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Fast Facts and Figures



Countless polyurethane products made possible with diisocyanates (DII) chemistry are important to America’s economy, particularly in the building and construction, furniture and bedding, and transportation sectors. DII chemistry can help save consumers and businesses money through improved energy efficiency and performance of a wide range of products that use polyurethane materials, such as buildings and automobiles

Here are a few facts about how diisocyanates are important to our economy and to product innovation:

  • In 2012, United States demand for pure MDI was 254.3 million pounds and 1,497.2 million pounds for polymeric MDI. Demand for TDI was 478.3 million pounds.1

  • To meet this demand, production of diisocyanates in the United States employs thousands of workers in facilities across the nation. When you consider that polyurethane production relies on DII chemistry, the economic and job impact becomes even more significant as noted below.

  • The business of diisocyanates-based polyurethane is a $19.7 billion enterprise and a key element of the U.S. economy. The industry directly employs 37,700 Americans and operates in more than 930 locations across the United States. 2

  • Indirectly, the industry supports an additional $40.1 billion in output and supports nearly 165,000 jobs. In total, the industry supports about 202,600 jobs and $59.9 billion in output.2

  • Diisocyanate-based polyurethane products are used in industries generating $245.5 billion in output and employing nearly 1 million workers. 2

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star program estimates that by adding insulation and sealing air leaks, you could save up to 20 percent on your monthly energy bills.3 Advancements in polyurethane-based insulation technologies rely on DII chemistry.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 56 percent of the energy used in a home goes to heating and cooling.4 Spray polyurethane foam insulation made with DII chemistry is an important solution in improving your home’s energy efficiency, along with other types of polyurethane foam designed for building and construction needs.

  • DII chemistry is critical in the development of countless polyurethane products that help keep us safe, such as bike helmets, impact-absorbing foam panels in vehicles, flotation devices and even hurricane resistant safety glass.

  • With a focus on developing innovative products and reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels, diisocyanates can be reacted with natural oil polyols derived from vegetable oils to develop an array of polyurethane products containing renewable resource content.

These are just a few of the many ways that diisocyanates are making a positive contribution to the U.S. economy. Diisocyanates are important chemical building blocks in the production of products we count on every day and improve our quality life. For more information, visit the Consumer Safety and Diisocyanates page.

1 2012 End-Use Market Survey on the Polyurethanes Industry, Center for the Polyurethanes Industry, American Chemistry Council
2 The Economic Impact of the Polyurethanes Industry in 2010, American Chemistry Council
3 http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_methodology
4 http://energy.gov/heating-and-cooling

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