Oxypropylation of cork and the use of the ensuing polyols in polyurethane formulations


Cork particles, recovered as byproducts of the processing of this natural material, were oxypropylated under pressure and relatively high temperature in the presence of KOH as catalyst. Various parameters were explored in order to assess the most suitable conditions, which led to the almost complete conversion of the solid cork into a viscous polyol. This product was a mixture of oxypropylated cork macromolecules and propylene oxide oligomers, which were thoroughly characterized. The use of these polyols as macromonomers in the synthesis of polyurethane foams gave promising results, thus showing that it should be possible to exploit the residues of this important renewable resource to manufacture original materials.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Polymer Science


Evtiouguina, M; Barros-Timmons, A; Cruz-Pinto, JJ; Neto, CP; Belgacem, MN; Gandini, A

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