LANXESS holds Polymeric Flame Retardant Symposium in Shanghai with CABEE and Industry Partners

LANXESS holds Polymeric Flame Retardant Symposium in Shanghai with CABEE and Industry Partners Photo: LANXESS

Shanghai – May 12, 2021 – On May 12, LANXESS co-hosted the Polymeric Flame Retardant Symposium in Shanghai together with the China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE), DuPont, ICL, Shandong Sunris New Materials, and FUDATEC.


More than 100 guests including builders, material manufacturers, architects, scientists, associations and policy makers from the industry gathered to discuss how to better promote the replacement of the traditional flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) with new environmental-friendly flame retardants. In addition, Michael Tew, head of LANXESS PLA Asia-Pacific introduced the “Proposal of the Sustainable Flame-Retardant Materials Working Group on Replacing HBCD” on behalf of the environmental-friendly flame-retardant materials working group.“


Green technologies that improve the environment will play an increasingly important role in solving problems related to human health and climate. Through this workshop, LANXESS hopes to integrate sustainable flame retardants into the full life cycle of energy-efficient buildings with industry partners,” Michael Tew said.


Sustainable flame-retardant products for green buildings

Building insulation is an efficient and simple way to save energy and thus contribute to climate protection. The building insulation industry mainly adopts expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). These materials are flammable, and flame retardants need to be added to meet fire safety requirements. At present, the small molecule flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is still used in polystyrene foam.


HBCD was required to be banned globally by the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2013 due to its potential long-term harm to humans and the environment. In 2016, the National People’s Congress of China approved the Amendment to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants to List HCBD, banning the production, use, import and export of HBCD from December 26, 2016. Due to the lack of suitable substitutes at that time, HBCD used in flame retardants for building insulation materials XPS and EPS was granted a five-year exemption period which will expire on December 25, 2021. The use of HBCD will be completely banned from December 26, 2021.


As deadline approaches, so dies the urgency to find a reliable alternative. The polymeric flame retardant Emerald Innovation™ 3000 from LANXESS is an efficient and sustainable solution. Compared with the small molecule flame retardant HBCD, the polymeric structure of Emerald Innovation™ 3000 overcomes problems related to bioavailability and bioaccumulation. As a macromolecular product, Emerald Innovation™ 3000 is difficult to penetrate the cell wall into the human body, hence boasts low toxicity and high sustainability.


Huge market for environmental-friendly flame retardants

The elimination and replacement of HBCD involves not only the development and promotion of new flame retardants, but also downstream aspects such as adjusting production processes, re-verifying product performance, and even enabling flame-retardant EPS and XPS to keep up with the accelerated green development of China’s building materials industry.


During the symposium, LANXESS actively promoted the elimination and replacement of HBCD in flame retardant materials, aiming to guarantee green, fireproof and safe buildings. Tests have confirmed that insulation material equipped with Emerald Innovation™ 3000 meets the required Chinese fire safety standards. The corresponding insulation material has already been successfully used in several Chinese construction projects. In addition, it can also be successfully used for applications in cold chain logistics.


China is the world’s largest producer and seller of EPS and XPS, with a total output value of over CNY 20 billion. Public data shows that in China, the output of flame-retardant EPS has reached 1.1 million tons, and there are over 400 flame-retardant EPS resin and sheet manufacturers above designated size; the output of flame-retardant XPS is about 800,000 tons, and there are over 1,000 flame-retardant XPS masterbatch and sheet manufacturers above designated size.


As an important livelihood project, China has about 1 billion square meters of new buildings and 200 million square meters of energy-saving renovation buildings every year. All flame retardants used in polystyrene particles, the raw material for the production of EPS/XPS insulation boards, will have to be replaced with new environmental-friendly flame retardants. This has also become the prerequisite for the banning of HBCD. LANXESS believes that the polymeric environmental-friendly flame retardant Emerald Innovation™ 3000 will have large growth potential in China. 




LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.1 billion in 2020. The company currently has about 14,300 employees in 33 countries. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.



On January 31, 2005, the company was initially listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and LANXESS Chemical (China) Co., Ltd. officially started operations. LANXESS now has 15 subsidiaries, 7 R&D centers and 8 production sites with around 1,500 employees in Greater China. LANXESS works closely with its local partners to develop market-oriented solutions that meet local market needs.


Forward-Looking Statements

This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors, nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions, contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accept any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.


Information for editors:

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Yu Fiona

Yu Fiona
Corporate Communications

Phone: +86 21 6109 6666

Fax: +86 21 6109 6717

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