Arkema Announces Partnership In The United States For The Supply Of Anhydrous Hydrogen Fluoride, The Main Raw Material For Fluoropolymers And Fluorogases

COLOMBES, France — June 3, 2020 — Arkema announces an innovative and long-term partnership with agricultural company Nutrien Ltd. for the supply of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride (AHF) to Arkema’s Calvert City, Ky., site. This project has many advantages as it secures a competitive access to anhydrous hydrogen fluoride, the main raw material for fluorine chemistry, it supports the growth of fluoropolymers in the attractive segments of water treatment, electronics and batteries, and it offers greater environmental protection than more traditional production processes.

About half of the supply will be used for the production of high added value polymers and fluoro-derivatives, and the remainder for the production of low-global warming potential (GWP) fluorogases. This raw material is key to the manufacture of fluorine chemistry, including fluoropolymers and specialty derivatives.

As part of this agreement, Arkema will invest $150 million in a 40 kiloton per year AHF production plant at Nutrien’s site in Aurora, N.C., scheduled to start up in the first half of 2022. The agreement includes the establishment of a long-term supply contract.

In line with the group’s commitments for the environment, this AHF will be produced using an element that occurs naturally in the phosphate that Nutrien uses to manufacture its products, replacing the more usual source of mined fluorspar. Nutrien will recover the fluoride from its process and convert it to AHF at its Aurora site. This innovative investment is the first of its kind in the United States, and is perfectly in line with the Group’s new climate plan as it reduces overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Beyond its favorable impact on the environment, the partnership offers other important benefits. In a context of growing tensions regarding mined fluorspar and AHF supply, it aims in particular to secure the supply of AHF at a stable and competitive price, and support the constant development of new applications, notably for batteries, 5G electronics, and water treatment.

This project fits perfectly with Arkema’s strategy presented on April 2, as it enables, in the United States, its fluorinated polymers and other fluorinated specialty derivatives within the Specialty Materials platform to grow in a sustainable way and it strengthens the long-term competitiveness of its emissive fluorogases.

Posted June 3, 2020

Source: Arkema