Kevin Sabel


Kevin Sabel

Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry


Building: Sammelbau Chemie

Room: 38B 341

Worringerweg 2

52074 Aachen


Phone: +49 241 80 20112
Fax Fax: +49 241 80 22177


Overview on research focus Copyright: © Kevin Sabel

Synthesis of biomass-based compounds for flame retardant applications

Without special treatment, organic materials such as paper or textiles are classified as flammable or highly flammable with few exceptions. Nearly 20% of residential fire incidents and approximately 50% of fatalities are caused by paper, wood, and textiles as first ignited materials.

In collaboration with DWI, the goal is to develop and provide a bio-based, highly efficient, toxicologically safe and economically favorable flame retardant based on phosphazene polyphenol-based cyclomatrix polymers. For the synthesis of the polyphenol monomers, biomass-based aromatic aldehydes or carboxylic acids such as vanillin or gallic acid are used. These are subsequently reacted using heterogeneous acid catalysts such as zeolites.

Synthesis of biomass-based compounds for PVC materials

PVC products consist of either so-called hard PVC or soft PVC. Typical products made of soft PVC are cable sheathing, technical textiles including artificial leather, roofing and sealing membranes, and automotive underbody protection. In order to be able to adjust the specific properties of products made of soft PVC, certain additives, above all a relatively large proportion of suitable plasticizers, must be added to the inherently hard and brittle PVC plastic. The main plasticizers currently used for PVC are phthalates. Due to a potential adverse health effect, six phthalates were already banned in 2005 for use in toys and baby articles. A solution to the problem could be the evaluation and application of furan carboxylic acid esters and similar substances, because these compounds have a similar molecular architecture and polarity compared to phthalates. Advantages of these compounds are sustainable production, a higher compatibility with PVC and toxicological safety.

Research focus

  • Synthesis of biomass-based bisphenol derivatives as molecular building blocks for polyphosphazene syntheses
  • Synthesis of biomass-based difuran derivatives for use as plasticizers in PVC materials
  • Investigation of zeolite materials for structural and acid properties and analysis of the structure-activity relationship