last two decades, polymeric materials have become an indispensable part of a
human life, having a range of applications that far exceeds any other class of
man-made material. Due to their versatility to conform easily to a variety of
applications, we find an exponential rise in their usage. However, most
commodity and engineering polymers are inherently flammable and require
external additives called flame retardants (FR) to ensure fire-safety and reduce
the risk of fire accidents. A majority of the commercially used FR are extremely toxic and persistent having significant long-term
impact on the environment. Hence, there has been a tremendous need for the
development of environmentally friendly, nontoxic, low/ non-leaching alternative
halogen free FR additives.
In this research effort, we
- An alternative class of polymeric FR with specific emphasis on
two parameters: good char formation and low heat release
capacities to produce an effective non-halogenated FR.
- Polyphenols were identified as potential alternatives, as they
have good radical scavenging (hydroxyl groups) and char forming capabilities
- The polymerization of the various phenol monomers was carried
out using benign biocatalytic (peroxidase based catalysts) and biomimetic (heme porphyrins) techniques predominantly in aqueous
media in accordance to ‘green’ chemistry principles.