The Utilization of Bark to Make Rigid Polyurethane Foams

Polyurethane foams are so commonly used, from rigid dashboards in cars, to insulation in buildings, and the comfy mattresses we sleep upon. Replacing the petrochemical resources used to make them with renewable resources like bark would be a great stride towards sustainability. In order for this to be done the conversion process of bark into a liquid must be better understood. This project will try to elucidate how alcohols interact with the bark to digest it during the conversion process. Also, natural products tend to have a range of structures and so it is crucial to characterize the number of reactive groups per molecule extracted from the bark. This information is essential to understand mechanical properties like the compression strength of the polyurethanes. This research will be beneficial to the Huntsman Corporation because as a manufacturer of isocyanates and polyols (the reactants used to make a polyurethane) they will be able to entice their customers...

Intern: 
Jason D’Souza
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Ning Yan
Project Year: 
2014
Province: 
Ontario
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