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Troy, MI, United States

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is proposing to produce polyols from soymeal for use in the manufacturing of rigid polyurethanes foams. The proposed process follows the ?Green Chemistry? guidelines and consists of hydrolyzing the protein to amino acids and converting them to hydroxyl terminated monomers. Polymerization of these polyols will yield poly(amide-urethane)s, which can be used as foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. However, the focus of this proposal will be on introducing this technology to the rigid polyurethane foams market. The structure and the presence of amide linkages in these polyols should provide better dimensional stability, higher rigidity and better chemical resistance foams then current polyurethane foams that contain esters or ethers linkages. Key elements of the current program will be to prepare and characterize the polyol monomers and then evaluate them in rigid polyurethanes foams. Model compounds derived from commonly available amino acids will also be used to optimize the process and characterize the products. The data will be used to articulate the scientific basis and develop appropriate process and products. Assessing potential commercial feasibility, preliminary economic evaluation, identifying potential market segments and customers who are interested in this technology will also be examined.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project provides an opportunity to produce a desirable bio-based alternative to environmentally un-friendly and increasingly expensive petroleum-based rigid polyurethane foams. Recently, much activity has been directed to utilize the oil from soybean to produce biodiesel, however, most of the leftover protein biomass is being used for poultry, swine and cattle feed or in aquaculture feed. Only a small portion of this biomass is refined for human consumption and even a smaller amount (only 0.5%) is currently being used for industrial applications (primarily in adhesives). The relatively low cost and stable supply of this valuable raw material makes the protein biomass an economically attractive source for value-added products such as its use in the production of polyurethanes. Furthermore, the proposed manufacturing process offers distinct advantages over the production of current polyols. It is anticipated that these polyols, and the foams derived from them, will benefit the growing ?green? market. The proposed technology is expected to reduce the US dependence on foreign oil imports and will provide alternative ?grown in America? valuable products. The results from this proposed project will be broadly disseminated to enhance the scientific and technological understanding in this field.

Troy Polymers, Inc. | Entity website

Raw Material Evaluation TPI has extensive experience in evaluation of new raw materials for polyurethanes, including polyols, isocyanates, chain extenders, and various additives. With understanding of structure-property relationships and polyurethane applications, TPI can develop a customized program for evaluation of new raw materials and can generate practical data that can be used in technical marketing

Troy Polymers, Inc. | Entity website

TPI offers a wide range of services to support innovations in polyurethanes: Polyurethane Formulation and Application Development Raw Material Development and Evaluation Technical Marketing Support Training and Development of Professional Resources Testing Services Consulting and Intellectual Property Support

Troy Polymers, Inc. | Entity website

Testing Services TPI testing capabilities range from basic testing and reporting to detailed analysis and interpretation of results. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Instron Physical Testing (with heat chamber) Tensile Properties Compression Properties Flexural Properties Hysteresis Tear Strength Peel Resistance Lap Shear Strength Shear Strength Compression Set Resilience - Bashore and Ball Rebound Abrasion (Taber Abrader) Tumbling Friability Hardness (Shore A, Shore D) Pencil Hardness Impact Resistance of Coatings Open Cell Content in Foams (Pycnometer) Viscosity (Brookfield Viscometer and Rheometer) THERMAL PROPERTIES Retention of Stress-Strain Properties with Temperature (Instron with heat chamber) Melt Transition Temperature (DSC) Glass Transition Temperature (DSC) Coefficient of Thermal Expansions (TMA) Storage and Relaxation Modulus (DMA) Thermal Stability (TGA) Flammability CHEMICAL ANALYSIS Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Hydroxyl Value of Polyols Acid Value of Polyols NCO% of Isocyanates and Pre-Polymers Water Content (Karl Fischer Titration) Molecular Weight Distribution (GPC) HPLC Analyses RHEOLOGY Determination of Visco-Elastic Properties in Steady Shear (controlled stress Rheometer) Determination of Visco-Elastic Properties in Oscillatory Mode (controlled stress Rheometer)

Mohd Noor M.A.,Malaysian Palm Oil Board | Sendijarevic V.,Troy Polymers, Inc. | Abu Hassan H.,Malaysian Palm Oil Board | Sendijarevic I.,Troy Polymers, Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2015

Average molecular weights (Mn, Mw and Mp) are important characteristics of oligomers and polymers, and therefore there is a need to have a precise and reliable determination method. A gel permeation chromatography (GPC) coupled with a single refractive index detector was used to determine the molecular weight distributions of commercial polyether polyols calibrated against a series of polyether polyols with known molecular weights and low polydispersity. Results of these GPC analyses were compared to the ones calibrated against the commercially available polystyrene (PS) standards. The number-average molecular weights (Mn) obtained with GPC using polyether polyols calibration were closer to the theoretical values than the Mn obtained using PS as calibration standards. Hence, these GPC analyses using polyether polyols as calibration standards can provide reliable determination of molecular weight distribution of polyether polyols and can be potentially applied to natural oil-based polyols, including palm oil-based polyols. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 42698. Source

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