AN INVESTIGATION OF PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF AN EPOXY RESIN FOR SINGLE COMPONENTS
Deriving chemicals from renewable feedstock has become a necessity to reduce dependency on petroleum, which release carbon dioxide when burned and aggravate the global warming and ocean acidification. This work offers a potential alternative - bark extractives based epoxy resin - to petro-based conventional epoxy. Our results showed successful epoxidation of bark extractives after reaction with epichlorohydrin. The newly synthesized epoxy (E-epoxy) can replace 50% of petroleum-based epoxy (P-epoxy) and the blend system displayed thermal stability and tensile strength comparable to neat P-epoxy, which demonstrates a great
promise in using bark extractives as a substitute for BPA. An examination of reaction parameters showed that the E-epoxy monomer can be synthesized with high yield and reactivity using spray-dried extractives as substrates, a dioxane/water combination as solvent, and tetrabutylammonium hydroxide as the ring-opening catalyst. An examination of numerical parameters showed the maximum yield with minimum epoxy equivalent weight was achieved after 4.5 hours reaction time with sodium hydroxide to hydroxyl value molar ratio of 3.4 at a reaction temperature of 80 °C. The thermal properties of E-epoxy were studied using TGA, FTIR, and Py-GC/MS, and a new thermal degradation mechanism was proposed.