CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 15 / - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Clariant its 2007 P2 Recognition Project Award for Cartaspers PSM, a product used in paper manufacturing. Only three such awards were made by EPA from among all of the new chemicals submitted to the agency for registration in the U.S. during the year.
Through the annual program EPA honors companies for developing innovative chemistry and technologies that result in pollution prevention. EPA looks for environmentally beneficial uses of products, and products that conserve energy and water during their manufacture, processing or use.
The award-winning chemicals are identified through EPA's New Chemicals Program, which screens up to 2500 chemicals a year through the Pre-Manufacture Notice (PMN) P2 screening process as well as during more detailed new chemical reviews. In selecting products to recognize under the program, EPA looks for products that result in pollution prevention.
In other words, as Daria Church, Product Safety Manager with Clariant at its North American region headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., explains: "Clariant did not specifically seek this recognition. EPA selected Clariant thanks to our product's actual potential to reduce pollution at our customers' facilities."
Cartaspers PSM is a nonionic, readily biodegradable, hydrophilic polymer with high affinity for hydrophobic surfaces. It was designed by Clariant for control of "stickies" in the board- and paper-making process. "Stickies" are contaminants such as latex, adhesives, pitch and resins, inherent in wastepaper as a raw material. Such "sticky" particles have a natural affinity for synthetic wires and felts on papermaking equipment.
Keeping the paper- and board-making machinery free of such contamination is not an easy task and longer periods of downtime may be necessary to facilitate thorough cleaning, typically employing large quantities of volatile and flammable solvents. On restarting the machine, the water circuits are contaminated with cleaning solvents, which soften "stickies" and intensify the contamination of wires and felts.
Cartaspers PSM is applied to the wet-end of a paper machine, to treat the "stickies" in the pulp. Additionally, the product may be used to condition the machine clothing. Added continuously to the shower water, the fabric monofilaments are encapsulated by a "protective hydrophilic polymer layer." On each revolution of the paper-making felt, the contamination is easily washed away and a fresh layer of product applied.
In making the award, EPA acknowledged that Cartaspers PSM "provides reduced worker exposure to volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and improved paper machine operational efficiency during the use of post-consumer waste in the production of paper products."
"It is a special honor for me to congratulate you for commencing manufacture of a chemical with particular merit for its potential to prevent pollution in the environment," Charles M. Auer, Director of EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, wrote in the recognition letter advising Clariant of its honor.
"From our experience with existing customers, one of the benefits of using Cartaspers PSM is the huge saving in cleaning solvent, which is seldom required because of the improved cleanliness on the paper machine. Solvent usage in some cases was reduced by 90%," says John Cowman, Technical Manager (Process Chemicals) for Clariant in the UK.
Additionally, the product can be considered compliant for use with 21 CFR 176.170 and 176.180, subject to certain limitations.
Cowman adds that: "The system runs much more cleanly with Cartaspers PSM and without solvent."
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Clariant. - Exactly your chemistry
Clariant is a global leader in the field of specialty chemicals. Clariant, which is represented on five continents with over 100 group companies, employs about 21,500 people. Headquartered in Muttenz near Basel, Switzerland, it generated sales of around CHF 8.2 billion in 2005. Clariant's businesses are organized in four divisions: Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals, Pigments & Additives, Functional Chemicals and Masterbatches. www.clariant.com
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