About Project

Publishable summary of the project

Polyurethanes (PURs) are one of the most versatile polymeric materials. Flexible and rigid foams have the largest market of PURs products, however elastomers increase their share. All PUR products relies on petroleum oil as the feedstock for their major raw materials: polyols and isocyanates. The rising prices of petrochemical raw materials, decreasing deposits of petroleum resources and the European Union Directives cause increasing the interest in the applications of biodegradable and renewable polymeric materials.

Developing bio-renewable feedstock from vegetable oils for PURs manufacturing and working out of partially biodegradable elastomers and foams with tailored properties especially for human health improvement are the main aims of the investigation. Both economic and environmental aspects will be taken into account in the preparation of. the derivatives of vegetable oils as alternative replacements for petrochemical polyols and in the processing of bio-based PUR systems.

Executive summary of the project

The aim of the BBPM (Bio-based Polyurethane Materials) MATERA (an ERA-NET on materials) project is to improve the competitiveness of European companies, that are manufacturers of raw materials for theproduction of polyurethanes (PURs) and producers of such PUR materials as rigid, flexible, viscoelastic foams and elastomers through collaborative research and technological development. Versatility of PURs  depends on wide base of different components and petrochemical polyols which should be replace with modern raw materials based on vegetable oils. Moreover, new bio-based raw materials will allow to obtain partially biodegradable materials with tailored properties that in the shape of elastomers and different foams can be use in various applications including that for human health improvements.  The ambitious target of BBPM will be reached by achieving multi-level S&T objectives:

Basic Level (Fundamental Research): Analysis of relationship between parameters of the process of obtaining new bio-based polyols and their structure and properties; Analysis of relationship between the formulations and chemical constitution of new types of polyols and the structure and properties of polyurethanes obtained from them.  Intermediate Level (Applied RTD): Working out of solutions in the composition and parameters of manufacturing process of various groups of polyurethanes intended for technical and medical applications Final Level (Engineering & Prototyping): Proof-of-concept of the composition and manufacturing method of bio-based polyurethane elastomers and foams will be verified  during manufacturing by industry.

The expected breakthroughs and innovation will contain: Working out of a composition for manufacturing of polyurethanes on the base of renewable raw materials will allow to decrease production costs as compared with petroleum based raw materials; Performed analysis of relationship between the parameters of manufacturing process, chemical constitution and the structure and properties of polyurethanes will make it possible to manufacture products with better and tailored  properties than those based on petrochemical raw materials only. The use of polyols from renewable raw materials in production of PURs will allow to reduce carbon dioxide and to develop sustainable polyurethane products.  It will also add to development of rural areas through increasing demand for vegetable products.