Sulfur Based Polyols for Polyurethanes and Novel Polymeric Materials, including Nonhalogenated Flame Retardants

Case ID:

University of Arizona researchers developed flame retardant sulfur-based polymers that are highly soluble in polar solvents and are made in a single chemical step from elemental sulfur, a low-value byproduct of oil refining and gas processing. This chemistry enables new polyurethane compositions, including non-halogenated flame retardants. The method of synthesis can easily be scaled up, and the polymers can be formulated with polar solvents. The material may be sprayed or processed into films. Various product families can be made with commercial polymers used as termonomers. This technology provides the opportunity to convert waste sulfur into value-added elastomers. 


Read an article about the technology here.


Research efforts have been directed towards exploiting the special high-performance characteristics of polymers with sulfur in the backbone. Sulfur byproduct from fossil fuel desulfurization is of limited use and is being stockpiled. Sulfur-based polymers have the potential for reducing the amount of hydrocarbons required for plastic production.



  • Thermosetting polymers
  • Polyurethanes
  • Flame retardant polymers


  • Flame retardant
  • Segmented polyurethanes with tunable properties
  • Solution processing
  • Can be formulated into sprays or films
  • Use sulfur waste as feedstock

For related flame retardant polymer technologies, see

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Kyung-Seok Kang
Dong-Chul Pyun