ) of Polyester C is preferably from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

The average number of repeating structural units of Polyester C resulting from monomer I) in the polymerization is preferably from 2 to 60, more preferably from 2 to 50, even more preferably from 3 to 40 and most preferably from 4 to 30.

The amount of Polyester C resulting from monomer III) in the polymerization, based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 40 wt.-%, more preferably at least 50 wt.-%, even more preferably at least 60 wt.-% and most preferably at least 70 wt.-%.

The amount of structural units of Polyester C resulting from monomers I) and II) in the polymerization plus the amount of terminal groups resulting from monomer III), based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 50 wt.-%, more preferably at least 60 wt.-%, even more preferably at least 70 wt.-%, and most preferably at least 80 wt.-%. The amount of Polymer C resulting from optional monomer IV) in the

polymerization, based on the total weight of the polyester, is preferably at least 0.1 wt.-%, more preferably from 0.1 wt.-% to 50 wt.-%, and even more preferably from 0.5 wt.-% to 40 wt.-%.

Preferably, Polyester C is obtainable through polymerizing exclusively

monomers I), II) and III).

In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the polyesters of the invention, described in the following and further referred to as“Polyester A 1 ”, are obtainable through a polymerisation reaction of the following monomers:

I) 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid or its ester,

II) HOCsHeOH,

III) one or more alkyl capped polyalkylene glycols of the formula

R 1 -(OC2H4)p-(OC 3 H6)q-OH

wherein

R 1 is CHs,

p is based on a molar average, a number of from 10 to 50 and q is 0.

In Polyester A 1 , the average number of structural units resulting from monomer I) is preferably from 2 to 30, more preferably from 3 to 20, and even more preferably from 4 to 15.

The average molecular weight (Mw) of Polyester A 1 is preferably from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the polyesters of the invention, described in the following and further referred to as“Polyester B 1 ”, are obtainable through a polymerisation reaction of the following monomers:

I) 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid or its ester,

II) HOCsHeOH and

III) one or more alkyl capped polyalkylene glycols of the formula R 1 -(OC2H4)p-(OC 3 H6)q-OH

wherein

R 1 is CHs,

p is based on a molar average, a number of from 10 to 50 and q is based on a molar average, a number of from 2 to 5.

In Polyester B 1 , the average number of repeating structural units resulting from monomer I) is preferably from 2 to 30, more preferably from 3 to 20, and even more preferably from 4 to 15.

The average molecular weight (Mw) of Polyester B 1 is preferably from 2000 to 20000 g/mol.

The inventive polyesters may be used in substance, i.e. as such, but may also be provided as solutions. The solutions exhibit beneficial handling properties and are more easily dosed. Preferably, these solutions comprise the polyesters of the invention in an amount of from 25 to 70 weight-% based on the total mass of the solution. Suitable solvents for such solutions are, e.g., water, ethylene glycol, 1 ,2-propylene glycol, 1 ,3-propylene glycol, 1 ,2-butylene glycol, 1 ,3-butylene glycol, 1 ,4-butylene glycol, butyl glycol, butyl digylcol and butyl polyglycol.

Therefore, the invention further provides a solution comprising a polyester of the invention in an amount of from 25 to 70 weight-% based on the total mass of the solution.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided the use of the polyesters of the invention as soil release agents, preferably in washing or laundry detergent compositions and fabric care products.

The polyesters of the invention may advantageously be used in washing or laundry detergent compositions. Besides the polyesters of the invention the washing or laundry detergent compositions may comprise one or more optional ingredients, e.g. they may comprise conventional ingredients commonly used in laundry detergent compositions. Examples of optional ingredients include, but are not limited to builders, surfactants, bleaching agents, bleach active compounds, bleach activators, bleach catalysts, photobleaches, dye transfer inhibitors, color protection agents, anti-redeposition agents, dispersing agents, fabric softening and antistatic agents, fluorescent whitening agents, enzymes, enzyme stabilizing agents, foam regulators, defoamers, malodour reducers, preservatives,

disinfecting agents, hydrotopes, fibre lubricants, anti-shrinkage agents, buffers, fragrances, processing aids, colorants, dyes, pigments, anti-corrosion agents, fillers, stabilizers and other conventional ingredients for washing or laundry detergent compositions.

The polyesters of the invention possess a beneficial solubility and,

advantageously, are clearly soluble in alkaline compositions such as heavy duty washing liquids. They also possess advantageous soil release properties. In washing or laundry detergent compositions they result in a beneficial washing performance.

For the preparation of the polyesters of the invention, typically a two stage process is used of either direct esterification of diacids and diols or transesterification of diesters and diols, followed by a polycondensation reaction under reduced pressure.

A suitable process for the preparation of the polyesters of the invention comprises heating suitable starting compounds for structural units (a1 ), (a2), (a3) and optionally (a4) with the addition of a catalyst, to temperatures of 160 to 220°C, expediently beginning at atmospheric pressure, and then continuing the reaction under reduced pressure at temperatures of from 160 to 240°C. Reduced pressure preferably means a pressure of from 0.1 to 900 mbar and more preferably a pressure of from 0.5 to 500 mbar.

Typical transesterification and condensation catalysts known in the art can be used for the preparation of the copolymers, such as antimony, germanium and titanium based catalysts. Preferably, tetra isopropyl orthotitanate (IPT) and sodium acetate (NaOAc) are used as the catalyst system in the synthesis of the inventive polymers.

The polyesters of the invention may advantageously be prepared by a process which comprises heating 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid or its ester, one or more alkylene glycols, and R1-(OC2H4) P -(OC3H6) q -OH, wherein R1 , p and q are as described herein, with the addition of a catalyst, to temperatures of from 160 to 220°C, firstly at atmospheric pressure, and then continuing the reaction under reduced pressure at temperatures of from 160 to 240°C.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the process is characterized in that a) furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid dimethyl ester, one or more alkylene glycols, and R 1 -(OC2H4)p-(OC3H 6 )q-OH, wherein R 1 , p and q as described herein, and a catalyst are added to a reaction vessel, heated under inert gas, preferably nitrogen, to a temperature of from 160°C to 220°C to remove methanol and the pressure is then reduced to below atmospheric pressure, preferably to a pressure of from 200 to 900 mbar and more preferably to a pressure of from 400 to 600 mbar for completion of the transesterification, and

b) in a second step the reaction is continued at a temperature of from 180°C to 240°C at a pressure of from 0.1 to 10 mbar and preferably of from 0.5 to

5 mbar to form the polyester.

In a further preferred embodiment of the invention, the process is characterized in that

a) furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid, one or more alkylene glycols, and R 1 -(OC2H4) - (OC3H6)q-OH, wherein R 1 , p and q as described herein, and a catalyst are added to a reaction vessel, heated under inert gas, preferably nitrogen, to a temperature of from 160°C to 220°C to remove water and then pressure is reduced to below atmospheric pressure, preferably to a pressure of from 200 to 900 mbar and more preferably to a pressure of from 400 to 600 mbar for completion of the esterification, and b) in a second step the reaction is continued at a temperature of from 180°C to 240°C at a pressure of from 0.1 to 10 mbar and preferably of from 0.5 to 5 mbar to form the polyester.

Non-ionic soil release polyesters based on glycol terephthalate or glycol terephthalate / polyglycol terephthalate co-polymers can be prepared by a two stage process of either direct esterification of diacids and diols or

transesterification of diesters and diols, followed by a polycondensation reaction under reduced pressure. Due to the limited solubility of terephthalic acid in the reaction mixture elevated temperatures and pressures are required for synthesis via the direct esterification process. In the case of furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid, the transesterification can be performed efficiently at ambient pressure and moderate temperatures giving a significant energy cost advantage. Furthermore,

condensation product water in the direct esterification process has an improved ecological footprint compared to the methanol typically obtained in a

transesterification process.

Therefore, the invention further provides a process for the preparation of a polyester according to the embodiments in the above description, characterized in that it comprises heating furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid, one or more alkylene glycols, and R 1 -(OC2H4)p-(OC3H 6 )q-OH, with the addition of a catalyst, to temperatures of from 160 to 220°C, firstly at atmospheric pressure, and then continuing the reaction under reduced pressure at temperatures of from 160 to 240°C.

Further preferred embodiments of the invention arise from the combination of above described preferred embodiments.

The invention will now be further described with reference to the following non- limiting examples. EXAMPLES

The examples below are intended to illustrate the invention in detail without, however, limiting it thereto. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all percentages given are percentages by weight (% by wt. or wt.-%).

Polymer Preparation

General procedure for the preparation of the polyesters of the Examples

The polyester synthesis may be carried out by the reaction of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid or its ester, alkylene glycols, alkyl capped polyalkylene glycols and optionally dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) using sodium acetate (NaOAc) and tetra isopropyl orthotitanate (IPT) as the catalyst system. The synthesis is a two-step procedure. The first step is a (trans)esterification and the second step is a polycondensation.

(T rans)esterification

The reactants were weighed into a reaction vessel at room temperature under a nitrogen atmosphere. The mixture was heated to an internal temperature of 65°C for melting and homogenization, followed by the addition of 200 pi tetraisopropyl orthotitanate.

Within 2 hours, the temperature of the reaction mixture was continuously increased to 210°C under a weak nitrogen flow and held at this temperature for 2 hours. During the transesterification, methanol was released from the reaction and was distilled out of the system, whereas in the case of an esterification water is released from the reaction and distilled out of the system. After 2 h at 210°C, nitrogen was switched off and the pressure reduced to 400 mbar over 3 h.

Polycondensation

The mixture was heated up to 230°C. At 230°C the pressure was reduced to 1 mbar over 160 min. Once the polycondensation reaction had started, the glycol or mixture of glycols was distilled out of the system. The mixture was stirred for 4 h at 230°C and a pressure of 1 mbar. After the end of this time period, the inner pressure of the reaction vessel was set back to 1 bar using N2 and the polymer melt was subsequently removed from the reactor and allowed to solidify.

Key to reactants used in the examples 1 to 14

mPEG750 is mono hydroxy-functional polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether, average molecular weight 0,75 KDa (Polyglykol M 750, Clariant).

mPEG2000 is mono hydroxy-functional polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether, average molecular weight 2 KDa (Polyglykol M 2000, Clariant).

mPEG5000 is mono hydroxy-functional polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether, average molecular weight 5 KDa (Polyglykol M 5000, Clariant).

EG is ethylene glycol

PG is propylene glycol

FDCME is furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid dimethyl ester

FDCA is furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid

FDBE is furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid dibutyl ester

DMT is dimethyl terephthalate

IPT is tetra isopropyl orthotitanate

NaOAc is sodium acetate

Table I - Polymer examples 1 to 6

Table II - Polymer examples 7 to 13

Ίh this example the polycondensation temperature was 210 °C.

Liquid laundry detergent compositions containing exemplary polyesters

A series of exemplary liquid laundry detergent compositions, both excluding and including soil release polymer, were prepared according to Table III. Key to ingredients used in the compositions of Table A

LAS is C12-14 linear alkylbenzene sulfonate, sodium salt

SLES 2EO is sodium lauryl ether sulfate with 2 moles EO (Genapol ®

LRO, Clariant).

Nl 7EO is C12-15 alcohol ethoxylate 7EO nonionic (Genapol ® LA070,

Clariant)

Fatty Acid is a C12-18 stripped palm kernel fatty acid

SRP is a polyester prepared according to examples from Tables I and II

Table III - Liquid laundry detergent compositions for performance testing

Soil Release Test

The inventive liquid laundry detergent compositions containing the polyesters of component a) and prepared according to the compositions listed in Table III, were tested for their soil release performance according to the“Dirty-Motor Oil” Test (DMO-Test) using a Lini Apparatus. The conditions for the test are listed in

Table B.

Table IV - Washing conditions - Soil Release Test

As test fabric, white polyester and polycotton standard swatches (WFK 30A and WFK 20A, from WFK Testgewebe GmbFI) were used. The fabrics were prewashed three times with the stored liquid laundry detergent compositions. The swatches were then rinsed, dried and soiled with 25 pi of dirty motor oil. After 1 hour the soiled fabrics were washed again with the same stored liquid laundry detergent compositions used in the pre-washing step. After rinsing and drying the washed swatches, a measurement of the remission of the stained fabric at 457 nm was made using a spectrophotometer (Datacolor 650).

The soil release performance is shown as an improvement in soil removal of the swatches washed with one of the formulations 2 from Table III compared with formulation 1 of Table III: AR— Rf 0rm 2 Rform 1

The washing results obtained for the liquid laundry detergent compositions comprising the inventive soil release polymers are shown in Table V, expressed as AR along with the 95% confidence intervals. Table V - Washing results

Biosourced material content calculation

The weight content of bio-sourced material shown in Table V is related to the hydrophobic block of the polymer and calculated according to the theoretical composition comprising the structural units (a1 ), (a2) and optionally (a4). The excess of used glycol and MeOH of the transesterification are therefore not taken into account in the calculation. The used EG, PG (a2) and furan (a1 ) components are assumed to be 100% bio sourced.

The biosourced material content, biosourced wt.-%, is then calculated as:

Biosourced wt.-% = 100 - (a4) wt.-%

Where (a4) wt.-% is the weight percentage of structural units (a4) in the resulting polymer.