MSU-IIT Researchers Develop Coconut Oil-based Hybrid Polyurethane Foam for Insulation

PUdaily | Updated: February 15, 2023

A team of researchers at the Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) of the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) has discovered a new reaction pathway for coconut oil to be utilized entirely as a polyol component in the production of rigid polyurethanes (PU) foams.

According to Arnold Lubguban, the research program leader, these hybrid foams have shown great potential as insulation and structural building materials.

Conventional PUs are derived from non-renewable fossil fuels and the industrial-scale production of these non-biodegradable substances poses significant environmental hazards.

“We are hoping that the use of coconut oil will address concerns of PU manufacturing industries to explore alternative feedstocks that are sustainable, renewable, and eco-friendly due to the rapid rate of fossil fuel depletion,” Lubguban says.

“Coconut oil’s abundance in the Philippines will also provide opportunity for value addition in the coconut supply chain,” he adds.

The study, whose lead authors are Roger Dingcong and Dave Joseph Estrada, appears in RSC Advances (RSC Adv., 2023, 13, 1985), one of the journals of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Arnold Lubguban and Roberto Malaluan, professors of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, and Arnold Alguno, Physics professor and the University’s Director of Research, are the senior authors of the paper.

A patent application for this study has also been submitted recently to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) with a patent application number 12022050671, along with six other CSP-developed technologies filed last year.

MSU-IIT was given the recognition and designation as an R&D Center for Sustainable Polymers in April 2022 by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) along with P107.3M in funding for the program and projects to be undertaken. This occurs under the agency’s new Niche Centers for Research and Development (NICER) Program.

The NICER Program aims to provide institutional grants to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for research and development capacity building to improve their science and technology infrastructure.




Source: MSUIIT News

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