June 8, 2018by Jayhawk

Active ingredients (AI) are the components of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals that express therapeutic, medicinal, or biochemical effects on living matter. Agrochemicals in particular encompass pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. They are formulated with inert or excipient chemicals, which either modulate an AI’s adverse effects or act as a delivery vehicle.

Understanding the biological activity of an active ingredient is integral to determining its viability and efficacy. The degree of an AI’s biological activity generally denotes a directly proportional relationship between dosage concentration and beneficial effects, with a common correlation between increased adverse effects and higher dosages.

How Are Active Ingredients Made?

Due to the exacting requirements and certifications required to produce and supply agrochemicals, every stage of the chemical formulation process must be tightly controlled. The active ingredients must be produced in multiple step, chemical batch processing facilities equipped to handle complex organic syntheses. There is no margin for error when it comes to fine chemical manufacturing for AIs, which is one of the reasons why increasing numbers of agricultural producers are outsourcing these ultra-precise, batch processes to fine chemical specialists across the world.

Synthesizing active ingredients requires a holistic approach with robust chemical manufacturing components to support processes comprising several sensitive steps. There are numerous chemistries that can be used for producing AIs for agricultural chemicals, including:

  • Grignard chemistry;
  • Heterocyclic synthesis;
  • Azo chemistry;
  • Suzuki coupling;
  • Alkylation;
  • Phosphorus additive synthesis.

This range of synthetic processes enables modern chemists to formulate active ingredients within distinct manufacturing parameters. These can then be compounded with adjuvants to dosage-specific ratios in accordance with the relevant certifications and requirements.

Active Ingredient Manufacturing with Jayhawk

Jayhawk is a world leader in fine chemical manufacturing, with extensive experience in producing chemical building blocks, intermediates, and active ingredients for agrochemical applications. Our facility is equipped to perform multiple chemical synthesis processes, and to act as a satellite for client-specific manufacturing.

Acquire chemical intermediates and active ingredients on a made-to-order or on-demand basis, or take advantage of our hands-on expertise. Our high purity solvents are routinely used in chemical synthesis procedures to form active ingredient precursors.

If you would like any more information about producing active ingredients at Jayhawk, please do not hesitate to contact us.


May 11, 2018by Jayhawk

Agrochemicals are pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers used for the management of ecosystems in agricultural sectors. Rudimentary variations on agrochemicals have been used for millennia to improve crop yields and control the populations of agricultural pests.

The earliest known use of agrochemicals dates to roughly 2500 B.C. when Sumerian farmers relied on Sulphur (S) compounds to reduce insect populations and the subsequent risk of pest-related famine. An evolution in synthetic chemical manufacture has vastly improved pesticide processes to accommodate for the enormously growing global population and the consequent increases in food demands. However, it is estimated that up to 40% of the world’s crops are spoiled by plant pests and diseases – even with the effective implementation of pesticides.

Types of Agrochemicals

There is a concerted effort to actively and conscientiously implement a broad range of agrochemicals to safely maintain and control the global food supply to ensure consistently high quality for widespread consumption. Types of agrochemicals include:

  • Pesticides, or chemicals engineered to destroy insects and other organisms, weeds, and funguses that could spoil crop yields;
  • Synthetic fertilizers, for example ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), which is designed to encourage crop growth by saturating soils with nutrients;
  • Acidifiers and liming agents, engineered to alter the pH levels of soils to suit the planting properties of given crops;
  • Soil conditioners, for example gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O), which is designed to condition soils with high sodium (Na) contents to improve planting conditions;
  • Growth hormones, or synthetic chemicals designed to increase growth rates in animals and crops.

New and emerging agrochemical methods include the engineering of crops that are synthetically-resistant to herbicides, or that produce their own insecticides.

How are Agrochemicals Made?

Production methods vary, given the increasingly widespread classes or types of modern agrochemicals, but typically rely on large-scale production processes that begin with custom chemical building blocks.

Agrochemical Solutions from JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK are specialists in the production of a broad range of fine chemicals and crosslinkers for chemical synthesis. We are proud of our global reputation, and work closely with our customers to ensure exceptional quality control standards are met at all stages of chemical synthesis and product manufacture.

If you would like any more information about our involvement with the formulation of agrochemicals, please do not hesitate to contact us.


April 3, 2018by Jayhawk

High-purity solvents are synthetically-distilled organic chemicals with broad industrial applications. They are crucial for the synthesis of complex Grignard reactions in laboratory conditions and are fundamentally important for improving agrochemical and pharmaceutical manufacture. Yet high-purity solvents are also integral to the production of various commercial products, including perfume.

Jayhawk offers one such high-purity solvent, NBE (n-Butyl Ether), on a made-to-order or made-to-demand basis, and its manufacture leverages our historical competency in fine custom chemistry.

Jayhawk’s NBE is a volatile, TSCA-listed high-purity solvent that is colorless with a pungent odor. It has a maximum APHA color of 10 and water content of 200 ppm, resulting in a highly-distilled purity of minimum 99.3%. It has a boiling point of 142°C, allowing increased reaction temperatures and safer handling of reagents.

NBE is widely used in Grignard reactions for the formation of precursors to active ingredients for both pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. NBE also acts as a biochemical solvent for organic acids and alkaloids, as well as fats and natural oils. It also serves as a vehicle for catalysis and for sophisticated coating applications

NBE is available from Jayhawk in several grades including standard, low alcohol, low water and low peroxide.

High-Purity Solvents from Jayhawk

Jayhawk has been manufacturing custom fine chemicals since 1941, providing highly-specialized products to agrochemical and industrial customers around the world.

We offer manufacturing solutions tailored to your specifications, with flexible unit operations and a broad range of on-site technologies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about our processes or our products.


March 26, 2018by Jayhawk

BTDA (3,3’, 4,4’-Benzophenonetetracarboxylicdianhydride) is a dianhydride that has been produced at the JAYHAWK site since the early 1970s. Since then it has grown into a flagship product with a proven performance edge in the fields of epoxy and polyimide chemistry.

BTDA is a thermal curative that can improve temperature stability, dimensional stability, and dielectric properties of epoxy resins, particularly those based on DGEBA (Diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol A). It can improve glass transmission temperatures (Tg) and impart superior chemical, mechanical, and physical properties as compared to epoxies cured with other anhydride or dianhydride curatives. BTDA has been shown to increase Tg by as much as 20-30°C; resulting in a sustained high-temperature resistance which is unmatched in epoxy chemistry. This makes BTDA the ideal curative for a range of industries with increasingly complicated mechanical demands. It can be synthesized to varying purities and particle sizes to suit a range of requirements, while its adjustable pot life makes for ideal processing conditions.

BTDA is primarily utilized in powder coating applications where, after co-milling the epoxy and the BTDA the coating is applied using, for example, fluidized bed or electrostatic spray techniques. BTDA is a solid and it can be challenging to incorporate into viscous liquid epoxies. It requires careful monitoring during processing to insure that the BTDA is adequately dispersed prior to curing. Another option is to pre-blend BTDA into low viscosity monoanhydrides. The resulting pourable or pumpable paste is easier to incorporate into liquid resins. The result is an epoxy that benefits from the properties imparted by both the BTDA and the monoanhydride.

BTDA Applications

BTDA has a broad range of commercial applications as a thermal curative for epoxy resins. Historically it finds use in adhesive formulations to attach circuits to electronic components, or in powder coatings to improve chemical resistance and insulation efficiency. It is also utilized in wire enamels, motor varnishes, and LED encapsulants.

BTDA can also be used a curative for the epoxy formulation used in syntactic foams for applications that require high compressive strength and temperature stability, particularly in off-shore drilling operations and increasing depths required to reach identified oil reserves.

BTDA and BTDA blends have been used as curatives in epoxy systems used for interior and exterior coatings and primers for petroleum, crude oil, and shale gas piping where the improved physical and mechanical properties are critical for performance and service life.

Solutions from JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK has a proven history of manufacturing BTDA for use in a range of applications, including BTDA Microfine, BTDA Polymer Fine, BTDA Flake, and BTDA Ultrapure.

If you would like any more information about JAYHAWK BTDA, please do not hesitate to contact us.

[BTDA is a registered trademark of Evonik Industries AG or its subsidiaries]


February 27, 2018by Jayhawk

Crosslinking refers to the interconnecting or bridging of two chemical compounds, and a crosslinker is the molecule that is used to make this interconnection. Crosslinkers can be used for all types of polymeric materials, with the identification of the crosslinker being dependent on the application requirements.

Polymer crosslinking is accomplished via a wide variety of chemical reactions under an equally wide array of conditions. Catalysts can also be used in this process to accelerate the chemical reaction.

Typical polymers that benefit from crosslinkers include thermoset plastics such as epoxies, vinyl resins and elastomers; and, in some cases, thermoplastics such as polyolefins and nylons.

Two novel crosslinkers available from JAYHAWK are 2-Allylphenol and Diallyl Bisphenol A.

2-ALP (2-Allylphenol)

2-ALP (2-Allylphenol) has the chemical formula of C9H10O and can also be referred to as o-Allyl Phenol. This crosslinker has a molecular weight of 134.18 g/mol and is a colorless to yellow, mobile liquid. It has a specific gravity of 1.02 at 20oC and a boiling point of 220oC under ambient conditionsm. 2-ALP is a bifunctional crosslinker, owing to its hydroxy and allyl functionality, and is well-suited for creating hybrid resins including epoxy-acrylates with newfound, synergistic properties.

Diallyl Bisphenol A

Diallyl Bisphenol A has the chemical formula C21H24Oand it is also called DBA or DABPA. This crosslinker is a viscous dark colored liquid that can sometimes crystallize at room temperature. It has a flashpoint greater than 200oC. This tetrafunctional crosslinker can be used for composites, and enhances the properties of thermosetting resins including epoxies and bismaleimides. It is used to improve heat resistance at high temperatures.

Crosslinkers at JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK specialize in the development and manufacture of chemical building blocks, including crosslinkers. Our products are used throughout agrochemical, polymer, electrical, and pharmaceutical applications.

Specifically, our crosslinkers can be used to develop matrix resins for printed circuit boards, and for creating advanced composite materials. If you would like any more information about products available from JAYHAWK, or are looking to source other novel crosslinkers, please contact us.


February 13, 2018by Jayhawk

A syntactic foam is a composite material that is made by filling a polymer, ceramic, or metal with pre-formed hollow glass or ceramic spheres called micro balloons. The term ‘syntactic’ refers to the ordered arrangement of the spheres, and the term ‘foam’ refers to the closed cellular structure.

Syntactic Foam Properties

The hollow spheres within syntactic foam provide most of the materials beneficial properties. They have high specific strength, a low coefficient of thermal expansion, and lower overall density due to their air- or gas-filled content.

Syntactic foams are extremely tailorable; there is a lot of choice for the matrix material, the size and composition of the microballoons. The compressive strength of syntactic foams are directly proportional to the microballoon volume fraction and wall thickness.

Tensile strength is influenced by the matrix material. Typically metals provide the highest tensile strength, followed by ceramics, and then polymers.

Syntactic foams also benefit from buoyancy, thermal insulation, and high energy dissipation.

Syntactic Foam Benefits

Due to the hollow sphere fillers, syntactic foams often have over 50% porosity, which provides significant weight savings compared to conventional materials. Syntactic foams exhibit high compressive strength, which can be enhanced even further if required. This high compressive strength is advantageous for foams that are exposed to hydrostatic pressure or heavy loading.

These materials are also excellent insulators as they exhibit low thermal conductivity due to their porous structure. Syntactic foams offer a range of additional engineering and economic benefits over traditional insulation.

Syntactic Foam Applications

Syntactic foams can be used in applications as alternatives to many traditional materials, including PVC, plastics, metals, and other foams. These alternatives can’t provide the same level of strength, weight savings, and density as syntactic foams.

One of the most popular applications of syntactic foams is in the marine industry due to their buoyancy and low moisture absorption. These materials can also be used for spacecraft, pipe insulation, underwater vehicles, boat hulls, and even soccer balls.

If you would like any more information about syntactic foams, please contact us.


February 6, 2018by Jayhawk

At JAYHAWK, we are a very people-centric company, so our presence on social media is very important to us. We’ve had our Instagram account @jayhawkfinechem since September 2017, and it’s a great outlet for us to showcase our products, services, and most importantly, our teams.

Followers will see regular updates from our site in Kansas and can get a real idea of the work we do for our customers and the community. In addition to the personal branding you can see across our website, we use our Instagram account to highlight the great people who work for us. Our #FineWorkerFriday hashtag is used weekly to feature one member of the team, and let you know a little more about them. We have recently featured an environmental technician, plant operators, and a lab manager.

Our love of hashtags also continues on Thursdays, as we like to share Throwback Thursday photos to remember how our plants used to look back in the day. It is within these posts that we highlight the history of the JAYHAWK brand and how the company has grown since it was founded in 1941. For example, we recently shared a throwback photo of operators at JAYHAWK from 1946!

Across our Instagram feed you can really get a feel for the community at JAYHAWK, and we love sharing our work with our followers. We want to use our Instagram account to show potential employees what the culture is like if you were to work at JAYHAWK. If you are interested in working at JAYHAWK or curious about how the company has grown over the years, go and give us a follow at @jayhawkfinechem on Instagram!


January 22, 2018by Jayhawk

An epoxy is a thermosetting polymer that possesses unique mechanical and resistance properties. The term epoxy can be used for the cured end product or any of the basic components within epoxy resins.

An epoxy resin is a class of thermoset polymer made from a monomer that contains at least two epoxide groups. Epoxy resins can be homopolymerized or cross-linked into a three dimensional network using curatives. A broad assortment of curatives are available for ambient or thermal-curing and include polyfunctional acids, amines, phenols, thiols, alcohols and anhydrides, and are often known as curing agents or hardeners.

Epoxy resin types include those based on the Diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol A (DGEBA); cycloaliphatics with saturated ring structures; epoxy novolaks based on phenol and formaldehyde; and tetrafunctional epoxies such as Tetraglycidyl-4,4′-diaminodiphenyl methane (TGDDM). Different grades of epoxy resin may be blended to achieve desired properties or reduce overall costs.

EEW is the Epoxy Equivalent Weight, denoting the weight of resin in grams that contain the equivalent of one epoxy group. EEW is dependent upon molecular weight and is useful in determining curing agent concentrations. The general rule is that as EEW increases, the amount of curative decreases. This can also be expressed by stoichiometry, or the use of molar ratios to calculate the required amount of epoxy and curative.

For anhydrides, it is important to note that, while stoichiometry may be used as a guide to determine curative dosing, empirically determined lower levels are typically used for optimal results.

Epoxy Applications

Epoxies can be used for a range of applications. Using epoxy for adhesive applications is arguably one of the most popular uses. They are considered the strongest adhesive available, and epoxy adhesives have found use in the automotive and aerospace industries. Solvent-free epoxy adhesives provide water resistance, durability, chemical resistance and thermal resistance.

Epoxy coatings find use on metal substrates where heavy duty service is required. They provide a tough, protective coating, with outstanding hardness.

Epoxy resins are outstanding electrical insulators, which makes them useful components for the electronics industry. They are used in the manufacture of generators, motors, transformers, and insulators.

Solutions from JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK have a long history in developing and manufacturing a range of dianhydrides useful as thermal curatives for epoxy resins. JAYHAWK BTDA (Benzophenone tetracarboxylic dianhydride) serves as our flagship product. If you would like any more information about JAYHAWK Dianhdyrides, please contact us today.


January 15, 2018by Jayhawk

A polymer is defined as a large network of molecules that consist of many repeat units. A polyimide is a specific type of polymer, consisting of imide monomers. Polyimides are highly desirable for their heat resistance, mechanical strength, and insulative properties.

What is an Imide?

To obtain a good understanding of what a polyimide is, first we have to understand the chemistry within it. An imide is a functional group consisting of two acyl groups bound to nitrogen. Imides are highly polar, which provides them with good solubility in polar media.


Polyimides are produced from diamines and dianhydrides in a two-stage process. The product from the 1ststage, a polyamic acid, is imidized in the 2nd stage using either heat or a chemical dehydrating agent to form the polyimide.

Polyimides may be thermoplastic, with a high melt viscosity requiring high pressure to form molded parts. Examples include SKYBOND® molding resins and KAPTON® films.

Polyimides may also be thermosetting, whereby imide oligomers are crosslinked into a three-dimensional network. Examples of thermoset polyimides include PMR-15® and PETI® matrix resins for advanced composites.

Polyimide Properties

Most polyimides are orange/yellow in color, and they provide excellent thermal stability, mechanical strength, electrical properties, and good chemical resistance.

Newer generations of colorless polyimides (CPI) have been recently introduced, exhibiting high transmittance and low Yellow Index for improved clarity.

Graphite or glass fiber reinforcements are often added to polyimide matrix resins to form advanced composite materials with impressive strength-to-weight ratios.

Polyimide Applications

Polyimides exhibit a range of attractive properties, which make them useful for many applications in aerospace, electronics, and industrial sectors.

When manufacturing semiconductors and flexible printed circuits, polyimides have a variety of uses. They can be used as high-temperature adhesive, mechanical stress buffers, and as a film to support micronized circuity. They are useful in the manufacture of electronic cables as an insulating film on the magnet wire.

Polyimide composites find use in aerospace to replace metals in engine components, such as ductwork and insulation.

Polyimide fibers are woven into protective clothing for firefighters, and bags for hot gas filtration in cement kilns and power plants.

Polyimide foams are used for lightweight highly efficient thermal and acoustic insulation in marine vessels and aircraft.


JAYHAWK develop and manufacture a range of dianhydrides that are suitable for polyimide synthesis. Our products can be used to improve polyimide processing and provide property enhancements.

If you would like any more information about how JAYHAWK dianhydrides can be used for polyimide synthesis, please contact us.

[The trade names listed herein are owned by their respective manufacturers.]


January 8, 2018by Jayhawk

JAYHAWK Dianhydrides

The term “dianhydride” describes a general class of fine chemical intermediate formed by the removal of water from an organic acid. The simplest example, two acyl groups bound by a common oxygen molecule, is shown above [Image 1].

Cyclic dianhydrides are very popular intermediates for epoxies, polyimides, polyesters and other resin systems. Familiar choices include Pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA); 4,4’-Oxydiphthalic anhydride (ODPA); Hexafluoroisopropylidene-bis-phthalic dianhydride (6-FDA); and 3,3’,4,4’-Benzophenonetetracarboxylic dianhydride (BTDA®).

Dianhydrides serve as thermal curatives for epoxy resins, creating a highly-crosslinked three-dimensional polymer network. These resins find widespread use in the coating and protection of electronic components.

Polyimides are synthesized using dianhydrides as a co-monomer with diamines. Composites, fibers, films, and foams are but a few of the many applications where polyimides are called upon to provide heat resistance and dimensional stability under aggressive conditions.

Dianhydrides are used with polyesters and alkyd resins to modify their backbone structure and provide improved thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance to resin binders in a variety of coating formulations.

The functionality of dianhydrides can also be leveraged to combine different chemistries into new hybrid resin systems.

The benefits of dianhydrides are quite universal across all applications – excellent retention of properties at elevated temperatures for extended periods of time.

JAYHAWK BTDA is the legacy dianhydride with modern uses for applications requiring sustainable performance in high temperature, pressure, and aggressive chemical environments.

When you think of…

Electric motors, lighting and navigation systems in your new car;

Complex circuitry in your smartphone and tablet;

Reliable oil/gas/wind/solar power delivery;

…remember that BTDA plays a role in all of these technologies, enabling components to run without disruption and extend their service life.

JAYHAWK supplies a broad range of dianhydrides, including BTDA in powder, fine, flake, microfine, and ultrapure grades. If you would like more information about our products and how they can be used in your applications, please contact us today.