If polyurethane is to be more sustainable, then more sustainable feedstocks will be required. Several key papers at the Automotive and Sustainability Congress held in Amsterdam late last year addressed this important topic.
The ideal sustainable polyol will be odour-free, easy to process on existing equipment with minimum adjustments, and will give additional advantages in the finished product, according to many of the speakers in the sustainability session of the UTECH Congress. They all also agreed that polyols must not contribute to fogging, VOC or staining.
Peter Groome of China’s Jiahua Chemical used the congress to outline his company’s capacity and range of sustainable polyurethane additives, and to explain their use in automotive applications.
Jiahua developed its own natural oil polyols at its R&D labs in Shanghai. ‘We looked to see where the new polyols would fit in to replace existing polyether polyols,’ he explained. ‘We have commercialised two processes from this work, and these are running on our plants. Our polyols have found use in slabstock polyurethane foam, moulded foam, insulation, glass mat reinforcement and truck bed liners.’
The aim was to use high-volume raw materials, and produce the polyols on a plant with a positive eco-balance. ‘Additionally, it should not affect the food chain,’ Groome said.
No odours, please
‘We have a capacity of 700kT/year of polyols and five manufacturing sites in Fushan, near the Korean…