MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical, a major Korean chemical company, has produced the polypropylene (PP) required for medical applications using BASF’s Irgastab, a non-discoloring processing stabilizer. With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide, the need for syringes made from PP has increased exponentially, as per BASF's press release.
Lotte Chemical’s medical PP has been applied to the LDS (low dead space) syringes developed by a medical syringe manufacturer in South Korea. These specialized products are designed to minimize the amount of a drug left in the device after injection which leads to reduced vaccine wastage. As a result, LDS syringes are in huge demand globally as it is estimated to enable 20% more people to get the dose with the same amount of vaccine.
Plastics used for medical applications require sterilization. This causes degradation and discoloration of the polymer. “Irgastab serves to ensure that medical PP remains safe and suitable for use,” said Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF. “It provides processing stability without discoloration to polypropylene during compounding and injection molding, which is vital for LDS syringes as the materials need to be certified for high-clarity.”
As the need for syringes is expected to explode for the vaccination against COVID-19, Lotte Chemical is expanding the development of special PP materials to ensure strict production quality control of medical materials, including high-clarity PP, and to accommodate the growing needs related to healthcare and safety.
Plastic syringes, and many other medical applications, help to protect human health and safety as one key pillar for a sustainable future. The sustainability benefits of Irgastab also extend to the protection of the environment and valuable resources by shielding plastics in sensitive applications at lower concentrations than alternate solutions.
As MRC reported earlier, in June 2021, Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and BASF, the world's petrochemical major, announced the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene monomer (SM) based on circular feedstock. Trinseo had procured first supplies of SM based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tyre manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers had already processed the material, said the company.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.
BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.