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Flame retardants have been in use for the past several decades, protecting loss of lives and property. Academic and industrial labs have been discovering and developing new flame retardants as evidenced by thousands of publications and patents. However, only a low percentage of the discoveries have been commercialized. This webinar will focus on challenges of flame retardant development from an R&D perspective. A general approach from idea generation to lab development, all the way to commercialization will be discussed. 


The presentation will detail some of the challenges at each stage of the development process that could lead to a commercial failure and what could be done to minimize that. The development steps are also in general applicable to specialty chemicals where a systematic approach is needed for a successful and efficient product development.

Commercializing a flame retardant that meets flammability performance, material properties, economics, environmental health & safety, and recyclability requirements is very challenging as these requirements change over time with emerging new regulations, new technologies, new materials, new applications and new environmental concerns and discoveries. These constraints have to be built into the research and product development cycle at an early stage to improve success rate. 

Who should attend:

Chemical Research & Development, Technical marketing & sales, management personnel from companies representing the supply chain, material scientists, fire safety educators, academia, government authorities and other interested stakeholders

About the Speaker
Dr. Anteneh is the founder and R&D Consultant at FR Adviser LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia area and provides consulting services to industrial clients concerning R&D best practices, synthesis, patenting and new product commercialization.  Further background information:

  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry,  Technical University of Munich, Germany     

  • More than twenty-five years' experience within flame retardant industry 

  • Dow Chemical Company (Sr. R&D Scientist): responsible for design, synthesis and development of halogen-free flame retardants for thermoplastic and thermoset applications.  Application areas for end products included polystyrene foam insulation; polyurethane, wire and cable and printed circuit boards

  • Co-invented a sustainable brominated copolymer alternative to HBCD used in XPS and EPS foam (PolyFR) which resulted in several granted patents and a 2012 R&D 100 award

  • In addition to multiple patents, Dr. Worku co-authored “Flame Retardants: Overview” in Kirk Othmer Encylopedia of Chemical Technology (2015)

  • Albemarle Corporation (R&D Chemist): Synthesis and formulation development of halogen free flame retardants.

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