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Get to know our story! Nippon Shokubai

Chapter 1 What kind of company is Nippon Shokubai? Company That Provides Affluence and Comfort to People and Society by Creating “ Amazing Materials.”

Nippon Shokubai materials are used in one quarter of the world's disposable diapers

Even though they're made of such thin materials, these disposable diapers are so absorbent they don't leak.

Having replaced cloth diapers, disposables are now worn by babies around the world, saving mothers and fathers everywhere a great deal of time and hassle.

It is Nippon Shokubai that pioneered the superabsorbent polymers (SAP) that are used in disposable diapers today. Polymers created with our unique technology are now used in approximately one-quarter of the disposable diapers in the world, earning Nippon Shokubai the top share of this global market.

SAP production capacity

What is so amazing about SAP?

Superabsorbent polymers are resins so absorbent and water-retentive that a single gram of resin is capable of absorbing 100–1,000 grams of water. Polymers perform a number of functions in diapers, making them thinner and smaller overall and making them more comfortable for babies to wear. Made from acrylic acid, a core Nippon Shokubai business, SAP has advanced through our unique technology to a whole new level.

A trailblazer among world chemical manufacturers in the development and mass-production of SAP, Nippon Shokubai has led the global market for decades. And we intend to pioneer this sector for years to come.

SAP absorbs approx. 100–1,000 times its weight in water.

Unique, amazing materials for home, industry, and society

Superabsorbent polymers are not the only materials we create. Our products are used in many of the things that are essential in everyday life — household items, clothing, home appliances, IT products, automobiles, and more.

Nippon Shokubai produces materials that are essential ingredients for daily life. Our materials are shown in the parentheses below. Disposable diapers (SAP) Laundry detergent (ethylene oxide, water soluble polymers, secondary alcohol ethoxylates) Bath products (fumaric acid, succinic acid) Automotive paints (specialty acrylates, specialty methacrylates) Optical fibers (N-vinylpyrrolidone) Wastewater treatment catalyst Polyester fibers (ethylene glycol) Golf balls (Acrylic acid metallic salt)

Founded in 1941, Nippon Shokubai has forged its own innovative path within the chemical industry, guided by its core catalyst technology. Beginning with the manufacture of acrylic acid, ethylene oxide and other basic chemicals, we developed high-performance functional chemicals using these basic chemicals as raw materials. We have also leveraged our catalyst technology to produce environmental and catalyst products and manufacture and market these products, as well.

See the chart below for the breakdown of Nippon Shokubai sales by segment.

Sales by Segment (FY2014)

Providing affluence and comfort to people and society

Nippon Shokubai is always prepared to develop unique, amazing materials, like superabsorbent polymers, which help deliver more affluence and comfort.

What is catalyst technology? A catalyst is a substance that accelerates (or slows down) a chemical reaction, without itself being affected. Consider the example of how a catalyst works on hydrogen peroxide. On its own, hydrogen peroxide will over time separate into water and oxygen. Adding manganese dioxide, however, accelerates the decomposition, breaking hydrogen peroxide down immediately into water and oxygen. In this instance, manganese dioxide is a catalyst. This type of catalyst has been used in the manufacturing process for many different chemicals.

Chapter 2 What are Nippon Shokubai's strengths?