Pittsburg, Kansas – Research on creating flame-resistant polyurethane foams from limonene extracted from waste orange peel has won an Excellence in Thermoset Polymer research award from the Thermoset Resin Formulators Association.
Charith Ranaweera, a graduate student in polymer chemistry at Pittsburg State University used the limonene to synthesise a bio-polyol that could be used as a raw material for making polyurethane. In order to increase its fire retardant properties, he also incorporated a phosphorus-based flame retardant.
“We showed that polyurethane foam prepared from our bio-polyol can be used for thermal insulation and packaging with the additional benefit of fire safety,” Ranaweera said.
A paper based on this research, entitled “Bio-based polyols using thiol-ene chemistry for rigid polyurethane foams with enhanced flame retardant properties”, will appear in the Journal of Renewable Materials.