Kodak Specialty Chemicals draws upon its history of experience, innovation to provide Custom Synthesis solutions.

January 29, 2013

Comprehensive portfolio of chemistry solutions to be featured at Informex 2013

(Rochester, New York, January 29, 2013) – For over a century, Eastman Kodak Company’s Specialty Chemicals Division has operated at the intersection of imaging science and materials science, offering technical expertise and a history of innovation in chemical processes and products. During much of that time, the division was focused exclusively on supporting Kodak’s traditional imaging businesses.

Today, Kodak Specialty Chemicals is thriving both inside and outside the yellow box, offering established and emerging growth companies a veritable palette of standard, specialty and custom chemical solutions.

From its research and production facilities at Eastman Business Park, Rochester, NY, Kodak Specialty Chemicals provides “a depth and breadth of scope that makes us a preferred strategic alliance provider throughout the value chain,” said Nagraj Bokinkere, PhD, Technical Director, Business Development, Kodak Specialty Chemicals. “As a full-service specialty and custom chemical manufacturer, we offer the flexibility of batch operations and expertise in process development, design for manufacturing and statistical process control.”

Bokinkere said numerous small to medium-sized companies in the clean energy, biotechnology and sustainability sectors are using Kodak Specialty Chemicals’ deep technical expertise converting molecules into materials. They are taking advantage of Kodak’s U.S.-based infrastructure of facilities, scientists, equipment and analytical tools for cost-effective development, scale-up and manufacturing without assuming some of the commercialization risks.

Converting CO2 into sustainable polymers and chemicals

Novomer Inc., a sustainable materials company with a pilot-scale manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park, has won international recognition for pioneering the development of a family of high-performance plastics, polymers and specialty coatings from renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

“After Novomer secured funding through the U.S. Department of Energy to design, construct and operate a pilot-scale facility, we needed help scaling up those efforts,” said Ron Valente, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development at Novomer. “By partnering with Kodak Specialty Chemicals, we were able to scale-up our new technology innovation with a much smaller degree of risk and investment.”

“We not only gained access to their reactors and analytical tools, Kodak Specialty Chemicals helped us demonstrate on a small scale; then they helped us map out the next phase from a process, review and validation standpoint,” Valente said. “They completely understood our needs on the process side. They gave us the opportunity to tie into all of their available resources. And as a result, they helped transfer us from 25 gallons to 1,100 gallons of product within a shortened time period.”

Valente said the company is now in the pre-commercialization phase in its development of polypropylene carbonate polyol, – a low molecular polymer manufactured largely from industrial emissions. The polyol currently is being tested in a variety of polyurethane based products (foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers) ranging from automotive headrests to BPA free can coatings to running shoes.

“Kodak Specialty Chemicals continues to be a key participant in that development. They have been very responsive to our needs,” he said.

Sugar-based solubles for bio-fuels

Utilizing a bio-conversion technology to extract fermentable sugars from several types of biomass materials – Rochester, NY-based Sweetwater Energy is carving a niche in the bio-fuels, biochemical and bio-plastics industries. And the company is relying on the services of the Kodak Specialty Chemicals division to help provide a smooth, incremental bridge for bio-refineries to move from corn-grain feedstocks to the cellulosic feedstocks of the future.

Drawing on Specialty Chemicals’ R&D experience, Sweetwater has successfully devised an economical way to generate separate and concentrated individual streams of C5 and C6 sugar solutions on a small scale, making it ideal for several uses from a cattle feed supplement to burnable fuel, stated Arunas Chesonis, CEO, Sweetwater.

“Our proprietary technology uses a unique modular approach to produce sugars that are both less expensive for the end user and far more environmentally friendly than today’s corn-grain based sugar extraction methods,” Chesonis said.

“The Specialty Chemicals Division at Eastman Business Park is helping us leverage our smaller start-up staff on the R&D side, not just in interacting with their scientists but also in having access to their labs and equipment,” he said.

Chesonis said the technical support he has received is one of the reasons Sweetwater is now building a demonstration-scale system in close proximity to the Kodak Specialty Chemicals facility.

“They have saved us a lot of money and continue to deliver exceptional product and support,” he said.

IR absorbing dyes

Kodak Specialty Chemicals offers an extensive portfolio of IR dyes, encompassing wide applications from organic solvent coatings, thermal transfer, and direct thermal to ink. In addition to the NIR applications, unique color formers for direct thermal application are also available.

International Materials Imaging, Inc. (IIMAK®), a global leader in the development and manufacture of printing, imaging and marking consumable supplies, recently called on Kodak Specialty Chemicals for assistance in the development of a product using IR dyes for light-to-heat energy conversion.

Kodak’s “expertise helped us to quickly come up with a dye which was compatible in our product and delivered the required performance,” said Daniel Harrison, PhD, Sr. Vice President, Research and Development, IIMAK. “Kodak worked with IIMAK in a very collaborative fashion, helping us through short-term development needs as well as provided longer term settled down cost estimate’s which enabled us to build a credible business case.”

“At every step of the process, I found Kodak Specialty Chemicals to be very easy to work with and far more knowledgeable and experienced with IR dye technology than competitive suppliers.”

“The combination of scale, chemical classes and a proprietary database of over 100,000 molecules, offers a comprehensive set of chemistry solutions for all our customers,” Bokinkere said.

See the full line of Kodak Chemicals and Chemistry Solutions. Visit Booth #1742 at INFORMEX, February 19-22nd, at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, or email Nagraj Bokinkere, PhD., at for an interview.

Nagraj Bokinkere, PhD
Office 585.722.9038

About Kodak
As the world’s foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of images, information, and printing to enrich their lives. In the graphic communications industry, Kodak serves customers in the printing, publishing, packaging and enterprise markets with intelligent solutions for competitive advantage and greater return on investment. For more information, visit