Petro Chemical

Uses and properties

The Acetyls Sector Group (ASG) covers products such as acetic acid, vinyl acetate and acetic anhydride, which are used as intermediates for a wide range of applications, solvents to adhesives and water-based paints to cellulose acetate, pain-relieving pharmaceuticals, modified starches, emulsifiers, liquid crystal polymers and dyestuffs.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

Three REACH Consortia (acetic acid, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate) were formed, through which the manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering VAM (vinyl acetate monomer), acetic acid and acetic anhydride.

Consortium Management : ReachCentrum

Regulations

Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on drug precursors: ASG is committed to engage in a constructive dialogue with the relevant authorities to identify an appropriate solution that will prevent the misuse of acetic anhydride.

Specific Issues

  • The primary objective of ASG is to ensure that the classification and other HSE related regulations in the EU and beyond are based upon a full and balanced evaluation of the scientific evidence.
  • Collecting quarterly statistics
Uses and properties

Acrylic acid is an industrial intermediate product, which is produced through selective gas phase oxidation of propylene. The different Acrylic acid qualities from Standard or Ester grade to high purity grade can be either polymerized directly to polyacrylates or can be converted into acrylate ester (Acrylates) which are then subsequently polymerized. Many consumer products like adhesives, paints, binding agents and printing inks are Acrylic acid based.

About half of the crude acrylic acid is processed to high purity (glacial) acrylic acid. The other is transformed into various acrylate esters at the production sites. Identical to glacial acrylic acid, these acrylic esters serve as commercial products, which are further processed both on-site and by external downstream users.

Acrylic acid and basic alkyl esters (methyl, ethyl, butyl and 2-ethylhexyl esters) are used for the manufacture of polymer dispersions, adhesives, super absorbent polymers, flocculants, detergents, varnishes, fibres and plastics as well as chemical intermediates.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The EBAM Group has been contributing with other global producers of acrylic acid and its esters to the activities of joint Methacrylate / Acrylate Industry consortia (REACH Task Force) for the preparation of registration dossiers within the framework of the REACH legislation.

Regulations

EBAM is committed to responding to the regulatory and environmental pressures on the industry: Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits

Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions directive (BREF)

Specific Issues

  • Promoting the standing of the acrylics industry (acrylic acid and basic acrylic esters) in a socially responsible manner
  • Maintaining a PTZ (phenothiazine) locations database. so as to information the acrylic monomers supply chain about the locations (addresses and telephone numbers) and the supplies of PTZ, which is a polymerisation inhibitor. The PTZ network is part of EBAM’s commitment to provide emergency response services for acrylic monomers in Western Europe.
  • Maintaining a high level of technical undertanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use
  • Providing Mutual Aid in case of transport incidents with Acrylic Monomers. The EBAM members have signed a Mutual Aid Convention whereby an EBAM member company may solicit assistance from another member in the event of any difficulty arising during transportation of a shipment of Acrylic Monomers
  • Presenting a positive image of acrylates to the industry, authorities and the public
  • Developing a common position on major issues for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies
  • Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles
Uses and properties

Acrylonitrile is a chemical intermediate used in acrylic fibres, ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene), SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile) and NBR (nitrile-butadiene-rubber). Approximately 52% of the total EU production of acrylonitrile is used in production of fibres, 15% in production of ABS and SAN resins, 15% in the production of acrylamide and adipronitrile and 18% for other uses. In 2008 the worldwide Acrylonitrile market totalled 4,531,000 tons (source PCI World Acrylonitrile Report).

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The Acrylonitrile REACH Consortium, founded by the CEFIC Acrylonitrile Manufacturers Members, completed the REACH submission for Acrylonitrile in 2010. Uses as a monomer and intermediate have been supported.

Consortium Manager: TSGE

Lead Company: Ineos Nitriles.

Regulations

The Sector Group is pro-actively managing regulatory and environmental responsibilities on the industry:

  • Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits, Classification issues
  • Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions Directive (BREF)

Specific Issues

  • Exchange non-confidential safety information about the production, distribution and handling of acrylonitrile.
  • Promoting the standing of the acrylonitrile industry in a socially responsible manner.
  • Informing consumers and those involved in the handling of the product on its properties and functionality.
  • Encouraging the safe and proper use of acrylonitrile by developing and publishing appropriate technical information.
  • Maintaining a high level of technical understanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use.
  • Presenting a positive image of acrylonitrile to the industry, authorities and the public.
  • Developing a common position on major issues of the industry for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies.
  • Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles.
Uses and properties

Alkyl amines are chemical intermediates. AASG provides support to a series of alkylamines as well as to first-degree derivatives and some aminoalcohols.

End-uses of derivatives of the alkylamines cover a great variety of applications. Major ones include detergents, agrochemicals, feed additives, pharmaceuticals, solvents, pulp & paper processing, flocculants, PU catalysts, explosives, etc. Alkyl amines are colourless highly flammable gases, making careful handling essential at all stages of their production, transport and use.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The REACH consortium facilitates the registration of these substances as required by the regulation. An “Alkylamines” REACH Consortium has been formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering the following list of substances. Reach_Alkylamines_list_2008.

Mail to Consortium management.

Specific Issues

  • To promote the use of alkyl amines and their first-line derivatives with scientifically sound arguments, taking into full consideration their health and environment aspects
  • To develop a co-ordinated approach to health, safety, environment and technical issues
Uses and properties

The Amines Sector Group includes producers of ethyleneamines, i.e.

  • Ethylenediamine (EDA), used to produce TAED (tetraacetylethylenediamine), EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) and fungicides
  • Diethylenetriamine (DETA), mainly used as an epoxy curing agent and in the production of wet strength resins for paper
  • Higher amines, used to make additives for lubricating oils, engine fuels and asphalt and producers of ethanolamines, i.e.
  • Monoethanolamine (MEA), mainly used as the raw material to produce ethyleneamines, detergents and metalworking fluids
  • Diethanolamine (DEA), mainly used for gas sweetening and in agrochemicals
  • Triethanolamines (TEA)
  • Aminoethylethanolamine (AEEA)
Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

Three new REACH Consortia (ethanol-, ethylene- and isopropanol amines) have been formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering the following list of substances: Reach-Amines_2008

Consortium management: TSGE Europe

Regulations

The IPPC Directive codified as Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control: the AMSG is participating to the LVOC BREF review of ethanolamines.

Specific Issues

  • Maintaining a positive product image by promoting safe and proper use
  • Maintaining a high level of technical understanding of the products, identifying the needs for scientific and environmental research, sponsoring the work when needed and working with scientists and regulators for the interpretation of results
  • Maintaining a dialogue with regulators, opinion leaders and trade associations
  • Developing harmonised information on health, safety and environmental issues in relation to amines
  • Collecting statistics.
Uses and properties

Aromatics are get their name from their distinctive aromatic or perfumed smell.

Almost all aromatics come from crude oil, although small quantities are made from coals.The main substances in this group are benzene, toluene and xylenes. They are used as starting materials for a wide range of consumer products: clothing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, computers, paints, vehicle components, cooking utensils, household fabrics, sports equipment, etc.

Products made using aromatics can reduce energy consumption and so have a positive impact on the environment.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The LOA (Lower Olefins Aromatics) Consortium was formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering 130 to 140 substances within 20 categories.

Regulations

Assess the impact of the fuel legislation on aromatics producers (Water Framework Directive)

Specific Issues

  • Manage research projects within the science programme. This includes the follow-up of proposed new substances into environmental regulations like Water Framework Directive (toluene)
  • Co-ordinate with Concawe the analysis and evaluation of epidemiological studies concerning benzene and its carcinogenic effects.
Uses and properties

AGU is an association of European urea producers dedicated to the responsible usage of NOx reduction agent AUS 32 (aqueous urea solution, abbreviated “AUS 32”) specified in the ISO standard 22241 for the selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions of Diesel engines (urea Diesel) in order to assist the related industry to fulfil the requirements of the relevant European legislation (EURO IV / EURO V and beyond).

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The registration of automotive grade urea to compile with the REACH requirements will be handled however by the European Fertilizer Manufacturer Association.

Consortium management: ReachCentrum.

Regulations

Assess and define a quality standard for NOx reduction agent for other mobile applications not covered by AUS 32, to assist the related industry to fulfill the requirements of the EU NRMM Directive and the UN IMO MARPOL convention (Annex VI for NOx emissions)

Specific Issues

  • Publish and update a product supply best practice guidance manual to safeguard the technical requirements needed for the catalytic process in production, storage and distribution of urea solution ISO 22241
  • Promote the use of ISO 22241 grade urea for the catalytic reduction of Diesel fuel off gas from trucks (EURO IV / EURO V and beyond)
  • Develop and promote common industry positions and interacting with regulators, opinion leaders, relevant industry organizations and the general public.
Uses and properties

BDO deals with 1,4 butanediol, gammabutyrolactone (GBL), tetrahydrofuran (THF), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), N-ethylpyrrolidone (NEP) and 2-pyrrolidone.

GBL and BDO are widely used industrial chemicals serving as critical ingredients in many different products and applications. GBL offers excellent solvent qualities with low toxicity and diminished environment concerns. GBL is involved in the manufacture of products including hospital supplies, beverage filtration and purification aids. GBL is also used for applications including circuit board cleaning in the electronics and high technology industries; the production of herbicides; and as a processing aid in the production of vitamins and pharmaceuticals. While there are solvent applications for GBL, the majority of the GBL manufactured is used by industrial companies as an intermediate in the manufacturing process of other chemicals.

BDO serves predominantly as an intermediate ingredient in common industrial and commercial products. BDO is reacted to make items such as engineering plastics, polyurethane systems (e.g. golf balls, skateboard wheels, car bumpers) and as a carrier solvent in printing inks and a cleaning agent.

NMP is used for the desulfurisation of gases by physical scrubbing and in the large scale recovery of hydrocarbons by extractive distillation. As a solvent rheology modifier it finds its application in surface plant protection and electronic equipment manufacture.

THF is a moderately polar aprotic solvent. It finds its application as a solvent for adhesives, lacquers, printing ink and unvulcanised rubber. It is used as a chemical intermediate in the preparation of polytetramethylene glycol; butyrolactone; succinic acid; adipic acid; 1.4 butanediol diacetate; and tetrahydrothiophene.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

A “BDO” REACH Consortium was formed through which the manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering 1,4 butanediol, gammabutyrolactone (GBL), tetrahydrofuran (THF), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), N-ethylpyrrolidone (NEP) and 2-pyrrolidone.

Consortium management: ReachCentrum.

Specific Issues

  • The primary objective of BDO is to ensure that classification and other HSE regulatory decisions taken on their substances at EU and MS level are based upon full and balanced evaluation of scientific evidence.
  • Monitor the drug precursor status of GBL and BDO and EU and MS level.
  • Monitor the implementation of the restriction/authorization process under REACH of n-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP).
Uses and properties

CCSG (Organisational chart) represents European Producers of chemicals derived from coal tar distillation. The main product (approx. 50 %) of the tar refinery is the distillation residue "coal tar pitch". The distillates are crude naphtalene and technical fractions (aromatic oils). The major single compounds are naphthalene (~10 %), phenanthrene (~4,5 %) and anthracene (~1,3 %). Some compounds (e.g. naphthalene, anthracene, carbazole, phenol, cresols and xylenols) are commercially available.

Main applications:

  • Electrode binders for aluminium and electro-steel production
  • Refractory materials
  • Aromatic oils for the production of carbon black
  • Wood impregnating oils
  • Chemicals for the production of dyes, inks, pesticides, plasticizers, solvents and coatings.
Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The REACH for Coal Chemicals – R4CC was formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering the following substances.

Regulations

Compliance with REACH, CLP and other regulations

Specific Issues

  • Develop a co-ordinated approach to health, environment and technical issues
  • Influence harmonisation of chemical legislation
  • Develop scientific data for coal-tar products
  • Link with European and National scientific bodies involved in health, environment and workers protection
  • Link with industry associations and scientific bodies with an interest in the products
  • Biocide registration
Uses and properties

Ethylene oxide alone or in combination with other inert gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen is used to sterilise instruments for the healthcare, publication and wood products sectors. Ethylene oxide is also used in other industries where heat-sensitive goods are sterilised and in the manufacture of choline chloride, glycol ethers and polyglycols. Other minor uses world-wide include its application in the manufacture of rocket propellant and petroleum demulsifiers.

The major use of ethylene oxide is in the manufacture of ethylene glycol, which is used as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of polyesters for fibres, films, bottles etc. with a further 25% used as antifreeze in engine coolants. Ethylene glycol is also used as a plasticiser for adhesives, as a softener for cellulose film, and as solvents in paint, printing inks and adhesives. Ethylene glycol has also specialised applications as glycoborates in electrolytic condensers, glycol dinitrate in explosives, various heat transfer applications, hydraulic brake fluids, humectant in inks, antifreeze and plasticiser in paints and to reduce gelling of medium oil alkyds based on pentaerythritol.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

An “Ethylene Oxide & Glycol” REACH Consortium was formed through which the manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering ethylene oxide and its derivatives.

Lead Company is BASF.

Regulations

The sector group is pro-actively managing regulatory and environmental responsibilities:

  • Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits, Classification issues
  • Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions Directive (BREF)

Specific Issues

  • Exchanging non-confidential safety information about the production and handling of ethylene oxide.
  • Promoting the standing of the ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols industry in a socially responsible manner.
  • Informing consumers and those involved in the handling of the products on its properties and functionality.
  • Encouraging the safe and proper use of ethylene oxide by developing and publishing appropriate technical information.
  • Maintaining a high level of technical understanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use.
  • Organising and funding toxicology projects, especially in the field of developmental toxicity research, in collaboration with the US Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Glycol Industry Panels, (eg. the US Ethylene Glycol Panel).
  • Presenting a positive image of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols to the industry, authorities and the public.
  • Developing a common position on major issues of the industry for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies.
  • Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles.
Uses and properties

EFOA is dedicated to the promotion of ethers as fuel components towards a cleaner and sustainable future.

Fuel ethers are components that can be blended into gasoline to enhance engine performance and reduce toxic exhaust emissions (Bio Fuels). Bio-ether also represent a quick and straightforward way for delivering bio-ethanol into gasoline due to their ability to improve its compatibility with fuel systems in cars and reduce problems in the fuel supply chain. In addition they augment the greenhouse gas savings delivered by the bio-ethanol.

EFOA acts as the voice of the European Fuel Ether industry in a wide variety of technical and government initiatives and is recognised by the European Commission as a stakeholder on fuel quality and bio fuels.

EFOA members are producers of one or more of the fuel ethers, MTBE (methyl-tert butyl ether), ETBE (ethyl-tert buty -ether), TAME (tert-amy methy -ether) and TAEE (tert-amyl ethyl ether).

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

A “Fuel Ethers” REACH Consortium was formed through which the manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering MTBE (methyl-tert-butyl-ether), ETBE (ethyl-tert-butyl ether) and TAME (tertiary-amyl-methyl-ether) mixtures.

Project Management: ReachCentrum.

Regulations

Assess and monitor the implications of the Renewable Energy Directive (COM(2008)30) and Fuel Quality Directive (COM(2007)18) for its members.

Specific Issues

  • Promote the benefits of fuel ethers to EU and national regulators, car manufacturers and gasoline producers.
  • Address environmental issues relating to oxygenated fuels.
Uses and properties

Lower olefins are petrochemical derivatives produced by cracking feedstocks from raw materials such as natural gas and crude oil. The main olefin products are ethylene, propylene, butadiene and C4 derivatives. These petrochemical derivatives are used to produce plastics, as chemical intermediates, and, in some cases, as industrial solvents.

LOSG represents the interests of companies operating petrochemical crackers in Europe.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The LOA (Lower Olefins Aromatics) Consortium was formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering 130 to 140 substances within 20 categories.

Regulations

Ensure that the competitiveness of the petrochemical crackers in Europe is not adversely impacted by the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Specific Issues

  • The toxicology group has a multi-annual science programme dealing with fundamental research into lower olefins and their derivatives. Most of these studies are shared with other Cefic sector groups (Ethylene oxide, Propylene oxide) and with American Chemistry Council (ACC) panels.
  • Work with the IPPC Bureau on its updating of the large volume organic organic chemicals Best Available Technique Reference document; in particular the chapter dealing with lower olefins.
  • The European Ethylene Producers Committee (EEPC) is dealing with health, safety and environmental issues related to manufacturing and handling of ethylene. The committee is composed of two-thirds ethylene producers and one-third engineering companies. It provides a forum for the communication of non-confidential information and non-confidential expertise concerning the manufacture and handling of ethylene.

Discovered during the 19th century, and industrialised in the first half of the 20th century, methacrylates form a family of monomers comprising methacrylic acid (MAA) and its esters derivatives.

Methacrylates are used as building blocks to make a wide range of polymers. These polymers are then used as raw materials or components in the manufacture of a wide range of formulations or objects that we use in our everyday life, especially when stability, durability, hardness and scratch resistance are needed. Today, it is estimated that more than three million tons of methacrylates are produced and transformed every year in the world

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is by far the most produced methacrylate monomer. Its versatility allows it to be used to produce a pure homopolymer (poly-methyl methacrylate) or PMMA) or, in combination with other monomers, to obtain a series of polymers with various and valuable properties. Other methacrylate monomers are produced by using MMA as a key raw material.

MMA can be manufactured using different industrial processes based either on ethylene (C2), Ppopylene (C3) or isobutylene (C4) petrochemical feedstock. In Europe, MMA is industrially produced from acetone cyanohydrin (ACH), itself obtained from acetone (C3) using a process known as the ACH Process.

Uses and properties

Methanol is a chemical used in the production of formaldehyde, acetic acid and methyl methacrylate (MMA), and is used as a solvent in many applications. It is also used to produce MTBE (methyl-tert-butyl-ether), which is used as an octane-booster or as a gasoline compound.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

A “Methanol” REACH Consortium was formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 the consistent “methanol” registration dossiers.

Project Management: ReachCentrum.

Regulation

The IPPC Directive codified as Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control: the MESG is participating in the LVOC BREF review of methanol.

Specific Issues

  • To promote the use of methanol and its first-line derivatives with scientifically sound arguments, taking into full consideration its health and environment aspects.
  • To develop a co-ordinated approach to health, safety, environment and technical issues.
  • To gather market intelligence
  • To exchange views on trade matters
Uses and properties

Petroleum additives are complex chemical mixtures that enhance the natural properties of fuels and lubrication fluids to improve their performance and extend their life (fuel additive).

Issues and regulations

ATC provides a forum for additive companies to meet and discuss developments of a technical and/or statutory nature concerning the application of additives in fuels, lubricants and other petroleum products. ATC acts as the voice of the European petroleum additives industry with European, international and national technical groups and organisations. The Committee also participates in work of a technical nature with associated industry organisations or statutory organisations or groups.

Uses and properties

Phenol is mainly used as an intermediate in organic synthesis. In this, phenol essentially serves as a raw material for the production of bisphenol A, phenolic resins, alkylphenols and caprolactam. It is also used for salicylic acid, nitrophenols, diphenyl ethers, halogenated phenols and other chemicals.

Phenolic resins, or phenol-formaldehyde polymers, were the first completely synthetic polymers to be commercialised. Although moulded products no longer represent their most important application, through their use as adhesives they still represent almost half of the total production of thermosetting polymers.

Bisphenol A is a building block for making polycarbonate resins, which are used for structural parts, impact resistant glazing, street-light bulbs, household appliance parts, components of electrical/electronic devices, automotive applications, reusable bottles, and food and drink containers. It is also a building block used to make epoxy resins for coatings, electrical laminants, composites and adhesives.

Alkylphenol is mainly used as a stabiliser for rubbers and plastics, as a surfactant, as an industrial detergent, and in the mining and textile industries.

Caprolactam is a raw material for the manufacture of some nylons.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

A “Phenol & Acetone” REACH Consortium was formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering phenol and its derivative substances including phenol, acetone, cumene, alphamethyl styrene, acetophenone, di-isopropyl benzene, CHP and "high boiler".

Project Management: ReachCentrum.

Regulation

The Sector Group is pro-actively managing regulatory and environmental responsibilities on the industry:

  • Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits, Classification issues
  • Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions Directive (BREF)

Specific Issues

  • Exchange non-confidential safety information about the production, distribution and handling of phenol.
  • Promoting the standing of the phenol and acetone industry in a socially responsible manner.
  • Informing consumers and those involved in the handling of the products on its properties and functionality.
  • Encouraging the safe and proper use of phenol by developing and publishing appropriate technical information.
  • Exchanging non-confidential safety information about the production and handling of phenol.
  • Maintaining a high level of technical understanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use.
  • Organising and funding toxicology projects, in collaboration with the US Phenol Panels where appropriate.
  • Presenting a positive image of phenol and acetone to the industry, authorities and the public.
  • Developing a common position on major issues of the industry for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies.
  • Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles.
Uses and properties

Phenolic resins are used in wood products (e.g. marine ply) and moulding powders applications. They also have a wide range of applications:

  • on the electrical, mechanical and decorative markets
  • in the automotive industry (binders for friction materials in brakes and clutches, in-car sound insulation products)
  • in building and construction (glass-reinforced composites)
  • in thermal insulation products (foams and fibre binders)
  • in foundry industry products (sand binders and refractory products).

Issues and regulations

EPRA provides a forum for the exchange of information and the formulation of an industry view on relevant issues arising in the manufacture, storage, transport, use and disposal of phenolic resins.

Uses and properties

Propylene oxide is used as a monomer in polymer production and as an intermediate in the synthesis of other substances. It is also used as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture of:

  • Polyols used in polyurethane foam manufacture for the furniture and automotive industries, and coatings, adhesives and sealants
  • Propylene glycol ethers for use as solvents in paints, inks, coatings, resins, cleaners and waxes Butanediol and related products for speciality resins and solvents.
  • Propylene glycols, which can be used in:
    • the production of unsaturated polyester resins, especially in the construction, transportation, automotive and marine industries
    • as a solvent in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
    • in engine coolants and aircraft de-icers
>Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

A “Propylene Oxide & Glycols” was formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering propylene oxide and glycols.

Consortium Management: ReachCentrum.

Regulations

The Sector Group is pro-actively managing regulatory and environmental responsibilities on the industry:

  • Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits, Classification issues
  • Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions Directive (BREF)

Specific Issues

  • Exchange non-confidential safety information about the production, distribution and handling of propylene oxide.
  • Promoting the standing of the propylene oxide and propylene glycols industry in a socially responsible manner.
  • Informing consumers and those involved in the handling of the products on its properties and functionality.
  • Encouraging the safe and proper use of propylene oxide and propylene glycols by developing and publishing appropriate technical information.
  • Maintaining a high level of technical understanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use.
  • Organising and funding toxicology research projects, in collaboration with other Industry associations where appropriate.
  • Presenting a positive image of propylene oxide and propylene glycols to the industry, authorities and the public.
  • Developing a common position on major issues of the industry for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies.
  • Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles.
Uses and properties

Solvents are liquids which have the ability to dissolve, suspend or extract other materials. They make it possible to process, apply, clean or separate materials. They are petroleum derivatives and enable the processing, application, cleaning or separation of materials.

Major applications segments comprise paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, printing inks, toiletries and cosmetics, detergents and water treatment, household and car care, rubber and polymer manufacturing, metal and industrial cleaning, agrochemicals and oil seed / food extraction and dry cleaning.

The solvents´ industry substantially contributes to the economic and social welfare in Europe: it directly employs more than 10,000 people in Europe, but indirectly accounts even for more than 10 million jobs, with more than half a million European companies using solvents in the very diversified application segments mentioned above. More than 80% of these companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Solvents´ manufacturers across Europe have an estimated combined turnover of about €5 billion. Companies using solvents have an estimated combined turnover of more than €200 bn.

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

The following consortia have emerged from OSPA and HSPA and manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering:

  • HSPA : Hydrocarbon solvents.
  • OSPA : Butanol
  • OSPA : Butyl Acetate
  • OSPA : Ethyl Acetate REACH Consortium
  • OSPA : Glycol Ethers REACH Consortium
  • OSPA : Isopropanol (IPA) REACH Consortium
  • OSPA : Methylethylketone (MEK) REACH Consortium
  • OSPA : Methylisobutylketone (MiBK) REACH Consortium

Regulation

  • Gothenburg Protocol
  • National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD)
  • Solvents Emission Directive (SED)
  • Industrial Emissions Directive (IED, formerly known as IPPC Directive)
  • (Deco) Paints´ Directive
  • Globally Harmonized System (GHS)
  • Classification, Labelling & Packaging (CLP)

Specific Issues

  • For OSPA and HSPA: To foster the perception of the products represented by both OSPA and HSPA as valuable, eco-efficient, safe solutions which serve the needs of industry and solvents users including manufacturers and consumers of goods
  • For ESIG: To act as European focal point for all solvent-related issues and to manage these through a focused communication, advocacy and product stewardship programme
  • For ES-VOC-CG: This industry platform brings together solvent producers (ESIG) and about 30 downstream user associations to intensely cooperate to facilitate legal compliance and to share best practices, especially in the area of health, safety and environment.
Uses and properties

Styrene, a colourless clear liquid, is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and latices, and unsaturated polyester resins (UP resins).

ABS is a tough, heat-resistant thermoplastic. It is widely used for appliances and telephone housings, luggage, sporting helmets, pipe fittings and automotive parts.

SAN is mainly used in the automotive, electrical and electronics industry, as well as in household applications and building products.

Because of its excellent abrasion resistance, SBR is widely used in automobile and truck tyres.

Styrene-butadiene latex is mainly used for carpet backing and paper coating. Other applications include belting, flooring, wire and cable insulation, and footwear.

Polystyrene is widely used to make yoghurt and dessert containers and lids.

Expanded and extruded polystyrene foams are also used in building applications, where the high insulation values enable buildings to be kept warm in winter or cool in summer with significant reductions in fuel use.

Unsaturated polyester resins are mainly used in the construction, boat building, automotive and electrical industries. More recent applications include their use in large-scale wind turbines used to generate "renewable electricity".

Issues and regulations

Reach Implementation

Consortia have been formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering

Ethylbenzene and Styrene monomers

Mail to Consortia management: McKenna Long & Alldridge.

Regulation

Provide regulators and other official bodies with information to enable them to classify and where appropriate regulate the transportation, marketing and use of styrene.

Specific Issues

  • Support and resource studies relating to potential health effects of styrene
  • Lead Responsible Care initiatives to maintain high standards of safety in transportation, storage and use of styrene.