Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

James A. Bradley

Second Advisor

C. L. Mantell

Third Advisor

Saul I. Kreps


The literature on ammonia-catalyzed phenol-formaldehyde resins is reviewed and critical comparisons are made of the manner in which the ammonia-catalyzed resins differ from both the alkali- and acid-catalyzed resins.

Intermediate products formea during the initial stapes of the ammonia-catalyzed phenol-formaldehyde reactions, as reported in the literature, are tabulated and % N contents are calculated.

Experimental determinations of N content of resins with molar ratios of 1:1.25 phenol to formaldehyde with ammonia at 0.2, 0.5, and 1.0 moles per mole of phenol, show that at the 0.2 molar ratio of ammonia, all the N enters into the resin and remains during the curing of the resin. At 0.5 and higher molar ratios of ammonia, only a portion of the N enters the resin. At low bakes (conversion of "A" to "B" stage;, the N increases, probably by loss of H2O or CH2O from the resin. In the fully-cured resins, N content of all the resins based on 1:1.25 phenol to formaldehyde drops to the same level as in the resin formed using 0.2 moles of ammonia, i.e. (2.75 ± .2% N).

When the formaldehyde ratio is increased to 2.0 moles per mole of phenol, and using 1.0 mole of ammonia, the N content of the fully-cured resin is 4.63%, an increase proportional to the increase in formaldehyde.



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