Polyester polyols for polyurethanes from pet waste: kinetics of polycondensation

Vaidya, U. R. ; Nadkarni, V. M. (1988) Polyester polyols for polyurethanes from pet waste: kinetics of polycondensation Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 35 (3). pp. 775-785. ISSN 0021-8995

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/app.198...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/app.1988.070350317


The kinetics of polyesterification of the glycolyzed PET waste with adipic acid is reported. Glycolysis of PET waste was carried out with ethylene glycol at three different ratios of PET waste to glycol. The glycolyzed products could be readily polyesterified by reacting with adipic acid, to give polyester polyols with low acid number. Kinetics of polyesterification of the glycolyzed product made from 62.5% ethylene glycol (EG) and 37.5% waste were investigated further at different hydroxyl to carboxyl ratios. Reaction conditions were nonisothermal, comparable to the industrial process scheme consisting of two isothermal regions at 170° and 200°C. The kinetic results of the polyesterification of glycolyzed PET waste are compared to the polyesterification of pure diols, namely ethylene glycol and bis(hydroxyethyl) terephthalate (BHET) with adipic acid. The reactions follow second-order kinetics at 170°C and the rate of polyesterification of the mixed diol system from PET waste lies intermediate between those of the pure diols, namely, EG and BHET. Ethylene glycol exhibited the highest reactivity. At 200°C the kinetic plots of the mixed diols from PET waste were nonlinear, and thus the reaction may not follow second-order kinetics. The nonlinearity is explained in terms of the different reactivities of the different diol species in the reaction mixture. The polyester polyols, when cured with polymeric 4,4' diphenyl methane diisocyanates, gave polyurethane rigid foams and elastomers.

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