Are the thermal decomposition products of polyurea polymers known, especially of the urea group, in the absence of water?

Looking at the formula


there appears to be no obvious candidate for a decomposition product - not enough oxygen for CO2, not enough hydrogen for Ammonia.

Any ideas or, even better, references?


1 Answer 1


Here's one abstract:

The primary fragmentation processes in the thermal decomposition of polymers were studied in detail on a series of structurally related polyureas by direct pyrolysis with a mass spectrometer. Our results indicate that polyureas I–III undergo a quantitative depolycondensation process analogous to that observed for N-monosubstituted polyurethanes. The thermal decomposition of polyureas IV–VI proceeds by intramolecular hydrogen transfer processes that occur at higher temperatures with respect to depolycondensation. Polycarboxypiperazine VI is decomposed by a single-stage decomposition mechanism that leads to fragments with amino end groups and carbon oxide.

I took a look at the article. Depolycondensation is accurate: most of the polyureas examined decomposed to the "parent" isocyanates and amines. The temperature range examined was 150°C to 350°C.

If you're interested in what happens at higher temperatures, I would guess a decomposition to mixtures of CO, ammonia, water, and possibly methane and/or hydrogen. But I didn't find any references that would support me after a quick look

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, this was indeed the sort of answer I was looking for. $\endgroup$
    – xxyxyx
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 17:34

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