Innovation Spotlight: Greener Flame Retardants

Thursday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. ET 

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Flame retardants are used in many commercial and consumer products across multiple sectors, including furniture and textiles, building and construction, and electrical and electronic equipment. Many synthetic materials, such as plastics, foams, and textiles are highly flammable. Flame retardants are added to consumer products made from these materials to reduce the risk of ignition and slow the spread of a fire to provide additional escape time for building occupants. However, many traditional flame retardants pose significant hazards to human health and the environment, leading many manufacturers to search for safer solutions. In this webinar, we will highlight the work of two companies, FRX Polymers and Paxymer, who are developing innovative alternative flame retardant technologies that are not only safer for human health and the environment, but also provide unique performance benefits.

This webinar is the first in a series of webinars which highlight innovative materials and technologies being developed by members of the GC3 Green & Bio-based Chemistry Startup Network.

Amit PaulAmit Paul

Managing Director, Paxymer AB

Amit Paul is the managing director of Paxymer AB, a novel synergistic flame retardant that boosts the performance of halogen-free flame retardant systems. The company started working with flame retardants in 2000 after an assignment from the Swedish civil contingencies agency to reduce fire hazard of burning plastic materials. Paxymer AB is working mainly on polyolefin plastics with its proprietary technology and has been presenting at a number of conferences such as AMI Flame retardants, China Coat, Dioxin2015, Antech etc. The system is addressing all the main issues with implementing flame retardant grades into plastic applications: Environmental footprint, industrial usability and fire safety performance. The company is working in polyolefin plastics in a wide array of applications within electrical and electronics, building & construction and transportation.

Paxymer AB is a spin off from PP Polymer AB that was founded in 1985 by Doc Swaraj Paul. PP Polymer AB has been involved in material development within polymer chemistry ever since its founding, solving tough material problems for companies ranging from Kodak to ABB and Ericsson. Paxymer AB was founded in 2010 as Amit Paul joined the group as Managing director after having left Bain & Co.

Jan-Plenu LensJan-Pleun Lens

Vice President, Research and Applications, FRX Polymers

Dr. Jan-Pleun Lens is Vice President, Research and Applications of FRX Polymers since 2010. His team develops new flame retardants and processes to make them and supports customers developing formulations with FRX Polymers’ Nofia phosphonate-based flame retardants. Additionally, Jan-Pleun is leading the intellectual property, product management, and product stewardship efforts for the company. Jan-Pleun obtained his Master degree in Chemical Engineering in 1991 from the University Twente in the Netherlands. In 1996, he obtained his PhD in Polymer Technology from the same university. Before joining FRX Polymers, Jan-Pleun worked at GE Plastics, now SABIC, for about 11 years, where he developed novel polycarbonates, set up supply chains for new monomers from China and India to the US and Europe, and held positions as global technology manager for polycarbonate products and processes. Jan-Pleun is a qualified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, published over 25 scientific articles, and is inventor on more than 60 patent families from which more than 140 patents have been granted year to date.

Liz HarrimanLiz Harriman

Deputy Director, Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute

As Deputy Director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, Liz Harriman is responsible for managing the operations and technical functions of the Institute, as well as working with the other TURA agencies to set direction for the program. In her 25 years working at the Institute, she has provided technical research and support services to Massachusetts companies with the goal of identifying safer alternatives to toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and products. Recent technical work includes prioritization and hazard evaluation of chemicals, chemical alternatives assessment, and flame retardants. Ms. Harriman is a registered Professional Engineer and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Cornell University in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in Hazardous Materials Management from Tufts University.