Top Chemical Industry Posts You Missed in December

January 10, 2020

5 Min Read
Top Chemical Industry Posts You Missed in December
Here are the most important chemical industry posts on you missed last month. Image courtesy of Pixabay

The chemical industry had no shortage of exciting developments in December 2019. Some of the highlights included a new U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) report on the AB Specialty Silicones explosion and a European chemical firm revealing plans for a $20 million expansion at its U.S. plant. Powder & Bulk Solids editors selected these posts to provide our audience with an overview of some of the most interesting chemical industry-related developments that were reported in the last month. 

Why U.S. Chemical Firms are Bracing for Turbulence in 2020
Observers of the global chemicals industry are bracing for an unpredictable year with rising geopolitical tensions like the trade war raging between the United States and China, looming overcapacity concerns, and anticipated shifts in chemical manufacturing. Powder & Bulk Solids surveyed available chemical industry forecasts and outlooks for 2020 and beyond to offer a glimpse at the year and decade ahead.

New CSB Report on AB Specialty Silicones Explosion
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a factual update last month on the May 3, 2019 explosion and fire at AB Specialty Silicones facility in Waukegan, IL. The factual update provides a comprehensive incident timeline, detailing the events that led up to the massive explosion and fire that fatally injured four workers and seriously injured another. 

OSHA Fines Chemical Manufacturer $90K for Safety Hazards
Pesticide and agricultural chemical manufacturer Kittrich Corp., operating as Avenger Products LLC, was cited and issued a fine of $90,801 by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after the agency determined the company exposed workers to amputation, fire, and electrical hazards at its facility in Gainesville, GA.

Chemicals Firm Kemira Invests $20M to Expand U.S. Plant
Finland-based chemicals firm Kemira is planning to invest $20 million in an expansion project at its Eastover, SC plant. The funds will be used to boost production of sodium chlorate at the site in response to an increase in consumption of bleaching chemicals. Kemira’s project is slated to reach completion in early 2020.

New CSB Rule Proposed for Accidental Release Reporting
The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is proposing a new rule on when a chemical facility owners or operators must file a report of an accidental release and what information the report of the incident has to contain. If adopted, the rule will limit reports to information that will assist the CSB in determining its jurisdiction, interagency coordination, and how it should deploy its resources.

Equipment Fire at Wacker Chemical Plant in Michigan
A small fire broke out in the Wacker Chemical silicones plant in Adrian, MI in mid-December, forcing workers to evacuate the facility. The fire reportedly started in a piece of mixing equipment. Opened as a silicones production plant in 1969, Wacker’s plant in Adrian is the firm’s oldest facility in the U.S.

Arkema Buys Construction Chemicals Maker LIP
Arkema-owned firm Bostik said it plans to purchase Danish construction chemicals producer LIP Bygningsartikler AS (LIP), expanding its foothold in Scandinavia and adding a range of high value-added solutions to pits portfolio.

MFG Chemical Completes Pilot Plant Upgrade Project
Chemical manufacturing firm MFG Chemical recently finished an upgrade project at its Dalton, GA pilot plant. Improvements were made to a 100-gal stainless steel reactor. The equipment can heat oil and steam reactions up to 550°F. The reactor features internal cooling coils, two top feed ports, a bottom (dip tube) feed port, a pack column condenser, a reflux column, standard tube condenser, a small distribution column, and a vacuum capability at 8 Torr. 

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