Wildfires can cause billions of dollars in damages and drain the U.S. Forest Service of financial resources that would otherwise be available for conservation investments.
Many of the human-caused fires originate in the samehotspots such as mountain passes and highway sections. Unfortunately, there is no environmentally-safe prophylactic fire-retarding treatment available for use in fire prevention. However, Stanford researchers have developed an environmentally-benign cellulose-based hydrogel that can retain polyphosphate fire retardants on target fuels for up to several months following application with common spraying equipment. In collaboration with Cal Fire, the Desert Research Institute, and the U.S. Forest Service, project piloted, optimized and validated the technology, which they commercialized in 2019. The technology is now marketed as Phos-Check Fortify.
Eric Appel, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Craig Criddle, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering