Kraton Innovation Scientist Dr. Carl Willis and Professor Timothy Long of Virginia Tech Winners of the American Chemical Society's 2011 Award for Cooperative Research in Polymer Science and Engineering

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HOUSTON, April 7, 2011 /CNW/ -- Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. (NYSE: KRA), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers or "SBCs," is pleased to announce that the American Chemical Society (ACS) has selected Dr. Carl Willis of Kraton Polymers and Prof. Timothy Long of Virginia Tech as recipients of the 2011 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering.

The award, sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company (endowed by Eastman Kodak in 1992; an ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division award), was presented at the 2011 ACS Conference in Anaheim on March 30, 2011. "This prestigious award recognizes and encourages sustained cooperative research between industrial and academic or industrial and national laboratory scientists," said Kurt Wiegel, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Chairman, PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee. "Both Dr. Willis and Prof. Long have a documented record of sustained, intensive, cooperative and collaborative research across the university-industry interface, with research that has demonstrated significant importance to polymer science and technology," he concluded.

"We are very proud of Dr. Carl Willis and recognize the magnitude of his contributions to Kraton Polymers, academia, and the advancements in polymer technology and innovation," said Dr. Lothar Freund, Vice President, Technology, Kraton Polymers. "Kraton Polymers has a proven track record of supporting and collaborating with academia to further research and development. For the past ten years, we have firmly supported the efforts between Dr. Willis, Prof. Long, and the students from Virginia Tech," he concluded. This collaboration paved the way for the development of two new Kraton product families including sulfonated block copolymers trademarked as NEXAR(TM) polymers and led to the discovery of a new grade line of products known today as Kraton A polymers.

The first innovation, NEXAR polymers, provides a route to membranes having high water transport rates, excellent wet strength, and good selectivity. This important discovery was made through the efforts of a Virginia Tech graduate and Kraton employee, Dr. Brian Mather, and Dr. Willis, through the opportunity afforded to Dr. Mather by Kraton Polymers. Dr. Mather is named as a co-inventor with Dr. Willis on the patent describing these novel polymeric materials; US Patent 7,737,224.

The second innovation, Kraton A Polymer technology, was based upon a key discovery made while Dr. David Williamson, another Virginia Tech graduate and Kraton employee, who was working in the laboratory of Dr. Willis at Kraton Polymers. Dr. Willis and Dr. Williamson are listed as co-inventors on US Patent 6,699,941 B1, which provides additional details regarding this novel and important technology.

Currently, Prof. Timothy Long and Dr. Carl Willis are working with a Virginia Tech post-doctoral fellow on the synthesis of a new family of polymers, which are being screened for performance in electrically driven separation processes and related applications. This highly effective partnership between Prof. Long, his students, and Dr. Willis continues today. Their collaborative research is focused on unprecedented synthetic strategies that are expected to lead to novel families of polyelectrolyte block copolymers. These efforts are envisioned to provide a route to membranes that transport anions at high rates, have good wet strength, and effectively reject the transport of cations.

For more information about Kraton Polymers, please visit www.kraton.com, or call 1-800-4-KRATON for further assistance. Additional information about NEXAR polymers can be found at www.nexarpolymers.com.

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    About Kraton Polymers
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Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., through its operating subsidiary Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is a leading global producer of engineered polymers and, we believe, the world's largest producer of styrenic block copolymers ("SBCs"), a family of products whose chemistry was pioneered by us almost fifty years ago. SBCs are highly-engineered thermoplastic elastomers, which enhance the performance of numerous products by delivering a variety of attributes, including greater flexibility, resilience, strength, durability and processability. Our polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, and medical, packaging, automotive, paving, roofing and footwear products. We currently offer approximately 800 products to more than 700 customers in over 60 countries worldwide, and are the only SBC producer with manufacturing and service capabilities on four continents. We manufacture products at five plants globally, including our flagship plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as plants in Germany, France and Brazil, and a joint venture plant operated in Japan.

Kraton, the Kraton logo and design, Cariflex, Nexar and the "Giving Innovators their Edge" tagline are all trademarks of Kraton Polymers LLC.

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    © Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. 2011.  All rights reserved.

    (Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100728/DA42514LOGO)




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For Further Information: Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. Media: Marcie Coronado +1-281-504-4975

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SOURCE Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc.

For further information: Web Site: http://www.kraton.com http://www.nexarpolymers.com

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