FREIBURG, Germany (June 5, 2012)—A team of researchers from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the University of Freiburg is developing ways to produce polyurethane from citrus fruits.
Rolf Mulhaupt and Moritz Bahr from the university have developed a process to derive polyurethane from a naturally occurring substance called limonene, by reacting it with oxygen and carbon dioxide. Limonene is the main component of orange oil and is a by-product of orange juice production, according to the university.
The researchers are the first to successfully react limonene oxide with carbon dioxide without use of solvents, according to the university. The resulting limonendicarbonat is pourable and can be cured with so-called amines .
This research was conducted in conjunction with Volkswagen.