Fouad Laoutid, Materianova, made an up-to-date overview of development of bio-based flame-retardants. This responds to demand for bio-based fire safety solutions for bio-based polymers (such as poly lactic acid PLA, bio PET, bio polyethylene …), in order to offer a coherent “green” image product.
Bio-based PIN FRs shown to be potentially effective include, to date, DNA (from fish processing wastes), and derivatives of phytate, lignin, tannin. Phytate is a phosphorus storage molecule in seeds and plants, but is not digestible for non-ruminants. Its salts with sodium or aluminium show effective flame retardancy by rapid char formation in PLA. Lignin or tannin can be chemically phosphorylated or combined with metal ions, phosphorus, with other additives (phytate or clays) to produce effective flame retardant additive systems. Further work is necessary on the life cycle assessment (including end-of-life recycling), the scale up of industrial production (including developing reliable and quality consistent sources of these bio-materials) and on the durability and ageing of these bio-based PIN FRs in bio-polymers. For further information on bio-based FRs, see pinfa Newsletter n°65 summarising the ECOFRAM conference 2016.