(BASF) -- BASF supports the announcement that Dow Chemical has signed a license agreement with Chemtura Corporation for the production of a new brominated polymeric flame retardant and that Chemtura plans to build a production facility for this substance. Dow aims to finalize agreements with other licensees by the end of 2011 to ensure sufficient volumes for the global market. Like other companies, BASF has also been investigating the use of this polymer, which Dow developed as a replacement for HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane).
HBCD is used as a flame retardant to ensure that expandable and extruded polystyrene foam insulation (EPS and XPS) meets high fire safety standards. Although HBCD plays an important role in protecting human lives and property from fire, the substance is listed as subject to authorization under the European Union's REACH legislation. Unless it is expressly authorized as a flame retardant its use will be restricted as of 2015 due to environmental concerns. Dow's new polymer ensures the same flame retardancy as HBCD while offering a superior environmental profile.