Skip to main content


Exploitable results

The project concerns the generation of a range of novel biosustainable polyols for use as alternative intermediates to the conventional petrochemically derived materials in the production of advanced polymers for use by a range of European chemical industries. Corn, wheat and potato starch were investigated. The best depolymerization results were obtained with potato starch. Corn and wheat starch need more process steps to end up with a good hydrolysate quality for the second step. Various hydrogenolysis experiments were run using hydrolysates from the first step. In all cases it was possible to achieve novel polyol mixtures. The best results again were obtained from the potato starch hydrolysates. All hydrogenolysis experiments gave polyol mixtures numerous compounds. An analytical method was developed to determine the nature of the 30 most abundant components, quantitatively in one run. Results from laboratory experiments showed that the nature of the hydrgenolysis catalyst has the greatest influence on product distribution. A number of laboratory experiments were successfully scaled up from the gram scale to give kilogram samples of polyol mixtures. Studies on alkyd technology has resulted in two model polyols. These have been characterized and both processed successfully into prototype alkyds using conventional formulating techniques. The formulation was derived from a current commercial alkyd replacing all or, in some cases, part of the petroleum derived polyol normally used. These alkyds were then evaluated in decorative paints and their performance, although not a complete direct match for the current commercial product, were close enough to indicate that the concept behind STARPOL of replacing petroleum derived polyols by biosustainable polyols does indeed have potential. Promising results were attained for rhe use of polyesters in the powder coatings industry. Characterization of modified starch solutions was carried out including assessment of ageing, weathering resistance and uniformity in coating films.