Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has formed an industrial chemicals group with a focus on dramatically increasing its presence in industrial markets. This business will leverage ADM’s processing expertise, fermentation and separation technologies and global distribution network to expand its product offerings in industrial chemicals by working to commercialize additional chemicals from renewable feedstocks.

“Renewable, bio-based industrial chemicals fit into two major trends that we’re seeing in the marketplace: the desire to improve a product’s environmental footprint and the desire to reduce the use of petroleum-based products,” said John Rice, executive vice president, Commercial and Production. “In the short-term, we see opportunity to commercialize direct replacements for typically petroleum-derived chemicals. And in the longer-term, we see even more opportunities to develop new chemicals that provide increased functionality and are better for the environment. As one of the world’s largest processors of renewable feedstocks, ADM has a unique opportunity to succeed in this area.”

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BASF has appointed Christof Herion as director of production for its Intermediates unit in Geismar, LA, where diols, derivatives and amines are produced. He has been with BASF since 1989 and has held various technical and commercial positions in process licensing, catalyst marketing, petrochemical operations, and marketing of intermediate chemicals.

The BASF Functional Polymers business has hired Joseph M. Gantner as a technical sales representative for the Northeast region of the U.S., and Christopher J. Hummel has joined the company as product marketing manager in the BASF Functional Polymers Architectural Coatings business located in Charlotte, NC. Gantner comes to BASF from Wolstenholme International Inc. where he was Eastern regional sales manager responsible for sales of metallic pigments, metallic inks and carbon black dispersions to the ink and plastic paint markets in West Chicago. Hummel comes to BASF from the Huntsman Polyurethanes business (formerly ICI) where he most recently served as sales and commercial manager in the Coatings, Adhesives and Elastomers group located in Auburn Hills, MI. Prior to that, he held various positions in sales and marketing in several locations.

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Global specialty chemicals manufacturer Cray Valley has named Mohammed Dekiouk plant manager of the company’s Channelview, TX, manufacturing facility. He is responsible for Norsolene®hydrocarbon resin production operations at the facility.

Dekiouk previously served as technical director for Sartomer, Cray Valley’s sister company, where he was promoted to production manager in 1995. In 2004, he was named special project manager for the Channelview location. Dekiouk holds master’s degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from the National Graduate School of Engineering Chemistry of Lille (France). He earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Lille and Flandres (France).

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The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI, has announced plans to stop producing and marketing hydroxyalkyl acrylates (HAA) by the end of 2007. The HAA product line includes hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA) and hydroxypropyl acrylate (HPA). These products are sold largely to major coatings formulators for use in automotive topcoat applications.

“Dow’s competitiveness in the HAA market has deteriorated significantly as a result of high raw material costs, industry overcapacity and declining demand with a shift to low-acid HAA products,” explained Chris Kok, global HAA product manager. “Moreover, after carefully reviewing our options, we believe that we can generate more value by directing our resources and capital toward other promising growth initiatives that better fit with Dow’s emphasis on more innovative products and market-facing businesses. Our priority now is to ensure a seamless transition for our loyal customers and to take whatever reasonable steps we can to minimize disruption for them.”

Dow will work closely with customers to manage last-time orders, which must be in by December 12, 2007, with delivery no later than November 12, 2008.

This decision has no impact on Dow’s standing as a leading acrylic acid and acrylic ester producer. Dow manages those products independently from the HAA line.

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Dow Polyurethanes, Midland, MI, has announced that it will acquire the remaining shares of Pacific Plastics (Thailand) Limited (PPTL). A joint venture between Dow, Siam Cement Group (SCG) and two other minority partners, PPTL represents ownership of the polyols and polyurethane systems facility located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. Dow is acquiring the remaining 51 percent ownership in the joint venture directly for an undisclosed sum. Once the transaction is completed, the polyols and polyurethane systems facility will be wholly owned by Dow.

“In line with Dow’s strategy of investing in its downstream Performance businesses, Dow Polyurethanes has been expanding globally through acquisitions and geographic expansions,” said Pat Dawson, president of Dow Polyurethanes. “This action exemplifies our commitment to the Asia Pacific region. The Dow-owned polyols and polyurethane systems facility at Map Ta Phut will enable Dow to accelerate the growth of our Polyols and PU Systems businesses’ capabilities at the site to better supply customers throughout Asia with the quality and service that helps them succeed in their industries.”

The acquisition is consistent with Dow's commitment to continually assess the company’s joint ventures to ensure that they support the overall business strategy. Dow has a long-standing, successful business relationship with SCG. The two companies signed their first joint venture agreement in 1987, and have since formed a total of five joint venture companies, producing polyols, synthetic latex, polystyrene, styrene monomer, and polyethylene at the Map Ta Phut site. Dow’s acquisition of PPTL supports the strategic goals of both joint venture partners, and the companies will continue to collaborate on various projects such as the liquids cracker in Thailand announced in October of 2006, which is expected to commence operations in 2010.

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Fluid Research Corp. has announced its relocation to a new facility in Tustin, CA, that features cutting-edge digital control technologies, 24-foot ceilings and two levels of executive offices. The company’s new address is 15775 Gateway Circle, Tustin, CA 92780.

Fluid Research Corp. was founded in 1996 to provide superior accuracy in dispensing single- and multiple- component adhesives, sealants, and polymers. The company currently holds nine U.S. patents and multiple foreign patents on its technology, which uses progressing cavity pumps and sophisticated electronic controls in an extensive line of metering and dispensing systems. Typically custom-engineered to user specifications, Fluid Research equipment can be found in a range of industries, including automotive components, aerospace fabrication, electronics, solar energy systems, electrical power systems, polymer molding, chemical fastening, dome labeling, health and beauty, medical electronics, sporting goods, and filtration equipment.

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