American Synthetic Rubber Co. finding it Difficult to Comply with STAR Goals

Published By : 21 Jan 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The global synthetic rubber market has been witnessing a surging demand from the automotive industry as synthetic rubber is used extensively to manufacture car tires. Styrene butadiene rubber, better known as SBR is blended with natural rubber to manufacture car tires. SBR is a copolymer consisting of styrene and butadiene in the ratio of 3:1 by weight. In 2014, the demand for SBR was the highest. However, in the coming years, the demand for nitrile butadiene rubber is expected to rise significantly. Other industries where synthetic rubber is extensively used are footwear, industrial goods, asphalt overlay, and adhesives. 

However, with growing environmental concerns, synthetic rubber is being increasingly replaced by natural rubber. Market players are finding it difficult to comply with various environmental regulations laid down by authorities. For example, American Synthetic Rubber Co. has stated that it is unable to meet all of the health risk goals stated under the Louisville’s Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) Program. The company has requested a regulatory modification from the Louisville Air Pollution Control District. The STAR program has asked the industrial plants to calculate the health risks posed by their emissions or regulated chemicals on neighbouring human settlements. 

The STAR program was started in Louisville after a study revealed that butadiene, a chief component in synthetic rubber, posed long-term health risks. After the program was started, American Synthetic Rubber Co. reduced its butadiene emissions by 90% with the help of new pollution controls and efficient operations. The company, which is a part of France-based Michelin, has stated that it is trying to meet the environmental requirements as aggressively as possible. The district officials have planned to hold a public hearing while reviewing the company’s main operating permit. It is to be seen that how American Synthetic Rubber Co. will fare in the public hearing session.

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