Biobased Phosphorus Containing Polyol With Fire-Retardant Properties


Vegetable oil based polyols have been successfully commercialized and utilized in polyurethane production, such as for automotive or building applications. One of the problems with using biobased polyurethane foams in building materials, such as in foam insulation, is their inherent flammability. A partial solution to this problem is to incorporate heteroatoms such as halogens, silicon or phosphorus into the polyol molecules so to produce a functionalised polyol. However, this process severely limits usefulness of these biobased polyols in practical applications due to their low reactivity and hydroxyl functionality, high acidity, and high viscosity.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed new chemistry to produce a stable,  biobased high phosphorus content fire-retardant polyol with primary hydroxyl groups, high functionality and a relatively low viscosity. They have demonstrated the successful production of high quality polyurethane foams containing phosphorus-containing fire-retardant polyol at up to 100% of the overall polyol content. Foams made in this way have been shown to have the ability to self-extinguish. This technology establishes a cost effective, uncomplicated and industrially feasible chemical process to produce a variety of fire-retardant polyols.  These can be used in the preparation of polyurethanes or other polymer composites with a high biocontent.


  • High renewable content to replace petrochemicals
  • Environmentally friendly, solvent-free production
  • Reduces the need for expensive fire retardant additives

Potential Markets

The invention represents a valuable opportunity for use in the spray foam, polyurethane coating, adhesives, coatings and lubricants industry.

Protection Status

Patent pending

Product Number


Contact Information

Rebecka Carroll
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-6235