Biocides, Fungicides & Algaecides

By Kerry Pianoforte | December 1, 2010

Following a difficult year, the biocides market is finally showing some signs of recovery in 2010.

After weathering a number of rough years biocides manufacturers Coatings World spoke with reported signs of recovery for 2010.
Troy Corporation reported that the market for biocides has been increasing, independently of the growth rate of related industries. As coatings manufacturers move to more environmentally-friendly water-based formulations, the need for biocides inherently increases.
According to Gary Horacek, director, microbiology technical service of Troy Corporation, “Water-based systems are obviously much more prone to microbial contamination in the wet-state, but movement to reduced VOC coatings has dramatically increased microbial problems. This is because VOC-containing coating components were also acting to inhibit microbial growth.” Furthermore, coatings manufacturers are at the same time moving away from formaldehyde adducts as wet-state preservatives, in favor of new generation formaldehyde-free, low- or zero-VOC technologies.
“Where formaldehyde adducts used to suffice throughout the production process, to treat raw materials, wash water, etc., several new generation biocides may now be needed at different stages in production,” continued Horacek.
The dry film preservatives market is strong as well, where the shift to low-VOC coatings formulations has driven demand for low- and zero-VOC biocide technologies. According to Don Shaw, vice president, development for Troy, “Replacing older biocide technologies has been going on for several years, and will continue in the following years as coatings manufacturers reduce production of solvent systems. The end result in both the wet-state and dry film markets is strong demand for new generation preservatives.”
The global market for industrial biocides has recovered well in 2010 following a difficult year in 2009. “Restocking throughout the supply chain and strong growth in Asia have been the main contributing factors,” said David Tierney, global business, Arch Building Products, Arch Chemicals Inc.
The biocides market strongly depends on the economic situation of the markets in which they are sold, according to Joseph Druga, new business development NA biocides, International Specialty Products (ISP). “In 2009, the economy was hit by the recession in automotive and construction industries. In 2010 ISP managed to grow not only with our customers but to gain additional market share,” he said. “This resulted in double-digit growth for ISP. Nevertheless, pricing for commodities is tough. We have worked to contain costs by back-integrating into actives and product innovations.”
In 2010, Dow Microbial Control has seen increased demand for preservatives in the paints and coatings markets. “Some of this growth can be attributed to gradual signs of recovery in regions that were hardest hit by the 2008 and 2009 economic downturn, including Asia Pacific and Latin America,” said Celso Magri, strategic marketing manager, Dow Microbial Control. “Demand has grown slightly less in places where paints and coatings demand is very dependent on new construction that has been delayed due to the economic development. Globally, we believe that the market for architectural paints will grow three percent in 2010.”
Much of the impetus for the growth of biocides use is coatings manufacturers’ shift away from solvent formulations and formaldehyde, which has created the need for more wet-state preservative use in order to protect from contamination during production and from spoilage in-package. “While the industry has made great strides in making paint better and better for our health and for the environment, the unintended result is that the paint itself has also become more and more hospitable to microbes,” said Shaw. 
Troy has been well-positioned and ready to accommodate the demand for low- and zero-VOC products, with high performance Polyphase dry film and Mergal wet-state preservatives. “For the most part, it has been a case of waiting for the market to ramp up, which it steadily is,” said Horacek.    
For the past few years, the paint and coatings industry has been moving more of their products in the direction of low VOC and one-VOC products.  “This industry trend has increased the need for biocides,” said Druga. “Today, ISP offers a full portfolio of wet state Nuosept and dry-state Fungitrol products to meet our customer’s water-based product demand.”
According to Magri, the need for low and zero VOC coatings affect the biocides market  in three ways. “The first and more obvious one is the need for low- and zero-VOC biocides,” he said. “Solutions for this may be straightforward for some actives, but very challenging for certain multi-active formulations. To address this need, Dow Microbial control has developed several water-based formulations. Additionally, we have created the unique LE technology, which addresses viscosity issues of water-based dispersions with virtually no addition to VOC.”
The second issue is that low- and zero-VOC coatings are more susceptible to microbial contamination, according to Magri. “Therefore, the selection of a suitable biocide is not straightforward and needs extensive testing,” Magri said. “There is no ‘one fits all’ solution. Dow Microbial Control has nine Customer Application Centers worldwide, fully equipped to test and optimize the selection of biocides for our customers, and a very wide product portfolio to match any preservative needs.
Thirdly, it is crucial to have good plant hygiene in the manufacturing of low- and zero-VOC coatings. “Our Customer Applications Centers are staffed with technical experts who help our customers improve their plant hygiene to improve microbial control our trouble-shoot contamination,” said Magri.

New Formulations

Biocides manufacturers have been developing products that meet their customers’ needs and at the same time meets environmental regulations.
Troy reported that it is constantly working to develop new dry film and wet-state preservative products to meet the changing needs of the market and the performance objectives of its customers. Often referred to as ‘multi-active’ or ‘cocktail’ preservatives, these products are the cornerstones of the wet-state market today. There are many performance advantages that can be achieved by formulating the right blend. Some of the latest Troy wet-state preservative technologies are Mergal 758, 753 and 530.
Mergal 758 is a multifunctional VOC-free, formaldehyde-free wet-state preservative that addresses the industry’s need for both short- and long-term protection. Effective against bacteria, fungi and yeast, Mergal 758 offers quick kill to eliminate problematic bacteria introduced to systems from contaminated raw materials or poor plant hygiene; it then employs a slower-acting component that provides perseverance to protect the product over time more efficiently.
Mergal 753 is also a zero-VOC, formaldehyde-free wet-state preservative effective against a broad scope of bacteria, fungi and yeast. Mergal 753, however, is a highly concentrated product that provides effective microbial protection with fewer pounds of preservative per product batch than competitive technologies, according to the company. This benefit translates to fewer pounds being shipped and stored, reduced handling in the plant, less inventory tracking, and fewer containers for disposal.
Mergal 530 is a dedicated quick kill wet-state preservative designed to rapidly bring severely contaminated wet-state systems under microbiological control, and then quickly dissipate. Mergal 530 is to be used prior to the addition of a stable, long-term preservative, and as such, will complement and enhance Troy’s formaldehyde-free treatment programs.
Arch has made several additions to its Proxel BZ Plus Preservatives in-can range during the last two years. “This unique combination of Proxel preservatives and Omadine antimicrobrials offers a dual mode of action for inhibiting microbial growth in latex emulsions, water-based paints, adhesives and pigment dispersions, preventing discoloration and providing the extra protection our customers request against mold, mildew and bacteria,” said Tierney. “Our latest endeavor involves formulating innovative dry-film combinations together with our partner Syngenta.”
ISP in EMEA has launched several innovative products. Nuosept BIC, a novel solution for formaldehyde-free in-can preservation and Fungitrol IP24, a fungicidal protection for dry-boards.
Since regulations differ among regions, Dow Microbial Control is constantly working to develop new formulations to address regional requirements. Following restrictions on Carbendazim, Cybutryn and Terbutryn in Europe, Dow Microbial Control developed Rocima 350, a dry-film preservative based on a patented, synergistic combination of DCOIT and IPBC. The product offers long-term protection, has very broad spectrum against fungi, algae and bacteria, and is VOC-free. Additionally, we are launching Bioban 358 for those customers who have issues with IPBC and welcome an additional algaecide in the formulation. Both products are free of negative labeling at recommended dosages.
In North America, Rocima 200 was launched to fulfill a need for a broad spectrum, long-lasting dry film preservative free of VOC and APEO. Rocima 368 was recently launched in Japan as a VOC-free version of the well-proven Rocima 363. Bioban 518 S and Bioban 551 S are being launched in Australia, New Zealand and in some other countries following restrictions on CMIT for in-can preservation.