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FAQ | Bio-Based Poly(trimethylene ether) Glycol

Explore our frequently asked questions

What is PO3G?

Gantrade’s poly(trimethylene ether) glycols (PO3G) are bio-based liquid difunctional polyols, low in toxicity, and easily processed.   The structures below contrast PO3G with the well-known poly(tetramethylene ether) glycol (PTMEG) polyol structure

PO3G Chemical StructurePTMEG Chemical Structure

 

 

 

Bio-based poly(trimethylene ether) glycols compliment Gantrade’s strong global position in the homologous (PTMEG) series. 

 

What is the bio-conformity of PO3G?

Introduced under the tradename ECOTRION, PO3G is derived from bio-based 1,3-propanediol, obtain through fermentation of industrial (non-food) corn.  This eco-friendly polyol received a “green” certification for 100% bio-based carbon content from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Belgium VINCOTTE and Austrian TUV.   The PO3G polyols were commercialized by SK Chemicals in a newly completed production facility in South Korea at a scale of several thousand MT.  The production process is outlined below.

Polymerization of PO3G

An ISO 14000 compliant life cycle analysis found that PO3G offers a lower environmental footprint including a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

What differentiates PO3G and PTMEG polyols?

PO3G diol has one less methylene unit vs. the homologous PTMEG diols.  This imparts many improved handling and processing characteristics, as follows:

  • PO3G polyols are liquids at room temperature, MWs  1000 and 2000
  • They are produced with lower molecular weight distributions affording lower viscosities, Mw/Mn ~1.5-1.7
  • Prepolymers remain liquid with low viscosity characteristics
  • PO3G MDI and TDI prepolymers are lower in viscosity and more easily processed
Like PTMEG, PO3G polyols exhibit:
  • Exact di-functionality and excellent reactivity with isocyanate
  • Good polyol and prepolymer compatibility with chain extenders and curatives
  • Excellent prepolymer storage stability
  • Very low color
  •  
PO3G polyols exhibit a 65% and 45% lower viscosity at 40 °C for the MW grades H1000 and H2000, respectively, vs. the corresponding PTMEG 1000 and 2000 grades.  The PO3G/MDI prepolymers showed an approximately 60% lower viscosity vs. PTMEG prepolymers in the temperature range of 50-70°C.  This results in easier handling and processing for PO3G polyols and prepolymers.

 

What are the attributes of PO3G polyols in polyurethanes?

In polyurethanes, PO3G exhibits good hydrolytic stability in wet environments, low temperature flexibility, excellent toughness and abrasion resistance, excellent flex fatigue life, durability, and good elastic recovery and resiliency. PO3G series polyurethanes uniquely combine high tensile strengths and high elongations in the same polyurethane elastomer.

The following performance attributes are exhibited by PO3G polyols in MDI-based, TDI-based, and aliphatic isocyanate-based elastomers

  • Superior resistance to hydrolytic cleavage
  • Exceptional flexibility and property retention at low temperatures
  • High resiliency and rebound properties
  • Excellent mechanical & dynamic properties and low hysteresis
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Good cut, chip, and tear resistance
  • Lower propensity to cold-harden, i.e., reduced tendency for soft-segment crystallization

 

What applications are recommended for PO3G polyols?

PO3G allows the introduction of renewable, “green” polyols into the high-performance application requiring abrasion resistant surfaces, cut & tear resistant materials, dynamic structures needing flex fatigue, property retention at cold temperatures, and others.  

Applications where PO3G provides benefits include:

  • Cast elastomers
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPUs)
  • Coatings, including waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PURs) 
  • Adhesives and Sealants
  • Foam Technologies
  • Elastic Fiber
  • 3D Printing
Examples of end-use markets include the following.
  • High load wheels and rollers such as skate and amusement park wheels
  • Mining and oil field equipment 
  • Coatings for synthetic leather and textiles used in automotive and furniture
  • Adhesives, sealants, and binders
  • Sport shoes and waterproof, breathable textiles
  • Synthetic leather goods

 

What are the available product grades?

Our poly(trimethylene ether) glycols are available in two molecular weight grades, H1000 and H2000.  Alpha-tocophenol (Vitamin E) is the anti-oxidant used in ECOTRION PO3G polyols.  These polyols are packaged in 200 Kg. drums.

ECOTRION

Molecular Weight

Hydroxyl No.

mgKOH/g

Alkalinity,

mgKOH/g

Color,

APHA

Viscosity,

cps@ 25 °C

Moisture

ppm

Tg, °C

Tm, °C

H1000

900-1100

102-124.7

-2.0 ~

+2.0

<50

400-600

<200

-71

13

H2000

1900-2100

53.4-59.1

-2.0 ~ 

+2.0

<50

1700-1900

<200

-75

17

 

 

 

 

To explore which polyol is best suited for your unique needs, partner with Gantrade. Our team’s wealth of technical knowledge and expertise, along with our uncompromising standards for customer service, ensure that you will receive the best polyurethane solutions for applications. Gantrade’s urethane platform of specialty polyols, chain extenders, and curatives provide a broad range of possibilities to achieve your high-performance polyurethane requirements. Contact us today to learn more.

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