A greener and sustainable approach for converting polyurethane foam rejects into superior polyurethane coatings

A.V. Rane, V.K. Abitha, Anagha Sabnis, Mukesh Kathalewar, Vandana Jamdar, Shivendra Patil and P. Jayaja

  • administrator .


Recycling is a crucial area of research in green polymer chemistry. Various developments in recycling are driven by Environmental concerns, interest in sustainability and desire to decrease the dependence on non-renewable petroleum based materials. Polyurethane foams [PUF] are widely used due to their light weight and superior heat insulation as well as good mechanical properties. As per survey carried Polyurethane Foam Association, 12 metric tonnes of polyurethane foam are discharged during manufacturing and/or processing and hence recycling of PUF is necessary for better economics and ecological reasons. In present study, rejects of PUF is subjected to reaction with a diethylene amine in presence of sodium hydroxide [NaOH] as catalyst, as a result depolymerised product containing hydroxyl and amine groups is obtained. Conventional and Microwave reaction for depolymerizing polyurethane foam have been carried, and best results are obtained by Microwave reaction. Further depolymerised product with hydroxyl and amine functionalities are reacted with bis (2-hydroxyethyl terephthalate) [BHET] obtained by recycling polyethylene terephthalate [PET] and sebacic acid, with stannous oxalate [FASCAT 2100 series] as catalyst to obtain Polyester amides. These Polyester amides having hydroxyl and amino groups in excess are cured with isocyanates-hexamethylene diisocyanate biuret [HDI biuret] and isophorone diisocyanate [IPDI] for coating applications. The coated films are characterized using physical, mechanical and chemical tests, which shows comparable physical, mechanical properties but alkali resistance is poor.