Second-generation process to make palm oil polyols uses diversified feedstock
Report by Liz White, editor
Malaysian researchers are busy developing new routes to making polyols from palm oil, and have just come up with a viable second-generation process using a mix of palm and other vegetable oils.
And, “We don’t stop at the development of raw materials, we also look at applications,” explained Dr Hazimah Abu Hassan, director, Advanced Oleochemical Technological Division (AOTD) of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
They do this, “Because the industry does not know the chemistry of our materials. We know the chemistry, we can make the appropriate polyols for rigid, semi-rigid, flexible foams, coatings and adhesives,” Hazimah added.
Commercialisation is a major part of the remit of the group Hazimah heads, whose aim is to research non-food applications and add value to basic palm-oil oleochemicals – and also to ensure its discoveries find their way into industrial use.
AOTD’s improved production process for moulding palm oil polyols (POPs) gives materials with better “consistency and better viscosity. One change is of formulation has made is to “diversify development, said the feedstock,” using Hazimah blends of different natural/vegetable oils, said Hazimah, in a 12 Oct interview at the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry/UTECH North America 2010, event in Houston, Texas.
The group is currently using its improved process to make 500 – 800-kg…