Polyols and Polyurethanes from Lignin

­Unmet Need: Successful production of lignin based Polyols Polyurethane (PU) is an important class of thermoset polymer with a $70 bn/year market, providing materials for many applications. PU materials are comprised of an isocyanate and a polyol;…

Unmet Need: Successful production of lignin-based Polyols

Polyurethane (PU) is an important class of thermoset polymer with a $70 bn/year market, providing materials for many applications. PU materials are comprised of an isocyanate and a polyol; both of which are currently obtained from non-renewable petroleum resources, suggesting that the development of biobased alternatives is of utmost importance toward the national endeavor of net-zero carbon emission by 2050. There has been the development of lignin-based PU but due to the complex structural properties of Lignin, it remains a great challenge.

The Technology: Use of lignin oligomers for production of polyols

WSU researchers have developed a novel approach to producing lignin-based flexible polyurethane foams using lignin oligomers with controlled structural properties. These lignin oligomers (DESL) are derived from wood, grass, and waste biomass using deep eutectic solvent (DES) extraction and result in promising building blocks for synthesizing biobased materials. This novel approach has resulted in the preparation of lignin-derived polyols and polyurethanes with a lignin-polyol concentration of up to 40 wt.%.

Applications:

  • Preparation of semi-flexible and flexible polyurethane (PU) foam.
  • Preparation of adhesives, sealants, coatings, and packaging materials.

Advantages:                  

  • Narrower molecular size distribution and resulting uniform structural properties.
  • Reduced packaging structure due to lignin properties and solvent used.
  • Biobased materials contribute to the endeavor of zero carbon emissions.
  • A novel approach to utilize abundantly available lignin.

Patent Information:

A provisional patent application has been filed.

Website

https://wsu.technologypublisher.com/technology/46537

Contact Information

TTO Home Page: https://wsu.technologypublisher.com

Name: Rabindra Nanda

Title: Technology Licensing Associate

Department: Office of Commercialization

Email: r.nanda@wsu.edu

Phone: (509) 335-8608