Synthesis of Soy-Polyol by Two Step Continuous Route and Development of Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam


Soy-polyol has been synthesized via a low energy two-step continuous route thus avoiding intermediate steps and chemicals. The functional groups of soy-polyol thus produced were identified by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy which confirmed the cleavage of the double bonds, the formation of new epoxy linkages and the presence of hydroxyl groups. The change in chemical structure and physical properties of the soy polyol was further characterized and the results indicated a successful conversion with reduced unsaturation, increased hydroxyl number and increased viscosity. Polyurethane foam was prepared from soy-polyol using isocyanate and thermogravimetric analysis was used to study its thermal decomposition behaviour. Multiple transitions were identified in relation to depolymerization and bond dissociation. Density and compressive strength of the soy-foam were found to be satisfactory. An investigation of microstructure of soy foam by scanning electron microscope and X-ray computed tomography revealed the internal cell morphology and cell structure.

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The authors acknowledge Dr. I. Banik, S. Ghosh Roy, and V. Mavisakalyan from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto for their help. They also acknowledge Arkema Canada Inc., BioCar® and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for supporting the project.

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Correspondence to Sanchita Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh.

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Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh, S., Ghosh, S.B. & Sain, M. Synthesis of Soy-Polyol by Two Step Continuous Route and Development of Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam. J Polym Environ 18, 437–442 (2010).

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  • Soybean oil
  • Polyol
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Soy-foam
  • Epoxydation
  • Microstructure