Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany) has applied for patent protection of a new production method of natural oil polyols (NOP) for use in rigid foams that it says overcomes production issues by combining two chemical reactions into one step. Bayer has combined alkoxylation and transesterification resulting in polyols with high vegetable-oil components content but ones that still have, The same range of properties and the structural diversity of conventional polyols, according to Bayer. The company says rigid foam producers can use existing, popular blowing agents and create products that match, and sometimes, exceed properties of conventional foams.
In addition, the technology will allow higher bio-content, with the possibility of meeting the minimum content of renewable raw materials needed in order to be classed as Biopreferred by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With that classification, the materials could receive preferential treatment when public institutions are procuring products, including construction materials.
In the case of thermal insulation for wall construction, a rigid foam needs to have at least 8% biobased content for certification. Polyether polyols based on sugar may contain up to about 30% renewable raw materials, and the new technology allows NOPs with between 40 and 70% renewable raw materials. Rigid foams created with these new NOPs would 10-15% biobased, nearly doubling the existing Biopreferred standard.[email protected]