Dow AgroSciences successfully produced 2,4-D choline in a commercial scale-up setting

(Dow) -- Dow AgroSciences successfully produced 2,4-D choline in a commercial scale-up setting. This milestone is an indicator of the company's manufacturing expertise to produce Enlist Duo herbicide, which will be a highly differentiated herbicide solution for its Enlist Weed Control System. Once all regulatory approvals are secured, Enlist will introduce an innovative combination of herbicides and herbicide-tolerant traits in elite germplasm to meet the emerging weed control challenges facing farmers, while sustaining beneficial farming practices.

The new 2,4-D choline is a quaternary ammonium salt, which is different from 2,4-D amine or ester formulations. This technology retains the positive attributes of traditional 2,4-D products, such as the same weed control efficacy and favorable environmental profile, while providing growers new advantages for the management of resistant and hard-to-control weeds.

Colex-D Technology is a technology package featured in Enlist Duo and is comprised of 2,4-D choline, the latest in formulation science and a propriety manufacturing process. Those components taken together will provide growers with new benefits with the herbicide, including ultra-low volatility, minimized potential for drift, decreased odor and improved handling characteristics.


In Europe reduced cracker operating rate to affect supplies of butadiene

(ICIS) -- Steam cracker operating rate reductions are starting to affect supplies of butadiene (BD), counteracting weak domestic and export demand and stabilising spot values, market sources said on Friday. ⌠Due to cracker reductions, the supply of crude C4 [feedstock for butadiene] is under pressure, a major producer said. ⌠It is very difficult to find [crude C4] volumes, a second producer said.

European producers have been forced to cut cracker operating rates because of the very poor performance of key ethylene and propylene derivatives polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Rates are reported around 70-75% on average, although some units are still running closer to 80%, depending largely on location and derivative portfolio.

Currently spot prices are being pegged at around ┬1,600/tonne ($2,222/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on the domestic market and at $1,600-1,700/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE on the export market. These from a peak in June-July at ┬2,700-3,300/tonne and close to $5,000/tonne respectively.


French Rhodia looks back on the third quarter and the first nine months of 2011

(PlastEurope) -- In its last earnings report as a standalone company, French chemicals and plastics producer Rhodia looks back on the third quarter and the first nine months of 2011, when it increased both sales and earnings by double-digit margins. The French company, which will be consolidated by new owner Solvay from Q4 2011 already has adopted its new owner's style of reporting earnings as REBIT (recurring earnings before interest and taxes) or REBITDA (including depreciation). Rhodia focuses on REBITDA as its key earnings indicator.

In the third quarter, REBITDA rose by 16% year-on-year to EUR 273m on sales up 22.8% to EUR 1.67bn. This represents a slackening over the first half, as figures show REBITDA increasing by 25% to EUR 853m and sales advancing by 24% to EUR 4.8 bn. The company said sales volumes in the third quarter picked up by 4%, reflecting ⌠good business dynamics, and results also show a ⌠EUR 47m net positive price impact at EBITDA.


Lubrizol acquired Merquinsa to broaden its product portfolio and increase global reach

(PlasticsToday) -- Lubrizol has acquired Merquinsa in a move the creates a global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powerhouse, joining the Estane and Pearlthane brands and market strength in several key sectors, including medical tubing. Lubrizol spokesperson Julie Young told PlasticsToday that her company targeted Merquinsa for three primary reasons: broadening its product portfolio, increasing global reach, and boosting manufacturing capacity. The company declined to comment on its total TPU capacity after the acquisition, or its global market share as a combined entity.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain and established in 1964, Merquinsa is a family-owned company with its strongest market penetration in Europe and Asia. Merquinsa's TPU chemistry is based on polycaprolactone, which it says results in a faster cycling, lower weight polymer. In addition to some proprietary production technologies and formulations, the company also brings a partially biobased TPU into Lubrizol's portfolio through its Pearlthane ECO. That product line, which has three grades and originally launched at K 2007, has renewable content of up to 60%, according to ASTM D6866 methods for determining bio-based content.


Toshiba to employ injection machines mated with the best available peripheral equipment

(PlasticsToday) -- Toshiba Machine Co. (Tokyo) views production cells and system-based solutions as the way ahead amid an increasingly competitive market for injection molding machines. "The number of machines we ship is declining while simultaneously, more of our customers are asking for complete systems," explains Hideo Tanaka, a Toshiba advisor.

Toshiba's approach is to employ its injection machines mated with the best available peripheral equipment, no matter where these may emerge from globally. One such system solution on show at IPF was the 180-tonne EC180S-6A demonstrating molding of PP tubs with in-mold labels in a 5.3 second cycle using a two-cavity mold. The 20-g shot weight tubs were 0.5-mm thick. Toshiba tied up with Israeli company Imdecol (Rosh Ha'ain) to develop the system.