A new potential customer approached Ortec to try and scale up a new to the world solution acrylic polymer that would be used in the Personal Care Hygiene market. The polymer would be made in solvent and then a second step would be needed to remove the solvent and replace with water. The Polymer would be triggerable meaning that it would have certain properties in one chemical environment and different properties in a different specific chemical environment. After initial discussions to determine Ortec’s viability, an NDA was executed to maintain proper confidentiality.
While the technology successfully produced the polymer properties the customer desired, it was not refined to a point where it could be commercially scaled up with a reliable process and manufacturing cost. Ortec’s technical team worked with the customer through several iterations to create a robust formula that would maintain the end use performance while adapting to processing and cost requirements. Our process expertise and transparency between the technical teams were the keys to success. We conducted scale up steps at 75 gallon, 310 gallon and 2,500 gallon sizes to lock in the process and demonstrate the feasibility of scaling.
After successfully scaling and optimizing the process, Ortec completed testing and process control verifications. We then created a cost model with the customer to support a sustainable product and process for the market. We also provided information to support filing with the EPA to determine TSCA status. In order to meet the large demand for our customer, it was mutually decided that a new reactor train would need to be created. Ortec designed and installed this reactor train with a “daisy chain” concept for the two stages and a capacity of 25 million lbs./year. The installation was completed within the agreed budget and on time for the customer product launch.
The product was launched successfully in the market and Ortec has supplied this polymer for our customer for several years!