DuPont has successfully commercialized a new, patented manufacturing process to remove more than 97% of trace levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its homologues and direct precursors from its fluorotelomer products. This achievement meets key commitments of the EPA voluntary stewardship program for product content, three years ahead of schedule. The new LX Platform Products are expected to be drop-in replacements for current DuPont products.
LX Platform Products do not require regulatory re-qualification and will continue to be listed on existing global regulatory clearances, including the U.S. (TSCA), Europe (EINECS), Canada (DSL) and Japan (ENCS), among others. The new products, based on existing DuPont Teflon, Zonyl and Foraperle chemistries maintain superior performance. LX Platform Products will be used for surface-protection in segments such as paper packaging, fluorosurfactants and coatings, leather, stone and tile and others.
“World class science, superior performing products and a commitment to sustainability are the driving forces behind our new LX Platform Products,” said John Moriarty, global market and business director, DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise.
LX Platform Products will become available for customers in the first quarter of 2007 and roll-out throughout the year. LX Platform Products are expected to be priced in the same range as current offerings.
To remove the impurities from its fluorotelomer products, DuPont invested $20 million with subsidiary First Chemical to manufacture LX Platform Products. The facility will use an innovative new technology—developed and patented by DuPont—to reduce nearly all trace levels of PFOA at a key intermediate step in the production.
“Our investment in First Chemical clearly demonstrates that we are committed to making fluorotelomer products and minimizing our environmental footprint through scientific innovation and unceasing product improvement,” said Henry Bryndza, technology director, DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise.
DuPont also announced its commitment to eliminate the need to make, buy or use PFOA by 2015. DuPont currently manufactures and uses PFOA as a processing aid to produce a different family of products called fluoropolymers. It is important to note, fluorotelomer chemistry is not made with PFOA, nor is PFOA added during the manufacture of DuPont fluorotelomer-based products. However, PFOA is found at trace levels in some fluorotelomer products as an unintended byproduct of the manufacturing process. The LX technology was specifically designed to address these unintended byproducts.