Pentadecafluorooctanoic-acid-free polytetrafluoroethylene and mechanism of PFOA formation by γ-irradiation

By Akihiro Oshima, Takayuki Tanaka, Hideki Nakaya, Ryosuke Senba, and Kazuyuki Satoh
Sci Rep.
August 25, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70918-x

Low-molecular-weight (Mw) polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) micropowder is added to wax for use in automotive equipment and printing machines and is produced by radiation-initiated degradation under atmospheric conditions. However, pentadecafluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is produced as a by-product in concentrations greater than 25 ppb, which is problematic because PFOA does not degrade in the environment. Herein, we clarify the PFOA-formation mechanism and develop a manufacturing process for a novel low-Mw PTFE micropowder that does not contain PFOA (less than 5 ppb). The process uses combined irradiation and heat treatment in an oxygen-free atmosphere. Furthermore, PFOA-free PTFE micropowder can be produced on the 10-kg scale.

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