Polyurethane foams from vegetable oil-based polyols: a review

Polyurethane is a versatile material that can be converted into various forms according to applications. PU foams or PUFs are the most commonly used polyurethanes. These are materials of low density and low thermal conductivity that make them highly suitable for thermal insulating applications. Most of the synthesis of PUFs is still based on the petrochemical industry.

There are issues associated with the oil industry, such as environmental pollution, sustainability, and market instability. More recently, we have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic which has destroyed the global supply chain of raw materials. Such sudden disruption of the supply chain affects the global economy. To eliminate the reliance on special ingredients, it is important to find and produce alternate and domestic raw materials. Vegetable oils are organic, cost-effective, and economically viable and present in abundant amounts.

The oil consists of triglycerides. It can be functionalized to provide polyol for PU foam synthesis. Herein, we review the literature on factors influencing the properties of PUFs depending on polyols from vegetable oil as well as present a glimpse of the conversion of vegetable oils into polyols for PUF synthesis.

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Article information: Kaikade, D.S., Sabnis, A.S. Polyurethane foams from vegetable oil-based polyols: a review. Polym. Bull. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00289-022-04155-9

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