Bayer MaterialScience is introducing a range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane (PU) dispersions for textile applications under the Impranil eco name. The new products boast a renewable content that can reach up to 65% due to the use of bio-succinic acid, which Bayer MaterialScience is sourcing from industrial biotechnology company BioAmber.
"Sustainability is becoming a purchasing decision criterion for consumers and is high on the agenda for the textiles industry," said Nicholas Smith, Global Head of Textile Coating at Bayer MaterialScience. He added that the first products in the Impranil eco series were developed especially for use in fashion apparel, accessory and footwear applications, to "support players in this sector in their efforts toward greater sustainability."
BioAmber has been working for more than five years on the use of bio-succinic acid in polyurethanes. Bio-succinic acid can replace adipic acid in applications such as synthetic leather, wood and metal coatings, elastomers and foams. Current adipic acid use in polyurethanes is 25% of the 3-million-ton global market, representing 750,000 tons of annual consumption. This market for bio-succinic acid is poised for rapid growth as manufacturers seek to increase the renewable content in their products by using more bio-based polyurethanes.