To address ethanol shortages in both the print and health markets, OQ Chemicals is stepping up supplies of n-propanol – a premium ingredient with superior performance.

Normally, we would have written about drupa these days, but for months now the world has been paralysed in a situation of uncertainty due to Covid-19. Some industries are suffering heavily from it while others are even experiencing an increase in demand.

In this situation, there are problems at various levels of the supply chain, which are also generated by the shortage of raw materials. One example, which also directly affects packaging printing, is that of propyl.

An alternative, slow-evaporation alcohol

Alcohols such as ethanol, isopropanol (IPA) and n-propanol are known as packaging printing solvents but also as biocides, used as active ingredients in hand disinfectants. The current peak demand for sanitary applications has therefore led to a general shortage of all types of alcohols.

While Ethanol is a good fit and well known as biocidal alcohol on a global base, n-Propanol (biocide grade) plays more the role of a hidden champion as premium ingredient, mainly in European countries. The reason for its premium positioning lies in its superior performance: n-propanol evaporates more slowly, keeping the  hands wet for longer and thus  eliminating pathogens more effectively. An advantage that can also come in handy in the printing industry, where propyls are widely used for their multiple benefits (www.

Pandemic and flexible packaging

During this pandemic, in which flexible packaging has  played an important protective role for society, the supply of printing solvents was complicated by the limited availability of ethanol, imported in insufficient quantities to adequately meet the demand for alcohol-based solvents.

Aware of the scale of the problem and its role as a trusted partner, OQ Chemicals has therefore intensified its supply of n-propanol to European industry to meet the growing needs of flexible packaging.

OQ Chemicals strategy has been to meet both disinfectant and packaging alcohol needs by serving the printing market with an alternative solvent.

Responsibility is knowing that you are part of a bigger picture

Social responsibility is a serious commitment. Which is why OQ Chemicals has also supplied n-propanol to hand disinfectant manufacturers, providing for the needs of hospitals and pharmacies in their region. We owe them respect, first and foremost for caring about our health, and a sincere thanks : “So stay safe, and a big thank you to the heroes out there who help society. Whether it is the medical teams, disinfectant manufacturers, printers or manufacturing industries that ensure the survival of all of us, THANK YOU!”.