Green, formaldehyde-free, foams for thermal insulation

Maria C. Basso1, Xinjun Li1,2, Vanessa Fierro1, Antonio Pizzi2, Samuele Giovando3, Alain Celzard1*

1Institut Jean Lamour - UMR CNRS 7198, CNRS Nancy-Université UPV Metz, Département Chimie et Physique des Solides et des Surfaces. ENSTIB, 27 rue Philippe Séguin, BP 1041,       88051 Épinal cedex 9, France

2ENSTIB-LERMAB, Nancy Université, 27 rue Philippe Séguin, BP1041, 88051 Epinal cedex 9, France

3SILVA Chimica, Via Torre, S.Michele Mondovo (CN), Italy

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2011, 2 (6), pp 378-382

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2011.4254

Publication Date (Web): Apr 07, 2012



New, green and cheap rigid foams presenting outstanding performances for thermal insulation are described. Such ultra-lightweight cellular materials are mainly based on renewable chemicals: tannin and furfuryl alcohol, are very easy to produce and have thermal conductivity as low as 38 mW/m/K. Compared to previously reported tannin-based foams, these new materials are much “greener” and present improved resistance to compression and to water. Especially the formaldehyde, formerly used as cross-linking agent of tannins but known as a volatile and harmful chemical, could be successfully removed from the formulation. The as-obtained, 2nd generation, tannin-based foams are totally stable and have an expected interest for thermal insulation of buildings.


Rigid foam, formaldehyde, thermal conductivity, bulk density

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