Plastics News Report
Everberg, Belgium -- Huntsman Polyurethanes is joining a Canadian project that is exploring applications for tree bark.
The company will focus on converting bark into value-added intermediates for polyurethane, with a goal of improving the material properties and adding more renewable content.
The Bark Biorefinery Consortium Project has a total budget of C$5.25 million and is being funded by the Province of Ontario, with participating institutions and industry partners. Huntsman's CoreScience unit will work with scientists from the University of Toronto.
Previous research has shown that incorporating bark products into other polymers can result in improved thermal stability and fire resistance, as well as improved adhesive properties.
"Next generation bark-based additives are expected to further advance green developments in the polyurethane industry. We are delighted to be working with Huntsman on this project," project leaders Ning Yan and Mohini Sain at the University of Toronto said in a news release.
Niek van Wiechen, global CoreScience director at Huntsman Polyurethanes, said the program has many parallels with the company's own R&D efforts.
"This is a great opportunity to turn forest residue into valuable commercial products. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with consortia colleagues and exploring new avenues in polyurethane chemistry with some of the best academic minds in the world," he said.