It was just this Wednesday that we heard about a non-toxic flame-retardant solution created by scientists at Texas A and M University. Well, researchers at Switzerland's Empa institute have also come up with one, which could be used to keep wood and wood-based building materials from burning.
Developed in partnership with Swiss company Bruag Fire Protection, the colorless liquid is known as AFA (Anti-Flame Additive). Effective in concentrations as low as 10 percent, it can be added to water-based paint or protective UV-resistant coatings which are then applied to wood, or it can be mixed into panels made from pressed wood fibers.
Its active chemical ingredient is an organophosphonate consisting of parts of phosphorus and nitrogen molecules, which have been combined into a single molecule. The additive reportedly doesn't produce toxic vapors, nor does it incorporate toxic flame-retardant substances such as bromine, boron or halogenated organic compounds.
In lab tests, it has been shown to effectively keep the cellulose in wood from igniting. An official approval process is now underway, after which AFA may be available as a commercial product.
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