Dow Introduces Technology Used To Make "Greener" Foam
Furniture World Magazine
The Dow Chemical Company introduced RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology, a proprietary process that helps polyurethane manufacturers make products that are performance-based and reduce impact on the environment. Distinct in the chemical industry, RENUVA™ Technology is used to produce bio-based polyols that allow high renewable content in the finished product with performance that rivals that of petroleum-based polyols.
Dow’s work on natural oil-based polyols, which began in the early 1990s, culminates with this next-generation technology, producing bio-based polyols that are virtually odor-free and can be customized to deliver enhanced performance benefits in a broad array of applications. Polyols made with RENUVA™ Technology will allow manufacturers of commercial and consumer products in the furniture and bedding, automotive, carpet and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) markets to more effectively differentiate themselves and meet their customers’ growing demand for finished products that are both high quality and environmentally sound.
“Dow Polyurethane’s leadership in the development of renewable resource technology is yet another example of how our Performance businesses continue to create value for customers, as well as long-term growth opportunities for the Company,” says Doug Warner, global business director for Dow Polyols. “For Dow, RENUVA™ Technology provides an opportunity to decrease dependence on petroleum-based feedstocks. For our customers, it allows them to create ‘green’ products that contain high levels of renewable content while at the same time delivering the performance their customers want.”
According to lifecycle analysis, RENUVA™ Technology uses up to 60 percent fewer fossil fuel resources than conventional polyol technologies and is greenhouse gas neutral. Polyols based on RENUVA™ Technology are designed not to have the odor that plagued previous generations of bio-based polyols -- a significant obstacle to commercial acceptance. Dow’s proprietary process, which reacts the broken-down and functionalized soybean oil molecule with traditional polyurethane components, creates natural oil-based polyols with consistent performance.
“We’ve applied 50 years of expertise in polyurethane chemistry to engineer the natural oil-based polyol’s molecular structure and address the root cause of performance issues associated with other bio-based polyols,” says Erin O’Driscoll, business development manager, Dow Polyurethanes. “In the past, higher levels of renewable content were synonymous with unpleasant odor. Our natural oil-based polyols boast an enhanced environmental profile without the typical odor problems. We are also working with our customers to design natural oil-based polyols that address their particular performance needs in end-use applications.
“Polyol solutions based on RENUVA™ Technology support Dow’s strategy to grow and develop differentiated, tailor-made performance products that promote our customers’ success while reducing environmental impact through technical innovation and industry collaboration,” O’Driscoll says.
Commercial quantities of natural oil-based polyols are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2007. Dow’s market development capabilities in Houston, Texas, will serve North America, Latin America and Europe, with the ability to expand production to meet demand. Initial offerings are from soybean oil, but Dow will continue to invest in exploring other vegetable oil options for polyols.
For more information about RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology and Dow’s natural oil-based polyol capabilities, please visit www.dowrenuva.com.
Dow and the Environment
An added benefit of Dow’s natural oil-based polyols is their environmental performance. Based on third-party validation, life-cycle analysis shows the new process to be greenhouse gas neutral and to use 60 percent fewer fossil fuel resources than conventional polyol technologies.
Dow recognizes that the scarcity of petroleum-based resources, growth in population, and the influence of human activity on the environment are potential causes for concern to future generations. Dow believes that being a good corporate neighbor and a responsible steward of the world’s resources means providing innovative solutions to help address these issues. Using the Triple Bottom Line of Sustainable Development, Dow focuses on three fundamental areas – economics, environment and society – where companies impact quality of life. The Triple Bottom Line provides a framework that directs Dow activities to ensure that we continue on the course prescribed by our mission statement, to “constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology.”
Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals reflect the company’s commitment to the principles of Responsible Care® and have a broad external focus: strengthening relationships with the communities in which it resides, continuing to improve its product stewardship and innovation, and reducing its global footprint. The goals align to three areas of focus: Collaborate, Innovate and Elevate.
About Dow Polyurethanes: Dow Polyurethanes, a business group within The Dow Chemical Company, is the world's largest producer of polyether polyols, a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI and TDI, and a major supplier of propylene oxide, an essential component of polyether polyols. Dow's polyurethane products and fully formulated polyurethane systems are used for a broad range of applications including construction, automotive, appliance, furniture, bedding and shoe soles to decorative molding, athletic equipment, and more. The business manufactures and markets rigid, semi-rigid and flexible foams, adhesives, sealants, coatings, elastomers and binders. Dow also offers the latest in polyol technology with RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology and VORANOL™ VORACTIV™ polyols, part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to lead the industry in providing high-performance products. For more information, visit www.dowpolyurethanes.com, www.dowpg.com, www.dowpo.com, www.pusystems.com, www.dowrenuva.com and www.voractiv.com.
About Dow: Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.