DuPont reduce PFOAs ahead of schedule17 April 2007
DuPont are introducing a new, patented manufacturing process to remove more than 97% of trace levels of perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), its homologues and direct precursors from their fluorotelomer products. This company milestone meets key commitments to the EPA voluntary stewardship programme 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. The new products, based on existing DuPont Teflon, Zonyl and Foraperle chemistries maintain their high performance standards. LX Platform Products will be used for surface-protection in segments such as paper packaging, fluorosurfactants and coatings, leather, stone and tile. LX Platform Products will be used across more than 80% of the DuPont fluorotelomer line for soil, stain and oil-repellent products for the leather industry. Zonyl and Foraperle leather products help to protect the natural look of suede and leathergoods, from footwear and apparel to furnishings and accessories. DuPont say that LX Platform Products will continue to offer leather products the same superior performance and benefits: * Invisible long-lasting protective barrier against liquids, oils and dry soils * Superior stain protection * Reduced cleaning requirements * Maximum durability * No change to the look, quality, feel or colour of the leather '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 will roll out throughout the year. They are expected to be priced in the same range as current offers. An added benefit is that as a result of further refining, the products may run more smoothly. To remove the impurities from their fluorotelomer products, DuPont invested $20 million with their 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 production. 'Our investment in First Chemical clearly demonstrates that we are committed to making fluorotelomer products and minimising our environmental footprint through scientific innovation and unceasing product improvement', said Henry Bryndza, technology director, DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise. While DuPont do use PFOA as a processing aid in the production of fluoropolymers, they stress fluorotelomer chemistry is not made with PFOA, nor is PFOA added during the production of their fluorotelomer products. However, PFOA is found at trace levels in some fluorotelomer products as a unintended byproduct of the manufacturing process. The LX technology was specifically designed to address these unintended byproducts. DuPont intend to eliminate the need to make, buy or use PFOA by 2015.