Dow Develops New Flame Retardant For Foam Building Insulation

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Dow Global Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), Tuesday announced the invention and development of a new, high molecular weight brominated Polymeric Flame Retardant.

Dow said it expects the Polymeric FR to be the next generation industry standard flame retardant for use in both extruded polystyrene and expanded polystyrene foam insulation applications globally.

The development of the new Polymeric FR is the result of Dow’s continuing search for more sustainable products — in this case for a flame retardant that can replace hexabromocyclododecane. HBCD is being targeted by federal regulators because it’s highly toxic to aquatic wildlife and also presents human health concerns based on animal test results indicating potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects. There are also pending regulatory restrictions on HBCD initiated by the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances program.

Dow also announced a license agreement with West Lafayette, Ind.-based Chemtura Corp. (NYSE: CHMT) under which a Chemtura subsidiary, Great Lakes Solutions, will produce and sell the newly developed Polymeric FR for use in XPS and EPS foam.

Dow also said it is currently engaged in advanced licensing discussions with several other interested companies and expects to finalize these agreements by the end of the year. Dow expects this will enable global supply security, foster market competition and help facilitate a smooth industry conversion to the new technology as EPS and XPS manufacturers adopt Polymeric FR.

Dow said the new chemical is stable, is not bioaccumulative or toxic, and has been subjected to an “extensive and robust” environmental, health and safety testing regimen.

Dow’s Polymeric FR technology is the result of several years of research and development efforts, including significant investments led by The Dow Chemical Company that leverage the company’s polymer, chemistry, and process science and applications know-how and EH&S expertise.

More at www.dow.com.

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