Advancing Formulas for Health Sciences

What words do you associate with the medical industry? Doctor’s offices, hospitals, nurses, bandages, surgery, diagnosis, and……Chemistry? For most people, chemistry is not something that comes to mind when they think about the practice of medicine. Yet chemical derivatives play a vital role in the Health Sciences. From medical devices such as nebulizers and syringes, to drugs that combat HIV and high-blood pressure, Chevron Phillips Chemical products help treat illness, restore health, and save lives.

The majority of Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Health Science products can be grouped into three categories – pharmaceutical intermediates, high-purity solvents, and medical supplies.

Pharmaceutical Intermediates


Pharmaceutical intermediates are the molecular building blocks used in commercial drug discovery and development. Specifically, Chevron Phillips Chemical pharmaceutical intermediates enhance and support a drug’s active ingredients, making medicines safer and improving their efficiency in the human body.

Many of Chevron Phillips Chemical’s pharmaceutical intermediates are used in the manufacture of widely prescribed proprietary drugs and medicines. In addition to aiding in the treatment of diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, Parkinson’s, and HIV, Chevron Phillips Chemical pharmaceutical intermediates also play a role in preventing and treating hypertension, asthma, and cancer, just to name a few.

Some of Chevron Phillips Chemical’s best selling pharmaceutical intermediates include:

  • Isobutyl Benzene – Used in the manufacture of Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory/anti-arthritic/analgesic medicine for pain management. Chevron Phillips Chemical is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of isobutyl benzene.
  • Ethylthioethanol - Used in the manufacture of the anti-diarrhea medicine Tinidazole, which is widely used throughout Europe and the Third World as treatment for a variety of intestinal infections.
  • 1,2-Ethanedithiol- Used in the manufacture of Spirapril for the treatment of arterial hypertension.
  • Methanesulfonic Acid – Used in the manufacture of the intravenous antibiotic Alatrofloxacin and the HIV drugs Delavirdine (trade name Rescriptor) and Saquinavir.
  • Benzyl Mercaptan – Used in the manufacture of the diuretic Benzthiazide (trade name Exna), which lowers blood pressure.
  • Methanesulfonyl Chloride – Used in the manufacture of the antibiotic Mezlocillin (brand name Mezlin), the antipsychotic drug Tiapride, the antiarrhythmic drug Sotalol (for irregular heartbeats), and Zidovudine (trade name Retrovir also known as AZT or ZDV), which was the first drug approved for the treatment of HIV.
  • Methyl Mercaptan – Used in the manufacture of Sulindac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) effective in treating fever, pain, and inflammation in the body.
  • Neohexene – Used in the manufacture of Terbinafine (trade name Lamisil) for the treatment of fungal infections.
High-Purity Solvents


High-purity solvents are used in the manufacture of medicinal products to facilitate chemical reactions that either could not occur without them, or that would produce undesirable and costly waste. However, once the desired reaction has occurred, the solvent must be separated from the active ingredients and stripped from the final product. This is why solvent purity is so critical. Scientists must be able to identify and remove any remaining solvent during the purification process without denaturing the drug’s active ingredients.

Some of Chevron Phillips Chemical’s biggest selling high-purity solvents include:

  • N-Heptane - Re-crystallization or isolation solvent used in the production of numerous pharmaceuticals. It is also used in the manufacture of the Transdermal Patch, which is a self-adhesive unit worn on a patient’s body that delivers small doses of a variety of medicines through the skin. Additionally, N-Heptane is used in the manufacture of Pergolide, which is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
  • Cyclohexane – Solvent used in the production the cholesterol lowering medication Zocor.
  • Sulfolane-A – Solvent used in the production of kidney dialysis filtration devices.
Medical Supplies


Chevron Phillips Chemical’s K-Resin® Styrene-Butadiene Copolymer (SBC), is a clear, high-impact strength material used in the manufacture of a multitude of medical devices.  K-Resin® SBC’s characteristics – design and processing flexibility, low-density, high-crystal clarity, and blending compatibility – have proven particularly well suited for medical products such as diagnostic devices, drainage units, syringe housings, centrifuge tubes, drip chambers, flexible packaging and nebulizers.  K-Resin® SBC’s transparency allows physicians to accurately read fluid volumes and its shatter resistance makes it safer than traditional glass alternatives.  K-Resin® SBC can withstand a multitude of sterilization processes including gamma, ETO, and electron beam.

Other Chevron Phillips Chemical products with medical supply uses include:

  • Tertiary Dodecyl Mercaptan – This chain transfer agent assists in regulating how Styrene and Butadiene bind together during the production of latex, which in turn is used in the production of medicinal gloves.
  • Polypropylene - Used in the manufacture of extrusion coating non-woven spunbond fabric.  This fabric is used for disposable protective clothing such as the “hospital blue” shoe covers worn in hospitals and clean rooms.  Additionally, polypropylene is used in the manufacture of multi-layer surgical curtains.

From cutting-edge medicines to more efficient surgical environments, Chevron Phillips Chemical products are helping to improve the health and wellness of patients around the world.