Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 138, Issue 6, pp 3961–3975 | Cite as

Thermal degradation of flame-retardant compounds derived from castor oil

A renewable biomaterial
  • Bob A. HowellEmail author
  • Eric A. Ostrander


Castor oil is a non-edible plant oil produced in a large quantity annually. It is a triglyceride of primarily (approximately 90%) ricinoleic acid. The acid residues contain both a hydroxyl group and a double bond which permit ready functionalization. The hydroxyl group may be converted to phosphorus esters of varied structure while the unsaturation readily undergoes addition of bromine. Derivatives of castor oil containing phosphorus, bromine, or phosphorus and bromine have been prepared and fully characterized using spectroscopic and thermal methods. The thermal stability and mode of degradation for these compounds have been assessed using thermogravimetry and infrared spectroscopy. The primary mode of degradation for the phosphorus esters is elimination of the corresponding phosphorus acid (phosphates more readily than phosphonates). Brominated castor oil undergoes thermally induced dehydrobromination at relatively modest temperatures and this promotes dehydration (at temperatures well below that required for dehydration of unmodified castor oil). Brominated phosphorus esters of castor oil undergo degradation initiated by dehydrobromination.


Phosphorus ester decomposition Sustainability Brominated esters Glyceryl ester cleavage Polymer additives from renewable biosources 



Diphenylchlorophosphate was generously provided by ICL-IP America, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applications in Polymer Science, Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryCentral Michigan UniversityMt. PleasantUSA

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