Industry News

Beyond Products, Emerald Kalama Demonstrates Corporate Stewardship By Reducing Environmental Impact of Operations

Published on 2009-12-22. Author : SpecialChem

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH -- Emerald Kalama Chemical announces that new testing results show the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in its Kalama™ K-Flex® Dibenzoate Plasticizers to be lower than originally calculated-less than 3% VOCs (< 50="" g/liter)="" based="" on="" astm="" d2369.="" this="" is="" less="" than="" half="" the="" level="" of="" vocs="" previously="" listed="" for="" the="" product="" line="" which="" features="" non-phthalate="" plasticizer="" products="" based="" on="" dibenzoate="" chemistry.="" k-flex®="" plasticizers="" are="" used="" to="" impart="" flexibility,="" promote="" adhesion="" and="" aid="" in="" flow,="" film="" formation="" and="" coalescence="" in="" adhesives,="" caulks,="" coatings,="" flooring,="" plastisols="" and="" many="" other="">

Testing was done in conjunction with Hauser Laboratories, an accredited third-party testing lab, using the most current market methods and procedures. Such results compare favorably with the levels of competitive or alternative plasticizer products that have shown VOC levels as high as 15%.

"Knowing that our customers are always looking for ways to bring to market products that are safer, more environmentally friendly and in line with tightening governmental standards, we decided to re-evaluate our products using the most current methods and procedures," said Shamsi P. Gravel, global product line manager for Emerald Kalama Chemical. "Adhesives, sealants and coatings customers, in particular, have been reformulating their products to meet not only the US-EPA regulations, but also the significantly tighter regional standards in areas such as California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Kalama™ K-Flex® plasticizers provide customers a low-VOC, environmentally friendly alternative."

The dibenzoate chemistry, the basis for the K-Flex® product line, has been identified by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as a safer, viable alternative to various phthalate plasticizers that have been identified as "substances of very high concern" (SVHC). Dibenzoate plasticizers were cited as a non-PBT substance (non-persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic) in the ECHA January 2009 report.

"While customers may be attracted to our Kalama™ K-Flex® plasticizers for product stewardship reasons, their decision to use our products is typically also a result of the performance benefits they gain," added Ms. Gravel. "These benefits include better open times, processing and set times, high/low temperature performance, improved viscosity, and resistance to oil, grease and soapy water. By formulating with Kalama™ K-Flex® plasticizers, customers are able to achieve both objectives."

"Our commitment to the environment goes beyond bringing greener products to the marketplace," said Ed Gotch, president of Emerald Kalama Chemical and Emerald Polymer Additives. "We are also focused on reducing our impact on the environment from an operations perspective. Over the last five years, in fact, we have made a number of significant investments in our facility. As a result, when comparing the 2008 emissions data submitted earlier this year to the EPA to emissions data submitted for 2004, we have reduced our hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) by over 80% and cut process-generated waste by over 50%. These improvements not only reduced pollutants and items going to landfills, but also have helped to conserve natural resources and utility consumption. This is critical to being an important part of the community in which we operate and live, as well as proving ourselves as a committed, long term partner to our customers."

Emerald Kalama Chemical's world-scale toluene oxidation operation also produces sodium and potassium benzoate, benzoic acid and intermediates, and specialty flavor and fragrance ingredients, which the company sells globally through its distribution partners. Emerald Kalama Chemical products are used in a range of applications from beverage preservatives to personal care and household products, as well as industrial applications.

Emerald Kalama Chemical is a division of Emerald Performance Materials, LLC. Emerald produces and markets technologically advanced specialty chemicals for a broad range of food and industrial applications. Its products play a variety of roles in the products that are consumed and used every day enabling them to last longer, look, smell, taste or perform better. Emerald products are used in aerospace, food, beverages, cosmetics, toothpaste, household products, paint, tires, automobiles, sports gear and many other applications. Headquartered in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Emerald has four business units, eight operations and approximately 600 employees.

Source: Emerald Kalama Chemical

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