Sabic Innovative Plastics plans to add production capacity for polymers related to its Noryl polyphenylene oxide.
The company requested modifications to its Selkirk, N.Y., facility permit to allow it to make four new products that are variations of its existing PPO product line. Two of the new products require the use of new raw materials, according to a draft permit from New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. The modified Title V permit covers air emissions.
Sabic IP officials were unavailable to provide details about the new polymers.
The DEC draft permit allows Sabic to use existing equipment, and to install additional machinery to make the new polymers. The extra machinery includes a 5 million BTU natural gas-fired heater.
PPO was commercialized by GE Plastics in 1960 and became part of Sabic's portfolio when it bought GE Plastics in 2007. In addition to PPO production in Selkirk, Sabic IP compounds the resin by adding colorants and other additives.
PPO is a high-performance thermoplastic used in applications requiring high heat resistance and dimensional stability. It is usually compounded with styrenic or nylon resins to make processing by injection molding and extrusion easier. It is widely used in structural applications, electronics, automotive and medical instruments that must withstand sterilization methods. In fiber form it is employed in high-technology filters.
In some uses, PPO might be a substitute for Ultem polyetherimide, also made by Sabic. Ultem currently is in short supply and Sabic IP plans to add more capacity for the resin by the second half of 2015.
The draft permit is a Dec. 22 modification of Sabic IP's previous air permit for Selkirk. DEC is accepting comments on the Sabic IP project until Jan. 23.