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Dow Chemical’s (DOW - Analyst Report) unit Dow Microbial Control has got the green light from the European Union (EU) for its antifouling agent dubbed DCOIT. The innovative technology has been designed to control growth of unwanted fouling organisms on the surface of vessels while mitigating environmental impact.

Antifouling agents prevent unwanted settlement of fouling organisms such as microbes and higher forms of plant or animal species on marine vessels, aquaculture equipment or other structures immersed in water. Such biofouling minimizes a vessel’s operating efficiency and harms the environment through higher fuel consumption and emissions.

DCOIT has been cleared by the European Commission for application in coating formulations that fall under the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) “Product Type 21", which encompasses antifouling products. From an environmental perspective, it is among the most challenging product types for which to secure approval. DCOIT is the second active agent to receive market clearance in the EU in this category.

DCOIT has been used safely worldwide as an active agent in antifouling products since the early 1990s under the SEA-NINE moniker. SEA-NINE testifies Dow Microbial Control’s commitment to offer top-performing products and leading customers to a more sustainable future. It has also clinched the prestigious U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award in the Designing Safer Chemical Products category.

Dow Microbial Control is a part of Dow’s Functional Materials business that falls under the broader Electronic and Functional Materials division. Revenues from Dow’s Electronic and Functional Materials segment went up 5% year over year to $1.2 billion in second-quarter 2014. Sales from Dow Microbial Control rose by double-digits across North America and Asia Pacific on strong demand in energy and water market sectors.

Dow is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Other chemical stocks worth considering include Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report), LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB - Analyst Report) and Johnson Matthey plc (JMPLY). All of them carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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