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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Plant Polymer Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357657

Research Project: Conversion of Polysaccharides and Other Bio-based Materials to High-Value, Commercial Products

Location: Plant Polymer Research

Title: Preparation of sorbitol-based polyurethanes and their semiinterpenetrating polymer networks

item Biswas, Atanu
item Cheng, Huai
item Kim, Sanghoon
item Appell, Michael
item Boddu, Veera
item ALVES, CARLUCIO - Universidade Estadual Do Ceara

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2019
Publication Date: 2/21/2019
Citation: Biswas, A., Cheng, H.N., Kim, S., Appell, M.D., Boddu, V.M., Alves, C.R., Furtado, R.F. 2019. Preparation of sorbitol-based polyurethanes and their semiinterpenetrating polymer networks. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 136:47602.

Interpretive Summary: Because of the current interest in sustainability, environmental stewardship, and green chemistry, there has been a lot of interest in using agro-based raw materials for the design of polymeric materials. One of the promising bio-renewable materials is sorbitol, which can be produced from corn syrup, is inexpensive,and widely available. In this work we have focused on sorbitol and shown that polyurethanes can be readily made from it through conventional or microwave heating. Microwave-assisted synthesis was found to significantly decrease the reaction time and save energy relative to conventional heating. The novel processes disclosed in this work will benefit industrial chemical manufacturers, such as National Starch and Ingredion among others to save time and energy during the production of sorbitol-based polyurethane. Developing value added products from agricultural commodities helps the farmer and the U.S. economy.

Technical Abstract: Sorbitol is a useful agro-based substance that is inexpensive and commercially available. In the interest of adding value to bio-based raw materials, we have synthesized polyurethanes from sorbitol and toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) through both conventional heat and microwave processes. Relative to conventional heat, the microwave process achieved the same reaction at a faster rate, thereby saving time and energy. The nature of the resulting polyurethane products depended on the stoichiometry of the reaction. At increasing TDI levels, a viscous liquid, a soft gel, or a hard thermoset could be obtained. The polymers were fully characterized with 13C-NMR, Fourier transform infrared, size exclusion chromatography, and thermogravimetric analysis. The polyurethanes obtained near the gel point could be used to make semiinterpenetrating polymer networks (semi-IPNs) with a second polymer, thereby imparting some of the properties of the second polymer onto the sorbitol-based polyurethane. For illustration, the sorbitol-based polyurethane semi-IPNs were made in combination with poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) and poly(lactic acid).