Innovative Achievements

2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award Goes to Shepherd Chemical

CINCINNATI (October 10, 2016) – The American Chemistry Council’s Center for Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) announced that Shepherd Chemical won the 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award last Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 at its international conference in Baltimore, Maryland (#PolyCon16).  The Shepherd Chemical Company, a 100-year old family-owned chemical manufacturer located in Norwood, Ohio received the national award for its new, environmentally friendly polyurethane bismuth catalysts, BiCATTM 8840 and BiCATTM 8842.  This prestigious award is presented annually to the most ground-breaking innovation in polyurethane science. Shepherd Chemical, a global manufacturer of custom chemicals with fewer than 300 employees, was a finalist alongside two of the largest chemical companies in the world, The Dow Chemical Company and Huntsman Corporation.

Shepherd Chemical's Bismuth Polyurethane Catalysts, BiCATs 8840 and 8842

What makes Shepherd Chemical’s bismuth-based polyurethane catalysts so innovative is their compatibility with new 4th-generation HFO blowing agents, like Honeywell Solsticeâ that are revolutionizing the spray foam industry with their energy efficiency and ultra-low Global Warming Potential (GWP), which could save the world a CO2 emissions equivalent of taking 19 million cars off the road. These new, environmentally friendly HFO blowing agents require metal catalysts in order to effectively react, catalyze, and cure polyurethane spray foams. If formulators choose toxic metal catalysts like mercury, lead, or organotin rather than bismuth, they will introduce new environmental and regulatory issues.

The Shepherd Chemical Company’s new and innovative bismuth catalysts feature negligible toxicity, very low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), long shelf-lives, high reactivity, fast cure rates and the water-solubility needed for many spray foam formulations. BiCATsTM 8840 and 8842 have the lowest free acidity and VOC levels of any bismuth-based polyurethane curative. Compared to organotins, they have 50% lower VOC levels and much less toxicity—making them safer for our employees and our communities.

“Winning the 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award is a direct result of our years of expertise in metal organic chemistry and the long-lasting relationships we build with our customers,” says fourth-generation family member and CEO, Tom Shepherd. “It was a real honor to see our R&D team receive such high praises for decades of hard work.”

Shepherd Chemical Company Wins 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award
Photo © Tony Powell. 2016 CPI Conference. Baltimore Hilton. September 26, 2016

As the polyurethane industry moves toward wide-spread adoption of HFO blowing agents, spray foam formulators will now able to create the greenest polyurethane resins available, thanks to The Shepherd Chemical Company’s BiCATsTM 8840 and 8842. Hear an interview with Rob Hart, Head of R&D for Shepherd Chemical, about Shepherd Chemical’s new polyurethane innovation in the CPI Polyurethanes Technical Conference 2016 Digital Interactive Publication. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @ShepChemical.

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