What is the Arkema plant and what do they make?

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Flooded Texas Chemical Plant Could Explode at Any Time

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The conditions in flood-ravaged Southeast Texas in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Harvey are still deteriorating, even as the rain finally ends.

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The latest emergency unfolded in Crosby, Texas, northeast of Houston, Wednesday when officials said they have no way to prevent an explosion at a chemical plant as floodwaters inundated the facility owned by Arkema Inc.

What is Arkema Inc.?

Arkema is a global chemical manufacturer and a producer of other kinds of industrial materials with more than two dozen facilities in the United States, including two in Texas, one in Crosby and another in Bayport.

Arkema’s history 

The company makes thousands of products "used in hundreds of application that touch millions of lives each day," according to a statement on its website.

Arkema Inc. officially launched in 2004, but the company said it traces its roots back to the 1850s when it was founded as the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company by five Quakers in Philadelphia.

Explore>> Related: Harvey’s aftermath: Houston perseveres through immense loss (live updates)

What does Arkema make?

Arkema's Crosby plant produces liquid organic peroxides that are used in the manufacturing of thermoplastics, which are in turn used in a range of products from cars to food packaging to cleaning products.

Arkema products 

Products produced from the liquid organic peroxides made at the Arkema Crosby plant, include countertops, acrylic-based paints, polystyrene cups and plates, PVC for pipes, packaging and siding.

Explore>> Related: ‘Inevitable’ chemical plant explosion in Texas prompts evacuation

The danger from liquid organic peroxides

The chemicals at the plant need to be stored at low temperatures and since flooding has knocked out the power and refrigeration capabilities at its storage facilities, increasing temperatures could spark an explosion or fire from an anticipated chemical reaction.

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