Chemically Recyclable Biobased Polyurethanes

Deborah K. Schneiderman, Marie E. Vanderlaan, Alexander M. Mannion, Tessie R. Panthani, Derek C. Batiste, Jay Z. Wang, Frank S. Bates, Christopher W. Macosko, Marc A. Hillmyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Polyurethanes (PUs), in the form of coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams, play a vital role in the consumer goods, automotive, and construction industries. However, the inevitable disposal of nondegradable postconsumer polyurethane products constitutes a massive waste management problem that has yet to be solved. We address this challenge through the synthesis of biobased and chemically recyclable polyurethanes. Our approach employs renewable and degradable hydroxy telechelic poly(β-methyl-δ-valerolactone) as a replacement for petroleum-derived polyols in the synthesis of both thermoplastic polyurethanes and flexible foams. These materials rival petroleum-derived PUs in performance and can also be easily recycled to recover β-methyl-δ-valerolactone monomer in high purity and high yield. This recycling strategy bypasses many of the technical challenges that currently preclude the practical chemical recycling of PUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-518
Number of pages4
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 19 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Center for Sustainable Polymers CHE-1413862. D.K.S. gratefully acknowledges support from the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program. The authors also thank Kiley Schmidt for help with TOC artwork.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

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