The catalysts and processes invented by Econic can be tuned to selectively produce low molecular weight polycarbonate. The chain length can be adjusted as required. Most importantly, the end groups can be controlled, which allows selective production of polycarbonate diols and polyols.
Such polyols can be combined with other chemicals to form more complex polymers. Polymer polyols are a main ingredient of polyurethanes (PU).
Finished products containing PU are mattresses and seats, home insulation, shoes, packaging materials, glues and coatings for wires, piping and many other surfaces.
The market for polyurethanes is large and growing; it is estimated that recently around 20 million tons were produced per year and the sector was worth ca. $50 billion per annum. The polyol market is closely linked to the PU market, as most of the produced polymer polyols end up in PU production.
Traditionally, polyurethanes are made using 100% petrochemically derived
- Polyether polyols
- Polyester polyols
PU is a very versatile material. Its properties can be tuned by engineering the polyol and carefully choosing the other ingredients, such as the type isocyanate and the chain transfer agent.
- Polyurethane made with polycarbonate polyols have better or at least comparable properties to PU made with conventional polyols.
- Polycarbonate polyols are currently produced from phosgene and are, for most applications, too expensive to be a cost-effective alternative to conventional polyols. Polyols from CO2 will have lower or comparable costs.
Econic’s processes can also produce high molecular weight (HMW) polycarbonates.