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Polyols from microwave liquefied bagasse and its application to rigid polyurethane foam

Bagasse flour (BF) was liquefied using bi-component polyhydric alcohol (PA) as a solvent and phosphoric acid as a catalyst in a microwave reactor. The effect of BF to solvent ratio and reaction temperatures on the liquefaction extent and characteristics of liquefied products were evaluated. The results revealed that almost 75% of the raw bagasse was converted into liquid products within 9 min at 150˝C with a BF to solvent ratio of 1/4. The hydroxyl and acid values of the liquefied bagasse (LB) varied with the liquefied conditions. High reaction temperature combining with low BF to solvent ratio resulted in a low hydroxyl number for the LB. The molecular weight and polydispersity of the LB from reactions of 150˝C was lower compared to that from 125˝C. Rigid polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared from LB and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), and the structural, mechanical and thermal properties of the PU foam were evaluated. The PU foams prepared using the LB from high reaction temperature showed better physical and mechanical performance in comparison to those from low reaction temperature. The amount of PA in the LB has the ability of increasing thermal stability of LB-PU foams. The results in this study may provide fundamental information on integrated utilizations of sugarcane bagasse via microwave liquefaction process

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