There has been great interest in the replacement of petroleum-based polyols with biobased polyols in polyurethane applications. However, current products mainly triglyceride-based polyols have many drawbacks, and also do not have the structural efficiency and physical performance characteristics that restrict them to limited applications.
To minimize all these limitations, the synthesis of low molecular weight liquid polyols can be performed via a robust, simple, environmentally friendly, and solvent-free ‘biocatalytic route’. In contrast to chemical methods, enzyme-catalyzed reactions proceed with high enantio- and regioselectivity, under mild conditions, avoiding protection deprotection steps, providing an attractive alternative to conventional chemical methods. Bio-renewable, non-toxic and low-cost monomers, such as 2,5 dihydroxymethyl furan, 1,4 butanediol, glycerol, diglycerol, isosorbide, D-mannitol, D-sorbitol, citric acid, maleic acid, fumaric acid, succinic acid, glutaric acid, adipic acid, sebacic acid and many more can be employed in preparing biobased polyol prepolymers via enzymatic catalysis.
Keywords: Biobased polyols, Enzyme catalysis, Polyurethanes.