Industry News

EPA Action on Wood Preservatives Drives Demand for Dow Alkanolamines Product

Published on 2003-06-09. Author : SpecialChem

MEA Used in Alternative Technologies

MIDLAND, Mich. - (June 6, 2003) -- A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action to phase out wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has poised Dow's Specialty Alkanolamines business to capture demand growth in the $4 billion wood preservative industry. With the advent of two new alternative technologies for wood preserving that use monoethanolamine (MEA), Dow is positioned as a key supplier of MEA to a number of the largest manufacturers of wood preservatives.

"If the two leading wood preservative alternatives become the standard replacement for CCA, the worldwide demand for MEA will increase dramatically," said Ken Bromfield, global product manager, Dow Specialty Alkanolamines. "As the world's leading producer of MEA, Dow is in the best position to satisfy this market need. We're already seeing noticeable increases in MEA demand globally, partially driven by the growing application for wood treating. Supply is tight and we see it tightening further as demand for MEA grows."

Due to its low cost and resistance to insects and moisture, pressure- treated lumber has earned a place in millions of home landscaping projects. In recent years, environmental concerns emerged around the wood preservative CCA, which contains heavy metals, including chromium and arsenic. As a result of arsenic's poisonous potential, the EPA reached an agreement on March 17, 2003, with wood preservative manufacturers to voluntarily phase out CCA-treated wood for consumer applications by January 1, 2004. This $4 billion industry has turned to alternative wood preservatives including alkaline copper quarternary (ACQ) and copper azole. Both of these innovative preservatives use MEA as part of the treating process.

About Dow Specialty Alkanolamines

Dow's Specialty Alkanolamines business is the largest global supplier of ethanolamines, isopropanolamines, alkyl alkanolamines, and gas treating products and services. These are used in multiple applications including wood treating, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, adhesives, lubricants, personal care products, and gas treating. Through regional technical support centers, Dow's service experts provide application and technical consultation to customers around the world. Production locations are in Seadrift, Texas (Seadrift Operations); Hahnville, Louisiana (St. Charles Operations); South Charleston, West Virginia; Freeport, Texas; Midland, Michigan; and the OPTIMAL Group of Companies (joint venture with Petronas) in Malaysia. More information about Dow's Specialty Alkanolamines products is at http://www.dow.com/alkanolamines/.

About Dow
Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $28 billion, Dow serves customers in more than 170 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of Sustainable Development, Dow and its approximately 50,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities. For further information, visit Dow's website at www.dow.com.

Background References

EPA Testimony on Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) Treated Wood
American Wood Preservers Institute

Source: The Dow Chemical Company

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