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Novomer produces sustainable PPC polyol

By: URETHANES TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

February 21, 2013

WALTHAM, MASS. -- Sustainable materials company Novomer Inc. has completed what it says is the world's first large-scale manufacturing run of polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyol, producing more than 7 metric tons of finished product.

The material, a 1000 molecular weight PPC diol, will be used in polyurethane applications, including flexible and rigid foams, adhesives and sealants, coatings and elastomers, Novomer said in a Feb. 19 news release.

The Novomer polyols are designed to replace conventional petroleum-based polyether, polyester, and polycarbonate polyols. Based on the copolymerization of carbon dioxide and epoxide, the resulting products contain more than 40 percent carbon dioxide by weight, Novomer said.

"This campaign clearly demonstrates the robustness of our catalyst and manufacturing process and we are confident in the ability to move to a larger scale as demand warrants," commented Ron Valente, Novomer's vice president of research.

The PPC polyol was scaled up and produced with Albemarle Corp. at its Orangeburg, S.C., manufacturing facility using existing Albemarle equipment which was modified for PPC polyol production. This work was completed in conjunction with Waltham-based Novomer's three-year, $25 million U.S. Department of Energy award.