Polymers Petrochemicals Biochemical Recycling 09-03-2019

Prices of mono ethylene glycol (MEG) in Asia are expected to rise, with the intermonth spread potentially nudging towards backwardation as China’s value added tax (VAT) cut bolsters buying.

The market sentiment is now bullish because downstream polyester sales and Chinese domestic MEG values are being buoyed by expectations of improved MEG demand in China, the world’s number-two economy after the US.

Prices are also underpinned by prospects of reduced supply in the second half of March because of production cuts and turnarounds at MEG facilities.

On 7 March, MEG buying indications for first-half March were at $640-650/tonne CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port), while offers stood at $655-660/tonne CFR CMP.

Polymers Petrochemicals Biochemical Recycling

Eastman Chemical is dusting off an old process to handle polyester waste

As pressure builds on chemical makers to solve the plastic waste problem, firms are increasingly exploring chemical recycling as a complement to traditional mechanical techniques.

Eastman Chemical plans to build a facility that will use methanolysis to depolymerize polyethylene terephthalate (PET), used in food packaging and soda bottles, into dimethyl terephthalate and ethylene glycol. The company developed the process decades ago, as Eastman Kodak, to recycle polyester waste such as X-ray film.

Measures to stem the tide of plastic waste should focus on management of resources rather than on outright bans of products, a representative for the UK government’s environment agency said on Thursday.

Improving collection of waste plastics and making the value chain more circular should be the focus of new legislation introduced, according to Steven Andrews, deputy head of resources and waste at the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

“It is not a war against plastics, it’s a war against plastic waste,” he said, speaking at the IdentiPlast conference in London, UK.

The UK uses 5m tonnes of plastic every year, of which half is packaging material, and 3.7m tonnes of plastic waste is produced annually, Andrews said.

Elisabeth Skoda looks at ways how Industry 4.0 and smart solutions have helped companies become more energy efficient and keep track of what happens at their production sites.

Adopting Industry 4.0 into a packaging line can bring many benefits from better data management to improved efficiency. Smart packaging lines can improve traceability, uptime, and quality, while reducing running costs and total cost of ownership.

“Benefits come from having an integrated component and control platform which allows seamless exchange of data between devices and the control system. Having access to this component level data is a key enabling factor to realise the benefits of an Industry 4.0 system,” observes Daniel Rossek, regional marketing manager at Omron.

European polyethylene (PE) prices are moving up for the first time since June 2018.

Some traders sighed a breath of relief.

“It’s been really tough these past months, with only dropping prices,” said one.

“Nice to hear something like this after months of decreases,” said another.

The last time most PE prices moved up was in June 2018.

Some net low-end spot PE prices have been trading below the ethylene contract price for months.

Low-end low density polyethylene (LDPE) spot prices have been trading largely below the ethylene contract since July 2018, with C4 (butene based) linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) low-end net prices faring worse.

Lenzing Nanjing Fibers (LNF) has decided to leave the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (CV).

This initiative originally encompassed ten viscose producers in China joining forces to make the industry more sustainable.

As a sustainability leader in the industry, the Lenzing Group will now pursue its own path in collaborating with the entire value chain to green up the industry and thus expand the company’s position.

This cooperation will involve forest owners, spinners, weavers and knitters, fabric makers as well as brands and retailers selling products made from wood-based fibers.

CARBIOS has announced to have successfully accomplished the production of first PET-bottles made with 100% Purified Terephthalic Acid (rPTA). The company did it through the enzymatic biorecycling of plastic waste. The achievement of this remarkable milestone is groundbreaking and confirms the potential of the company’s technology to engage the whole industry in a responsible transition towards a circular economy.

Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer at CARBIOS, explains, “We have successfully developed the first biological process with which all kinds of PET plastic waste can be broken down into its original components and reused to produce virgin plastic products for applications such as PET-bottles. This new step shows the strong potential of CARBIOS’ enzymatic technology and provides a breakthrough solution to help solve society’s growing waste problem.”

Prices are being supported by efforts led by the OPEC and other countries to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day

US sanctions against the oil industries of OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have also had an impact

SINGAPORE: Oil edged up on Thursday amid ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions against exporters Venezuela and Iran, but price gains were capped by record US crude output and rising commercial fuel inventories.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.31 per barrel at 0637 GMT, up 9 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.

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