Industry News

Emrald Kalama Chemical Completes Pre-Registration Process For K-FLEX® Plasticizers

Published on 2009-08-03. Author : SpecialChem

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH -- Emerald Kalama Chemical announces it has completed the pre-registration requirements of REACH legislation for the components of its Kalama® K-FLEX® plasticizers. The K-Flex® product line features non-phthalate plasticizer products based on dibenzoate chemistry that are used to impart flexibility, promote adhesion or aid in flow characteristics in adhesives, coatings, flooring, plastisols and many other applications.

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). Beyond their health and environmental benefits, the dibenzoate plasticizers have proven to offer equivalent performance to their phthalate counterparts in many applications.

Phthalate plasticizers classified as SVHC include benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), bis(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). These chemistries have come under increased scrutiny under article 58.3(c) of the REACH regulation because of their proven persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic nature (PVB) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative nature (vPvB), coupled with wide dispersive uses or high volumes. Of particular concern is benzyl butyl phthalate, which was targeted in the January 2009 ECHA report as an SVHC material with the potential to cause reproductive risks. This same report named dibenzoate plasticizers as an acceptable alternative to BBP, partially due to their ease of biodegradability.

"Our K-Flex dibenzoate plasticizers offer an attractive and safe alternative to butyl benzyl phthalate due to their similar chemical structures. Like butyl benzyl phthalate, KFlex dibenzoates impart fast fusion, high gloss and great stain resistance in vinyl applications", said Shamsi P. Gravel, global product line manager for Emerald Kalama Chemical. "One of the key factors in comparing plasticizer compatibility in polymer systems is its solubility parameter. A higher solubility value denotes a more polar plasticizer which tends to be more compatible in a similarly polar material such as PVC. Industry data proves that our K-Flex 500 and K-Flex 800 plasticizers offer closely matching solubility parameters to BBP. Formulators have the option to blend dibenzoates with phthalates to reduce the overall phthalate concentration in a formulation or, in some cases, replace the phthalates altogether."

"While any of our K-Flex plasticizers make an excellent choice for this purpose, from a product stewardship standpoint, K-Flex 800 is especially attractive because it provides a good balance of handling properties and favorable labeling requirements in the EU. It is, therefore, a preferred product for some customers," added Emily McBride, applications chemist for Emerald Kalama Chemical.

About Emrald Kalama Chemical

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. Kalama's products are used in a range of applications from beverage preservatives to personal care and household products, as well as industrial applications.

About Emrald Kalama Chemical

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 700 employees.

Source: Emerald Kalama Chemical

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