ERJ staff report (PR)
Waltham, Massachusetts – Elastomers employing carbon dioxide (CO2) as a monomer, and offering high tensile and flexural strength, are part of a new product offering from Novomer Inc.
The renewable feedstocks company has developed polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyols for use in polyurethane formulations for adhesive, coatings, sealants, elastomers (CASE) and foam applications.
The co-polymers of CO2 and epoxides are designed to replace conventional petroleum-based polyether, polyester, and polycarbonate polyols, and are said to contain more than 40% by weight of CO2.
The initial 1000 and 2000 molecular weight grades in the newly launched ‘Converge’ range are being manufactured at a “multi-thousand-tonne” commercial-scale toll facility in Houston, Texas, the company announced 21 May.
The scale-up and product launch “validates the robustness of our manufacturing technology and the strong interest we’ve received from a wide range of applications in the polyurethanes market,” commented Peter Shepard, chief business officer at Novomer.
Novomer will discuss the new materials and present a technical paper on their use in rigid insulating foams at the UTECH North America conference and exhibition on 4-5 June in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As waste CO2 is lower in cost than petroleum-based feedstock, the products are cheaper to produce at full commercial scale than conventional polyols, according to Novomer.
The polycarbonate backbone of the polyols, meanwhile, is said to increases the strength and durability of polyurethane products.
In addition, the high CO2 content enabled by Novomer's proprietary technology produces polyols with a calorific content (heat of combustion) that is 40% to 50% lower than conventional polyether, polyester, and polycarbonate polyols. This inherent feature is especially important in polyurethane applications that must meet strict flammability requirements.