We have studied the suitability of plant oils for the manufacture of plastics. In most cases we chemically manipulate the oil in order to obtain a resin with the desired chemical and technical properties for production of polymer materials. We have previously utilised commercially available high and low erucic rape (Brassica napus) oil, hemp oil and euphorbia oil as the basis for resins for polyurethane manufacture but now use waste oils and fats from the food industry (e.g. cocoa butter). The physical properties of the polyurethanes produced from these oils differ considerably indicating how even subtle changes in oil profile can have significant measurable effects on tensile and impact mechanical properties.
A range of polyurethane and polyether elastomers have been prepared from vegetable oils that exhibit elasticity and high temperature stability.
Degradation studies of polyurethanes based on vegetable oils. Part
Degradation studies of polyurethanes based on vegetable oils. Part 2. Thermal degradation and materials properties, A. Z. Mohd Rus, T. J. Kemp, A. J. Clark, Progress in Reaction Kinetics and Mechanism, 2009, 34, 1-41.
Synthetic Mimicking of Plant Oils and Comparison with Naturally Grown Products in Polyurethane Synthesis, S. R. Coles, G. Barker, A. J. Clark, K. Kirwan, D. Jacobs, K. Makenji, D. Pink, Macromol. Biosci. 2008, 8, 526.
Photodegradation, A. Z. Mohd Rus, T. J. Kemp, A. J. Clark, Progress in Reaction Kinetics and Mechanism, 2008, 33, 363.
Characterisation using MALDI and Chemical Manipulation of Euphorbia Oil Towards Polymer Feedstocks, A J Clark, in “The Development of Euphorbia Lagascae within the European Community (FAIR CT98/4460)”, Eds D. Turley, M. Fremont and S. Cook, ADAS, 2000, 52-57.
New Feedstocks for Polyurethane Synthesis. J. A. Sherringham, A. J. Clark, B. R. T. Keene. Lipid Technology. 2000, 129-130.
MALDI of vegetable oil polyether
Elastomer dogbones for materials testing
Renewable polyurethane elastomer made from waste cocoa butter.
Renewable polyurea elastomer
Renewable polyurethane foam for insulation or packaging