- It is biobased, so you would think it would be rather appealing in this era of "get-us-off-of-Big-Oil".
- It is an oil found in the sap of various species of the genus Toxicodendron, plants which grow in the temperate zones all across the northern hemisphere, so it can be grown widely.
- The plants are actually considered undesirable weeds plants and are not cultivated, which is a further attraction of this plant as it will not need arable land.
Urushiols are actually a bunch of substituted catechol molecules as this figure shows [*].
Urushiols have actually been used in Asia for hundreds of years to create the beautiful lacquers that are so emblematic of their furniture and artworks. The sap is diluted down with solvents, a thin layer is applied and allowed to dry/cure. The process is repeated hundreds of times building up to incredibly beautiful finish.
[*] Source The source can be freely accessed (after a simple registration) for the remainder of 2012.