Bio-Based Coatings: An Innovative Chemical Solution

Bio-Based Coatings

Introduction to bio-based coatings

Bio-based coatings are new coatings prepared from renewable materials derived from plants, non-food crops, etc. As a new chemical product, bio-based coatings have the advantage of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, easing dependence on fossil raw materials, at the same time, the production process is environmental friendly compared with traditional petroleum-based materials.

Bio-based coatings have higher requirements for odor, environmental protection performance, coating application performance and construction properties. However, upstream raw material companies that can provide higher bio-based carbon content can generally only provide soft monomers with lower Tg. There are still very few high-Tg hard monomers, so the current mainstream acrylic emulsion for bio-coatings can only achieve about 30% after balancing all properties, which also limits the bio-based content of bio-based coatings.

Main technical routes of bio-based polyurethane coatings

(1) The use of bio-based raw materials such as vegetable oils, biological fermentation products, and other animal and plant extracts to prepare polyols to replace traditional petroleum-based polyols is a relatively widely researched and widely used bio-based polyurethane material technology. Specifically, it includes: the development of vegetable oil polyols, polylactide polyols and lignin-based polyols.

(2) Preparation of bio-based isocyanates: Polyisocyanates can be prepared through different synthesis methods using soybean oil, castor oil, oleic acid, amino acids, and lysine as raw materials. Bio-based polyisocyanates that have been commercialized include 1,5-pentamethylene diisocyanate from chemical company Mitsui , and some bio-based aliphatic polyisocyanates such as Tolonate X FLO 100 from French Vencorex Company.

(3) Bio-based non-isocyanate polyurethane: It is produced by the reaction of multifunctional cyclic carbonate-based oligomers and polyprimary amine-based oligomers. Non-isocyanate polyurethane synthesized from various bio-based raw materials is the main technical route of bio-based polyurethane.

(4) Bio-based fillers: After processing, lignin, wood chips, cellulose, etc. can be added as fillers into the polyurethane reaction system to prepare bio-based composite materials. These fillers can reduce material costs, and some systems can improve the mechanical properties and heat resistance of materials to a certain extent.

Bio-based coating products on the market

Bio-based coatings are currently very popular in interior wall architectural coatings. The products already on the market include:

  • PPG collaborated with DSM to launch Sigma Air Pure degradable bio-based interior wall coating. This chemical product is formulated based on DSM’s Decovery bio-based technology.
  • Dulux launched Mori Breath natural plant-based paint and obtained the USDA Biobased certification.
  • Nippon Paint has launched native plant-derived paint. Based on BASF’s “Biomass Balance Plan”, 100% of the petroleum resources used in the production process of native plant-derived paint are replaced with palm and plant-based renewable resources from Nordic forests, and keeping the coating performance unchanged, it obtained China’s first renewable resource certification certificate from TüV SüD. It also has Nippon Paint’s unique Air Guard technology, and has reached Class I antibacterial, with an effective antibacterial rate of 99.9 % and other multiple functions.
  • Chenyang Water Paint has released a plant-based children’s water paint. Based on DSM’s Recovery® SP-8407 bio-based resin technology, the two parties have broken through the compatibility issues between plant-based raw material technology and Chenyang water paint’s odor-reducing, anti-fouling and other core technologies.
  • SKSHU Paint invented “plant-based aldehyde-proof, antibacterial and easy-to-clean interior wall paint”. The plant-based emulsion in this invention is mainly obtained by fermenting and filtering wood fibers extracted from plant straws to obtain bio-based monomers, and introducing ketone structures through emulsion polymerization to produce bio-based emulsions. It fills the gap in the application of plant-based emulsions in the field of wall paint for anti-fouling and formaldehyde removal.

Bio-based coatings market prospects

As people pay more and more attention to sustainable development, the demand for bio-based coatings has increased in many industries. It is expected that the global bio-based coatings market will usher in great growth opportunities in the next few years. According to markets report, the bio-based coatings market is expected to grow from US$11.5 billion in 2022 to US$18.2 billion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% between 2022 and 2027. Overall, the market size of bio-based coatings in recent years has been about 5% (output value) and 1% (output) respectively. Bio-based coatings are still in their infancy, but they have advantages such as green environmental protection, sustainability, and policy support. They have gradually become one of the hot chemical materials that coating companies around the world are paying attention to, and have huge development potential.

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