Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Where did the vinyl chloride come from?

Via the New York Times, these details as to the supply chain of the vinyl chloride train: 
When a freight train carrying more than 100,000 gallons of hazardous chemicals derailed and burned in East Palestine, Ohio, this year, it set off a panic over rail safety and the toxic fallout for communities downwind.

But less has been known about the origins of the chemicals themselves and their intended destination.

Much of the train’s vinyl chloride freight — which was ultimately incinerated by emergency responders to avert a wider explosion — came from a chemicals plant in La Porte, just outside Houston, Texas, that is run by OxyVinyls, the chemical arm of Occidental Petroleum, according to the shipment records released by the Environmental Protection Agency. The chemicals were on a 1,600-mile journey to an Oxy plant in Pedricktown, N.J., that makes plastic used in PVC flooring.

The details of the cargo were included in an administrative order filed last month by the E.P.A. that was based on shipment data provided by Oxy and other shippers. Oxy had more than 700,000 pounds of vinyl chloride on the train that derailed, the records show. An E.P.A. official on Monday confirmed the accuracy of the information.

It's surprising to me that Oxy does not have the PVC plant in Texas rather than New Jersey, especially since the logistics has got to add to the cost of the product. Well, something tells me that the railroads will start charging Oxy more and more to carry this material...

1 comment:

  1. It looks like they make PVC in Texas as well. With past shipping rates, it may have been cheaper to ship the monomer than the polymer, thus having it make sense to polymerize in sites scattered around the country.


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