Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has developed a new range of MDI polyether prepolymers containing renewable, bio-based raw materials. Marketed under the brand name Adiprene Green, the products are suitable as replacement for existing fossil based polyether prepolymers to manufacture highly durable polyurethane (PU) elastomers. The overall objective to develop Adiprene Green was to create a range of bio-based prepolymers which allow the PU processor to produce components with a reduced CO2 footprint. Depending on the system, a reduction of CO2 between 20 to 30 percent is possible compared to fossil-based prepolymers due to the use of polyether polyols based on starch. The share of bio-based raw materials varies between 30 to 90 percent dependent on the targeted system hardness. At the same time the existing PU processing capabilities would remain applicable and the properties of the final polyurethane elastomer would be similar to established elastomers based on fossil based polyether or even better. Dr. Markus Eckert, head of the LANXESS Urethane Systems business unit, says: “At LANXESS, we have a clear sustainability strategy. With the goal to be climate neutral until 2040, we are building on our established and successful commitment to climate protection. The first major projects have already been launched. By using our new Adiprene Green products, customers can benefit from our journey to climate neutrality.” Adiprene Green prepolymers are easy to handle – they are processed in an identical manner to conventional prepolymers. No modifications to material handling, process temperatures or mixing ratios are necessary. In addition, the reactivity profile and demolding times are similar to fossil based polyether prepolymers. When reacted with 1,4 butanediol, a range of PU elastomers with a hardness from 40 Shore A to 60 Shore D can be achieved. As the PU system is versatile, Adiprene Green can be hand-mixed or machine mixed. Moreover, the prepolymers can be processed with Vibracat catalysts from LANXESS. Products of the Adiprene Green line are well suited for demanding applications such as roll covers, wheels, press sleeves or non-pneumatic tires.