Emerging Opportunities for Sulfur

Emerging Opportunities for Sulfur

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 construction, flame retardants, and energy storage. The research service includes a holistic analysis of the different opportunities available in an application area, the benefits derived from using elemental sulfur for developing materials, and the key stakeholder activities involved in technology development. The path ahead for sulfur in emerging application areas is also explored to give an analysis on the expected time to market for commercial products made using sulfur.
In brief, the research study discusses the following:

Overview of elemental sulfur’s properties and its global production scenario
Assessment of emerging market opportunities for elemental sulfur
Overview of different products that can be developed using elemental sulfur
Key stakeholder developments and their significance to sulfur usage
Insights into the road ahead for sulfur opportunities
Analysis of the opportunities present and the future outlook dictating sulfur usage.


  • Executive Summary
    • Research Scope
    • Research Methodology
    • Evolving Category of Polymers that Promote Green Chemistry
    • Sulfur Binders are Developed for Building and Construction Materials by Prominent Participants, while Flame Retardants are Mostly in the Research Phase
    • Several Key Participants Involved in Commercialization of Sulfurbased Energy Storage Devices
  • Technology Overview
    • Sulfur: Raw Material Available in Surplus Offers New Opportunities
    • Increasing Utilization of Elemental Sulfur Critical to Balance Market
  • Opportunities in Polymers Using Elemental Sulfur
    • Opportunity Landscape for New Polymers Using Elemental Sulfur
    • Innovations Driven by Green Chemistry Principles Challenged by Stability and Control
    • New Polymer Prospect 1: Poly (S-r-DIB)
    • New Polymer Prospect 2: Poly (S-r-DVB)
    • New Polymer Prospect 3: Poly (S-DIB) Nanocomposite
    • New Polymer Prospect 4: Polythioamides (PTA)
    • New Polymer Prospect 5: Polythiourea (PTU)
    • New Polymer Prospect 6: Benzothiazole Polymers (BTAP)
    • Sulfur Polymer-based Cathodes for Li-S Batteries
    • New Methods to Eliminate Polysulfide Dissolution in Li-S Batteries
    • Sulfur Copolymers for Mercury Capture
    • Sulfur Polymers in Different Forms Promote Hg Capture and Control
    • Sulfur Polymer-based Thin-films for Solar Cells & Optoelectronics
    • Advanced Molecular Precursor Ink Technology for Solar Cells
    • Sulfur-based Infra-red Transparent Lenses
    • Hybrid Sulfur Polymers Offer a Low Cost Alternative to IR Materials
    • Anti-corrosive Sulfur-Scavenger Coatings by IBM
    • Microporous BTAP for Gas Separation and Purification
    • BTAP's Exhibit High Selectivities and Storage Capacity For Natural Gas Sweetening and Landfill Gas Purification Applications
    • Sulfur Nanowires as Photocatalysts for Renewable Hydrogen
  • Opportunities in Building & Construction
    • Opportunities for Sulfur in Building & Construction
    • High Strength and Low Water Permeability Attributes Gives Rise to Applications in Infrastructure Development
    • Sulfur Concrete is Used for Building Construction and Pipe Fabrication
    • Research on Performance Assessment of Sulfur Concrete Products
    • Commercialized Sulfur Asphalt Innovations by Major Oil and Gas Companies
    • Roads Made of Sulfur Asphalt have High Resistance and Strength
    • Improving the Mechanical Strength of Sulfur Concrete and Asphalt
    • Insulation Materials and Protective Coatings are Made Using Sulfur-based Additives
    • Potential for Sulfur Concrete in Low-cost Infrastructure Projects Following Proven Performance Tests
  • Opportunities in Flame Retardants
    • Opportunities for Sulfur in Flame Retardants
    • Sulfur finds Applications in the Manufacture of Flame Retardant Polymer Products, Adhesives, and Textile
    • Additive Flame Retardants are Being Developed for Use in Polymers
    • Interest on Application Methods of Additive Flame Retardants to Reduce Processing Challenges
    • Sulfur and Phosphorus are Being Used Together in Flame Retardants
    • Flame Retardant Fabrics are Made Using Sulfur-based Additives and Polymers
    • Reactive flame retardants are Used in Epoxy Resins
    • Sulfur-based Cross-linkers are a Promising Solutions for Flame Retardant Polymers
  • Opportunities in Energy Storage
    • Energy Storage: Transition from Lithium-ion
    • Sulfur Batteries have Energy Density Capabilities
    • Factors Influencing the Adoption of Sulfur in Energy Storage
    • Electrode Electrolyte Interaction is Identified by Researchers to Play a Crucial Role in Addressing Operational Challenges
    • A Map of Key Application Sectors of Sulfur Batteries
    • Sulfur-based Batteries find Application in both Stationary and Mobility Applications
    • Factors Influencing Adoption of Sulfur in Mobility Applications
    • Flow Batteries are Being Researched for Stationary Grid Connected Applications
    • Researchers Develop Sodium-sulfur Battery Capable of Lower Operational Temperatures
    • Private Stakeholders have taken Lithium-sulfur and Sodiumsulfur Batteries to Testing Stages
    • Lithium-sulfur Batteries for Elective Vehicles are Expected to be Commercialized by 2020
    • Sulfur Composites for Increasing Battery Efficiency Being Researched in India
    • Energy Storage has More Promising Long-term Opportunities than Short-term Opportunities
  • Technology Roadmap
    • Product Development Roadmap for Sulfur Polymer-based Products
    • Aligning Product Attributes to Market Needs Critical to Scale-up of Sulfur Polymer-based Products
    • Development and Adoption Roadmap for Sulfur-based Building and Construction Materials
    • Increasing Material Durability to Drive Adoption of Sulfur-based Building and Construction Materials
    • Development and Adoption Roadmap for Sulfur-based Flame Retardants
    • Improving Integration into End-user Products Critical for Sulfurbased Flame Retardants
    • Development and Adoption Roadmap for Eleemntal Sulfur in Energy Storage
    • Lithium-sulfur Batteries show Medium-term Adoption Potential, While Sodium-sulfur Batteries are Expected to be Commercialized Beyond 2025
  • Key Contacts
    • Key Industry/University Contacts

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