Scaling UP! H2O

223 Pinks and Blues: Phosphonate Replacements

Scaling UP! Nation, if this is new information to you, hang in there, and if this is old news, I know you’re still going to learn something today. China has reduced its export of Phosphonates by 90% now through 2022 and water treaters everywhere need to be aware of what options are available to you so we can continue providing top-notch service to our clients. 

I couldn’t think of a better person to talk to in this Pinks and Blues COVID, Supply Chain, Phosphate, China, Shipping, Phosphonates, nitrogen, HPA, oxidation, calcium carbonate control, threshold inhibitors, crystal modification, dispersions, polymers, maleic based polymers, materials, cooling towers, Calcite saturation, dosage, LSI, BPM, PH, Legionella, due diligence, oxidizers, Scaling Up H2O, Podcast, Water Treaters, Water Treatment, Mastermind, Rising Tide Mastermind, JC21, AWT, AMP, HEDP, PBTC, molybdate, Legionella Awareness Monthepisode about Phosphonate replacement options than my trusted friend and Radical Polymers co-founder, Michael Standish. Thank you for coming back on the show, Mike! 

For those of you who don’t know him, Mike has over 28 years of experience in polymer additive design and development. Before forming Radical Polymers, Mike served in technical and business leadership roles within global, publicly-traded chemical companies and is responsible for the development and patenting of industry-leading polymers for use in the water treatment, oilfield, and detergent industries. He has authored and presented numerous industry papers for the Association of Water Technologies (AWT), Cooling Technology Institute (CTI), National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), and the American Chemical Society (ACS). Mike has served on the Board of Directors of AWT and holds a BS in Chemistry and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

One of the things I admire most about Mike is that he has a way of taking extremely technical and complicated topics and explaining them in ways that everyone can understand. Trust me, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.


Bottom line: Mike Standish is going to share what he is observing in the marketplace, provide his insights, and offer suggestions so your water treatment company can make the best decisions for today’s unprecedented times. 

Your roadside friend, as you travel from client to client,




Happy Halloween and what is happening with the P4 supply from China [0:30]

What are you observing with the raw materials supply chain? [6:17] 

How should a water treatment company weather this perfect supply chain storm? [8:30]

Understanding your Phosphonate Replacements options [9:45]

Staging down the level of Phosphonate and pairing with Polymers for a hybrid approach [14:14]

Moving from Phosphonate to Polymers: oxidizer awareness [20:30]

What advice do you have for someone who just heard that there is a supply chain crisis? [23:00]

Learnings from the molybdate issue, fifteen years ago [24:00]

Closing thoughts with Trace [26:00]

James’ Challenge: “Calculate boiler efficiency.”  [29:43]



“Work very closely with your vendors to forecast and look at alternative chemistries.”  – Michael Standish

“Don’t make substitutions blindly.” – Michael Standish

“Polymers aren’t your only weapon. You have Ph control and limiting cycles too.” – Michael Standish

“Nearly all polymers in North America are produced by Western suppliers.” – Michael Standish

“Demand is up. Supply chains have been disrupted. There is a severe constraint on ocean transit causing logistics issues. It is the perfect storm.” – Michael Standish

“The very good news is that it will require us to make adjustments but we can still treat water effectively. And there is a big opportunity for the independent water community.” – Michael Standish

“Always be prepared for alternatives.” – Michael Standish

“No one ever said water treatment was easy.” – Trace Blackmore


Connect with Michael Standish :

Phone: 423.316.9877



LinkedIn: in/mike-standish


Links Mentioned:

014 The One with Mike Standish

166 The One Where We Celebrate Halloween

221 Raw Materials Supply Chain Update Roundtable

The Rising Tide Mastermind



Developing Realistic, Representative Laboratory Test Methods for Profiling

In Search Of Synergy



Water Treatment education

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