Thursday, August 22, 2013

Accelerated pace of phosphorus flame retardant replacing bromine flame retardant

According to Phosphorus Industry China Monthly Report issued by CCM in August, on July 8, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology & Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIMTE) signed a cooperation agreement with Guizhou Yuanyi Mining Group Co., Ltd. (Guizhou Yuanyi) to jointly promote the development and industrialization of phosphorus flame retardant with high-temperature resistance used in engineering plastics. Guizhou Yuanyi has sufficient phosphorus ore resources, processing a phosphorus ore mine and a coal mine in Weng'an County, which is very favorable for the development of phosphorus flame retardants.

NIMTE has achieved fruitful results in the synthesis of high-performance halogen-free flame retardants. Just on April 15, NIMTE signed a cooperation agreement with Polyrocks Chemical Co., Ltd. (Polyrocks Chemical) to jointly put forward the development and production of high-end phosphorus flame retardants. Polyrocks Chemical is engaged in the production of environmentally friendly halogen-free flame retardants.  

In recent years, phosphorus flame retardants have drawn more and more attention as an alternative of bromine flame retardants. In China, the capacity of phosphorus flame retardants has reached 150,000t/a as of July 2013, while the production was about 100,000 tonnes in 2012. With the miniaturization trend of electronic products and the development and adoption of tin-free electric welding technology, it's more and more necessary to develop new type of flame retardant with high-temperature resistance, chemical stability, well electric property and mechanical property used in engineering plastics. High-end phosphorus flame retardant is considered to be one of the major development directions.

Two factors may accelerate the pace of phosphorus flame retardants, especially relatively high-powered ones, replacing bromine flame retardants.

Firstly, many kinds of bromine flame retardants, the most popular flame retardants, have been phased out in more and more countries. For example, a global ban on hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a kind of bromine flame retardant commonly used in insulation, textile and electronics sectors, was issued at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention held from April 28–May 10, 2013 in Geneva. In 2009, two kinds of bromine flame retardants—pentabromodiphenyl ether and octabromodiphenyl ether—had already been eliminated. In this context, it's very necessary to find an alternative of bromine flame retardants, and phosphorus flame retardant is a good option with relatively mature production technology.
Secondly, China is a net bromine importer, with the monthly import volume of more than 2,000 tonnes, and 49% of bromine in China is used to produce flame retardants. On July 29, 2013, the government of Weifang City, Shandong Province officially announced that it will shut down 80% of local bromine capacity within three years in consideration of environmental protection. This issue may cause the domestic supply of bromine to become tighter, since the bromine capacity in Weifang City accounts for 60% of China's total capacity. 

Although it is a development trend that phosphorus flame retardants are gradually replacing bromine flame retardants, some properties of phosphorus flame retardants are not as good as that of bromine flame retardants restricted by the production technology level. Besides, the large scale production of phosphorus flame retardants may be restricted in the future in consideration of the scarcity and non-regeneration of phosphorus resources.

Editor's Note
Phosphorus Ore
Breakthrough in enrichment and sparation of low and medium grade phosphorus ore containing rare earth in China
Yellow Phosphorus
An overview on China's yellow phosphorus industry in H1 2013
Phosphate Fertilizer
CPFIA puts forward eight suggestions to ease phosphate fertilizer overcapacity
Xingfa Group's net profit slumped sharply in H1 2013
Fine Phosphate Chemicals
Hubei Zhongfu Chemical started the construction of a 330,000t/a sulfuric acid project
Accelerated pace of phosphorus flame retardant replacing bromine flame retardant
Xin Zhong Yuan Chemical and Mid-Union Phosphorus to found a fine phosphorus chemical industry cluster
Global Insight
Ma'aden joins hands with Mosaic and SABIC to develop a world-class phosphate production facility
Brief News
Shikefeng Sichuan Branch plans for technology reformation for its long-acting and slow-releasing fertilizer program
China's phosphate fertilizer manufacturers suffer heavy loss in the first five months of 2013
Supply & Demand
Market review of prime phosphate chemical in July 2013
Import & Export
International trade of phosphate chemicals in June 2013
Price Update
Price monitoring of some phosphate chemicals in July 2013

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