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Foam Soy beans Odor free

Foam Soy beans Odor free Polyurethane Yet another two suppliers offer The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, USA recently introduced RENUVA Renewable Resource Technology, a proprietary process that helps polyurethane manufacturers make products that are performance-based and reduce the impact on the environment. Distinct in the chemical industry, RENUVA technology is used to produce bio-based polyols with high renewable content in the finished product with performance that rivals petroleum-based polyols. Dow’s work on natural oil-based polyols, which began in the early 1990s, culminates with this next-generation technology, producing bio-based polyols that are virtually odor-free and can be customized to deliver enhanced performance benefits in a broad array of applications. Polyols made with RENUVA technology will help manufacturers of commercial and consumer products in the furniture and bedding, automotive, carpet and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) markets to more effectively differentiate themselves and meet their customers’ growing demand for finished products that are both high quality and environmentally sound. “Dow Polyurethane’s leadership in the development of renewable resource technology is yet another example of how our Performance businesses continue to create value for customers as well as long-term growth opportunities for the Company,” says Doug Warner, global business director for Dow Polyols. “For Dow, RENUVA technology provides an opportunity to decrease dependence on petroleum-based feedstocks. For our customers, it allows them to create ‘green’ products that contain high levels of renewable content while at the same time delivering the performance their customers want.” According to life cycle analysis, RENUVA technology uses up to 60 % fewer fossil fuel resources than conventional polyol technology. Polyols based on RENUVA technology are designed not to have the odor that plagued previous generations of bio-based polyols, which has been a significant obstacle to commercial acceptance. Dow’s proprietary process, which reacts the brokendown and functionalized soybean oil molecule with traditional polyurethane components, creates natural oilbased polyols with consistent performance. “We’ve applied our 50-year expertise in polyurethane chemistry to engineer the natural oil-based polyol’s molecular structure and address the root cause of performance issues associated with other bio-based polyols,” says Erin O’Driscoll, business development manager, Dow Polyurethanes. “In the past, higher levels of renewable content were synonymous with unpleasant odor. Our natural oil-based polyols boast enhanced environmental profile without the typical odor problems. We are also working with our customers to design natural oil-based polyols based on their particular performance needs in end-use applications. “Polyol solutions based on RENUVA technology support Dow’s strategy to grow and develop differentiated, tailor-made performance products that promote our customers’ success while reducing environmental impact through technical innovation and industry collaboration,” O’Driscoll says. Commercial quantities of natural oil-based polyols are available now. Dow’s market development capabilities in Houston, Texas, will serve North America, Latin America and Europe with the ability to expand production to meet demand. Initial offerings are from soybean oil, but Dow will continue to invest in exploring other vegetable oil options for polyols. 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/08] Vol. 3

Castor oil DMC O O PO/EO OH Foam O DMC: Double-metal cyanide catalysis Neutral No saponification No formation of the ring of ricinoleic acid Low in odors Castor oil polyols: Synthesis with DMC (BASF patent) (Picture: Elastogran) O O O O O O O O PO/EO OH PO/EO OH Odor! Castor oil seeds, (Photo: Elastogran) with renewable content polyols with biobased content Elastogran GmbH, Lemförde, Germany (a company of the BASF Group) too recently launched a new polyol on the basis of a renewable raw material. Lupranol ® BALANCE 50 is made of castor oil and offers the decisive advantage that, as a so-called dropin, it can replace conventional polyols directly without a change to the formulation. At the same time, a large portion of biomass is incorporated into the finished product. Polyetherols constitute the main component of polyurethane flexible foams. One possible application is mattresses (see pM 04/2007). Polyetherols are manufactured through the polyaddition of propylene and/or ethylene oxide to higher-functional alcohols such as glycerine. Normally, this polyaddition is carried out under alkaline conditions with potassium hydroxide serving as the catalyst. Following the polymerization, the polyol then has to be neutralized in another step by adding acid. For quite some time now, the polyurethane developers at Elastogran have been studying a new class of catalysts, the so-called double-metal cyanide (DMC) catalysts. They are far more reactive than potassium hydroxide. Just the slightest traces of this catalyst are already sufficient to trigger the reaction between castor oil and ethylene or propylene oxide. The decisive advantage lies in the fact that the catalyst is neutral, preventing saponification of the oil, so that no odor-intense by-products are formed such as, for instance, the ring of ricinoleic acid. Experiments to date aimed at making use of renewable raw materials in the production of polyols using alkaline catalysts did not meet with success, primarily due to this odor problem. formulations, which allows customers to change over to the renewable product quickly and cost-effectively. Like all of Elastogran‘s flexible foam polyols, Lupranol BALANCE is provided with an amine-free antioxidant package. Good mechanical properties with excellent certification rating Many requirements are made of polyurethanes in objects of daily use. In addition to high mechanical strength, ageing resistance and breathability, it is also important for the material to earn product classifications such as ‘tested for harmful substances’ and ‘Oeko-Tex’. The limit value as set forth in the German ‘LGA tested for harmful substances’ test certificate for mattresses is 500 µg/m³ in measurements taken over the course of seven days. This testing revealed the outstanding value of less than 10 µg/m³ for the polyol-generated levels from a flexible slabstock foam on the basis of Lupranol BALANCE 50. The evaluation of the odor of the foam after storage in a test chamber yielded a value of 2.1, likewise an excellent result. These measurements were made by the Industrial Institute of the State of Bavaria (LGA), Germany, in a chamber test for mattresses employing a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry that is capable of detecting even minute quantities. And when it came to the mechanical values of this foam made of the new polyol, the good properties of the standard variant were matched. The new polyol can be foamed analogously to standard flexible slabstock foam polyols. There is practically no need to make changes to the existing slabstock foam bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/08] Vol. 3 13

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