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Synthesis and applications of polymaleimide

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #6878797.

A process for producing alkali metal polymaleimide salts by alkaline hydrolysis of maleimide polymers prepared by polymerization of maleimide monomers in the presence of a metal oxide and alcohol initiator or a base. In particular, the process produces alkali metal polymaleimide salts with particular ratios of C--N and C--C connected maleimide-derived monomer units which are dependent on the particular initiator used to synthesize the maleimide polymer. The alkali metal polymaleimide salts, which have chelating and anti-scaling properties, are useful as chelating agents and detergent builders and as such are suitable biodegradable replacements for synthetic polymers and sodium polyaspartate.

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