Kodak Specialty Chemicals is participating in the 2nd annual Specialty & Agro Chemicals America conference and trade show this week (Sept. 9-11th) in Wilmington, NC. The purpose of the trade show is to promote chemical manufacturing, technologies, and related services that have specific applications for the agrochemical and specialty chemical markets, with renewed emphasis on those companies who have significant manufacturing, service, or sales operations based within North America.
With respect to “manufacturing, service, or sales operations based within North America," one cannot question the relevance of this conference to Kodak Specialty Chemicals. Located within in the 1200-acre Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY, Kodak Specialty Chemicals has a sizeable North American footprint for research, development and manufacturing. With 88 reactors, three large manufacturing buildings, high pressure pilot facilities and a kilo lab onsite, plus access to solvent recovery operations, waste water treatment facilities, a tri-generation power plant, two chemical warehouses and miles of integrated roads and railroads at its disposal– the FIFRA-registered Kodak Specialty Chemicals division has the scale to deliver the demand for complex custom and toll manufacturing sourcing, both regionally and globally.
However, the word “agrochemical" seems out of sorts. How can a Kodak operation with a long history of creating the chemicals that gave us the vibrant colors for all those beautiful Kodak images have anything to do with chemicals for crop protection? Actually, the answer is quite simple.
Kodak Specialty Chemicals has a long history of working with heterocyclic chemicals. The chromophores that define the colors in Kodak imagery have been built upon a broad class of heterocyclic building blocks – similar, and in some cases, identical to the ones used in agrochemical applications. Historically former American Cyanamid and other agrochem giants collaborated with Kodak discovery teams to test and verify the extensive Kodak library of heterocycles, with emphasis on crop growth and protection applications. It is not surprising then, that the same building blocks used to synthesize chromophores for color, have also been used for crop chemistry.
In reality, the requirements for manufacturing heterocyclic chromophores for agrochem is right up Kodak's alley: complex multistep synthesis, rigorous quality systems, change control and extensive analytical capabilities. All of these factors align quite well with the toll manufacturing requirements for agriculture production.
So the next time you drive past a corn field, or you hear the phrase from that song: “for amber waves of grain," consider this: the relationship between the complex chemical compounds used for Kodak color are not that far removed from the chemicals used to ensure a bountiful harvest.