Arkema's products and activities glossary

Acrylic acid

An acid derived from propylene and mainly used as an intermediate in the manufacture of superabsorbents (for diapers) and derivatives for the production of paint, ink, glue, as well as polymers for water treatment. Arkema is one of the world’s leading producers of acrylic acid.

Activated carbons

Processed charcoal used for its properties as an adsorption agent (i.e. the retention of molecules of a gas or a liquide substance on the surface of a solid).

Ceca, an Arkema subsidiary, is one of the world’s main producers of actived carbons.

Carbon nanotube (or CNT)

The carbon nanotubes, embedded in polymer matrices in very small amounts, provide the properties of mechanical reinforcement and conductivity. Cylindrical structure consisting of coils of one to tens of graphite planes, with a diameter ranging from 10 to 100 nanometers, and a few microns in length.


Chemical oxygen demand. A parameter for measuring water pollution by organic compounds, whose decomposition consumes oxygen.


Unicellular micro-organisms used in their fossil state (diatomites) by the chemical industry for their properties as filter aid.

Ceca, an Arkema subsidiary, is one of the world’s main producers of diatomites.


Sulfides and polysulfides (DMDS) are thiochemicals (sulfur derivatives) used as additives for lubricants, as sulfiding agents in steamcrackers and refineries, and as gas odorizers. Arkema's DMDS is poised to develop significantly now that it has been approved in the United States as a new soil fumigation agent for wide-ranging fruit and vegetable crops, replacing methyl bromide, a fumigation agent due to be phased out as part of the Montreal Protocol.

Emulsions (= latex)

Emulsions, also called latex, are binders (or resins) for paint, glue or varnish produced by polymerization of monomers (acrylic, vinyl and others). They become stable dispersion in water of polymer particles. When they are coated and dry, they form a continuous film.


Fluorinated gases are refrigerant fluids used in refrigeration and air-conditioning circuits (household equipments, commercial equipments, buildings, cars, etc.). Arkema is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fluorogases with a wide range of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) marketed under the tradename Forane®.

Functional polyolefins

Ethylene-derived polymers used as binding agents in multilayer food packaging and other industrial applications.


Green House Gases.


GWP ou Global Warning Potential. Index measuring the impact of a given mass of gas estimated to contribute to global warming, expressed in relation to carbon dioxide.


HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), 2nd generation refrigerant fluids for air-conditioning and refrigeration, are regulated by the Montreal Protocol regarding the protection of the ozone layer. In Europe, they are subject to regulations which have banned their use in the maintenance of existing equipment since January 1st 2010.

Hence they have now been replaced by HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) blends, which are 3rd generation fluids with a nil ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and one of the lowest GWP indices (Global Warming Potential, an index measuring the global warming impact of a gas and expressed in CO2 equivalent). In the rest of the world, local regulations also plan to ban HCFCs in the coming years and their gradual substitution by HFCs.

Heat stabilizers

Additive used to improve a polymer's resistance to heat.

Hydrazine hydrate

A nitrogen-hydrogen- and water-based product used as an intermediate in agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, chemical synthesis, water treatment and blowing agents for plastics and elastomers.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), marketed by Arkema under the tradenames Albone®, Valsterane® or Peroxal® is used as a bleaching agent for pulp and textile fiber, as a chemical intermediate, an antiseptic, or for the treatment of liquid and gaseous effluents.

Arkema ranks in third place for the production of hydrogen peroxide.

Impact modifiers

Additives introduced into certain plastics, in particular PVC, to make them more impact-resistant.


Mercaptans (product coming from thiochemicals) are used as raw materials for the manufacture of amino acids (methionine) for animal feed, as chain transfer agents in polymerization, and as intermediates in the agrochemicals and pharmaceutical industries.

Molecular sieves

Synthesized mineral products used to purify liquids and gases by the selective adsorption of molecules. Arkema markets molecular sieves under the tradename Siliporite® through Ceca, its specialty chemicals subsidiary.

Organic peroxides

Oxidizing organic products used as initiators for polymerization and as crosslinking (curing) agents in a wide range of plastics. Arkema markets its organic peroxides family under the tradename Luperox®. Arkema is the world’s second largest producer of organic peroxides.

Oxygenated solvents

Substances such as alcohols, ketones and ethers that contain oxygen atoms and have the hability to dissolve other substances without modifying them chemically.

Photocure resins

Synthetic resins used in the formulation of surface coating products which harden upon exposure to UV radiation. These resins are used in many niche markets, including ink, overprinting varnish, coatings (fiber optics, wood, printed circuits), adhesives (DVDs, etc.). This photocure technology offers a number of benefits: resins with no volatile solvent emit no VOC (the entire formulation can be polymerized), and the coating forms a film within a few seconds at ambient temperature.

These resins are marketed by the Arkema subsidiary Sartomer, which joined Arkema on July 1st 2011 following the acquisition of Total’s specialty resins.


PMMA (Poly Methyl MethAcrylate), or acrylic glass

A transparent thermoplastic polymer produced from MMA (methyl methacrylate), often used as a much lighter alternative to glass. Applications include mostly sanitaryware (baths, basins, shower panels, etc.), rear light clusters for cars, illuminated signs, etc.

Arkema markets its PMMA in the form of sheet and resin, via its subsidiary Altuglas International, under the tradename Altuglas® in Europe, Central Europe and Asia, and under the tradename Plexiglas®on the American continent.

Altuglas International is the second world producer of PMMA


A technical thermoplastic polymer obtained by the polymerization of a monomer having both an acid and an amine function. Arkema is the world’s sole producer of polyamide 11 (11 carbon atoms) from a vegetable raw material, castor oil, and marketed under the tradename Rilsan®.

The Group also manufactures polyamide 12 (12 carbon atoms) derived from oil, marketed under the tradename Rilsamid®.

Since the acquisition of Hipro Polymers in 2012, Arkema has been manufacturing polyamide 10, also from castor oil.

Much valued for their resistance to heat, chemicals and abrasion, these polyamides are used in highly demanding applications: automotive and transport (fuel lines, fluid transfer circuits such as brakes, clutch, cooling, etc.), oil and gas sector (umbilicals, flexible pipes, etc.), textile industry (technical and high-end textiles, etc.), and electronics (cell phone casing components, etc.).

Polyphthalamide (PPA)

A thermoplastic material from the polyamide family, obtained by polymerization of aromatic diacides and aliphatic diamines, and characterized by high melting point and high mechanicla rigidity.

With its PPA Rilsan® HT launched in 2009, Arkema was the first chemical producer to offer a flexible, high-temperature thermoplastic to replace metal in engine-compartment tubing.


PVDF (PolyVinyliDene Fluoride)  is a very tough thermoplastic fluoropolymer. It can withstand UV rays as well as the most corrosive chemical agents. Its temperature span in continuous operation ranges from -50 to 150 °C. It is marketed by Arkema under the tradename Kynar®.

Its main applications include highly durable architectural coatings, coatings for tanks, pipes and valves in chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, and as protective film for the backsheet of solar panels. PVDF is used increasingly in emerging applications such as lithium-ion batteries and membranes for water filtration.

Arkema is a leading producer of PVDF.

Rheology agent

Rheology modifiers, or flow additives, are dispersants, thickeners and stabilizers that control the manner in which a liquid material flows by altering its thickness and viscosity, for use in diverse applications ranging from minerals, cements, concretes and papers to inks, paints and other industrial specialty products.

Coatex, an Arkema subsidiary, is one of the world’s main producers of rheology agents for aqueous phase formulations.

Sebacic acid

Diacid derived from castoir oil, used as an intermediate in the manufacture of bio-sourced polymers (polyamides 10), plastics, lubricants and anti-corrosion agents.

Since the acquisition of Casda Biomaterials in 2012, a leading producer of sebacic acid, Arkema is a key actor of this chemistry.


An agent that causes an increase in a liquid's flow and wetting properties by lowering its surface tension.


Thiochemicals are sulfur derivatives. Arkema is now a world leader in this sector of activity which comprises Mercaptans, sulfur intermediates and derivatives, the best known of which are sulfides and polysulfides (DMDS) and sulfonyls (DMSO). 


Monomer of the PVDF.

Vinyl acetate

An ester derived from methanol and mainly used as raw marterial for EVAs (functional polyolefins)


Are you searching for technical information? Do you need a quote? Are you looking for information on a specific event?
The Group’s experts will be pleased to assist you with any inquiry you may have.


Select the topic you are interested in: