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Monday, 28 September 2020

Research in green chemistry: new raw materials for coatings

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 | Posted by: Sonja Schulte, European Coatings Journal

If you deal with information around coatings technology, raw materials and markets every day you read at least once a week something on sustainability. To be honest, some days I am really fed up with this term. Not because I do not think that sustainability is important for the coatings industry. It´s rather because I have the impression that sometimes the term is misused for marketing reasons. Today I came across with the content of the latest issue of the journal Green Chemistry and was surprised that three articles dealt with current developments for biobased coatings. In my opinion, the use of biobased materials could be an important step to more sustainable products. Really interesting stuff!

Bio-based poly(vinyl ether)s and their application as alkyd-type surface coatings

A research team from North Dakota State University, USA produced novel bio-based poly(vinyl ether) copolymers derived from soybean oil and menthol by cationic polymerization and invetigated them for application as alkyd-type surface coatings.Compared to conventional alkyd resins, which are produced by high temperature melt condensation polymerization, the bio-based poly(vinyl ether)s were thought to provide several advantages. These advantages include milder, more energy efficient polymer synthesis, elimination of issues associated with gelation during polymer synthesis, production of polymers with well-defined composition and relatively narrow molecular weight distribution, and elimination of film formation and physical property issues associated with entrained monomers, dimers, trimers, etc. As expected, incorporation of the tri-substituted cycloaliphatic groups derived from menthol pendent to the poly(vinyl ether) polymer backbone significantly increased the glass transition temperature and mechanical properties of crosslinked networks produced by autoxidation. Overall, the results of the study suggest a high potential for these novel copolymers with high bio-based content to be used for alkyd-type coatings.

By the way, Bret Chisolm presented the results at the American Coatings CONFERENCE in Atlanta, GA, USA

Carbon dioxide (CO2) as sustainable feedstock for polyurethane production

A German research group from Bayer Technology Services, Bayer MaterialScience and RWTH Aachen, Germany synthesized tailor-made polyethercarbonate polyols from propylene oxide and CO2. Molecular weight and functionality of these polyethercarbonate polyols are controlled by the use of an appropriate alcohol starter enabling innovative applications as a polymer building block. Interestingly, the properties of the polyethercarbonate polyols can be adjusted in a wide range by tuning CO2 content and architecture. The feasibility of using such tailored polyethercarbonate polyols in the production of polyurethanes is demonstrated as a prime example for a novel CO2 utilization with industrial potential.

The third paper deals with polyester for powder coatings applications:

Sustainable polyesters for powder coating applications from recycled PET, isosorbide and succinic acid

A new method for the synthesis of polyesters that combines the chemical recycling of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) with the use of monomers derived from renewable resources, such as isosorbide and succinic acid, has been developed. A kinetic study has been performed in order to determine the best catalyst for PET depolymerisation with isosorbide and for the subsequent polycondensation of PET oligomers with succinic acid. Using the correct amounts of isosorbide and succinic acid it is possible to obtain polymers which well fit the properties (glass transition temperature and end-group composition) necessary for powder coating applications. The coating produced using this new environmentally friendly approach presents applicative properties similar, and in some cases superior, to those of a commercial coating obtained from non-renewable resource. These study was performed by Italien researchers from the University of Bologna

All three papers have been published in the latest issue of Green Chemistry.

Again, I think these kind of developments are important steps towards more sustainable paints and coatings.

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Sonja Schulte
European Coatings Journal
Sonja Schulte
Editor-in-Chief, Science & Technology
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