This paper provides an overview of the recent progress in research and development dealing with polymers derived from plant oils. It highlights the widening interest in novel approaches to the synthesis, characterization and properties of these materials from renewable resources and emphasizes their growing impact in sustainable macromolecular science and technology. The monomers used include unmodified triglycerides, their fatty acids or the corresponding esters, and chemically modified triglycerides and fatty acid esters. Comonomers include styrene, divinylbenzene, acrylics, furan derivatives, epoxides, etc. Blends and composites are also discussed. The synthetic pathways adopted for the preparation of these materials are very varied, going from traditional free radical and cationic polymerizations to polycondensation reactions, as well as metatheses and Diels-Alder syntheses.
In addition to this general appraisal, the specific topic of the use of tung oil as a source of original polymers, copolymers and nanocomposites is discussed in greater details in terms of mechanisms, structures, properties and possible applications.