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Supplier Notes

Air Products Donates Technology To UC Davis

Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa., has donated its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) technology portfolio to the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). VAM is used in the production of emulsion polymers and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) for textiles, coatings and adhesives, among other applications.

The portfolio includes US and foreign patents related to processes and catalytic materials used in VAM production. The technology involves reaction of dimethyl ether with carbon monoxide-rich syngas in the presence of recycle streams to produce ethylidene diacetate and acetic acid. With appropriate catalysis development, it could provide a low-cost alternative to conventional VAM technology, according to Air Products.

"[UC Davis] has the enviable combination of a globally recognized center for heterogeneous catalysis research in Professor Bruce Gates' laboratories of the chemical engineering and material science department, combined with the proactive and successful Technology Transfer Center at Davis," said John C. Tao, corporate director, technology partnerships, Air Products.

Air Products produced PVOH until it divested that business to Celanese AG, Germany, in September 2000. It continues to produce emulsion polymers and downstream products through two joint ventures with Germany-based Wacker-Chemie GmbH.

March 2004