Polyurethane (PU) coatings are used in many industrial applications, like in the furniture and automotive sectors. The main objective of the present work is the re-design of polyester binder for PU coatings using a selection of monomers derived from biorefinery. A preliminary comparative evaluation of technological performances of the corresponding PU coatings is presented, showing that the introduction of biobased monomers generally leads to softer materials but it doesn’t affect significantly other physical properties like wettability, adhesion and hydrolytic stability. Afterwards, the total impact of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and the total non-renewable energy use (NREU) are evaluated by a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, following a cradle-to-factory gate approach. The ecoprofile of bio-based polyester binder is compared with other two fossil-based conventional polyesters. The results suggest that the use of bio-based monomers allows a significant reduction of the total GHG emissions of around 75% less and a reduction of around 35% less of the total NREU.
Available online 23 June 2017