SBR producer can proceed with solvent change at US plant

30 November 2011 20:38  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds word "Ashland", paragraph 7)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--American Synthetic Rubber Co (ASRC) can proceed with changing the solvents at its styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) plant in Louisville, Kentucky, after a regulator received no additional comments about the project, the government agency said on Wednesday.

The Louisville Municipal Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) approved the permit request 22 November and mailed its findings and responses to concerns brought forth by area residents and organisations on Monday.

Michelin owns the 200,000 tonne/year ASRC facility, which has been using toluene in its SBR process and will move to the use of cyclohexane and methylcyclohexane. When the change in solvents will be made is not known at this time.

At the public hearing on 11 October, Brad Karas, chief operating officer of ASRC, said the change would allow the production of new grades of synthetic rubber that could improve mileage for the drivers. Synthetic rubber is used to make tyres.

This project is the first phase in a multi-year plan to completely convert the plant to a solvent that is even safer, Karas said.

The facility could be the last facility in the US to use toluene.

There are six other SBR production facilities in the US. The owners of the facilities are Ashland, Firestone, Goodyear, LANXESS and Lion Copolymer. These facilities have a combined production capacity of 895,000 tonnes/year.

There are another 60 SBR facilities in the world.

For more on SBR visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Wesley Busch
+1 713 525 2653

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