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Demand for phthalate free plasticizers driven by legislative initiatives

Demand for phthalate free plasticizers driven by legislative initiatives

Plasticizers fulfill a large number of functions in plastics and rubber chemistry, including and influencing elasticity, viscosity, light fastness, fire safety and other polymer properties. Regulations increasingly necessitate that flexible PVC consumer products such as toys, food packaging and cables should only be processed by phthalate-free plasticizers. Phthalate-free plasticizers have been growing in demand due to legislative initiatives in developed markets such as North America, Western Europe and Japan. This trend is now also being seen in emerging markets around the world such as Latin America. Although their main application is as a component in formulations, plasticizing substances are often used in the care and cleaning of units and machinery for producing plastic.
Lanxess enjoys a leading position in the phthalate-free plasticizer segment, driven by its current portfolio that includes the flagship product Mesamoll - a 100%-phthalate-free plasticizer based on alkyl sulfonic esters. Mesamoll products are used in medical, toy and food packaging applications. Polymer Additives comprise the product groups softeners, coupling agents, modifying agents and secondary alkane sulfonates. Amongst the wide range of special softeners are monomer and polymer products such as Adimoll® (adipates) and Ultramoll® (polyadipates). Special products for PVC modifiers based on ABS/SAN are combined under the trade name Baymod®. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Mesamoll II in packaging for dry and aqueous-based food. In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has also approved the use of Mesamoll in food contact applications. The phthalate-free plasticizer Mesamoll II meets the strictest standards. The EFSA has confirmed that the product�s chemical components do not pose a risk to humans when it is used correctly in toys or in packaging for dry and water-based foodstuffs. As it is environmentally friendly and non-harmful to health, Mesamoll II is also the plasticizer of choice for waterbeds. The phthalate-free plasticizer is an excellent alternative for products that come into close contact with the skin. What�s more, the positive properties of Mesamoll also ensure a higher service life for high-quality waterbeds. Mesamoll TP LXS 51067, a fast-fusing plasticizer that is particularly suited for PVC floor coverings and wall coatings and can replace DBP and BBP. The new product combines the active ingredient of Mesamoll (alkane sulfonic acid ester of phenol) with another phthalate-free, food-contact approved plasticizer. The new blend noticeably speeds up the gelling behavior of Mesamoll, which was already relatively fast. The blend also has a slightly lower viscosity than standard Mesamoll or Mesamoll II.

To support the increasing market shift to phthalate-free and non-VOC plasticizers, OXEA offers a range of products under the brand name Oxsoft. Oxsoft plasticizers can be used to replace traditional phthalate plasticizers and are well known and well researched products currently being used in a broad variety of end-uses like automotive, construction, food and medical applications. Oxsoft phthalate-free and non-VOC plasticizers have been introduced for a range of applications including indoor construction products. Oxsoft DOA (dioctyladipate) is used in coated fabrics, and Oxsoft TOTM (trioctyltrimellitate) and DOA products are used in vinyl flooring, wallcovering, and cable. Oxsoft products can be used to replace traditional phthalate plasticizers and are all well-known and well researched products for a broad variety of end-uses like automotive, construction, food and medical applications. Oxea is integrated in key raw materials for this product range like 2-ethylhexanol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid, which enables the company to offer high standards regarding product quality, delivery performance and reliability. Different tests can be used to measure VOCs and their effects. In a fogging test used in the automotive industry, most automotive specifications require a result of greater than 60 after 1 hour, which is met by both Oxsoft DOA and TOTM. Boiling point is used as a measure of volatility, but gas chromatography (GC) analysis is a better indicator. In a GC evaluation, Oxsoft 3G8 and TOTM are classified as SVOC and are thus suitable for non-VOC applications.

Drapex® Alpha is a highly efficient, bio-based primary plasticizer that can be used in place of a variety of conventional petroleum-based phthalate plasticizers with similar cost performance. It is suitable for a multitude of general purpose and specialty applications. PVC compounds containing the new plasticizer exhibit improved extraction resistance, substantially reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds, and enhanced processability.
 
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