Waste is a terrible thing to waste. That’s the mantra guiding an Ohio State University researcher and a bioenergy entrepreneur in the development of a brand-new, renewable source of polyurethane foam that’s expected to create up to 30 jobs in Mansfield, Ohio, in the next two years.
The product (known as a bio-polyol) is made from crude glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production that has so little commercial value it’s practically considered waste. Mixed with other biomass — through a patent-pending process developed by Yebo Li, a biosystems engineer with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster — this crude glycerin becomes the foundation for making polyurethane foam, which is used in a variety of products in the construction, automotive, appliance and other industries.
“Polyurethane foam made with our bio-polyol is renewable, biodegradable and its quality is comparable to petroleum-based foam,” said Jeff Schultheis, chief operating officer of Mansfield-based Poly-Green Technologies, LLC, a start-up formed to commercialize Li’s invention.… Continue readingRead More »