The Advanced Centre of Research in High Energy Materials (ACRHEM), a DRDO’s centre of excellence in the University of Hyderabad (UoH), has been recently granted a patent for their invention titled “Green Method for the Synthesis of Bis(Fluoroalkyl)Carbonate”. Dr. Balaka Barkakaty (Project Scientist at ACRHEM) and her two project assistants, Ms. Saheli Dey and Ms. Nitesh Singh, are the inventors of this patent.

Dr. Balaka Barkakaty

This patented invention at ACRHEM is for the discovery of a ‘new generalized method’ that outlines an ‘easy, green, no-solvent and cost-effective method’ for producing various types of bis(fluoroalkyl)carbonates in high purity and high yields. The conventional methods for synthesizing bis(fluoroalkyl) carbonates utilizes environmentally hazardous chemicals such as phosgene or triphosgene and other alternative methods that are not practically viable for industrial applications. These fluorinated organic carbonates are potential plasticizers for energetic applications because of their known stability under high voltage applications. A few of the developed compounds at ACRHEM in this category are currently under investigation at DRDO for practical applications.

The general role of plasticizers is to increase the flexibility of plastics or polymers used in a wide range of applications from the automobile industry to healthcare and consumer products. In defence-based industries, plasticizers are used to improve the mechanical properties of the composite propellant, especially the binder. However, mixing the ingredients of composite propellant with non-energetic plasticizers dilutes the overall energy content of the system. Over the last few decades, research into developing novel energetic plasticizers has been gaining a lot of interest. The main focus of these energetic plasticizers is to enhance the mechanical properties and safety characteristics of the energetic formulation without diluting the overall energy content of the system.