Novomer produces and develops Biocyanate™ Isocyanates through a novel route that does not require the use of the environmentally dangerous chemical phosgene. These plant-based renewable isocyanates are organic compounds that contain at least one isocyanate group, a functional group with the formula R-N=C=O.
The most widely produced isocyanate is methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). This compound is used to produce rigid foams, commonly used as insulation for refrigerators and buildings. The second most produced isocyanate, toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is used to produce flexible foams, often seen in furniture, bedding, and packaging. Both MDI and TDI are also used to produce coatings, adhesives and sealants, among others. Another subset of isocyanates, called aliphatic diisocyanates, are often used as an intermediate in the production of polyisocyanates. These are often used to produce polyurethane coatings and elastomers. These polyurethane coatings tend to be more color stable than MDI and TDI polyurethanes, which tend to be sensitive to UV light. Additionally, they are very resistant to abrasion and weathering.
The isocyanate family has a large and diverse set of applications. The primary application of isocyanates is the production of polyurethane products. They are formed by reacting a diisocyanate or polyisocyanate with a polyhydroxyl (polyol), in the presence of catalysts and additives to create polyurethanes to produce rigid and flexible foams for appliances, furniture, bedding, automotive, packaging and building construction. Aside from polyurethanes, isocyanates are also used in paints, flooring, medical applications, and much more.