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Carbon Dioxide Based Poly(ether carbonate) Polyol in Bi-polyol Mixtures for Rigid Polyurethane Foams

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The utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a sustainable feedstock for chemical products is becoming more interesting topic as the public issue of global warming has been increasingly emphasized. In this study, CO2 was polymerized in the presence of propylene oxide by using a double metal cyanide catalyst, affording poly(ether carbonate) (PEC) polyol. Rigid polyurethane foams (RPUFs) were successfully prepared with a bi-polyol mixture of different compositions containing the CO2-based PEC polyol. Approximately 43 wt% of petroleum-based polyether polyol was successfully substituted by the CO2-based PEC polyol, affording RPUFs with controlled characteristics. The properties of the RPUFs, such as apparent density, compressive strength, thermal conductivity, thermal stability and cell morphology, supported the potential of the RPUFs as thermal insulating materials and CO2 as an eco-friendly sustainable resource.

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Scheme 1
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6



Proton nuclear magnetic resonance


CO2 capture/utilization

CO2 :

Carbon dioxide


Diethylene glycol


Double metal cyanide


2-Ethoxyethyl acetate


Field emission-scanning electron microscopy


Flexible polyurethane foam


Fourier transform infrared


Potassium hexacyanocobaltate (III)


Potassium hydroxide


Polymeric 4,4′‐diphenylmethane isocyanate


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry

Mn,maldi :

Number-average molecular weight determined by MALDI-TOF MS


Molecular weight

Mw,maldi :

Weight-average molecular weight determined by MALDI-TOF MS


Poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene glycol)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)


Low MW multifunctional polypropylene glycol




Content of propylene carbonate unit


Poly(ether carbonate)


Propylene oxide

Polycat 8:



Poly(propylene glycol)




Polyurethane foam


Rigid polyurethane foam


Thermogravimetric analysis

ZnCl2 :

Zinc chloride


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This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2019R1A2C1003735). This work was also supported by POSCO (No. 2018A014).

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Correspondence to Il Kim or Joon Hyun Baik or Sung Chul Hong.

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Lee, D.H., Ha, J.H., Kim, I. et al. Carbon Dioxide Based Poly(ether carbonate) Polyol in Bi-polyol Mixtures for Rigid Polyurethane Foams. J Polym Environ (2020).

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  • Carbon dioxide
  • Poly(ether carbonate)
  • Polyol
  • Rigid polyurethane foam
  • Thermal conductivity