Arkema (U.S. office in King of Prussia, Penn.) has launched a modernization project at its Clear Lake, Texas site, which will replace two 99-million lb/yr acrylic acid reactors at their end of life with a single 198-million lb/yr reactor that uses the latest production technologies. This is part of the company’s operational excellence program and when it comes on stream in mid-2019, will bring Clear Lake’s total acrylic acid production capacity to over 595 million lbs/yr. The company, the number two producer of acrylic acid in North America, will continue to meet customer demand from its American plants, which benefitted from a previous modernization program between 2012 and 2014, along with its European and Asian plants. Acrylic acid is used in a broad range of polymer formulations, including superabsorbent polymers (primarily for disposable diapers), polymers for water treatment and enhanced oil and gas recovery, as well as coatings and adhesives.