Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 279–288 | Cite as

Development of Lignin and Nanocellulose Enhanced Bio PU Foams for Automotive Parts

  • Omar FarukEmail author
  • Mohini Sain
  • Ramin Farnood
  • Yuanfeng Pan
  • Huining Xiao
Original Paper


The green rigid polyurethane (PU) foam has been developed with 100 % soy polyol after optimization of formulation ingredients and lignin has been introduced and isocyanate content reduced in the green rigid PU foam. The cellulosic nanofibers have also been successfully incorporated and dispersed in green rigid PU foam to improve the rigidity. The influence of nano cellulose fiber modification (enzymatic treatment, hydrophobic modification with latex) on the foam density, open cell content, foam raise height, water vapor, and mechanical properties of rigid PU foam were studied. The foamed structures were examined using scanning electron microscopy to determine the cell size and shape due to the addition of cellulosic nanofibers. The odor test were performed to evaluate the odor concentration 100 % soyol based PU foam including lignin and nanofiber and compared to 100 % synthetic based polyol PU foam. The experimental results indicated that the compression and impact properties improved due to the modification of nano cellulosic fibers. The odor concentration level of nanofiber reinforced rigid PU foam reduced significantly compared to 100 % PU foam due to the replacing of isocyanate content. It can be said that with an appropriate combination of replacing isocyanate by lignin and addition of nanofiber, rigid PU foam properties could be improved.


Soy based polyurethane foam Isocyanate Lignin Cellulosic nanofiber 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the NSERC-Innovative Green Wood Fibre Products Network Grant for the financial support for this research work. The authors are grateful for the generous donation of materials provided by the manufacturers listed in the “Experimental” section.


  1. 1.
    Banik I, Sain M (2008) J Reinf Plast Compos 27:1745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Banik I, Sain M (2008) J Reinf Plast Compos 27:1515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Banik I, Sain M (2008) J Reinf Plast Compos 27:357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gu R, Sain M, Konar SK (2013) Ind Crops Prod 42:273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gu R, Konar S, Sain M (2012) J Am Oil Chem Soc 89:2103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Khazabi M, Gu R, Sain M (2011) BioResources 6:3757Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gu R, Khazabi M, Sain M (2011) BioResources 6:3775Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mielewski D (2012) Greening and light-weighting automotive: Ford’s vision for a sustainable automotive industry, 12th international conference on biocomposites: transition to green materials, May 6–8, 2012 Niagara Falls, Ontario CanadaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lora JH (2008) In: Belgacem MN, Gandini A (eds) Monomers, polymers and composites from renewable resources, chapter 10. Elsevier, United kingdom, pp 225–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ramesh NS, Rasmussen DH, Campbell GA (1994) Polym Eng Sci 34:1685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Antonietti M, Goltner C (1997) Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 36:36Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schmid G (1994) Clusters and colloids. VCH, WeinheimCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bledzki AK, Faruk O (2005) J Appl Polym Sci 97:1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bledzki AK, Faruk O (2006) Macromol Mater Eng 291:1226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bledzki AK, Faruk O (2006) Compos Part A 37:1358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Luo X, Mohanty A, Misra M (2012) J Am Oil Chem Soc 89:2057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Silva MC, Takahashi JA, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Silva GG (2010) J Appl Polym Sci 117:3665Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Luo X, Mohanty A, Misra M (2013) Ind Crops Prod 47:13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yeung P, Broutman LJ (1977) In: Proceedings of SPI, 32nd annual technical conference, Rein forced Plastics Division, Section 9-BGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bledzki AK, Faruk O (2005) J Cell Plast 41:539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Luo X, Mohanty A, Misra M (2013) Macromol Mater Eng 298:412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Harris SH, Kreter PE, Polley CW (1998) J Cell Plast 24:486CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar Faruk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohini Sain
    • 1
  • Ramin Farnood
    • 2
  • Yuanfeng Pan
    • 3
  • Huining Xiao
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials ProcessingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied ChemistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

Personalised recommendations