Polyurethane foam emissions can be reduced

October 01, 2001 |

The Dow Chemical Company has created a new line of catalytically active polyols that dramatically reduces amine emissions from polyurethane foam and allows flexible foam manufacturers to reduce their handling of amine catalysts.  The new line, Voranol Voractive polyols, enables Dow's customers to eliminate staining-, fogging-, and odor-causing agents from polyurethane foams for automotive, bedding, furnishing and carpet applications, with fewer processing steps.

    Says David Fischer, vice president

of Dow's polyurethanes business,  'With Voranol Voractiv polyols, we are not only able to help simplify our customers' processes and reduce VOC emissions, but also give our customers previously unobtainable product performance.'

    The new line is part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to set the standard

for volatile organic compound (VOC) levels emanating from polyurethane

flexible foams.  In March, the company introduced a new, low-VOC copolymer polyol process, which is part of Dow's long-term VOC emission reduction strategy. Dow continues to contribute to indoor and factory air quality by reducing VOC emissions inside of vehicles, offices and homes by bringing customers innovative technologies.

    This new technology will significantly reduce the amount of amine

catalysts that manufacturers need to add during the foaming process.  'Amine catalysts have been used very effectively in the manufacture of polyurethane foams, though they are among the volatile organic compounds released into the air once they are subjected to increased temperature and humidity,' according to Steven English, new business development director for Dow's polyurethane flexible business.

The polyols are manufactured using a proprietary Dow process

that grafts the catalytic activity into the polyol, saving customers a

formulating step.  This process simplifies the production of automotive

seating, noise vibration and harshness parts, energy absorption parts,

instrument panels, headliners, carpet cushioning, packaging, bedding and


    For further information about Dow, visit http://www.dow.com.

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