Emerging Opportunities for Sulfur

Sulfur as a Byproduct from Chemical and Petroleum Industries Shows Promise for Use in Polymer and Energy Storage Applications

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Sulfur is an abundantly available chemical element that is often derived as a byproduct from desulphurization activities in chemical industries and petroleum refineries. Elemental sulfur has conventionally been used for the production of hydrosulfuric acid and fertilizers. The shift towards a circular economy where byproducts are to be used in recyclable materials has driven the need for identifying new value-added applications of sulfur. This research service titled, “Emerging Opportunities for Sulfur” analyzes emerging opportunities for elemental sulfur in large volume applications that have the potential for commercialization in the next 10 years. The applications covered include polymers, building and c

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary1.1 Research Scope1.2 Research Methodology1.3 Evolving Category of Polymers that Promote Green Chemistry1.4 Sulfur Binders are Developed for Building and Construction Materials by Prominent Participants, while Flame Retardants are Mostly in the Research Phase1.5 Several Key Participants Involved in Commercialization of Sulfur-based Energy Storage Devices2. Technology Overview2.1 Sulfur: Raw Material Available in Surplus Offers New Opportunities2.2 Increasing Utilization of Elemental Sulfur Critical to Balance Market3. Opportunities in Polymers Using Elemental Sulfur3.1 Opportunity Landscape for New Polymers Using Elemental Sulfur3.2 Innovations Driven by Green Chemistry Principles Challenged by Stability and Control3.3 New Polymer Prospect 1: Poly (S-r-DIB)3.4 New Polymer Prospect 2: Poly (S-r-DVB)3.5 New Polymer Prospect 3: Poly (S-DIB) Nanocomposite3.6 New Polymer Prospect 4: Polythioamides (PTA)3.7 New Polymer Prospect 5: Polythiourea (PTU)3.8 New Polymer Prospect 6: Benzothiazole Polymers (BTAP)3.9 Sulfur Polymer-based Cathodes for Li-S Batteries3.10 New Methods to Eliminate Polysulfide Dissolution in Li-S Batteries3.11 Sulfur Copolymers for Mercury Capture3.12 Sulfur Polymers in Different Forms Promote Hg Capture and Control3.13 Sulfur Polymer-based Thin-films for Solar Cells & Optoelectronics3.14 Advanced Molecular Precursor Ink Technology for Solar Cells3.15 Sulfur-based Infra-red Transparent Lenses3.16 Hybrid Sulfur Polymers Offer a Low Cost Alternative to IR Materials3.17 Anti-corrosive Sulfur-Scavenger Coatings by IBM3.18 Microporous BTAP for Gas Separation and Purification3.19 BTAP’s Exhibit High Selectivities and Storage Capacity For Natural Gas Sweetening and Landfill Gas Purification Applications3.20 Sulfur Nanowires as Photocatalysts for Renewable Hydrogen4. Opportunities in Building & Construction4.1 Opportunities for Sulfur in Building & Construction4.2 High Strength and Low Water Permeability Attributes Gives Rise to Applications in Infrastructure Development 4.3 Sulfur Concrete is Used for Building Construction and Pipe Fabrication 4.4 Research on Performance Assessment of Sulfur Concrete Products4.5 Commercialized Sulfur Asphalt Innovations by Major Oil and Gas Companies4.6 Roads Made of Sulfur Asphalt have High Resistance and Strength4.7 Improving the Mechanical Strength of Sulfur Concrete and Asphalt4.8 Insulation Materials and Protective Coatings are Made Using Sulfur-based Additives4.9 Potential for Sulfur Concrete in Low-cost Infrastructure Projects Following Proven Performance Tests5. Opportunities in Flame Retardants5.1 Opportunities for Sulfur in Flame Retardants5.2 Sulfur finds Applications in the Manufacture of Flame Retardant Polymer Products, Adhesives, and Textile5.3 Additive Flame Retardants are Being Developed for Use in Polymers5.4 Interest on Application Methods of Additive Flame Retardants to Reduce Processing Challenges5.5 Sulfur and Phosphorus are Being Used Together in Flame Retardants5.6 Flame Retardant Fabrics are Made Using Sulfur-based Additives and Polymers5.7 Reactive flame retardants are Used in Epoxy Resins5.8 Sulfur-based Cross-linkers are a Promising Solutions for Flame Retardant Polymers6. Opportunities in Energy Storage6.1 Energy Storage: Transition from Lithium-ion6.2 Sulfur Batteries have Energy Density Capabilities6.3 Factors Influencing the Adoption of Sulfur in Energy Storage6.4 Electrode Electrolyte Interaction is Identified by Researchers to Play a Crucial Role in Addressing Operational Challenges6.5 A Map of Key Application Sectors of Sulfur Batteries6.6 Sulfur-based Batteries find Application in both Stationary and Mobility Applications6.7 Factors Influencing Adoption of Sulfur in Mobility Applications6.8 Flow Batteries are Being Researched for Stationary Grid Connected Applications6.9 Researchers Develop Sodium-sulfur Battery Capable of Lower Operational Temperatures6.10 Private Stakeholders have taken Lithium-sulfur and Sodium-sulfur Batteries to Testing Stages6.11 Lithium-sulfur Batteries for Elective Vehicles are Expected to be Commercialized by 20206.12 Sulfur Composites for Increasing Battery Efficiency Being Researched in India 6.13 Energy Storage has More Promising Long-term Opportunities than Short-term Opportunities7. Technology Roadmap7.1 Product Development Roadmap for Sulfur Polymer-based Products7.2 Aligning Product Attributes to Market Needs Critical to Scale-up of Sulfur Polymer-based Products7.3 Development and Adoption Roadmap for Sulfur-based Building and Construction Materials7.4 Increasing Material Durability to Drive Adoption of Sulfur-based Building and Construction Materials7.5 Development and Adoption Roadmap for Sulfur-based Flame Retardants7.6 Improving Integration into End-user Products Critical for Sulfur-based Flame Retardants7.7 Development and Adoption Roadmap for Eleemntal Sulfur in Energy Storage7.8 Lithium-sulfur Batteries show Medium-term Adoption Potential, While Sodium-sulfur Batteries are Expected to be Commercialized Beyond 20258. Key Contacts 8.1 Key Industry/University Contacts 8.1 Key Industry/University Contacts (Continued)Legal Disclaimer




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