Commercial phenol formaldehyde (PF) foams are produced from petroleum-based phenol and formaldehyde. Depletion of the non-renewable petroleum and environmental concerns have intensified a global interest in producing bio-based PF (BPF) foams using bio-phenols from lignin or lignocellulosic biomass to replace petroleum-based phenol. This Mitacs Globalink proposal aims to produce open-cell BPF floral foams, building upon our success in the preparation of close-cell BPF foams. The proposed methodologies are briefly described as follows: Foamable BPF resin (at a high phenol substitution ratio ~50%) will be firstly synthesized using kraft lignin (KL), phenol, and formaldehyde under alkaline conditions, followed by foaming through blending a blowing agent, a surfactant, a curing agent, catalyst, and optionally a wetting agent, a dye, an essence, etc. into the synthesized resole resin. Novel methods to control the cell structure (with a desired open cell ratio) of the foam configuration will be developed. The obtained BPF floral foam will comprehensively characterized for physical/chemical properties compared with conventional PF floral foam.
Engineering - chemical / biological
Globalink Research Award
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