Formation of Polyurethane from Bio-Based Materials


Polyurethanes have a wide range of applications in automobile seating, bedding, footwear, thermal insulation, and hard structural parts. Bio-based polyurethane is desirable as a renewable material. Vegetable oils have been considered for making polyurethanes since they are readily available, biodegradable, and have a low toxicity. Vegetable oils are triglycerides with different fatty acid chains which depend on the plant and the growing conditions. The chemical and physical properties of the oil depend on the degree of unsaturation. Oil derived from algae is a viable option as a polyurethane precursor because algae have a high yield compared to other oil sources and can grow in a variety of conditions. Different algae oils can be considered based on the desired fatty acids and the degree of unsaturation. In this work, castor oil was used as a surrogate for algae oil as it is more readily available and the same process can be used in polyurethane formation. The polyurethane was formed by the creation of a polyol through the ring opening of epoxidized castor oil which was reacted with diphenylmethane diisocyanate.

Meeting Name

2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting (2011: Oct. 16-21, Minneapolis, MN)


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bio-based Materials; Caster Oil; Diphenylmethane Diisocyanate; Fatty Acid Chains; Growing Conditions; High Yield; Low Toxicity; Oil Sources; Renewable Materials; Ring Opening; Structural Parts

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

21 Oct 2011

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