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Ethoxylated Soybean Polyols for Polyurethanes

Ionescu, Mihail, Petrović, Zoran S., Wan, Xianmei
Journal of polymers and the environment 2010 v.18 no.1 pp. 1-7
active ingredients, catalysts, ethoxylation, hydrogen, inorganic acids, polyols, polyurethanes, soybean oil, soybeans, temperature, thiols, triacylglycerols
Soybean polyols prepared by ring opening reactions of epoxidized soybean oil with hydrogen active compounds (water, alcohols, organic or inorganic acids, thiols, hydrogen etc.) have a low reactivity in the reaction with isocyanates because the hydroxyl groups are secondary. This paper presents a simple and convenient method to increase the reactivity of soybean polyols with secondary hydroxyl groups by ethoxylation reactions with the preservation of triglyceride ester bonds. The method uses mild reaction conditions: low alkoxylation temperature of 35-45 °C, low pressure of 0.1-0.2 MPa (15-30 p.s.i.) and a superacid as catalyst (HBF₄). The new soybean polyols have a higher reactivity toward isocyanates in polyurethane formation due to the high percentage of primary hydroxyl groups. The primary hydroxyl content was determined by the second order kinetics of polyol reaction with phenyl isocyanate.