SBIR Phase II: Fire-Retardant Phase Change Materials from Fats and Oils

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Renewable Alternatives, LLC
101 AIME BLDG RM 120 720 2ND ST
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Principal Investigator


This SBIR Phase II research focuses on a new type of phase change material(PCM)that can meet performance goals of being fire-retardant, non-toxic, and renewable. This project will advance the state of understanding of fat/oil chemistries. It will also advance our understanding of non-ideal mixture behavior. Applications that will benefit include such things as clothing, building construction and HVAC systems. Fat and oil based PCMs currently produced by the company both out-perform paraffin-based PCMs and cost less. While customers have overwhelmingly accepted these renewable PCMs, they overwhelmingly expressed their desire that fire-retardant phase change materials be developed. The broader impacts of this research includes the incorporation of PCMs into applications that would have impacts for both general public and the military/emergency response personnel. Phase change materials find a range of applications, including clothing, construction materials, and food containers. The introduction of lower-cost fire-retardant phase change materials will have broader impacts through improved utilization in consumer products. Applications not previously pursued will be open to use of these materials because of reduced risk of fire. When used in buildings, the phase change materials can reduce energy costs year-round. An improved understanding of the associated fat and oil chemistry will likely find other applications in the fat and oil industries.