Synthesis of polyurethane from one hundred percent sustainable natural materials through non-isocyanate reactions
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The synthesis route for the preparation of polyurethane using 100% sustainable materials was proposed. Lignin, one of the most abundance biomass on Earth, was used as one raw material, while the other one used is soybean oil. The reaction occurs in 3 steps, and is done in 2 different pot reactions. Briefly, purchased epoxidized soybean oil is carbonated to synthesize carbonated soybean oil. Then carbonated soybean oil was reacted with coupling agent, 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane to produce urethane monomers. Finally, prepared urethane monomers were polymerized with lignin to produce sustainable polyurethane. Molecular structures were intensively analyzed using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. In addition, mechanical properties of prepared polyurethane were analyzed in order to evaluate its performance and compare with the polyurethanes available commercially. Our results indicated that the highest tensile strength achieved was 1.4 MPa, which is slightly below the typical tensile strengths of processible polyurethane. Chemical properties of all the intermediates and products and implications for future research are discussed.