In electronic technology, wire and cable insulation represents a potential fire and smoke hazard to fire fighters and others in confined spaces of aircraft and hospitals. Ammonium octamolybdate is used with PVC to suppress the formation of smoke. These uses and other developments will increase as video, telephone and computing networks increase.
Molybdates as smoke suppressants
Ammonium octamolybdate and molybdenum trioxide are used as smoke suppressants in, for example, PVC cabling. They are thought to act by undergoing reduction to lower valent molybdenum, e.g. molybdenum dioxide, which then cross links the plastic to form a char. Molybdenum stabilises the char so preventing the formation of smoke particles.