Dow Global Technologies LLC (DGTL), a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, announced that the conversion of the new Polymeric Flame Retardant (Polymeric FR) technology is on schedule.
DGTL has made the Polymeric FR technology available to the extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation industry through three manufacturing and marketing licensees. International licensees have confirmed construction of commercial production capacity for the new Polymeric FR.
The startup of this new capacity over the coming months and years will provide volumes of Polymeric FR exceeding current European demand for HBCD, thereby initially meeting regulatory demands in a timely manner for European conversion in 2015 in line with the EU phase-out of HBCD.
In March 2011, DGTL announced the invention and development of the Polymeric FR, a stable, high molecular weight, non-PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic) substance. The additive provides a fire safety solution for XPS and EPS foams, enabling these thermal insulation materials to continue to meet the increasing demands of global energy efficiency regulations and sustainable building design.
In 2012, the new Polymeric FR technology received a number of awards including the 2012 R&D 100 Award, the 4th Annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Award, and the 2012 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Runners-up Award in the Materials and Other Base Technologies Category.
Securing European supply ahead of REACH-sunset date
By securing three licensees, supply of the new Polymeric FR is realized. Licensees have confirmed that commercial production capacity of 20,000 metric tons will be available by the 2nd half of 2014, ahead of the REACH-sunset date of HBCD. To date already 10,000 MT is commercially available.
All licensees made recent announcements about the availability of their new flame retardants containing the Dow Polymeric FR technology:
- On April 22, Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura business, confirmed commercial production of its Emerald Innovation™ 3000 flame retardant at nameplate capacity of at least 10,000 MT at its El Dorado, Arkansas plant.
- On April 12, Albemarle announced that it expects to begin the supply of its GreenCrest™ polymeric fire safety solution for commercial qualification in EPS and XPS foam applications by midyear of 2013.
- In March, ICL Industrial Products announced that it anticipates increasing its production levels of FR-122P to thousands of metric tons by mid-2013 and to a level of 10,000 MT during the second half of 2014.
Dow has successfully implemented its business model enabling a smooth industry conversion to the new technology as EPS and XPS manufacturers adopt Polymeric FR industry wide.
Dow Building Solutions, a business unit of Dow, has started preparations to convert all of its STYROFOAM™ XPS foam plants in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Japan. Because of the vast number of plants, this will be a phased process starting in Japan in 2013 followed by Europe and North America. This allows for a controlled conversion process that meets Dow’s quality requirements in every region and at the same time ensures product availability meeting global regulatory demands.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately $57 billion and employed approximately 54,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.