Green polyurethane synthesis by emulsion technique: a magnetic composite for oil spill removal

<div><p>Abstract After the consolidation of the Brazilian biodiesel industry, issues related to the final destination of the glycerin, the by-product from the biodiesel industrial process, drawing the attention of several researchers. There are several uses to this byproduct. Among them, the obtaining of polymers, such as polyurethane (PU), are very encouraged since the glycerin ca be used, as well as the castor oil, in the replacement of petrochemical polyols. The aim of this work was to propose a new route for the obtainment of a petroleum sorbent based on polyurethane resin from glycerin and castor oil, through the emulsion technique. In addition, maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) was mixed to the polymer matrix, producing a magnetic composite, able to make easier the oil cleanup process. The products synthesized were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, simultaneous Thermogravimetry (TGA) and Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Optical microscopy, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, magnetic force and oil removal capability tests were also performed. The magnetic material was used to remove oil from water, exhibited a good oil removal capability. In a typical test, 1g of the composite containing 5wt% of maghemite was able to remove 10g of oil from water.</p></div>