Technology

Conventional polyols are prepared almost entirely from petroleum oils. The manufacturing process is both complicated and expensive. To become a polyol producer from the outset requires investment on a massive scale.

The manufacture of petroleum based products has also attracted increasing concern and criticism in recent years from those concerned about the consequences for our environment. It is therefore not surprising that one of the greatest challenges to the polyurethane industry has always been to find a workable raw material that can provide a good, versatile and natural alternative to petroleum oils.

Over forty years ago a technique to produce polyurethane polyols from vegetable oils and other natural bases was first developed by a family of chemists in the United Kingdom.

This process consists of a low pressure, moderate temperature system, utilizing heating oil and controlled by a PLC system. This can use almost all vegetable oils and most animal fats. One of two unique additives that we have developed is added, creating a polyurethane polyol of a pre-designated specification, tailored for the downstream product. The only by-product is a negligible amount of water, of which depends on the oil/fat used.

Persistent and dedicated research since then has led to the development of an ideal and truly practical solution.

At first, the team were satisfied to produce polyols and various downstream materials that simply competed economically with other polyurethane systems. It soon became apparent however, that more and more of the materials created actually performed better than conventional polyurethanes in a broad range of applications. Furthermore, because of specific chemical properties within certain vegetable oils that differ from those in petroleum oil, unique materials with qualities of exceptional importance were soon developed. Some of these materials now hold enormous implications from a commercial point of view.

Due to our years of experience in oleochemicals, we have a vast knowledge as to how to work with and react oils and fats, to make them into a product that has value in the chemical industry rather than just as a simple lubricant or additive. It is this experience that has allowed us to develop a series of smaller plant.

These plant, modular in their nature, operate at relatively low temperatures, little to no pressure and can even use an environmentally friendly thermal boiler.

Environmental Issues

A greater consciousness has arisen in recent years for a need to protect and conserve our environment so that every interaction between the planet and its inhabitants is mindful of long term consequences. We are proud to be making a worthwhile contribution in this respect by promoting the use of natural and renewable resources in the manufacture of polyurethanes.

More on ProloOil Polyols

ProloOil polyols are split into 2 general groups – A and B polyols - each with varying hydroxyl values (OHV). These are created using our own, in house made chemicals, of which we refer to as ‘formtrol’ A and ‘Formtrol’ B.

These OHV’s represent the reactivity of the polyols via functional groups . It is these hydroxyl groups that react with isocyanates to form urethane groups, hence the name polyurethane.

‘A’ polyols are slightly more reactive than ‘B’ polyols, whereas ‘B’ polyols are slightly more branched than ‘A’s making ‘A’ polyols leaning more towards rigid products and ‘B’ polyols leaning more toward flexible products.

Therefore a 15A polyol is less reactive than a 20A polyol, and has fewer hydroxyl groups.

All of ProloOil polyols, save castor, can be tailored to similar properties. Therefore Canola 20B will have similar properties to Jatropha 20B.

The castor polyols will have a slightly higher OHV due to the level of hydroxyl groups already present in the raw oil. Castor therefore gives both excellent elastomers and rigids.

Organic Polyol Plants


Photo of the Singapore production plant



External view of the Singapore production plant