Monday, September 14, 2009

Acrylate monomers pricing

Many acrylate monomers are produced from commodity raws such as acrylic acid. Since these particular materials are early in the supply chain for chemicals, they are very heavily impacted by the fluctuating price of oil. Consider that July 1, 2008, Dow Chemicals announced anywhere upto a 42% price increase because of the (then) very high oil prices - this was back in the $140-150/barrel hey day. Producers that utilized the acrylates produced by Dow felt some very very real price impact. This had an enormous ripple effect through the industry that probably instigated an average of 5-10% price increase through the entire food chain, even in the specialty chemical industry. Effectively, Dow instigated a raw material based inflation in the industry.

Always worth considering that when the price of oil changes, so do the prices of many chemical products. Everyone worries about the impact of oil at the pump, but they forget that oil prices directly impact nearly every other purchase they make because the plastic wrappers, the preservatives and label adhesives in their grocery purchases are also impacted. This is not even getting into the pharmaceutical intermediates that are affected.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Acrylate monomers

Acrylate monomers are very broadly used and produced. These ester molecules have an active vinyl group alpha to the ester carbonyl. Varying reactivity can be found based on the alkyl group present on the ester. Some of the common acrylates include methyl methacrylate, hydroxyethyl acrylate and ethylhexyl acrylate. These commodity esters have a wide variety of use including use in specialty adhesives, coatings and other related applications.

The size of acrylate monomer production is so large that there is a production workgroup and coalition called BAMM (Basic Acrylic Monomer Manufacturers).

Broad categories of monomers

Not all monomers are made equal and there are some very broad (unofficial) categories. Personally I believe the highest level of categories focuses around Carbon, Silicon and Fluorine. These three elements really add some unique characteristics when present in molecules.

Carbon monomers could be broadly split into olefins/vinyl, acrylates, amides, urethanes, cylic - before I get too many emails/comments, I know there are plenty more, trying to keep it simple early on. We will start with these.

If you want to get a sense of some silane materials I recommend visiting this organosilane resource.

A starting point...

Well, I am sure many have started out on a blogventure and probably got off the track pretty quickly due to a lack of time or a lack of material. Well, with a set of material this broad I surely won't be claiming the latter any time soon!

Let the adventure begin.