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Article

Polyurethane Composites Recycling with Styrene–Acrylonitrile and Calcium Carbonate Recovery

1
Chemical Engineering Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Institute of Chemical and Environmental Technology, ITQUIMA, Avda. Camilo José Cela s/n, 13004 Ciudad Real, Spain
2
Recticel Engineered Foams Belgium BV, Damstraat 2, 9230 Wetteren, Belgium
3
Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions (cMACS), KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, P.O. Box 2454, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2024, 17(12), 2844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17122844
Submission received: 24 April 2024 / Revised: 16 May 2024 / Accepted: 22 May 2024 / Published: 11 June 2024

Abstract

The glycolysis process of flexible polyurethane foams containing styrene–acrylonitrile and calcium carbonate as fillers was explored in detail. The use of DABCO as a catalyst allowed us to reduce the catalyst concentration and the polyurethane-to-glycol mass ratio to 0.1% and 1:1, respectively. The glycolysis process allowed us to obtain a high-purity polyol (99%), which can totally replace raw polyols in the synthesis of new flexible polyurethane foams, maintaining the standard mechanical properties of the original one and modifying the ratio of isocyanates employed to correct the closed cell structure caused by the impurities present in the recovered polyol. This isocyanate mixture was also optimized, resulting in a ratio of 30 and 70% of the isocyanates TDI80 and TDI65, respectively. Additionally, the fillers incorporated in the glycolyzed foams were recovered. Both recovered fillers, styrene–acrylonitrile and calcium carbonate, were fully characterized, showing a quality very similar to that of commercial compounds. Finally, the replacement of commercial fillers by the recovered ones in the synthesis of new polyurethane foams was studied, demonstrating the feasibility of using them in the synthesis of new foams without significantly altering their properties.
Keywords: glycolysis; flexible polyurethane foams; polyurethane composites; styrene–acrylonitrile; calcium carbonate; physical and mechanical properties glycolysis; flexible polyurethane foams; polyurethane composites; styrene–acrylonitrile; calcium carbonate; physical and mechanical properties

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MDPI and ACS Style

del Amo, J.; Iswar, S.; Vanbergen, T.; Borreguero, A.M.; De Vos, D.; Verlent, I.; Willems, J.; Rodriguez, J.F. Polyurethane Composites Recycling with Styrene–Acrylonitrile and Calcium Carbonate Recovery. Materials 2024, 17, 2844. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17122844

AMA Style

del Amo J, Iswar S, Vanbergen T, Borreguero AM, De Vos D, Verlent I, Willems J, Rodriguez JF. Polyurethane Composites Recycling with Styrene–Acrylonitrile and Calcium Carbonate Recovery. Materials. 2024; 17(12):2844. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17122844

Chicago/Turabian Style

del Amo, J., S. Iswar, T. Vanbergen, A. M. Borreguero, D. De Vos, I. Verlent, J. Willems, and J. F. Rodriguez. 2024. "Polyurethane Composites Recycling with Styrene–Acrylonitrile and Calcium Carbonate Recovery" Materials 17, no. 12: 2844. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17122844

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