A Green Alternative to Polyurethane

Case ID:
UA16-040
Invention:

This invention is a chemical synthesis method that allows for a greener, safer formation of polymeric thermosetting and thermoplastic foams, adhesives, films and electrofluorochromic devices using non-isocyanate chemistry.
 

Background:
As of January 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken action to protect consumers from new uses and imports of harmful isocyanates in polyurethane. Traditional methods of manufacturing polyurethane include the use of inherently toxic isocyanate molecules which ultimately produces excess carbon dioxide. Substituting the use of isocyanates for tetrazine compounds, and producing nitrogen gas instead of carbon dioxide is both environmentally and industrially advantageous. This method provides an alternative to the harmful conventional methods and produces foams and adhesives similar to those prepared from polyurethane.
 

Applications:

  • Foams for insulation, cushioning, and structural support (upholstery, thermal insulation, packaging, etc.)
  • Adhesives for repair and/or construction
  • Coatings or cast films for surface protection and/or packaging
  • Electrofluorochromic devices (materials with reversible fluorescence induced by oxidation and reduction)


Advantages:

  • Produces nitrogen gas instead of carbon dioxide
  • A cleaner alternative to polyurethane
  • Eliminates use of toxic isocyanates
  • Increases industrial manufacturing safety
  • Can synthesize a large variety of tetrazine-based materials for numerous material properties and applications
  • Reduces steps required to create foams and adhesives
  • Particular syntheses can produce a clear, colorless film that fluoresces under UV light, leading to potential use in electrofluorochromic devices
  • Built-in antioxidants


Status: issued U.S. patent #10,619,023

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Brett Mortenson
Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
BrettM@tla.arizona.edu
Lead Inventor(s):
Robb Bagge
Douglas Loy
Keywords: