(566d) Production of Biopolyols and Polyurethane Foams From Crude Glycerin and Lignocellulosic Biomass
Polyurethane (PU) foams are cellular polymeric materials produced from polyols and isocyanates, both of which are currently largely petroleum derived. In this study, two cheap, abundant, and renewable resources (lignocellulosic materials and crude glycerin, i.e. a biodiesel byproduct) were explored for their potentials in the production of biopolyols and PU foams. Biopolyols were produced by liquefying soybean straw using crude glycerin as liquefaction agent in a one-pot liquefaction process. It was found that the properties of produced biopolyols varied with various liquefaction conditions and that under preferential liquefaction conditions biopolyols showed hydroxyl numbers from 440 to 490 mg KOH/g, acid numbers below 5 mg KOH/g, and viscosities from 16, 000 to 45, 000 mPa.s, which are suitable for the production of rigid PU foams. The produced biopolyols were used directly for the production of PU foams. The produced PU foams showed densities from 0.033 to 0.037g/cm3 and compressive strength from 148 to 203 kPa and are applicable in a variety of areas. This study suggests that crude glycerin alone can be effectively used to liquefy soybean straw and potentially other lignocellulosic materials as well for the production of biopolyols and PU foams. This technology contributes to the cost-effectiveness of biodiesel industry and agriculture development by converting low value biodiesel byproduct (i.e. crude glycerin) and lignocellulosic biomass to value-added products.