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Commercial transition to safer flame retardants a golden opportunity for Alexium

Alexium International Group Limited (Alexium) has announced that it is reaffirming its strategic focus on providing unique, environmentally friendly flame retardant (FR) chemistries. As the public and government agencies across the world are increasing pressure to phase out traditional bromine-based flame retardants due to environmental and health concerns, Alexium is introducing a safe and effective bromine-free FR alternative for several industrial applications.

 

Alexium’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Bob Brookins said the most widely used commercial chemical flame retardants contain bromine.

 

“Organo-bromine compounds, while inhibiting the ignition of combustible household items such as furniture padding, plastics, electronics, clothes and the transportation industry, are coming under increasing public criticism and increasing scrutiny of consumer protection agencies,” he said.

  • According to industry data, the annual consumption of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) alone is in excess of 40,000 metric tons.
  • Brominated flame retardants are lipophilic and bio-accumulative, and several brominated flame retardants have been labeled carcinogens and neurological toxins.
  • Some European countries have already banned some or all of these hazardous brominated flame retardants.
  • In the United States, legislative efforts in some states and at the federal level are underway to phase out brominated flame retardants.
  • California is moving forward with plans to scrap old laws and replace them with new standards that can be met without the use of toxic chemicals.
  • Protection agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are making organobromine-based ingredients as part of a high priority review, citing widespread exposure and potential health risks.
  • In the United States, reports such as the Chicago Tribune’s “Playing With Fire” investigative series have reignited public concerns about the performance of (brominated) flame retardants and the potential harmful effects on humans and animals.
  • Other halogenated FR chemicals, such as chlorinated Tris, are also coming under heavy attack due to potential health concerns in children.

Alexium’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Stefan Susta said regardless of your position in this debate, the fact is that traditional brominated and other halogen-based FR chemistries are under attack and are facing significant pressure.

 

“Consumers and industry are looking for a better, cleaner alternative. Since our novel FR chemistry does not contain bromine or any other halogens, we feel very confident that we will find commercial traction, especially for customer and applications that want to play it safe,” he said.

 

Alexium’s highly effective and durable flame retardant treatments do not contain organo- bromine or any other halogenated compounds. While the Company is already rolling out commercial fabric applications of its novel FR chemistry, it will be focusing on entering new product areas, such as carpet, furnishings, polyurethane foam padding, insulation, plastics, and aerospace interiors.

 

Alexium is currently finalizing a full licence agreement for FR treatments for nylon with Duro Textiles, one of the United States’ largest finishers and dyers, to address a market opportunity in excess of 3.66 million linear metres (4 million linear yards) of nylon fabric. The main commercial terms for this FR Nylon licence were previously announced and wider licence terms are now being finalized.

 

“We anticipate carrying the market momentum into our recent discussions with potential licensees in Europe, Australia, and Asia – and will extend future applications beyond the textile industry. The timing for introducing a new, bromine/halogen-free, FR solution is ideal,” Mr Susta said.

 

Source: Alexium International Group Limited - press release (17/07/2012) 

 

Comments

Comments

5 people have had something to say so far

The use of brominated chemicals for flame retardants seems to be under scrutiny. The chemicals have been found in people all over the world and has resulted in certain European Countries banning some of them from use.

Could the technology being presented by Alexium be the solution to maintaining the levels of fire retardancy required but without using chemicals that may pose a risk.

The ability to use nylon materials for applications where flame retardancy is important also opens up many possibilities, have you got any ideas I wonder?
Posted on 01/08/12 10:49.
Very interesting, from a review of their website I note that they are looking to discuss licensing of their technology and joint ventures, 'Alexium is not an end producer and/or retailer, but a company who relies on a teaming model to commercialize its platform technology. The company seeks to apply its technology to help solve industry problems and to develop business opportunities. Alexium is interested in speaking to potential partners and formalizing business relationships, primarily through licensing or joint ventures, in order to develop solutions in attractive markets.'

Do you have any further information?
Posted on 02/08/12 09:02.
Yes that is correct. I actually met with the Chairman/President - Gavin Rezos and also the Director of Business Development (Europe) - John Almond last week. It just so happened that Gavin was in the UK through his work with the Australian rowing team and combining this with business meetings.

Unfortunately, my allegiance regarding the rowing has to lie elsewhere, come on Team GB! However, regarding the Nylon Flame Retardant materials and the reactive surface treatment technology I do believe there are opportunities for UK companies to partner with Alexium and to develop some exciting business opportunities.

If anyone is interested in finding out more then please do comment here or email me at toby.gill@nanoktn.com.
Posted on 02/08/12 10:04 in reply to Nano KTN.
Duro Textiles LLC to apply Alexium’s novel, environmentally friendly, bromine and halogen free, flame retardant (FR) treatment for commercial and military customers in North America.

Read more at - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/nanoktn/articles/-/blogs/alexium-completes-li­cense-deal-with-duro-for-flame-retardant-nylon-treatment-in-north-america

As commented above, you would imagine similar deals could also be done with UK companies working in this area and that the technology offers lots of potential for R&D based collaborations.
Posted on 08/08/12 11:10.
NanoKTN, Indeed the door is open to potential collaborators, possibly you could include this in your twitter feed to promote the opportunity for UK partners, link back here to _connect if possible?

I am currently discussing such collaborations with a UK organisation that facilitates R&D partnerships for a group of universities in the UK.

The potential areas for collaboration include but are not limited to:

- Textiles: Defence, Industrial Filters, Furnishings/Upholstery, Leather Footwear, Composites
- Paints: Regenerating Antimicrobial, Marine Antifouling/Ballast
- Packaging: Cellulose Packaging, Anti-Counterfeit

The enhanced properties include:

- Flame retardant
- Liquid repellent
- Stain repellent
- Chemical & Biological repellency
- Anti-microbial
- Improved adhesion

Another area I thought there could be interest was plastic electronics, roll-to-roll processing.
Posted on 08/08/12 13:58 in reply to Nano KTN.

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