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Issue 07/2022 Special Edition

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  • Carbon capture
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Highlights: Advanced Recycling Carbon Capture & Utilisation

Polyurethanes Chemical

Polyurethanes Chemical recycling of polyurethane Combining ecological and economic advantages RAMPF Eco Solutions (Pirmasens, Germany) has been developing chemical processes for the recycling of polyurethane and PET wastes for more than thirty years. Using solvolysis (glycolysis, acidolysis, and aminolysis), recycled polyols are manufactured from postconsumer residues such as used mattresses, furniture, car and motorcycle seats, fitness and leisure items, and production waste. Industrial residues such as scrap or entire products at the end of their life cycle are also processed. The resulting recycled polyols are at the very least comparable with polyols otherwise obtained from fossil raw materials, both in terms of quality and technical properties. They can therefore be used directly in the production process for new polyurethane-based products, including in the automotive, aerospace, construction, electrical/electronics, energy technology, filter, household appliance, medical technology, rail, ship, and wood/furniture industries. The economic viability of Rampf Eco Solutions’ recycled polyols is further enhanced by the fact that they are precisely tailored to the respective applications of customers. For example, producers of polyurethane tooling boards or moulded parts can improve the compressive strength of insulating foams, the chemical stability of casting compounds, or the compatibility of polyurethane systems by adding recycling polyols. Rampf Eco Solutions also developed a process for the chemical recycling of PET back in 1999 together with the German Society for Circular Economy and Raw Materials (DKR). The recycling polyols generated here are particularly suitable for the production of rigid foams. Polyesters such as polylactides, polycarbonate, and polyhydroxyalkanoates are also used as raw material sources, as well as renewable or biobased raw materials, amongst others rapeseed oil. Companies that have a high volume of PU residues can produce customized recycled polyols on site with their own recycling plant. The polyols can then be fed directly back into the production process, saving costs and protecting the environment. These multi-functional plants developed and constructed Rampf Eco Solutions also allow for the production of polyols using PET/PSA, polyesters such as PLA and PHB, as well as biomonomers. Leading plastics producers from Germany, France, Russia, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates are currently using these multifunctional recycling plants. MT RAMPF Eco Solutions uses solvolysis to extract high-quality recycled polyols form polyurethane and PET waste. Multifunctional recycling plants enable customers with high residual volumes to produce their own recycled polyols 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/22] Vol. 17

Biobased or renewable carbon based coatings O ne way for fashion, footwear, and upholstery manufacturers to improve their environmental footprint is to replace fossil fuel-based chemistry with renewable carbon-based materials. Stahl’s NuVera® range of renewable carbon polyurethanes can help you do exactly that. The NuVera product range can help manufacturers increase their sustainability without compromising on quality and performance. The introduction of this portfolio is in line with Stahl’s Responsible Chemistry Initiative, with which they commit to speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon for all organic chemicals and materials. The efforts are focused on aligning Stahl’s product portfolio to the future needs of their customers and the markets they serve while offering solutions that improve their environmental footprint. The company from Waalwijk, the Netherlands does this by using low-impact manufacturing chemicals, contributing to a more circular economy and, in the case of Stahl NuVera, replacing petrochemicals with renewable resources. The Stahl NuVera Range Stahl NuVera modern carbon based products are derived from plant-based biomass (typically vegetable oils or sugars), alternatively, they can also be made from captured carbon, where CO 2 released from industrial processes is captured and used as a feedstock for producing polymeric building blocks. The NuVera range of sustainable polyurethanes has been tested and certified using the ASTM 6866 radio-carbon (C 12 /C 14 ) method for biobased carbon content. The NuVera D range of polyurethane dispersions consists of four products: RU-94-226, RU-94-227, RU-94-225 and RU-94-414. The company is currently developing additional solutions as part of its commitment to responsible chemistry. The first two solutions – NuVera D RU-94-226 and RU-94-227 – are the two harder resins in the portfolio. They are ideal for use as a pre-skin component in transfer coating processes or as a top-coat component in finishing or lacquering of flexible synthetic articles, which may be used in consumer articles such as shoes, garment or fashion bags, and accessories. NuVera D RU-94-225 is a softer PUD that can be used as adhesive or alternatively as a mix component to make a chosen pre-skin formulation more flexible. It is a soft PUD that can also be used in a transfer-coating process as a skin layer or as a soft resin component in finishing or lacquering formulations that use a combination of biobased and captured carbon-based raw materials. NuVera D RU-94-414 is a soft polyester dispersion. It can be used in adhesive formulations or alternatively serve as a soft component in basecoat finishing or lacquering. Introducing new Stahl NuVera Q HS-94-490 high solids resin An important factor for creating high renewable carbon content in any synthetic article will also depend on the availability of a flexible high solids resin that offers biobased content. In many transfer coated articles, the middle layer (skin) is the thickest layer, which typically determines mostly the handle and flexibility. In some cases, this can be selected from WB PUD offering, but in most synthetic articles it needs the use of a bigger quantity or thicker layer to be applied, due to boost performance. The use of a high solids resin is often bringing the solution. With the introduction of NuVera Q HS-94-490, Stahl can now offer a product that can be used for applying thick layers in one pass. HS-94-490 is available as an approximately 100 % solids resin with very soft film characteristics, ideally suited for creating flexible articles like upholstery or shoe upper. This new NuVera product addition is currently in the preindustrialization phase, available for small scale prototyping. ZDHC MRSL Compliancy It goes without saying that all NuVera renewable carbon-based products comply with the latest standards and regulations, including the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Version 2.0 Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL). In addition to these four water-based polyurethane dispersions, R&D engineers at Stahl are also looking at expanding their portfolio of products in other directions. They soon hope to announce the introduction of a 100 % solids pre-polymer resin. MT Polyurethanes Type of use Product code Type Status Solids 100 % (Mpa) Pre-skin or Top Coat resin General PUD resin or Mix component Adhesive or Base Coat Skin High solids resin E @ break (%) VOC %1 Bio-based content Total renewable content Sustainable source NuVeraTM D RU- 94-226 TM PE/PC Launch 40 12 475 0.5 % 46 % 2 46 % Sugar Crop NuVeraTM D RU- 94-227 NuVeraTM D RU- 94-225 NuVeraTM D RU- 94-414 NuVeraTM Q HS- 94-490 PE Launch 35 4 730 0.8 % 66 % 2 66 % Sugarcrop PE Launch 35 1.5 > 1,000 0.3 % 53 % 2 54 % Sugar crop, CO 2 PES Launch 45 1.1 840 0.8 % 48 % 2 48 % Oil crop PE/PES Pre- Launch 1: VOC content is according to the definition of EU directive 2004/42/EC 2: Measured ASTM6866 Method B 3: Calculated based on mass balance 100 1.6 860 < 0.1 % 45 % 3 45 % Sugarcrop bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/22] Vol. 17 45

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