Synthesis of urethane oils from waste poly(ethylene terephthalate) bottles



Waste poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) bottles were glycolyzed by propylene glycol (PG) at a weight ratio of PET to PG of 37.5 : 62.5 using zinc acetate as a catalyst. The glycolyzed product, consisting of oligomeric diols with a number-average molecular weight range of 458–844, was obtained. It was further reacted with soybean oil and toluene diisocyanate to obtain urethane oils at hydroxyl to isocyanate ratios from 1 : 1 to 1 : 0.7, with and without methanol acting as a blocking agent. All the synthesized urethane oils were yellowish, transparent, low-viscosity liquids of low molecular weights. A lower diisocyanate content and the presence of a blocking agent resulted in higher viscosity, higher molecular weight, and shorter drying time. The films of all synthesized urethane oils exhibited good hardness and adhesion. They also showed excellent water and acid resistance but only fair alkali resistance. However, these prepared urethane oils had lower flexibility and poorer wear resistance compared to those of the commercial urethane oil. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 92: 3040–3045, 2004