Various factors are driving the inclination toward biopolymers. Consumers are expressing improved attentiveness in green products, healthier lifestyles and restoring the environment. Consequently, businesses are reacting to government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and consumer demands for more eco-friendly products instigating the use of bioplastic instead of conventional polymers. The constant thrust to replace fossil based feedstocks with bio renewable resources helps in providing a sustainable environment and hence, bio based raw materials prove to be one of the important drivers for the growing polyurethane elastomers market during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. A series of high performance bio-based polyurethanes (bio-PUs) are synthesized. Bio-PUs synthesized from copolymer diols and MDI determine enhanced mechanical characteristics that are somewhat similar to petroleum-based products. Furthermore, the bio-PUs provide good shape memory properties at body temperature and cyto-compatibility. Therefore, these bio-PUs are promising for applications in biomedical fields.
Adipic acid and succinic acid are some of the major feedstock used to make polyester polyols. Using bio-based diols can increase the bio-carbon content to 100%, resulting in even higher renewable content in the finished polyurethane. Various major companies are launching bio-based PU products with high renewable content. For instance, Bayer MaterialScience is using bio-succinic acid supplied by BioAmber in IMPRANIL® eco to replace adipic acid.
Automotive Industry is the most challenged industry in order to produce highly fuel-efficient, lower weight vehicles to help meet CAFE regulations. Polyurethane materials offer various advantages as compared to conventional metal and polymer components. They offer strength at lower density and also provide faster cycle times, along with the ability to create lightweight parts. At the same time, there is a parallel requirement for automakers to increase the amount of renewable content in their vehicles. Polyurethanes offer many solutions that can significantly increase the renewable portion of many components. Hence biobased polyurethanes are an emerging trend in various industries.