National Biodiesel Board Recognizes Innovation from Biodiesel Byproduct

By | June 09, 2009
Today, foams for packaging, transportation, adhesives, sealants, coatings and thermal insulation (such as those used in refrigeration and construction industries) are mostly made from petroleum products. But three researchers from Pittsburg State University in Kansas have developed a new family of glycerine-based polyols a series of organic molecules suitable for use in rigid polyurethane foams.

Pittsburg researchers Zoran Petrovic, Ivan Javni and Mihail Ionescu were honored for their research with the Glycerine Innovation Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerine, with particular emphasis on commercial viability. Total volume of polyols for rigid foam applications is measured in millions of tons.

"New uses for glycerine provide sustainable, environmentally friendly options to conventional products that they replace," said Steve Howell, technical director for the NBB. "It also helps improve the profitability of biodiesel, which will help ensure a thriving, domestically produced source of fuel for America."

In the same way biodiesel is a sustainable replacement for diesel fuel, the new polyols hold the potential to be a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based foams.

The award was presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society in Orlando, Fla. Recipients received a commemorative plaque and a $5,000 honorarium. NBB sponsors the award along with the Soap and Detergent Association.
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