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Aromatic Polyester Polyols Containing Lignin for Polyurethane Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246787D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-30
Document File: 10 page(s) / 4M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Kevin A. Rogers: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Organosolv and alkali lignin were incorporated into aromatic polyester polyols (APP) produced from recycled feedstocks. The recycled materials largely comprised recycled PET sources. Incorporation of organosolv lignin into the APP was facile; up to 25 wt.% of the organosolv lignin could be included in a typical polyester polyol formulation. In contrast, incorporation of alkali lignin required using organosolv lignin as a co-component. Reaction of the lignin-containing APP with diisocyanates (HDI and IPDI) or with the HDI isocyanurate trimer successfully gave sustainable-content polyurethanes and rigid polyisocyanurate foams.

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Aromatic Polyester Polyols Containing Lignin for Polyurethane Applications

Kevin A. Rogers, Jack R. Kovsky, Matthew J. Beatty, and Shakti L. Mukerjee[1]

Resinate Materials Group, Inc.

46701 Commerce Center Drive, Suite C

Plymouth, MI 48170

ABSTRACT

Organosolv and alkali lignin were incorporated into aromatic polyester polyols (APP) produced from recycled feedstocks. The recycled materials largely comprised recycled PET sources. Incorporation of organosolv lignin into the APP was facile; up to 25 wt.% of the organosolv lignin could be included in a typical polyester polyol formulation.  In contrast, incorporation of alkali lignin required using organosolv lignin as a co-component.  Reaction of the lignin-containing APP with diisocyanates (HDI and IPDI) or with the HDI isocyanurate trimer successfully gave sustainable-content polyurethanes and rigid polyisocyanurate foams.

BACKGROUND

Aromatic polyester polyols are commonly used intermediates for the manufacture of polyurethane products, including flexible and rigid foams, polyisocyanurate foams, coatings, sealants, adhesives, and elastomers.  The aromatic content of these polyols contributes to strength, stiffness, and thermal stability of the urethane product.2 

            Generally an aromatic polyester polyol is produced by condensing aromatic diacids, diesters, or anhydrides (e.g., terephthalic acid, dimethyl terephthalate) via reaction with glycols such as ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, or diethylene glycol.  These starting materials are usually derived exclusively from petrochemical sources.

As companies increasingly seek to offer products with improved sustainability, the availability of intermediates produced from bio-renewable and/or recycled materials becomes more leveraging.  However, there remains a need for these products to deliver equal or better performance than their traditional petroleum-based alternatives at a comparable price point.   

            Bio-renewable content alone can be misleading as an indicator of “green” chemistry.  For example, when a food source such as corn is needed to provide the bio-renewable content, there are clear trade-offs between feeding people and providing them with performance-based chemical products.  Additionally, the chemical or biochemical transformations needed to convert sugars or other bio-friendly feeds to useful chemical intermediates such as polyols can consume more natural resources and energy and can release more greenhouse gases and pollutants into the environment than their petro-based alternatives in the effort to achieve “green” status.[2]

Waste thermoplastic polyesters, including waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) streams (e.g., from plastic beverage containers), provide an abundant source of raw material for making new polymers.  Usually, when PET is recycled, it is used to make new PET beverage bottles, PET fiber, or it is chemically transformed to produce polybutylene terepht...