PPG Industries’ (NYSE: PPG) Commodity Chemicals segment announced today that it has successfully eliminated the use of asbestos for chlor-alkali production in its diaphragm cell production unit at the Lake Charles, La., chemicals plant using proprietary Tephram® non-asbestos diaphragm technology. The conversion was finalized in January.
“With the use of Tephram diaphragm technology, PPG is able to improve production performance, in addition to eliminating the risks associated with handling asbestos,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG senior vice president, commodity chemicals. “At our Lake Charles plant, Tephram non-asbestos diaphragm technology will reduce energy usage and lead to longer cell life. This is just another step in improving the sustainability of our chlor-alkali business.”
PPG’s Tephram diaphragm is a fluorocarbon-based direct replacement for the asbestos typically used in the diaphragm cell chlor-alkali production process. The PPG Lake Charles plant is a world-scale facility with more than 1.1 million tons per year of diaphragm cell production capacity. Also, PPG has nearly completed the conversion to using its proprietary Tephram technology at its remaining diaphragm production location in Natrium, W.Va.
PPG is offering its Tephram diaphragm technology commercially for use on a broad range of diaphragm cell designs.
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG (ppg.com) operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).
Tephram is a trademark of PPG Industries.