Tree bark presents innovative non-petroleum PU foam by PRW

Tree bark presents innovative non-petroleum PU foam
By Jane Denny, Urethanes Technology International
Posted 12 December 2013
A project to develop a fully bio-based tannin foam as a substitute to petroleum-based foams won an innovation award at the Association Foamed Plastics and Polyurethanes’ (FSK) annual conference.
The BioFoamBark process, coordinated by Freiburg Material Research Center member Marie-Pierre Laborie, involves the extraction of tannins from the bark of softwood species found commonly in Europe.
Other components for the foam formulation, including glycerol and furfural or nanocellulose, are recovered as by-products from biodiesel manufacture and the pulp and paper industry.
One aim is to develop foams with the properties of building insulation materials that can be converted into synthesis gas at the end of the product life.
The team behind the project plans to assess the environmental performance, technical and economic feasibility and market potentials of the biomaterials.
The consortium won funding from WoodWisdom-Net/ERA-NET Bioenergy programme (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe in Germany) and the project is due to run for three years.

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