Made of wheat straw plastic. It is stronger than analogues

About 734 million tonnes of wheat straw are produced annually worldwide. This is a huge amount of cheap

waste that has not yet been clearly identifiedspecific application. Recently, research teams RNM-271 Chemical Engineering and FQM-383 NANOVAL Organic Chemistry at the University of Cordoba were able to re-use this agricultural surplus material by using it as a base for the production of polyurethane foam.

Polyurethane foams - a group of gas-filledplastics based on polyurethanes. This plastic material, also known as foam rubber, is often made from petroleum by-products and is versatile in industry. It has many applications in the construction and automotive industry as a sealant and as a thermal and acoustic insulator.

In the study, scientists have found use forwheat waste. After liquefying them, they obtained polyols. They are one of the key compounds involved in the chemical reaction that produces polyurethane foams.

Сегодня касторовое масло — один из основных candidates for the creation of polyurethane foam without oil. The problem is that this oil does not provide the required hardness and dryness when it comes into contact with air. " The new development with wheat straw turned out to be stronger than analogues.

While these new polyurethane foams canhave an infinite number of applications and even be produced using other types of biomass, the group of scientists in the second phase of their research will use them in nurseries for growing plants. “Instead of watering the plant, we inject water into the foam so that the plant can consume it as needed, to address drought problems and prevent over-watering,” explained one of the authors of the article, Esther Rincon.

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Polyols are polyhydric alcohols with more than one hydroxyl group in their molecule.