Fluorotelomers are telomers or oligomers based on fluorocarbons, having few monomer units. Certain fluorotelomers and their compounds serve as raw materials to environmentally persistent perfluorinated carboxylic acids such as perfluorononanoate (PFNA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFNA and PFOA are primarily used in a wide range of applications across various industries due to their eco-friendly nature and inability to bioaccumulate in animals.
Different types of fluorotelomers are used in the industry such as fluorotelomers iodide, fluorotelomers alcohol, and fluorotelomers acrylate. Fluorotelomers alcohols such as TEOH-6 and TEOH-4 are some of the highly consumed products in the fluorotelomers industry. TEOH-6 and TEOH-4 have the ability to biodegrade to perfluorinated carboxylic acids that are present in the environment.
Fluorotelomers are used in a wide range of applications such as textiles, stain resistant fabrics, food packaging and fire fighting foams among others. Fluorotelomer coatings are applied to food contact papers in packaging applications for preventing paper from absorbing oil from fatty food products. In addition, they are also used in pizza box liners, fast food wrappers and popcorn bags. Textiles account for the largest application segment and are anticipated to be the fastest growing application on account of the growing demand from end-user industries such as clothing and yarn for as a means to replace harmful fluorocarbons.