Empower Materials Inc. is the producer of QPAC®, the world’s cleanest thermally decomposable organic/sacrificial binders. QPAC® cleanly decomposes into CO2 and water in many types of atmospheres and leaves virtually no residue. This property contributes to QPAC®‘s widespread usage in many demanding applications.
QPAC® poly(alkylene carbonate) copolymers are a unique family of innovative thermoplastics representing a true breakthrough in polymer technology. While traditional plastics have been primarily petroleum-based, these materials are derived from carbon dioxide and are produced through the copolymerization of CO2 with one or more epoxides. The resultant polymers are amorphous, clear, readily processible, and have long-term mechanical stability. They are also environmentally friendly by consuming 50% fewer petrochemicals, as compared to other polymers which are 100% petrochemical-based. In addition, they may exhibit biodegradable properties consistent with an environmentally friendly binder.
QPAC®25, polyethylene carbonate, and QPAC®40, polypropylene carbonate, are the two most widely used products within our family of binders. However, there is a wide range of QPAC® polymers possible by varying the epoxide monomer or using blends of epoxides to produce a specific reaction. Our technical group has the expertise to effectively work with you to develop the appropriate product for your application.
Production Capabilities of Empower Materials
Empower Materials is the world’s only commercial manufacturer of polyalkylene carbonates. Empower Materials can make large quantities (1000’s kgs) of QPAC®25, polyethylene carbonate, QPAC®40, polypropylene carbonate, and QPAC®100- a terpolymer of polypropylene carbonate and polycyclohexene carbonate.
Additionally, a wide range of other QPAC® polymers is possible via the substitution of oxiranes (epoxides) using the same production equipment configuration. In addition to QPAC®25, QPAC®40, and QPAC®100 (polypropylene carbonate, polyethylene carbonate, and polypropylene carbonate/polycyclohexene, respectively). The following have been successfully synthesized on pilot scale equipment:
QPAC®60 (poly-butylene-carbonate) and QPAC®130 (poly-cyclohexene carbonate)
Empower Materials also has the technology to modify the polymer’s molecular weight across a very broad range.
Clean Water Based Polypropylene Carbonate Emulsion System
There is a growing interest in nonsolvent systems with the push toward greener technologies. Traditionally, polyalklene carbonates, including polypropylene carbonate, PPC, were only supplied in solvent-based systems because they are not soluble in water. Empower Materials developed a water-based emulsion system several years ago to address customer needs for a water-based polypropylene carbonate emulsion.
This product has recently been improved to offer the customer an exceptionally clean and stable emulsion. With a proprietary process, Empower Materials can produce a QPAC®40 polypropylene carbonate emulsion that exhibits excellent mechanical properties for a water-based emulsion. The emulsion is stable with a long shelf life, and the additives have been minimized and are of the cleanest type to match the clean properties of QPAC®40. Additionally, the suspended particles are extremely fine. This aqueous dispersion is now commercially available.