Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New Contributor

Help potentially exposing a scam. Solubility of PLA in Chloroform.

Recently a company raked in half a mil in funds to produce a 3D print smoothing machine, claiming that they've also come up with a solution to chemically smoothing PLA prints.
I'm sure I could use the formula, but I'm not very familiar with it and have no way of confirming if I did it right.
So I was wondering if anybody could tell me if Chloroform will act as an effective solvent for Polylactide?


Thank you in advance for your help!

0 Kudos
1 Reply
New Contributor

Re: Help potentially exposing a scam. Solubility of PLA in Chloroform.

Disclaimer: I am not an ACS chemist but maybe you'll find this helpful.


"PLA is soluble in dioxane, acetonitrile, chloroform, methylene chloride, 1,1,2-trichloroethane and dichloroacetic acid, while it is only partially soluble in ethyl benzene, toluene, acetone and tetrahydrofuran, only when heated to boiling temperature. PLA is not soluble in water, alcohols, and linear hydrocarbons. Crystalline PLLA cannot be dissolved in acetone, ethyl acetate, or tetrahydrofuran."


The dipole moment of chloroform, CHCl3, is 1.01 Debye - it is somewhat polar. Dioxane is 0.45  and Methylene chloride is 1.6, so that gives you a sense of the range of polarity of solvents it is soluble in.

Toluene (0.31) has a smaller dipole moment than Dioxane and Acetone (2.69) larger than CH2Cl2.

So based on the above paragraph it sounds like CHCl3 is close to ideal in terms of polarity. There are other factors that make a good solvent though.

0 Kudos