Bio-Based Flame Retardant Design

Bio-Based Flame Retardant Design

With the continuous improvement of environmental protection and resource utilization requirements, greening has become the inevitable choice and development trend of flame retardants. Alfa Chemistry provides customers with design and development services for green, renewable bio-based flame retardants, including sugar-based compounds, bio-based aromatic compounds, proteins, phytic acid, etc.


What Can We Do?

Alfa Chemistry provides sustainable, natural and renewable flame retardant solutions through design and development based on the following different types of bio-based compounds.

  • Cellulose
  • The polyhydroxyl structure of cellulose can make chemical modification an effective way to improve flame retardant properties. Phosphorylation of cellulose is the most widely studied modification method, and esterification is the most commonly used and simplest reaction.

  • Lignin
  • After the aromatic structure of lignin is decomposed, it has a high residual carbon rate and can be used as a carbon source for intumescent flame retardant systems. Lignin contains a variety of functional groups (methoxy, phenolic, aldehyde, and carboxylic acid groups) and many different bonds, which provide many possibilities for its chemical modification. Its main functionalization reactions are esterification, etherification, silanization, phenolization, etc. The combination of lignin and other flame retardants such as metal hydroxides and phosphorus-based compounds can further improve the flame retardant effect.

  • Cyclodextrin
  • Cyclodextrin (CD) has a cavity structure with a hydrophilic outer edge and a hydrophobic inner cavity, which enables it to form inclusion complexes with various molecules, providing more space for its modification. The thermal degradation of CD will form a large amount of carbon residue, which can be used as a carbon source in intumescent flame retardant systems or as an embedding agent for phosphorus compounds.

    Bio-Based Flame Retardant Design

  • Chitosan
  • Because chitosan molecules contain free amino groups, they are easy to form salts in acidic solutions with cationic property. The flame-retardant modified layer can be prepared by layer-by-layer self-assembly. A single chitosan can improve the thermal stability of the polymer to a certain extent, but due to its low nitrogen content, it cannot improve the flame retardant grade of the material. Therefore, it is often used with other phosphorus-containing materials for phosphorus-nitrogen synergistic flame retardant.

  • Nucleotide
  • Each nucleotide consists of three moieties: a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar, and a phosphate group. In the process of thermal decomposition, the phosphoric acid group generates phosphoric acid, which can be used as an acid source; the five-carbon sugar forms an aromatic structure, which can be used as a carbon source; the nitrogen-containing base releases ammonia gas, which can be used as a gas source. Therefore, nucleotides are a potential trinity of intumescent flame retardants (IFR).

  • Protein
  • Coating of cotton fabrics with casein or hydrophobin causes premature thermal decomposition of cellulose, which favors char formation. Due to its good oxygen barrier properties and large water vapor adsorption properties, whey protein can hinder the diffusion of oxygen during combustion, and absorb heat to promote the formation of charcoal at the same time, which can be used in flame retardant coatings.

  • Other bio-based materials
  • There are also some bio-based materials such as tea saponin (TS), phytic acid, vanillin, itaconic acid, tannins, lipids, etc., which have shown potential for application in flame retardant materials. Our experienced materials chemists have the expertise to design bio-based flame retardants according to your specific needs.

Why Choose Alfa Chemistry?

Experienced team of materials chemists

Leading flame retardant technology

Reliable quality and standards

Fast turnaround times and great prices

Comprehensive and systematic testing and analysis services

Research Information

Zhijing Wang et al. embedded biological elements-nucleotides into the backbone of melamine formaldehyde resin to form functional microspheres (MFA) with flame retardancy. In this work, since the active groups of the nucleotide itself are shielded, the heat resistance is improved, and a good flame retardant effect is obtained in intumescent flame retardant polypropylene (PP). Adding only 1 wt% of microsphere can reduce the amount of flame retardant by more than 30%. [2]

Preparation process of MFA microspherePreparation process of MFA microsphere [2]

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  1. Henri Vahabi, et al. (2021). "Flame retardant polymer materials: An update and the future for 3D printing developments," Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports144, 100604.
  2. Zhijing Wang, et al. (2016). "Preparation of nucleotide-based microsphere and its application in intumescent flame retardant polypropylene," Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 121, 394-402.
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