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

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Renewable Alternatives, LLC
101 AIME BLDG RM 120 720 2ND ST Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: SBIR Phase I: Fire-Retardant Phase Change Materials from Fats and Oils
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0611296
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will use fats and oils to make phase-change materials (PCM) with fire-retardant properties, so they can be used in clothing and around hot objects. Phase change materials are a class of materials that use phase changes (e.g., melting) to absorb or release relatively large amounts of latent heat at relatively constant temperature. This project will advance the state of understanding of both phosphate chemistries and fat/oil chemistries. The proposal is on identifying the lowest cost production routes to these chemicals that meet performance goals. It will also advance the understanding of non-ideal mixture behavior. When possible, patent protection will be pursued. In addition, results will be published in peer-refereed journals and presented at national meetings. Commercially, the application is to produce novel phase change materials with fire retardant properties. Clothing that incorporates phase change materials are being used today in Afghanistan and Iraq. 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 impact 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. Graduate students will be employed during this project, including minority participation, to enhance scientific training and development.

Principal Investigator:

William Sutterlin

Business Contact:

Galen Suppes
Small Business Information at Submission:

Renewable Alternatives
4009 Day Flower Court Columbia, MO 65203

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No