Company initiatives, Interview, Products

Emery Oleochemicals strengthens specialty chems biz

Emery Oleochemicals CEO

Emery Oleochemicals CEO

This post has been way overdue (as other recent interviews that I had) as I have to write them up first for Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-Materials newsletter.

I met some of the management (as well as CEO Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang) of Emery Oleochemicals at last month’s Palm and Lauric Oils conference in Malaysia and I was able to get several interesting information on the companies’ strategies of going further downstream to specialty oleochemicals markets such as in polymers, agrochemicals, lubricants, and surfactants, among others.

The blog has already reported last year Emery Oleochemicals’ new biopolyols business unit called Eco-Friendly Polyols (EP). The company is currently expanding its Cincinnati, Ohio, production facility to accommodate the company’s EP polyols business, and newly expanded facility is expected to start in the fourth quarter this year.

The new polyols business include the company’s EMEROX® Renewable Polyols and InfiGreen® Recycle Polyols. Emery said the new business unit will offer innovative, sustainable polyols for use in the manufacturing of flexible and rigid polyurethane foam commonly found in transportation, construction, packaging, furniture, bedding and in coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers applications.

Another recently-formed business that Emery Oleochemicals noted to the blog is its Agro Green business unit, which has been expanding its oleochemical-based pesticide, herbicide, insecticide products for the crop care market as well as insect-repellent/insect control products for the consumer products market.  One interesting product development that the company mentioned is an insect-repellent baby wipes.  Some of the core oleochemicals being used in this business include methyl esters, fatty acids, oleic acid, glycerol. fatty alcohol, pelargonic acid, etc.

The company said it has recently received approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its EMERION™ 8000 Fatty Acids (FA) Blend, a high-performance natural-based solution which can be formulated into end-use pesticide products to repel and exterminate insects. Intended for use on livestock such as dairy cows, beef cattle, swine, poultry and horses; this blend, according to the company, marks Emery Oleochemicals‟ first active ingredient offered by the company‟s Agro Green business unit to be registered with the EPA.

The EMERION™ 8000 FA Blend reportedly has a composition that interferes with the insect’s homing system (sensory disruptor) that in turn repels and exterminate stable flies, horn flies, house flies, ticks, cattle lice, mosquitoes, ants, roaches, bed bugs and fire ants.  The  EMERION™ 8000 series offers products that are said to be equally effective as pyrethroids and organophophates at reducing fly counts on livestock, but at the same time they are generally harmless to human beings.

The company said there are two other formulations that are developed based on the  EMERION™ 8000 FA Blends ingredient, and are currently being registered with EPA. At the end of 2001, there were approximately 195 registered biopesticide active ingredients and 780 products in the US.

Biopesticides include microbial pesticides which consist of a microorganism (e.g. bacterium, fungus, virus or protozoan) as the active ingredient; plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) which are pesticidal substances that plants produce from genetic material that has been added to the plant; and biochemical pesticides which are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms.

Unlike conventional pesticides, the EPA generally requires much less data to register a biopesticide, and are often registered in less than a year, compared with an average of more than 3 years for conventional pesticides.

Another industry that the company has been focusing on is its Green Polymer Additives business where last year, the company invested EUR 20 million in Loxstedt, Germany, for a new Technical Development Centre and expansion of its green polymer additives manufacturing facility. Emery Oleochemicals also built a new green polymer additives plant in Malaysia, which has been fully operational since last year.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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