Products & Applications

Sustainable Chemistries Contributing to a Better Tomorrow

By Rob Paxton, Head of Global EHS & Sustainability

In my 35 years at The Shepherd Chemical Company, a lot has changed but what has always remained constant is the care and investment in people, our community and doing the right thing.  Protecting our employees, our community and our environment has never been a burden, but a welcome responsibility to live out our core values and innovate.  And now, more than ever, we are focusing our culture of service and collaboration on health and environmental sustainability for future generations.

Shepherd Chemical has always strived to be proactive, thoughtful and accountable leaders.  We are proud to be among the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Responsible Care® companies dedicated to continuously improving environmental, health, safety and security performance for facilities, processes and products throughout the entire operating system.  Our ACC Responsible Care Management System (RCMS®) certification represents conformance to the chemical industry’s world-class standards for environmental, health, safety and security performance. RCMS® embodies our dedication to doing good, doing more and doing better to ensure that the business of chemistry is safe, secure and sustainable.

Beyond how we do operate, sustainability extends to the products we custom co-develop and manufacture for technologies that reduce energy consumption and make air and water cleaner.  This year has already been a milestone year for new products protecting our ozone, reducing emissions and many exciting opportunities lie ahead.  HFO spray foam insulation with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP), low sulfur marine shipping fuels reducing sulfur oxide emissions and motor oils for advanced vehicle fuel economy standards are just a few of the Shepherd Chemical-inside scientific advancements for sustainability.

Shepherd Supports and Contributes to the IMO 2020 Rule

By Karine Bisogno, Sales Manager

On January 1, 2020, a new limit on the sulphur content in the fuel oil used on board ships came into force, marking a significant milestone to improve air quality, preserve the environment and protect human health. The  International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 rule limits the sulphur in the fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass), which is a significant reduction from the previous limit of 3.5%.

The resulting reduction in sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships is having major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts.

To meet IMO requirements, ships must use fuel oil, which is inherently low enough in sulphur, or install an appropriate exhaust gas cleaning system, also known as “scrubbers”, or have engines which use alternative fuels, with low or zero sulphur, for example liquefied natural gas or biofuels.

The Shepherd Chemical Company is fully committed to positively impacting its communities and societies by prioritizing the health and safety of its workers, community, and environment. With a Molybdenum based catalyst precursor, the Shepherd Chemical company is supportive of the IMO 2020 rule and contributes to the refineries achieving a compliant fuel oil with a sulphur content lower than 0.50%. Please contact us to learn more about our IMO 2020 rule contribution and solution!

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

The Key to Meeting Lubrication Challenges in EV Engines

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is coming. In fact, it’s already here. Sales of EV were greater than 2.1MM units in 2019, giving a ~ 40% year-over-year increase. This value represented about 2.6% of global auto sales and boosts the total EV global stock to 1%. These don’t sound like big numbers, but they are rapidly growing. In fact, the expectation is that approximately 50% of all vehicle sales will be those powered by electric engines by 2030.

Electric engines require vastly different lubrication than internal combustion engines (ICE). Motor oil, the largest single lubricant in many passenger cars, will no longer be necessary. Instead, the focus will turn to smaller volumes of more specialized lubricants and lubricant additives. Some of the major targets for new EV lubricants are:

  • Increased thermal performance – EV engines operate much hotter than ICEs
  • Increased anti-corrosion performance – copper (electromagnet winding) will be ever-present in EVs and is often exposed to direct contact by the transmission fluid
  • Increased focus on electrical conductivity (ability to adjust as necessary)
  • Decreased viscosities

Meeting the lubrication challenges in EV engines will require new base oil technology and new additive technology. Shepherd Chemical has more than a decade of experience in custom lubricant additive development for anti-wear, antioxidant, extreme pressure and friction modifier applications. We are truly excited to use our metal chemistry know-how to design, develop and manufacture the next generation of lubricant additives for the EV market.

If you’d like to learn more, or partner with Shepherd on your next project, please contact us here or call 513-731-1110.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Industry Transitions from HFC to HFO Technology

In the words of Tom Shepherd, CEO of the Shepherd Material Science Company, “Businesses should exist to create value and brighten lives not only for customers but also the communities in which we work and live and society at large; that’s our view at Shepherd.”

You’ll find this core value woven through our products and partnerships in developing technologies that improve the safety and health of people and the environment. Sustainable building material is one area where Shepherd Chemical is proud to be making a difference.

Sustainable building materials are increasingly critical to protecting our environment by improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. Spray polyurethane foam insulation has been contributing to these improvements for years as it allows for greater flexibility in application and usage, increased insulation values, water resistance, and lower operating costs for the building owner when compared to traditional insulation. A new and greener milestone is being realized within the spray foam industry in a move from HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) based blowing agents to HFOs (hydrofluoroolefins), reducing the global warming potential (GWP) from 1,000 times that of carbon dioxide to the equivalent of CO2, a GWP of 1.

To successfully achieve the reduction in GWP and optimize energy savings, spray polyurethane foam formulators are challenged with not only replacing the blowing agent but also reinventing complete formulation technology, particularly the catalyst package which has a significant impact on the rise profile, density and, dimensional stability of polyurethane foam. Traditional reactive amine and tin catalyst strategies do not meet the strict performance and EH&S requirements necessary for 4th generation blowing agents. Non-toxic bismuth-based polyurethane curatives, although previously less common in use, have been in the market since the 1980s and, just as spray foam chemistry evolved, so has the range and performance of bismuth catalysts. Working in collaboration with industry partners and spray foam manufacturers, Shepherd Chemical recognized the opportunity for BiCATs 8106, 8108, 8210, 8840, and 8842, designed to meet modern demands for reduced volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), hydrolytic stability, solubility, cold substrate adhesion and uniformity of application.

As the spray polyurethane foam industry transitions from HFC to HFO technology, Shepherd Chemical, and our BiCAT® catalysts are doing their part to ensure that spray foam is safe, environmentally friendly, and offers high-performance insulation value, and energy efficiency.

Interested in the BiCAT® products or our commitment to sustainability? Contact us and let us show you how we create value and brighten lives.