Waste Reduction Through Benzene-Free Polymerization Technology

EPA Contract Number: 68D30075
Title: Waste Reduction Through Benzene-Free Polymerization Technology
Investigators: Kittrell, J. R.
Small Business: KSE Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through January 1, 1995
Project Amount: $149,949
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1993) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Waste reduction can be a highly cost-effective means of pollution control, by modifying the basic technology to fundamentally alter the raw materials used. Many organic chemical reactions use benzene as a classical reaction solvent, and are excellent waste reduction candidates.

In Phase I, the elimination of benzene as a solvent in a free radical organic polymerization process has been achieved, to produce a very high profile consumer product. All Phase I objectives have been met, providing critical confirmation of the technical feasibility of using a novel "solvent-free" approach. The process has been scaled up to 1000 pounds levels. As a result of an order of magnitude enhancement of reactor productivity, over 200% return on investment is forecast for production capacity less than 10% of the U.S. market. The elimination of benzene promises not only to be an effective waste reduction process, but also to provide technology which is more efficient and cost-effective than that based on the classical benzene technology.

A Phase II program is proposed to enhance ancillary polymer properties, to explore applications of the technology to a new derivative product, and to finalize manufacturing cost estimates and financial return forecasts.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, National Recommended Water Quality, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Hazardous Waste, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Hazardous, 33/50, waste reduction, solvent replacement, alternative materials, benzene, polymers, solvent substitute, solvent replacements, pollution prevention, polymer design

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final