Cellulose Products Manufacturing: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

Rule Summary

Cellulose is a natural polymer found in plant cell walls. It is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. It is found in cotton, wood, and other types of plants. Cellulose is typically utilized in the manufacturing of paper and paperboard. Cellulose can also be used to produce derivative products such as cellophane, rayon, and carboxy methyl cellulose. The cellulose for these products is typically extracted from trees or cotton.

The cellulose product manufacturing sector can be divided into two major categories: the viscose processes source category, and the cellulose ethers source category.

The viscose processes source category includes the cellulose food casing, rayon, cellophane, and cellulosic sponge industries. The cellulose ethers source category includes the methyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, and carboxymethyl cellulose industries.

Cellulose ethers are used as thickeners and binders in industrial, food, and pharmaceutical products.  Consumer products that contain cellulose ethers include toothpaste, shampoo, and cosmetics.

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for this sector was proposed in 2000 and promulgated in 2005. In those actions, EPA identified carbon disulfide (CS2), carbonyl sulfide (COS), and toluene as the hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emitted in the largest quantities from viscose process operations. Ethylene oxide, methanol, methyl chloride, and propylene oxide were identified as the HAP emitted in the largest quantities from cellulose ether operations. 

The standards for this sector consist of emission limits in the form of a percent reduction from process vents and storage vessels.

See the regulations in the section below for more details.

Rule History

08/10/2005 - Proposed Rule & Direct Final Rule

06/24/2005 - Correction to Final Rule

06/11/2002 - Final Rule

08/28/2000 - Proposed Rule

Additional Resources

08/11/2000 - Fact Sheet: Proposed Hazardous Air Pollutant Regulation for the Miscellaneous Cellulose Products Manufacturing

View the supporting documents in the docket folder to find additional related documents to this rule.