The continued demand for coatings systems with low- and zero-VOC content has given biocide manufacturers the opportunity to provide new products and services.
"The movement to low- and zero-VOC coatings has accelerated the conversion to a new generation of biocide products," said Donald A. Shaw, vice president development, Troy Corp. "As coating manufacturers develop products with new polymer systems, biocide manufacturers must adapt their offerings. There are higher solids content biocides in response to the need for low- and zero- VOC, active ingredients formulated in technologically advanced products. As a side effect, the reduction of VOCs creates an increased requirement for wet state preservation. This coupled with the trend away from formaldehyde containing biocides creates an opportunity for new product offerings and value-added services."
"The need for low- and zero-VOC coatings has compelled biocide producers and suppliers not only to develop new biocidal products with low- and zero-VOC content but also to reformulate existing biocidal products to ensure low- and -zero-VOC content," said William Woods, marketing manager, industrial biocide, International Specialty Products (ISP). "In both cases, the overriding challenge is to ensure effective biocidal performance as well as environmental friendliness."
There is low demand for biocides which contribute significant VOC to paint or coating formulations. "Biocide suppliers that have products with low to zero-VOC contribution are experiencing vigorous sales growth," said Anthony Dallmier, market manager, industrial preservation, Lanxess. "As a result, the demand for biocides for low- and zero-VOC coatings shifted the product development pipeline of biocide suppliers. Lanxess has focused on expanding our portfolio with low-VOC and VOC-free actives and formulations; we have new EPA registrations for several bactericides and fungicides."
Dow Biocides is focusing on� universal formulations that would be applicable in low-VOC paint. "By universal, we mean that formulators can use these products in existing paint formulations as well as in future products without having to reformulate," said Ken Littel, global marketing manager, Dow Biocides. "In some cases you may be able to use less of the biocides without altering the level of active used."
Increased consumer awareness of the dangers of mold and the trend toward "greener" products also present opportunities for biocides suppliers. "Mold and indoor air quality are in the forefront of consumers' minds and there is a continued interest in low- and zero-VOC coatings for residential use especially for asthmatics and individuals with allergies," said Mark Kenline, global business director, Arch Chemicals. "Companies are now formulating coatings specifically for this market and we expect it to continue to grow."
Impact of the BPD
Upcoming environmental regulations such as Europe's Biocides Products Directive (BPD) are going to be a major challenge for biocides suppliers. In some cases, certain actives are being removed from the company's offerings because they will not meet the BPD's proposed standards. With a shrinking number of products to work with, biocide suppliers will need to develop effective blends to meet the needs of the coatings industry, as well as developing biocidal products that are approved for use in Europe as well as in North America and the rest of the world.
"We have seen continued pressure on older actives in Europe as they are preparing for the BPD and the harmonization of regulatory bodies in the member states," said Kenline. "With these pending changes, there will be fewer actives to formulate within Europe. This is a market where many biocide companies depend on proprietary blends; these blends will become more difficult to maintain with public disclosures of content and cost to register."
"BPD is a work in progress and its impact on biocide actives and their formulations will not be known for another 2-3 years," said Littel. "Understanding the potential large and uncertain costs involved to support biocides through BPD, one can assume many products will not be around in the next five years. High regulatory costs to support BPD and EPA (RED re-registration) are a key driver in deciding which products remain in the marketplace."
"The most obvious effect of any environmental regulation change is to limit the number and variety of active substances to manufacturers," said Gary Horacek, director microbiology, Troy Corp. "Limits on formaldehyde will create opportunities for synergistic combinations of products that perform as well as old technologies but meet all current standards. With the current trend toward industry consolidation, global customers expect their suppliers to think globally but act locally by offering compliant and effective solutions."
"Biocides which would experience difficulties meeting recent or proposed environmental regulations are being replaced with more environmentally friendly products," said Dallmier. "The entire biocide formulation including the active ingredient, dispersant and other components are being scrutinized and modified to meet anticipated environmental regulations around the world. This will enable biocide suppliers to offer products on a cost competitive basis while adapting to an evolving regulatory landscape."
"The move to Green Seal and other forms of green labeling is pushing the market to low to no VOC and to HCHO-free biocide solutions," said David Sutton, North American marketing manager for industrial biocides, Rohm and Haas. "BPD action is raising customer concern about the use of some biocides, especially those customers with a strong business base in the EU."
To meet these needs Rohm and Haas is adding more in-can preservatives to� its portfolio such as Rocima 586, zero-VOC combination of active ingredients in Kathon and Bronopol, as well as adding algaecides products such as Rocima 80, a 33% active formulation of Irgarol.
According to Dallmier, Lanxess is filling its product development pipeline for the paints and coatings industry almost entirely with products which contribute low-to-no-VOC, and will meet anticipated environmental regulations. "Lanxess hired additional regulatory experts around the world to enable our organization to properly interpret and adapt to the ever changing regulations and environmental concerns on a local, national and global basis," he added. "Products which might have difficulty meeting new environmental or regulatory guidelines are being phased out and replaced with efficacious and more environmentally friendly biocides.
ISP has responded to these challenges by introducing new low- and zero-VOC fungicides and bactericides. "In addition, the principles of green engineering and green chemistry are an integral part of all new biocidal product development at ISP," said Woods. "Early on in the movement to greener chemical products and ingredients, ISP developed solvent-based products that had low VOC content. Since then, ISP has developed zero-VOC aqueous biocidal products as part of our CleanGuard initiative, whose mission is to provide low- or no-VOC biocidal protection using well accepted active ingredients specially formulated to eliminate any hazardous components.
Arch Chemicals developed a dual active, broad-spectrum biocide (EPA registration pending) for the preservation of industrial water-based products against bacteria, yeasts and fungi. "This technology is an aqueous dispersion of 1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one and zinc pyrithione, does not contribute to VOC total of finished product, can be added hot to products across a wide pH range and and may be able to be used (where approved) in products where formaldehyde and CMIT use is restricted," said Kenline. "This product is well positioned not only for today's regulatory environment but will serve the industry well for many years."
In anticipation of environmental legislation Troy has developed products that meet both performance needs and regulations. "Troy has developed high solids content, no VOC in-can preservatives, formaldehyde-free products, and water-based pH neutral products for safety," said Susan Ostrowski, director marketing biocides USA, Troy Corp. "Additionally Troy works with customers' individual systems to custom design the most cost effective, performance system based on individual or symbiotic product combinations. We have the microbiology labs to conduct customer specific testing and can design a solution for the customer taking into account the manufacturing environment."