An innovative low-cost process was developed to produce polyurethane foam from crude glycerin and lignocellulosic biomass.
Crude glycerin is very low value waste stream (less than 5 cent/lb) in the biodiesel plant. About 12 oz of crude glycerin is generated when one gallon of biodiesel is produced. Nearly all the polyurethane foam on the market is petroleum based. The bio-based polyurethane foam developed by other groups using soybean oil, starch as feedstock or petroleum based as solvent, which make the bio-based polyurethane foam more expensive than the petroleum based products. The major challenge for commercialization is the production of bio-polyols with consistent quality when crude glycerin with different composition is used.
We have developed a low-cost technology to transform crude glycerin into biopolyols and polyurethane foam Bio100 Technologies LLC in Mansfield OH has licensed this technology from OSU and we are setting up the pilot scale system now.
This technology is expected to generate 30-50 jobs in Poly Green in the next 3-5 years.