FBC Chemical Interview

FBC Chemical Interview with Made in Medina County

We are proud to announce that the FBC Chemical interview with Made in Medina County is now available online. Dave Hudac, former president of FBC Chemical, sits down with Made in Medina County to discuss our move to Medina County and how it has positively impacted the company and the surrounding region. To read the full article, click here.

Back in 2001, FBC Chemical built a warehouse facility in Medina County to help service our growing demand and improve our blending and formulating capabilities.  In addition to outlining our past and current contributions, Dave also discusses what the future holds for us and Medina County. It is an honor to tell our story of how we came to be in Medina County.

“We love the city and the county! Representatives have been the most proactive and responsive of any of our plants,  and  FBC appreciates the support. The location is great with access to all the major highways and easy ways to reach our customers. And the rail service is invaluable. Chemicals is a highly regulated industry, and we build the safety needs into everything we do. We also have inspectors and regular external audits for safety. Overall, we appreciate the city’s understanding of what we do and how we do it.”     – Dave Hudac, FBC Chemical

Interested in placing an order? Send us an email at fbc@fbcchem.com or contact us here. 

FBC Chemical Passes Responsible Distribution Verification

FBC Chemical Corp. Successfully Passes Responsible Distribution Verification, Sustaining Commitment to Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Performance

Mars, PA – Today, FBC Chemical announced that it has successfully passed its NACD Responsible Distribution® verification for the current three-year cycle, reaffirming the company’s commitment to the health, safety, and security of its employees, communities, and the environment. Responsible Distribution is the National Association of Chemical Distributor’s (NACD) third-party verified environmental, health, safety, and security program that allows members to demonstrate their commitment to continuous performance improvement in every phase of chemical storage, handling, transportation, and disposal.

“Responsible Distribution is critical to the chemical distribution industry’s ability to safely deliver more than 30 million tons of product every year,” said NACD President and CEO, Eric R. Byer. “Through their successful verification, FBC Chemical and its senior leadership have committed to the continuous improvement in the chemical distribution industry’s responsible management and handling of chemicals that ensures NACD members effectively support the industries America relies on most, like agriculture, healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing equipment, and many others.”

The Responsible Distribution program requires on-site, third-party verification of facilities against a set of guiding principles, including strict adherence to laws and regulations and participation with interested entities in creating responsible laws, regulations, and practices to help safeguard the community, workplace, and environment.

Participation in Responsible Distribution has significant benefits, including lower instances of safety and environmental incidents, better documentation of company policies, better communication with local communities, reduced audit time and costs, and increased credibility.

FBC has been in the Responsible Distribution process since 1991. To learn more about FBC Chemical, visit www.fbcchem.com. “Your chemistry is our business.”

To learn more about Responsible Distribution and the NACD, visit www.nacd.com.

Click here to view our NACD Certificate of Completion

About FBC Chemical

FBC is an independent, family-owned chemical distributor with operations in Lancaster, New York; Mars, Pennsylvania; and Medina, Ohio. FBC has been in business since 1968, and prides itself on providing quality products and exceptional service to its customers. It owns and operates its own warehouses, manufacturing facilities, as well as a fleet of trucks and tankers. FBC distributes solvents, petroleum distillates, glycols, surfactants, silicones, oils, amines, coatings, adhesives, and more. It also offers custom toll blending, and technical services. Visit www.fbcchem.com to learn more about FBC Chemical. “Your chemistry is our business.”

Why are Citrus Degreasers the Most Powerful Cleaners?

Citrus degreasers are powerful and effective cleaners. Limonene (commonly called d-limonene or citrus terpenes) is a naturally occurring solvent found in the oils of citrus fruits. Commonly processed from orange peel oils, d-limonene is a biodegradable and eco-friendly citrus degreaser. 

D-limonene is commonly used as an additive for skin cosmetics, food & beverage, soaps, shampoos, air fresheners, laundry detergents, essential oils, and even in environmentally conscious insectisides or moss-killer.

When used in degreasers or cleaning compounds d-limonene is more effective than any synthetic hydrocarbon. Did we mention it grows on trees too?! That is why our chemists developed ALCM Power Clean.

ALCM Power Clean is an extremely powerful and effective d-limonene cleaner. Use as a concentrate for the toughest of grime or dilute for basic cleaning. This product easily cuts through grease and grunge on a wide variety of surfaces, such as metal tools, machinery, dumpsters, trash bins, pipes, carpet, glass, ovens, grills, stainless steel, metal, tile, carpet, countertops, flooring, walls, etc.

ALCM Power Clean is the degreaser of choice for both professionals and consumers. It is effective on asphalt, tar, grease, oil, paint, ink, grafitti, adhesive, lipstick, crayon, scuffs, odors, food or drink stains, pet messes, and more! Perfect for the most stubborn messes, ALCM Power Clean is water soluble and does not contain any petroleum distillates. Also, this product leaves no harsh chemical odors, just the pleasant scent of oranges.

  • Available in 1 quart, 1-gal, 5-gal, 55-gal, 275-gal, or bulk
  • For pricing please e-mail fbc@fbcchem.com or contact us here. 
  • Read all safety instructions before use
  • For dilution ratios and further instructions, please click the link below

For more information on ALCM Power Clean, please click here.

FBC Chemical Corp Sells Alcohols & Chemicals For Hand Sanitizers

FBC Chemical Corp. sells the alcohols and commonly used chemicals that your business needs to make hand sanitizers, hand soap, and other cleaning products.

We deliver in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Western New York

All other regions will be FOB

Isopropyl Alcohol – (No Permit Required)

IPA, Isopropanol, Isopropyl Alcohol 99%

o   We stock 99.8%+ purity Isopropyl Alcohol
o   Minimum Order Quantity – 4 Drums
Isopropyl Alcohol 99%, Isopropyl Alcohol 99.8%, Isopropyl Alcohol 75%, IPA, Isopropanol

Ethanol – (IAUP Permit Required)

Ethanol, SDA, SDA 40B, SDA 3C, Denatured Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol

o   We are licensed to sell SDA grades 40B and 3C and will need a valid copy of your Industrial Alcohol Users permit to discuss pricing and availability
o   Minimum Order Quantity – 16 Drums
Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol 200, 200 Proof, Ethyl Alcohol 190, 190 Proof, Denatured Alcohol, Denatured Ethanol, Specially Denatured, SDA, SDA 40B, SDA 3C, SD Alcohol 40B

Other Chemicals Commonly Used in Sanitizer Formulation

Glycerin, Glycerol, Glycerin USP, Glycerin Tech Grade, Glycerin 99.7% USP, Glycerin 99.5% Tech Grade, purified water, De-ionized water, DI Water

o   Minimum Order Quantity – 1 Drum

Surfactants and Chemicals Used in Liquid Hand Soaps and HI&I Formulation

FBC also stocks a range of surfactants and chemicals commonly used as a base for liquid hand soap and HI&I formulations.

o   Minimum Order Quantity – 1 Drum
DDBSA/LABSA, CAPB, Cocamide DEA and/or DIPA, LES 60C, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), pre-blended hand soap concentrate (dilutable surfactant concentrates), Linear Alcohol Ethoxylates, Glycol Ethers, Hydrocarbons, Acetates, Ketones, Amines

Click Here to Submit an Inquiry to our Main Office

Or Contact Josh Hudac at (800) 446-2340

FBC 50th Year Anniversary

FBC Chemical celebrated its 50th year anniversary in 2018.  That’s 50 years as a privately-owned, regional chemical distributor in a market dominated by national corporations that answer to their shareholders.  That’s 50 years as a family-owned business who knows the key is focusing on the customer.

Here’s how we did it.

  1. Warehouse Space — Believing that renting warehouse space can be unpredictable and disruptive, FBC has steadily acquired and updated property. Starting in a modest facility in 1968, we moved to our current headquarters location in Mars, PA in 1977, moving the Asphalt Products Division in 1992, and buying an additional warehouse in Mars in 2017. In 1975, we added the Lancaster, NY division, then began expansion in 1995. After acquiring Cuyahoga Chemical in 1999, we built a large warehouse and tank farm in Medina, OH.
  2. Control Inventory and Logistics —  FBC Chemical invests millions of dollars in inventory to be able to quickly deliver as our customers order.  We own a fleet of sixteen bulk trucks, tractor trailers and box trucks, and employ safe, reliable drivers at each location.  Because of this, our customers don’t have to worry about arranging freight or fighting for a truck to pick up and deliver. 
  3. Partner with Reputable Suppliers —  FBC Chemical represents numerous well-known and trusted chemical manufacturers of all sizes.  Our growing purchasing department spends the work day making contacts and negotiating, planning and ordering.  Product lines have been added as the local market and regulations change. 
  4. Make Our Customers Successful —  Your chemistry is our business!  To ensure we are doing everything we can to make our customers successful, we continue to add to our customer service department and sales team.  Face to face visits, regular contact, knowing our customers personally and tailoring our way of doing business puts our customers at the forefront every day.  Instead of worrying about inventory, delivery and raw material quality, they can leave that to us and focus instead on their customers and business plan.

This has been our business model for 50 years and it has served us and the local chemical marketplace well. While looking ahead to a big, bright, beautiful future, we draw knowledge and confidence from our roots.  Join us and the customers we service as we step forward and strive for continued success.

Hurricane Harvey Supply Disruptions and Other Supply Issues

As of September 8, 2017, there are several chemical raw material shortages due to Hurricane Harvey and other issues. As of right now, many factories in Texas have not been visited since the employees evacuated so nobody has reliable information about the state of the chemical plants. FBC Chemical has had orders canceled and seen skyrocketing prices in reaction to the chaos and lack of solid information. Nobody has really seen which plants were damaged and how badly. We expect many plants to start back up over the week of September 11. As reports come in from employees in the plants, we expect to be able to make more sense of the market situation and we expect chemical prices/availability to more closely reflect actual reality, rather than panic buying.

Following is a non-comprehensive list of products that FBC Chemical has placed on allocation:

  • Butanol / Butyl Alcohol
  • Butyl acetate
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • PM Acetate
  • Acetone
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone
  • Methyl Iso Butyl Ketone
  • Methyl Amyl Ketone
  • Monoethanolamine (all grades)
  • Triethanolamine (all grades)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Propylene Glycol USP
  • Dipropylene Glycol
  • Glycol Ethers – all grades
  • Hexane
  • Di Basic Ester
  • Silicone Fluids – all viscosities
  • Propylene Carbonate
  • Nonylphenol Decoupage

For further information, please contact your FBC sales representative.

Triethanolamine and its variants

Choosing the correct grade of TEA

Triethanolamine is commonly found in countless formulations that range from industrial metalworking formulas to baby shampoo. There are four common grades of TEA, and unfortunately, the nomenclature for the different grades often confuses even experienced chemists and formulators. At best, this can lead to ordering the wrong product and wasting time in correcting the error. At worst, buying the wrong grade could lead to unintentionally adding a suspected carcinogen (diethanolamine) to your personal care products.

Are you sure that you want “Triethanolamine 85%?”

Triethanolamine is often diluted with 15% water to lower the freeze point and make handling easier. Unfortunately, it’s often also cut with 15% diethanolamine for improved corrosion resistance. This leads to endless ambiguity when a customer orders “Triethanolamine 85%.”

In brief, if you want water with your triethanolamine, you want to order the low-freeze grade (LFG). If you want diethanolamine in it, you want to order triethanolamine 85%.

Refer to the following chart to see the differences:

Official Name
(Ask for this when ordering)
TEA DEA Water Freeze Point (°F) Often used because…
Triethanolamine 99% 99% min 0.4% max 0.2% max 70 You have a hot room or drum heaters so handling is not an issue.
Triethanolamine 99% LFG 85% 0.35% max 15% 23 You don’t want your TEA to freeze at room temperature
Triethanolamine 85% 85% 15% 0.2% max 64 The addition of DEA aids in corrosion resistance for metalworking and lubricating fluids.
Triethanolamine 85% LFG 70% 13% 15% 16 It’s like TEA 85% but has a lower freeze point

Created with the HTML Table Generator

My goal with this article is to help eliminate confusion when ordering triethanolamine for your products. As always, if you have questions, contact your FBC Chemical sales representative for advice on which grade is right for your application.

Introducing GTL: A Newly Invented Class of Solvents

Shell Chemicals has recently commercialized a new process that turns natural gas into a synthetic paraffinic fluid. They call this process gas to liquid (GTL) technology. With this technological advance, Shell has introduced a new class of solvents to world chemical markets. Shell’s new GTL line offers several advantages over petroleum-derived solvents:

  • Zero odor
  • Water-white color
  • Clean burning
  • Readily biodegradable
  • Low toxicity

GTL fluids have an extremely low aromatic content and non-detectable quantities of sulfur, benzene, heavy metals, and other impurities. As this is brand new technology, there’s not yet a precedent for where GTLs are best suited. We recommend trying them where odor, color, or environmental concerns are important to you. Currently, FBC Chemical has two GTL products available for sampling – G75 and G85.



Flash point (°C)



Boiling range (°C)

188 – 343

198 – 343

Kari-butanol value



Vapor pressure @ 20° C (mm Hg)



Viscosity @ 20° C (cSt)



Shell built a $20 billion state of the art refinery in Qatar to keep up with the anticipated demand. You can learn about that project in this 4 minute video:

FBC is proud to have been chosen as a selected distributor for these new products. Contact your FBC sales representative today for further specifications or to request a sample.

How the Filipino Typhoon Will Affect Surfactant Markets

The devastating typhoon that recently swept the Philippines exacted a tragic loss of life, property and natural resources. As we all participate in a global economy, the destruction of the coconut crop will have a longstanding effect on pricing of surfactants here in North America. 50% of the coconut harvested in the world comes from the Philippines and reports are that 25% of all coconut trees were destroyed. It takes 3 years for a newly planted tree to bear fruit, so that means a prolonged shortage for the years to come. The futures index has already risen $0.30/# for January 1st and will probably go higher. Most coconut users are protected quarterly, so these raw material increases will start being felt January 1st , but people will begin buying up reserves now. Apart from the common use of coconut fatty acid and hydrogenated coconut fatty acid in lubricants, it will directly affect our pricing on amides which will rise at least $0.15/# January 1st whether they are cocamide DEA or coco DIPA etc. We have not yet heard from our cocobetaine producer but expect similar news from them.

Coconut oil is comprised of 50% C12 and 20% C14—so anything lauric- or myristic- will be affected. That will include linear alcohol ethoxylates made out of coconut or palm kernel oil, ether sulfates, amine oxides, di coco quats (Carsprays) as well as coco sultaines and other amphoterics. This is only a short list; our chemist Pete is available to fill in the blanks if you have questions, but the message is there will be price increases and probably some shortages.

If these surfactant products are an important part of your business, contact your FBC representative today for further news and to help us secure you a reliable supply at a price that makes you smile.

Understanding Biodegradability

The word “biodegradable” is defined as “Capable of decaying through action of living organisms.”

From this definition one can gather that “biodegradability” is simply the capacity for a particular material to biodegrade.

Many products in our industry fall under scrutiny for their biodegradability as they often must undergo a treatment cycle in a wastewater treatment plant. The time period used for this cycle is 28 days. The vernacular of the chemical industry offers two main terms to describe biodegradability based on this time period.

Inherently Biodegradable:

When a product is classified as “Inherently Biodegradable,” it means it will biodegrade to its natural state, when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity from as little as 20% to less than 60% in 28 days.

Readily Biodegradable:

Products are considered “Readily Biodegradable” when they have the natural ability to biodegrade to their natural state, when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity, from 60-100% in 28 days.

These terms are important for anyone formulating with eco-friendliness in mind. For decades, the workhorse surfactant family for detergents, degreasers and hard surface cleaners has been nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). These have been under great scrutiny for some time because they are in fact not readily biodegradable and tend to persist in wildlife and humans. The jury is still out on the dangers of this presence, but evidence suggests that NPEs are not completely harmless.

The good news for animals, fish and people is that FBC Chemical offers several alternatives to NPEs and we are happy to share our formulating expertise with you.  Please contact your sales representative to discuss these options.

Further reading.

Finally…a coconut amide without Prop 65 warnings or other baggage

FBC Chemical is happy to announce that we are currently stocking Brosurf DIPA, a coconut amide that can be substituted in place of the traditional 1:1 amide workhorse. Brosurf DIPA offers similar foaming and viscosity characteristics while offering a better health and safety profile. And unlike cocamide DEA, Brosurf DIPA is California-friendly and will not trigger a Proposition 65 warning, so it should be especially attractive to manufacturers that sell products into California and want to avoid a warning label. 

Ethylene Oxide supply issues

This year, a number of North American ethylene oxide producers will take their EO plants offline for scheduled maintenance. As a major feedstock, EO supply affects numerous raw materials. A short list of items this may affect is: ethylene glycol, nonylphenol ethoxylates (e.g. NP-9), alcohol ethoxylates (Tomadol or Empilan products), and several more in the soap and detergent industries.

EO producers have coordinated with each other to minimize supply disruptions and to prevent multiple plants from being offline simultaneously, however, if these plant turnarounds do not all go smoothly and keep to their schedules, price movements and product availability may be exacerbated by unreliable EO supplies. Dow, Indorama and BASF are all scheduled to go offline and return by the end of June. We urge our customers to be prepared for situations such as this until the plants are all back online.NA_EO_Capacity