At the ChinaCoat 2007 exhibition in Shanghai, November 21-23, environmentally friendly technologies were a hot topic among exhibitors, including Bayer MaterialScience's Coatings, Adhesives and Sealants (CAS) Business Unit and Celanese.

At the ChinaCoat 2007 exhibition in Shanghai, November 21-23, environmentally friendly technologies were a hot topic among exhibitors.

The exhibit for Bayer MaterialScience's Coatings, Adhesives and Sealants (CAS) Business Unit illustrated the advantages of waterborne coatings technology, while the main attraction was a sporty Audi TT car that illustrated the use of Bayer's waterborne coating materials on the body of the car.

Daniel Meyer, head of the Coatings Business Unit for the Asia Pacific region, said that while the global demand for waterborne coatings was growing at 6% per year, the company is optimistic that the waterborne coatings market in China will demonstrate even stronger growth.

"We see a huge increase in awareness towards environment-friendly systems in the Chinese paint industry," Meyer said. "There is absolutely no doubt that the Chinese industry is prepared to use the latest available technologies to reduce VOC [volatile organic compound] emissions. Key drivers are, for example, homeowners who now prefer waterborne paints for their homes, to avoid the smell that organic solvents leave behind. Also, businesses that have workers with high exposure to paints or adhesives - such as those in the automotive sector - are increasingly switching to environment-friendly waterborne technologies in the interest of worker health and safety."

To meet the anticipated rise in demand for waterborne coatings in China and the surrounding region, the CAS Business Unit is ramping up its production capabilities at the Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai. The new production facility for environment-friendly waterborne polyurethane dispersions for coatings and adhesives will have an annual capacity of 20,000 tons and is expected to come on-stream in the second quarter of 2008.

Earlier this year, the CAS Business Unit expanded its existing capacity for aromatic polyisocyanate Desmodur® L from 11,000 metric tons/year to 20,500 metric tons/year in Shanghai. It is also doubling its capacity for Desmodur IL to 5,500 metric tons/year, and increasing its capacity for Desmodur N.

In line with the Chinese government's commitment to a "Green Olympics," Bayer will provide solvent-free, waterborne, polyurethanes-based, environment-friendly coating systems for the flooring in the National Aquatics Center in Beijing, or Water Cube, one of the most iconic architectural structures built for the Beijing Olympics next year. Bayer's materials will be applied to a total floor space spanning 670 m2, including a creative floor space at the Bubble Bar of the building. According to the agreement, in addition to the raw material, Bayer will also be responsible for design and on-site supervision of the project.

Celanese also presented a broad range of emulsion polymers for interior and exterior architectural finishes that deliver reduced environmental impact. Products featured at the Celanese booth included Celvolit® 1602, a vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE) copolymer emulsion for low emission interior decorative paints, two acrylate-based products for low-VOC interior water-based wood coatings (Celvolit® 7620 and Celvolit® 7605) and Celvolit® Nano 9620, cutting-edge emulsions technology specifically designed for durable and dirt-resistant exterior paint. The company recently built a new chemical complex in Nanjing featuring an emulsion polymers facility, as well as a new Technology Center in Shanghai, and it continues to introduce new technologies to meet the need for high performance environmentally-friendly coatings of all kinds.

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