STABILIZATION OF SULFUR BY COPOLYMERIZATION WITH GUAYULE RESIN

Period of Performance: 01/01/1991 - 12/31/1991

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gumbs Assoc., Inc.
11 HARTS LANE
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE OBJECTIVE OF PHASE I IS TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF PREPARING STABLE COPOLYMERS OF SULFUR WITH GUAYULE RESIN. THE KINETICS AND MECHANISM OF BOTH THE COPOLYMERIZATION AND DEPOLYMERIZATION REACTIONS WILL BE STUDIED AND THE PROPERTIES OF THE STABLE COPOLYMERS WILL BE MEASURED. THE HETEROGENEOUS NATURE OF GUAYULE RESIN IS EXPECTED TO BE HIGHLY CONDUCIVE FOR STABILIZING SULFUR BECAUSE THE MORE REACTIVE FRAGMENTS WILL REACT FIRST, FOLLOWED BY THE LESS REACTIVE ONES, AND THE FACT THAT ALL FRAGMENTS ARE REACTIVE. IF THIS RESEARCH IS SUCCESSFUL, USEFUL AND STABLE COPOLYMERSOF SULFUR WILL BE AVAILABLE, AND DOMESTIC GUAYULE RUBBER WILL BE ECONOMICALLY COMPETITIVE WITH IMPORTED HEVEA RUBBER. IT IS ANTICIPATED ALSO THAT GUAYULE RESIN FRAGMENTSWITH LONG CHAIN ALKYL GROUPS WILL HAVE A PLASTICIZING EFFECT, AND THIS IS BENEFICIAL IN SULFUR COPOLYMERS. SINCE THE STABILITY OF THE COPOLYMERS IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE WITH CONCENTRATION OF GUAYULE RESIN, THE PROBABILITY OF PREPARING STABLE COPOLYMERS WILL BE QUITE HIGH IN VIEW OF THE LOW COST OF GUAYULE RESIN. PHASE II WILL INVOLVE A MORE DETAILED STUDY OF THE KINETICS AND MECHANISM, INCLUDING MORE INTENSIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF THE REACTION PRODUCTS.