Projects per year
Polyurethanes (PUs), in the form of coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams, play a vital role in the consumer goods, automotive, and construction industries. However, the inevitable disposal of nondegradable postconsumer polyurethane products constitutes a massive waste management problem that has yet to be solved. We address this challenge through the synthesis of biobased and chemically recyclable polyurethanes. Our approach employs renewable and degradable hydroxy telechelic poly(β-methyl-δ-valerolactone) as a replacement for petroleum-derived polyols in the synthesis of both thermoplastic polyurethanes and flexible foams. These materials rival petroleum-derived PUs in performance and can also be easily recycled to recover β-methyl-δ-valerolactone monomer in high purity and high yield. This recycling strategy bypasses many of the technical challenges that currently preclude the practical chemical recycling of PUs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Center for Sustainable Polymers CHE-1413862. D.K.S. gratefully acknowledges support from the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program. The authors also thank Kiley Schmidt for help with TOC artwork.
How much support was provided by MRSEC?
Reporting period for MRSEC
- Period 3