Midland, Michigan - Dow Chemical Co. introduced its Renuva technology to make renewable polyols for polyurethane manufacturers at UTECH North America 2007 in Orlando. Florida, and stressed that these materials are both performance-based and at the same time reduce environmental impact.
Renuva technology is used to produce "bio-based polyols that allow high renewable content in the finished product with performance that rivals that of petroleum-based polyols," said Dow.
Commercial quantities of Dow's natural oil-based polyols are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2007, said Dow. Its development capabilities in Houston, Texas, will serve North American, Latin American and European regions, and can be expanded to meet demand, the group added. Initial offerings are from soybean oil, but Dow said it will continue to invest in exploring other vegetable oil options for polyols.
These virtually odour-free bio-based polyols can be customised to deliver enhanced performance benefits in many applications in the furniture and bedding, automotive, carpet and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) markets, Dow said, in a company statement.
"Dow Polyurethane's leadership in the development of renewable resource technology is yet another example of how our Performance businesses continue to create value for customers, as well as long-term growth opportunities for the Company," said Doug Warner, global business director for Dow Polyols.
"For Dow, Renuva technology provides an opportunity to decrease dependence on petroleum-based feedstocks. For our customers, it allows them to create 'green' products that contain high levels of renewable content while at the same time delivering the performance their customers want," Warner added.
Renuva polyols do not have the odour that "plagued previous generations of bio-based polyols." This has been a "significant obstacle to commercial acceptance," Dow comments.
In Dow's proprietary process, it reacts "broken-down and functionalised soybean oil" with traditional polyurethane components, to creates natural oil-based polyols with consistent performance.
"We've applied 50 years of expertise in polyurethane chemistry to engineer the natural oil-based polyol's molecular structure and address the root cause of performance issues associated with other bio-based polyols," said Erin O'Driscoll, business development manager, Dow Polyurethanes.