Polyurethane is a synthetic coating and structural material used in a number of applications, such as vehicles, building materials, bedding, and refrigerators. In addition to providing a protective layer that extends the natural life of these manufactured goods, polyurethane is also used for the purpose of conserving energy. In buildings, polyurethane is installed as insulation, which reduces the amount of energy consumed in heating and cooling, and, in refrigerators, the insulation helps preserve food longer. Found on most vehicles, it helps manufacturers create lighter frames, which reduces greenhouse emissions.
In addition, polyurethane is a recyclable material, and the polyurethane from recycled products is often made into other things. For example, polyurethane from foam is often turned into underlay for carpets. In terms of stored energy, polyurethane contains the same amount as coal, which makes it ideal for burning in incinerators to heat public buildings.