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Total Corbion PLA offers full stereocomplex PLA technology at Commercial Scale – Total Corbion PLA, the global technology leader in Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) launched a novel technology that can create full stereocomplex PLA in a broad range of industrial applications – Total Corbion PLA stereocomplex PLA technology

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Total Corbion PLA offers full stereocomplex PLA technology at Commercial Scale

Total Corbion PLA stereocomplex PLA technology Total Corbion PLA, the global technology leader in Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) launched a novel technology that can create full stereocomplex PLA in a broad range of industrial applications. PLA applications will be able to withstand temperatures close to 200°C (HDT-A) with the help of new proprietary technology. Customers keen to test the new technology for their applications can obtain the samples of glass fiber reinforced stereocomplex PLA.

Stereocomplex PLA, a material with long, regularly interlocking polymer chains enable an even higher heat resistance than standard PLA with the support of the new technology. This unique development in PLA temperature resistance unlocks a range of new application possibilities that offers a biobased replacement for PBT and PA glass fiber reinforced products.

An example of it is injection molded applications for under-the-hood automotive components that can now be made from glass fiber reinforced stereocomplex PLA with both a higher biobased content and a reduced carbon footprint. Automotive, aerospace, electronics, home appliance, marine, and construction industries can avail the technology with the same level of sustainability.

Stefan Barot, Senior Business Director the Asia Pacific, said, “Over the past decades, the benefits of full stereocomplex PLA have been studied by universities and R&D departments on a laboratory scale. Now, Total Corbion PLA is the first company to scale up this technology and make it available for a broad range of industrial applications. The technology enables full stereocomplex morphology not only in the lab environment but also in commercial production facilities”.

The customer can evaluate the new developments by obtaining commercial samples of full stereocomplex PLA. Brand owners, converters, and compounders keen to validate and capitalize on this new technology are in the search by Total Corbion PLA . Total Corbion PLA will start up a new production plant in Thailand.

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Fulgar’s Q-Nova catches eye of Nordic brands – Fulgar, a leading Italian manufacturer of nylon and coated yarns, has attracted interest from leading brands in the Northern Europe and the US, with its green programme, strictly-regulated certification and specialities that combine performance and sustainability – Fulgar sustainable products Europe & USA

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Fulgar’s Q-Nova catches eye of Nordic brands

Fulgar, a leading Italian manufacturer of nylon and coated yarns, has attracted interest from leading brands in the Northern Europe and the US, with its green programme, strictly-regulated certification and specialities that combine performance and sustainability.

In particular, the company’s Q-Nova yarn, made from regenerated raw materials, has been supported and adopted by many companies, especially in the circular knit, legwear and woven material sector – for the clothing, intimate wear and sportswear industry.

Spinning department automatic P.O.Y Q-Nova system. © Fulgar

One of the latest brands to have adopted Q-Nova in its products is Arket, a brand owned by Swedish H&M Group, promoting the democratisation of quality through accessible, well-made and long-lasting products. For example, the recycled melange version of Q-Nova with recycled polyester from bottles is used in the brand’s seamless yoga collection.

Traceability and sustainability

“In recent years the Nordic style has influenced the way we furnish our interiors, how we think and even our way of being. Everyone looks towards Northern Europe and its qualities of balance, clean lines and an intense commitment to green issues,” the company reports. “This orientation is also reflected by lifestyles in all areas, from food to clothing. More and more consumers are seeking clothing that is not only fashionable and high-performance but also ethical and, above all, eco-sustainable.”

“This trend is growing in strength and cannot be ignored by companies who wish to stake a claim to future success. It is increasingly important that companies can ensure full traceability for their garments and collaborate with reliable partners who are environmentally aware and open to innovation and environmental matters.” A number of northern European, Anglo-Saxon and North American companies are now choosing specialities from Fulgar’s portfolio like Q-Nova and Evo, a bio-based yarn made from castor oil.

Saving resources

For a number of years, Fulgar has been pursuing a wide-ranging green programme involving the production process and the product offer. This environmentally-aware model earned Fulgar a special mention in the annual report published by Green Italy 2017, produced by Symbola and Unioncamere with the patronage of the Environment Ministry. Fulgar’s commitment in this area has led to the development of eco-sustainable products like Evo and Q-Nova.

Launched five years ago, Q-Nova was the first speciality to be developed by Fulgar in this field. This eco-sustainable yarn also makes the company’s production processes more sustainable, leading to lower CO2 emissions and water consumption. Q-Nova is made exclusively from regenerated raw materials through a mechanical process that uses no chemical materials that could compromise the sustainability of the end product.

Q-Nova melange fabric details. © Fulgar

“In 2017 alone, the Q-Nova recycling system enabled savings of over eleven million litres of water,” the company explains. “If the growth in demand for Q-Nova yarn reaches 30% in 2018, more than 15 million litres of water will be saved.”

Q-Nova by Fulgar

The yarn has also been developed to offer functional and aesthetic advantages, including lightness, good moisture management, keeping the skin cool and dry, and resistance and bright colours. The dye colour yield achieves the same solidity levels as those achieved with virgin polyamide, according to the manufacturer.

As early as 2013, this product was granted European Ecolabel EU and international Global Recycled Standard certification in recognition of the recycling system and the amount of water recycled.

In 2017 Fulgar submitted its entire production process to an environmental impact assessment using the scientific Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. The Q-Nova yarn was included on the Higg Index, an instrument developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to evaluate the environmental impact of a garment’s entire lifecycle.

www.fulgar.com

Fulgar and its eco-sustainable products are atttracting the interest of cutting edge brands in the US and Northern Europe. The main factors behind its success are a well-planned green programme, strictly-regulated certification, and the development of specialities that combine performance and sustainability. Fulgar is a leader in the man-made fibre market.

In recent years, the Nordic style has influenced the way people furnish their interiors. Everyone looks towards Northern Europe and its qualities of balance, clean lines, and an intense commitment to green issues.

It is increasingly important that companies can ensure full traceability for their garments and collaborate with reliable partners who are environmentally aware and open to innovation and environmental matters. These factors have led a growing number of Northern European, Anglo-Saxon, and North American companies to choose specialities from Fulgar’s portfolio like Q-NOVA and EVO yarns, and then launch collaborations with the company.

For a number of years now, Fulgar has been pursuing a wide-ranging green programme involving the production process and the product offer.

This environmentally-aware model has earned Fulgar a special mention in the annual report published by Green Italy 2017, produced by Symbola and Unioncamere with the patronage of the Environment Ministry. Fulgar’s commitment in this area has led to the development of eco-sustainable products that are fast becoming best-sellers. Two examples are EVO, a bio-based yarn made from castor oil, and Q-NOVA, a yarn developed exclusively from regenerated raw materials. (GK)

Source : Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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PetStar keeps Mexico’s PET bottles in the recycling loop – PetStar Mexico PET bottles recycling loop

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PetStar keeps Mexico’s PET bottles in the recycling loop

Company’s PET bottle recycling volume has grown by 150 percent in five years.

Edited by Brian Taylor

International Recycling News Plastics
PetStar Mexico PET bottles recycling loop The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle recycling plants operated by Mexico City-based PetStar in that nation now have an annual production of 50,000 metric tons (110 million pounds) of recycled-content resin (rPET), according to a recent media report.

The online article from Veracruz, Mexico-based El Dictamenreports the rPET is “used for the manufacture of new bottles and other products, such as fibers , shoes, brooms, jewelry and clothing.” (More information on PetStar and its process can be found in this 2015 Recycling Today profile story.)

The El Dictamen report indicates PetStar in 2018 is likely to produce 30,000 metric tons of additional resin compared to 2013, representing a 150 percent increase.

PetStar estimates it has recycled hundreds of millions of PET bottles annually in that stretch, amounting to some 70 percent of the bottles brought to market by its shareholder beverage and bottling companies: Arca Continental, Coca-Cola de México, Bepensa Bebidas, Corporación del Fuerte, Corporación Rica, Grupo Bottler Nayar and Embotelladora de Colima.

The PetStar funding and effort system has helped “Mexico become the leading country in Latin America in PET collection and recycling, recovering [and] recycling 56.3 percent of these containers within the country,” according to the report.

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All-natural nanobiotechnology instead of synthetic agrochemicals – In an effort to develop bio-based and non-synthetic alternatives, nanobiotechnology researchers are looking to plants that possess natural antimicrobial properties – Natural nanobiotechnology synthetic agrochemicals

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All-natural nanobiotechnology instead of synthetic agrochemicals

(Nanowerk Spotlight) Widespread use of synthetic agrochemicals in crop protection has led to serious concerns of environmental contamination and increased resistance in plant-based pathogenic microbes.

In an effort to develop bio-based and non-synthetic alternatives, nanobiotechnology researchers are looking to plants that possess natural antimicrobial properties.

Thymol, an essential oil component of thyme, is such a plant and known for its antimicrobial activity. However, it has low water solubility, which reduces its biological activity and limits its application through aqueous medium. In addition, thymol is physically and chemically unstable in the presence of oxygen, light and temperature, which drastically reduces its effectiveness.

Commercially available thymol formulations are synthetic in nature and have a high concentration of synthetic surfactants. These surfactants are of no use in the target application and make the formulation synthetic in nature. Sometimes this impairs the activity of active compounds and can lead to toxic effects when they enter the food chain.

Scientists in India have overcome these obstacles by preparing thymol nanoemulsions where thymol is converted into nanoscale droplets using a plant-based surfactant known as saponin (a glycoside of the Quillaja tree). Due to this encapsulation, thymol becomes physically and chemically stable in the aqueous medium (the emulsion remained stable for three months).

In their work, the researchers show that nanoscale thymol’s antibacterial and antifungal properties not only prevent plant disease but that it also enhances plant growth.

Natural nanobiotechnology synthetic agrochemicals

model of thymol nanoemulsion

Model of thymol nanoemulsion. (Image: Dr. Vinod Saharan, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology)

“Normally, emulsions are prepared with synthetic surfactants where the amount of surfactant used is 2-3 times that of the water-immiscible active compound,” Dr. Vinod Saharan from the Nano Research Facility Lab, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, at Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, tells Nanowerk. “We have developed our thymol nanoemulsion by using a much lower concentration of saponin as a surfactant.”

The researchers have reported their findings in Scientific Reports (“Thymol nanoemulsion exhibits potential antibacterial activity against bacterial pustule disease and growth promotory effect on soybean”).

“It is exciting how nanoscale thymol is more active,” says Saharan, who led this work in collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis and Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. “We found that nanoscale droplets of thymol can easily pass through the surfaces of bacteria, fungi and plants and exhibit much faster and strong activity. In addition nanodroplets of thymol have a larger surface area, i.e. more molecules on the surface, so thymol becomes more active at the target sites.”

Synthesis of thymol nanoemulsion.
The thymol nanoemulsion developed by the team is an eco-friendly, biodegradable formulation that is safe for ecosystems and can be a potential alternative for synthetic agrochemicals (antibacterial, fungicide plant growth regulator etc) for food crops.

 

The team’s next steps will be to investigate how other micronutrients and bioactive compounds can be blended with the nanoscale thymol emulsions.

“Thymol nanoemulsion has application in food and agriculture sector as a environment safe anti-bacterial and antifungal agent,” Saharan concludes. “Beside this, it also acts as plant growth regulator and further can be exploited as food preservative and use to prevent post harvest losses in agriculture.”

By Michael Berger – Michael is author of two books by the Royal Society of Chemistry: Nano-Society: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology and Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny. Copyright © Nanowerk

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EU to invest €30m in Glanbia plastic recycling project – EU €30m Glanbia plastic recycling project

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EU to invest €30m in Glanbia plastic recycling project

 

EU €30m Glanbia plastic recycling project

The European Commission is set to invest €20-30m to reduce plastic waste in the dairy industry as part of a collaboration with Glanbia Ireland.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan will tomorrow announce details of AgriChemWay, a new bio-refinery at Lisheen Mine near the Tipperary-Kilkenny border.

The former lead and zinc mine will be turned into a processing plant to convert waste into bio-based products such as biodegradable plastics, creating an estimated 350 jobs.

EU €30m Glanbia plastic recycling project

European Commissioner Phil Hogan is set to announced a multi-million euro investment on Thursday. Pic: John Cogill

The technology for the bio-refinery was developed by Glanbia, the Irish dairy multinational, based on research funded by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

Its aim will to be provide greater resource efficiency, with less food waste, more products and greater integration of food and non-food material production.

Lisheen Mine closed in early 2016 and has since been fully rehabilitated and designated as a green energy hub as part of efforts to deliver alternative industry to the site.

EU €30m Glanbia plastic recycling project

Glanbia will develop a new bio-refinery in Tipperary with EU funding. Pic: Rolling News

An additional 100 jobs will be created through ancillary services and support businesses to the mid-Tipperary region, and employment will also be created during the construction of the new facility.

Partners in the project include: UCD, Trinity College; Commercial Mushroom Producers Cooperative; Tipperary Co Council; Teagasc; Pole Greenwin, Belgium; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium and EW Biotech GmbH, Germany.

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Swedes are recycling more than ever via their bottle deposit scheme – Sweden recycled record numbers of plastic bottles and aluminium cans via its official recycling scheme ‘pant’ last year – Swedes recycling bottle deposit scheme

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Swedes are recycling more than ever via their bottle deposit scheme

Swedes recycling bottle deposit scheme
‘Pant’ machines in a Swedish supermarket. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
Sweden recycled record numbers of plastic bottles and aluminium cans via its official recycling scheme ‘pant’ last year.

In Sweden (and some other countries such as Germany and Norway), you pay a deposit on plastic bottles and cans that gets refunded when you later bring the containers to the recycling station.

People trudging to the supermarket with their plastic bags full of cans and bottles is thus a common sight, and there is even a word for it: to panta (the word pant means deposit in Swedish).

The scheme has been around for decades, and last year was particularly good. On average, Swedes recycled 183 cans and PET bottles per person this way – in total almost 17,000 tonnes aluminium and more than 20,000 tonnes of PET bottles, which got turned into new cans and bottles.

“It’s a record year,” Katarina Lundell, head of communications for Pantamera, the campaign run by bottle recycling company Returpack to encourage Swedes to recycle more, told newswire TT.

Around 85 percent of all cans and PET bottles sold in Sweden are recycled via the official scheme – healthy statistics compared to international figures, but they fail to reach Sweden’s own targets.

“The goal is to reach 90 percent. But sales and consumption continuously increase. Young adults are consuming a lot, so we have to do more to impact attitudes and behaviour,” said Lundell.

Earlier this year, the UK government announced a new bid to make shoppers in England start paying a refundable deposit for single-use drink containers.

But in Sweden this system has been around since 1984, when pant was first introduced on aluminium cans. Today, the deposit is 1-2 kronor depending on the size of the bottle. (approximately $0.12-0.24).

The system is run by Returpack Svenska AB, a company privately owned by brewery and grocery organizations Sveriges Bryggerier, Livsmedelshandlarna and Svensk Dagligvaruhandel.

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US April ethylene contract settlement delayed amid long supply, higher costs – US ethylene contract market participants have been unable to reach an agreement on an April settlement amid long supply, historically low spot prices and higher production costs – USA April ethylene contract

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US April ethylene contract settlement delayed amid long supply, higher costs

Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)–US ethylene contract market participants have been unable to reach an agreement on an April settlement amid long supply, historically low spot prices and higher production costs.

USA April ethylene contract

March ethylene contracts had settled in early April at 28.25 cents/lb ($623/tonne). US ethylene contract prices typically settle at the start of the month for the prior month.

Negotiations for the April contract price will be revisited in early June, along with the negotiations for the May contract price in a double-month settlement, market sources said.

The last double-month settlement for US ethylene contracts was following Hurricane Harvey, when the August contract was delayed as the market faced disruptions from the hurricane. August contracts settled alongside September contracts the following month.

In April the market has faced long supply, falling spot prices and climbing feedstock costs. Ethylene production, bolstered by new capacity, has outpaced consumption amid a slower-than-expected ramp-up for new downstream polyethylene (PE) capacity.

Two new crackers, each with an ethylene capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year, have started up recently. The DowDuPont cracker in Freeport, Texas, started up in September and the Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) cracker at the Cedar Bayou complex in Baytown, Texas, started up in early March.

Both new crackers have been operating well.

“CP Chem started up its new cracker at Cedar Bayou, which is one of the largest and most energy efficient crackers in the world,” Jeff Dietert, Phillips 66 vice president, investor relations, said during a Q1 earnings call on 27 April. “The cracker reached full design rates in April.”

CP Chem is a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Chevron.

However, ethylene demand has been less than expected despite the start-up of about 3.5m tonnes/year of new PE capacity in late 2017. Several of the new PE plants have struggled to reach full operating rates due to logistics, certification or specification issues.

The imbalanced has lengthened the ethylene market.

Spot prices have been on a downward trajectory since early 2018 with steep declines since the March start-up of the CP Chem cracker. Front-month spot trades fell to a 19-year low of 13 cents/lb on 26 April.

In April, front-month spot trades were 13.0-17.5 cents/lb, compared with 16.0-22.0 cents/lb in March.

Average spot prices in April were lower by about 4 cents/lb from March, market sources said.

While falling spot prices have kept pressure on the contract market, rising feedstock costs are countering that influence.

US ethane, propane

USA April ethylene contract

Ethane prices have risen since the March start-up of the CP Chem cracker, increasing by about 4 cents/gal since early March. Ethane prices in April were an average of about 2 cents/gal higher than in March, according to ICIS assessments.

Prices of propane rose sharply in April, tracking higher upstream crude oil values and rising demand. Propane is the second most common cracker feedstock in the US.

Average production costs in April were higher by about 1 cent/lb from March, market sources said.

Major US ethylene producers include ExxonMobil, INEOS, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.

Major US buyers include Occidental Chemical and Westlake Chemical.

Focus article by Jessie Waldheim

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