Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry (MSChem)



First Advisor

Dr. Ram K. Gupta

Second Advisor

Dr. Khamis Siam

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy Dawsey


To address the increasing demand for sustainable biomaterials due to the depletion of fossil fuel resources and growing environmental concerns, a new type of biodegradable and environmentally friendly rigid polyurethane foam (RPUF) has been synthesized. These foams are derived from chemically modified soybean oil-based polyol obtained from soybean oil by epoxidation followed by a ring-opening reaction. Polyurethane foam is generally used in construction, furniture, and automobile industries but is highly flammable and releases toxic gases and smoke during combustion. In this study, a highly efficient synergistic effect halogen-free flame-retardant (FR) melamine salt, 2-carboxyethyl(phenyl)phosphinic acid melamine salt (CMA) was synthesized from 2-carboxyethyl(phenyl)phosphinic acid (CEPP) and Melamine (MA) in aqueous solution. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy characterized the chemical structure of CMA. Three different FRs, Melamine (MA), Melamine Cyanurate (MC), and 2-carboxyethyl(phenyl)phosphinic acid melamine salt (CMA) was (separately) introduced in increasing quantities for the foam preparation to suppress the flame during combustion. The effects of these flame retardants on the mechanical properties, flame retardancy, thermal stability, and morphology of the prepared RPUFs were studied by apparent density, closed cell content, compression test, horizontal burning test, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The addition of 28.56 wt % of MA (MA-15), MC (MC-15), and CMA (CMA-15) showed a burning time of 10.1 sec with weight loss of 5.34% and 28.4 sec with 13.02% and 15.25 sec with 8% respectively. The findings demonstrated that all three FRs gave RPUF good flame-retardant properties, but MA derivatives showed lesser effect when compared to MA. Overall, the usage of SBO-polyol did not change most of the foam’s qualities. As a result, our research on the synthesis of biobased flame retardant RPUFs was successful.



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