Bio-Based Polyesters Obtained by Functionalizing and Polymerizing Cooking Vegetable Oils Waste
Omondi, Apoko Steve
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Crude oil, the source of petrochemical feedstock for the polymer industry is non-renewable. Its continued depletion, unstable prices and environmental concerns arising from polymers derived from them triggered the need to seek alternatives. Biomas which are renewable, cheap, ubiquitous and environmentally benign are presented as substitutes to the petrochemical counterparts. In this work, the viability of cooking oil waste (COW) as an alternative for the polymer industry was investigated. Fresh vegetable oil has been used with promising results. However, stiff competition from the food sector makes its use unsustainable. The cooking oil waste was characterized to identify the functional groups present by fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectrometry and Iodine value analysis. Thereafter, the COW was functionalized based on the functional groups by transesterification and epoxidation followed by ring opening reaction to create a polyol which was then polycondensed using a di-carboxtlic acid into the polyester polyol- a key building block of the polyurethanes as it is chemically versatile, low cost and biodegradable. When COW is placed under such utility, the benefits are multipronged: as this alleviates eco-toxicity, in answering the environmental pollution by reducing the carbon footprint and in the avoidanc of the over-reliance on fossil feedstock.