CHEMICAL BRIEFS

CHEMICAL BRIEFS

UNION CARBIDE TO SELL

UNIT TO GEORGIA-PACIFICUnion Carbide Corp. said Thursday it has agreed to sell its phenolic resins-for-coatings business to Georgia-Pacific Corp. for an undisclosed sum.

The companies said the move will enable each to concentrate resources on more strategic product lines. They said the transaction will not have a material financial impact on either company.

Fred Costello, president of Union Carbide's solvents and coatings division, said the sale "is the natural evolution of a partnering relationship between the two companies. It will enable phenolic resins to continue and expand while Union Carbide can redeploy its resources to our division's core businesses."

EXPANDED SAUDI PLANT

BEGINS PRODUCTION

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - An expansion project has created the world's largest single methanol plant, with a capacity of 1.27 million metric tons a year, a spokesman for the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. said Wednesday.

Saudi Methanol Co. (Ar-Razi) is a joint venture between Sabic and a consortium of Japanese firms headed by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co.

"Methanol, as an important feedstock for numerous downstream products, will see a growing world market over the coming years," said Ibrahim A. Ibn Salamah, Sabic's vice chairman.

The expansion is the second to be completed in as many months by a Sabic affiliate, he said. National Plastic Co. (Ibn Hayyan) boosted its capacity in polyvinyl chloride resins by 50 percent to 300,000 metric tons a year.

EPA CITES WITCO

FOR RULE VIOLATIONS

SAN FRANCISCO - The Environmental Protection Agency has cited Witco Corp. for violating toxic substances regulations at its U.S. Peroxygen Products facility in Richmond, Calif., and proposed a $50,439 penalty against the company.

In a civil complaint, the agency alleged that Witco failed to report required information on substances produced at the facility, which manufactures organic peroxides for use as catalysts and initiators in the polymer industry.

The complaint also charges that gloves worn by workers manufacturing a new chemical at the facility were not properly tested for impermeability before the first batch of the substance was produced.

UNOCAL ANNOUNCES

PRICE INCREASE

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - Unocal Chemicals announced it will raise prices on all vinyl acetate and vinyl acrylic polymers to the paper and paperboard industries by 1.5 cents a wet pound.

The increase, effective Jan. 31, is due to the rising costs of raw materials, Unocal said.

PHILLIPS TO REBUILD

POLYETHYLENE PLANT

NEW YORK - Phillips Petroleum has approved a $1.35 billion capital spending plan for 1992, including $185 million for rebuilding the polyethylene production facilities at its Houston Chemical Complex.

Phillips' budget represents a 16 percent drop from 1991 spending, estimated at $1.6 billion, including $215 million for the Houston polyethylene facilities.

PATENT IS ISSUED

ON INHIBITOR PRODUCTION

BOULDER, Colo. - Synergen Inc. and University of Colorado Foundation Inc. have received a U.S. patent on methods for the production of interleukin-1 inhibitors.

Synergen is developing Antril to treat a number of diseases and disorders relating to inflammation caused by an overproduction of interleukin-1.

The patent includes 31 claims that cover methods for production of interleukin-1 inhibitors as well as DNA, plasmids, vectors and host cells useful in the production of the protein.

Named as inventors on the patent are Stephen P. Eisenberg and Robert C. Thompson of Synergen, Dr. William P. Arend and Fenneke G. Joslin of the University of Colorado, and Charles H. Hannum, formerly of Synergen.