Base Promoted Intumescence of Phenols.Polymers (Basel). 2020 Jan 23; 12(2)P
: The intumescent process of sodium (substituted) phenolates has been studied. The generation of hydrogen radical via a homolytic cleavage of the Ar-H bond and the subsequent hydroarylation of phenolates to cyclohexadienes along with cyclization and elimination reactions of cyclohexadienes are critical steps in the base promoted intumescence of phenols. The substituents show great influence on the intumescence of phenolates. Phenolates substituted with a weak electron donating group enable intumescence while those with an electron withdrawing group or strong electron donating group suppresses intumescence. This distinction can be justified by both electronic and steric effects of substituents on the generation of hydrogen radical and the degree of hydroarylation.