Materials Science

BASF's new isocyanate processing technology enhances air quality inside cars

The interior air quality of cars can now be enhanced with an improved isocyanate, a core raw material of polyurethane foam, made possible with a new processing technology from BASF. The new technology for significantly reduces emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), particularly acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde, offering a sustainable alternative for the production of polyurethane foams used in automotive interiors.

“Automotive manufacturers in Asia are looking for solutions to improve air quality inside the vehicles. With the use of this new processing technology, VOC emissions from polyurethane foams have been greatly lowered, helping our customers meet increasingly demanding VOC standards in Asia Pacific,” said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.

Seating cushions produced with the improved isocyanate have been tested by Centre Testing International (Shanghai). The results show that the volatile aldehyde emissions, including formaldehyde, are reduced by 30-40%, and acetaldehyde and acrolein are reduced by 20-25%.

Isocyanates are used in the production of automotive interior applications such as flexible and integral foam systems in seats, steering wheels, and carpets. State-of-the-art polyurethane formulation know-how enables this new processing technology in the manufacturing process.