Econic catalysts and processes can be tuned to selectively produce low molecular weight polycarbonate. The chain length can be adjusted as required and the end groups can be controlled, allowing selective production of polycarbonate diols and polyols.
Such polyols can be combined with other chemicals to form more complex polymers. Polyols are a main ingredient of polyurethanes (PU), which are found in a variety of every day products.
The market for polyurethanes is large and growing; it has recently been estimated that around 20 million tons are produced per year with this sector being worth ca. $50 billion per annum.
Traditionally, polyurethanes are made using polyether polyols and polyester polyols derived from petrochemical sources.
PU is a very versatile material. It’s properties can be tuned by engineering the polyol and carefully choosing the other ingredients, such as isocyanate chain transfer agents.
- Polyurethane made with polycarbonate polyols may have better or at least comparable physical properties to PU made with conventional polyols.
- Polycarbonate polyols produced from the traditional phosgene derivative route are for most applications too expensive to be considered a cost-effective alternative to conventional polyols. Polyols produced from CO2 with Econic’s catalyst will have lower or comparable costs.