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Hercules Inc. and Heartland Resource Technologies LLC have announced a new research and development venture called H2H Innovations. H2H Innovations plans to leverage existing soy-based adhesive technologies from both companies to accelerate the development of new adhesive products for the wood products industry.
Development efforts will focus on cost-competitive, formaldehyde-free resins for decorative plywood, wood flooring, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard markets. The venture will also offer technologies for oriented strand board manufacturers that allow traditional phenolic resins to be extended, resulting in lower-cost adhesives with reduced formaldehyde content.
H2H Innovations, which is 51% owned by Hercules, will utilize the technical resources of both Hercules and Heartland. Wood adhesive products developed by H2H Innovations will be manufactured and sold by Hercules, and may also be licensed to third parties.
“This venture is yet another example of how Hercules is committed to developing environmentally friendly and sustainable chemical products and processes,” said Paul Raymond, president of Hercules Paper Technologies and Ventures. “The combined resources of both companies should allow Hercules to quickly commercialize new technologies that address industry needs.”
Frank Trocino, chief executive officer of Heartland Resource Technologies, said, “This collaborative relationship is complementary and mutually beneficial - both strategically and synergistically - for Heartland and Hercules. The building products industry should expect important developments from H2H Innovations in the near future.”
Hercules is currently validating several formaldehyde-free technologies at a number of North American plywood, particleboard and wood flooring plants. Once final formulation adjustments have been made, Hercules will begin offering the adhesives on a commercial basis. Trials at medium-density fiberboard manufacturing plants are scheduled for early 2008.
Commenting on the trials completed to date, Don Saylor, global business manager for Hercules’ Building and Converted Products group, said, “We have made excellent progress thus far. In addition to being environmentally friendly and offering excellent moisture resistance, our adhesives show great promise with regard to cost. As you can imagine, there are many customers looking forward to our 2008 commercial launch.”
For more information, www.herc.com/ventures.
SIDEBAR: Hercules Receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge AwardHercules Inc., in collaboration with Prof. Kaichang Li of Oregon State University and Columbia Forest Products, received a 2007 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in the Greener Synthetic Pathways category at an awards ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2007.
Established in 1995 and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture and use. The American Chemical Society convenes the independent panel of technical experts who judge the award applications.
Hercules received this award for its part in the “Development and Commercial Application of Environmentally Friendly Adhesives for Wood Composites.” Prof. Li, Columbia Forest Products and Hercules developed and commercialized a formaldehyde-free adhesive made from soy flour and Hercules’ unique polymer chemistries.
“Hercules is pleased to have received this award,” said Paul Raymond, president, Paper Technologies and Ventures. “Hercules is committed to utilizing its technologies to promote the use of more environmentally friendly and sustainable chemical products and processes.”