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BTC symposium - Sustainable solvents as an alternative

When solvents such as NMP are becoming increasingly obsolete in the industry due to their properties, it is vital to seek out alternatives for our own production in due time. This is why symposiums are of great importance: recently, BTC Europe informed its Iberian customers extensively on the changes and innovations in the product catalogue.

Until a few years ago, NMP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) was one of the most important solvents. This carboxylic acid amide (lactam) developed a particularly high solvent power for binding agents such as polyurethane and polyester, and was also good at bridging water-soluble and organic systems. However, today NMP is regarded as a substance of very high concern, according to the latest evaluations related to the European REACH regulation on chemicals. BASF SE has for a long time been offering alternatives to NMP, for instance Agnique® which is based on renewable raw materials and presents good solvent properties, while at the same time reducing ecological impact considerably.

Very positive feedback

Having this subject beside other actual interesting technical topics, BTC Europe invited its Iberian customers from the chemical formulation segment to a symposium which took place on 28 October. For one full day, 44 participants from small and medium-sized companies dealt with technical, application-orientated and commercial issues and found out more about new products or other amendments within the BTC range. The local BTC team as well as guest speakers from BASF attended the event. “We received very positive feedback,” revealed Juan Tortosa, responsible for Distribution Business Iberia & Chemicals Europe at BTC Europe, who was very pleased with the results.

Confidentiality plays a major role

Extremely diverse sectors come together under the “Chemical Formulation” roof. The ceramic industry requires outstanding formulation additives as do manufacturers of cleaning agents, agrochemicals or the chemical-synthesis industry. Here, the key question of the right mixture and the interaction between the substances often arises. There is no doubt that formulation is a key technique in the field of applied chemistry. “Confidentiality therefore plays a major role," says Tortosa. “Customers are unable to reveal too much information as the added value of their products depends on this specific combination of chemical elements.” This explains the fact that BTC customers intensely seek contact with the account managers afterwards. Listening is a fundamental aspect of this symposium. Exchanges and discussions take place, but no one discloses any information on their specific products and current development projects.

From biocides to water-soluble polymers

Instead, BASF experts focused on, for example, issues regarding biocides, surfactants, corrosion inhibitors and water-soluble polymers. Additionally, issues relating to the previously mentioned alternatives for solvents such as Agnique® and Synative® were also addressed. However, BTC Europe presents a far greater number of sustainable alternatives to NMP in its portfolio than the ones mentioned. In fact, BTC recently issued a brochure in which 30 different solvents are listed. All these solvents share particularly positive environmental benefits and are very easy to use.

You can find additional information and contact your local BTC contact partner directly using the Solution Finder at www.btc-europe.com.

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