Companies join forces to develop biopolyols from cashew shells

By Bryan Sims | February 03, 2012

Springdale, Ark.-based BioBased Technologies and Skippack, Pa.-based Palmer International have joined forces to form a strategic alliance that will focus on the development of a new family of biobased polyols derived from cashew nutshell liquid (CNL) for use in rigid foam applications.

Palmer International, with more than 50 years experience working with CNL and developing marketable products for the paintings, coatings, resins and surfactant markets, will be responsible for scale-up and manufacturing of the new products while BioBased Technologies will be responsible for research and development, marketing and sales of the final product in the collaborative effort, according to Jennifer Wilson, brand manager for BioBased Technologies.

“This is just a perfect marriage of experiences,” Wilson told Biorefining Magazine. “This was a really great way for us to work together to find the best biopolyol using cashew nutshell liquid. [Palmer International] really understands that ingredient so us being able to team up together to work on this really puts us ahead.”

BioBased Technologies has extensive experience selling and marketing biobased polyols through its soy-based Agrol branded product line, as well as knowledge of the rigid foam market through its branded BioBased Insulation Division, which includes spray polyurethane insulation and sealants for construction.

Wilson said the goal of the alliance is to develop a renewable polyol that can act as a drop-in replacement for traditional polyols, adding that trial production runs have already begun. Both companies intend to leverage each other’s research and manufacturing facilities to advance development.