HOUSTON - Lyondell Chemical Co. announced that the U.S. EPA issued a final rule excluding tertiary butyl acetate (TBAc) from the definition of a VOC. Publication of the rule in the Federal Register is anticipated in the near future. The action concludes a lengthy review process that was initiated by an industry petition submitted to the EPA by Lyondell, based on evidence of the solvent's "negligible photochemical reactivity."

Lyondell said TBAc also is a non-HAP (hazardous air pollutant) organic solvent that is expected to find widespread use in coatings, ink, adhesives, industrial cleaners, photo-resist strippers, and other formulated products. The company said the product offers broad solvency capabilities, an intermediate evaporation rate, low density and a flash point "well within accepted industry parameters."

Gail Kelly, Business Development manager for Lyondell, said numerous TBAc-based formulations have been developed in anticipation of the VOC exemption. "The solvent's broad utility and potential regulatory status have created an enormous amount of industry interest," she said. "We expect to see commercial applications for TBAc almost immediately."