Recent study shows that a two-step mediation of castor oil could overcome the problem of polyaddition threshold of castor oil during polyurethane formation.
The study has been conducted by scientists from India who have found that the mediation facilitates formation of polyurethane systems directly from castor oil without the need for triricinolein chain extension or the use of supplementary hydroxyl compounds.
The process involves refluxing castor oil with n-butyl lithium in the presence of a solvent followed by water addition.
Results showed that the mediation introduces two new compounds in castor oil namely, a lithiated diglyceride and a lithium salt of fatty acid. Characterization studies of the newly synthesized polyurethane were also carried out.