Novomer completes commercial-scale trials of Converge polyols in Rigid Foams


Novomer Inc, a US-based sustainable materials company pioneering a family of high-performance polymers and other chemicals from renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide (CO2), has announced the completion of a pair of successful commercial-scale rigid foam trials utilising the company's unique Converge CO2-based polyol blends. The trials were conducted at the ce|de|pa testing facility in Tudela, Spain, an international testing and prototyping center created to accelerate the development of rigid polyurethane foam panels for thermal insulation. The trials, completed in late 2015, included Novomer's Converge Polyol RF-2, a polyol blend offering an unprecedented 45% renewable content due to the combination of Novomer's CO2-based polyol with a recycled polyethylene terephthalate (r-PET) polyol. RF-2 joins RF-1 in Novomer's breakthrough lineup of Converge Polyol RF-X polyol blends tailored for the polyisocyanurate (polyiso) rigid foam industry.

Novomer's optimised RF-X polyol blends enable foam manufacturers to produce polyiso foams using traditional equipment and processing conditions while benefitting from the properties derived from polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyols. The use of sustainable materials reduces the total petroleum feedstock content and allows for competitive pricing with incumbent polyols

Both polyol blends were processed on full-scale continuous lamination lines and displayed excellent adhesion to aluminium and steel facings. In follow-up tests, Converge Polyol RF-1 and RF-2 demonstrated improvements over conventional aromatic polyester polyols with lower peak heat release, reduced smoke development, and improved dimensional stability while maintaining excellent mechanical and insulation properties. The superior flammability performance of both blends allows manufacturers to eliminate up to 50% of the flame retardant content found in traditional rigid foam formulations while meeting flammability requirements. This attribute provides greater flexibility for formulators trying to balance stringent health, safety, and building code requirements.

The successful trials come on the heels of a recent Ford Motor Co. announcement, which disclosed ground-breaking work with Novomer's Converge Polyols in flexible foams. Novomer's materials have enabled Ford to produce sustainable foams and plastics that meet the rigorous standards of the automotive industry - a first for automakers. Novomer's polycarbonate polyol technology platform uses a proprietary catalyst to combine waste CO2 with commodity epoxides to produce highly precise polyols which are up to 50% CO2 by weight. These polyols enhance not only the performance but also the sustainability and economics of polyurethane products in a wide range of end-use applications.

The new Converge polyols are available globally. The company's initial product offerings – 1,000 and 2,000 molecular weight grade diols - are manufactured at a multi-thousand-ton commercial-scale toll facility in Houston, Texas. Novomer is working closely with several major companies on new applications for various segments of the polyurethanes industry.


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