Solvent-Free Polymerization for Pollution PreventionEPA Contract Number: 68D50160
Title: Solvent-Free Polymerization for Pollution Prevention
Investigators: Kittrell, J. R.
Small Business: KSE Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through March 1, 1996
Project Amount: $299,858
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1995) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Pollution prevention is a cost-effective means of pollution control. Source reduction of hazardous substances is accomplished by modifying a technology to alter the raw materials use. Many organic reactions use benzene as a reaction solvent, and are excellent source reduction candidates.
The objective of this Phase III SBIR program is commercialization of a pollution prevention technology for benzene-free polymerization of methyl vinyl ether (MVE) with maleic anhydride (MAN). MVE/MAN copolymers are widely used in high visibility consumer products, such as denture adhesives, and are made commercially in a benzene solvent. In Phase I and Phase II programs, KSE completed all laboratory research and development for producing MVE/MAN copolymers without use of benzene or any extraneous solvent. As a result of an order of magnitude enhancement in reactor productivity, over 200% return on investment can be realized for production capacity less than 10% of the US market. The pollution prevention technology eliminates hazardous emissions and is more economic than the conventional technology for MVE/MAN production.
KSE has entered into an exclusive manufacturing and distribution agreement with a major chemical manufacturer. In Phase III, solvent-free copolymers and derivative products will be produced in commercial equipment, and qualified by customers. Further process optimization studies will be undertaken to facilitate the commercialization of the pollution prevention process.