Sustainable fuels – car-to-car 28-09-2022

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-Pilot Project: Physical Recycling Makes Mixed Plastic Waste Recyclable

  • Audi is setting up cycles as an integral part of its automotive value chain
  • Test phase launched: physical recycling complements research projects on chemical and mechanical plastic recycling from old vehicles
  • The vision: create high-quality granulate materials for use in serial automotive manufacturing

Audi is promoting sustainable product development and wants to establish more and more cycles. Together with partners from science and industry, the company with the four rings is researching ways of improving material recyclability and saving primary materials. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute, the manufacturer is now testing an additional method of recycling plastics and making them usable for mass production. As part of Audi Environmental Week, Audi employees will be focusing on recycling and many other ideas for a more sustainable company. This is the campaign’s second year and it is intended to promote networking, exchange, and interdisciplinary cooperation with the aim of improving Audi’s sustainability performance.

Audi wants to make cycles an integral part of the automotive value chain. The company is launching pilot reprocessing projects for a growing number of materials and components. The objective is to gain experience with as many processing techniques as possible and produce derivatives for future application of particular raw materials. Material cycles have several advantages: on the one hand, they reduce demand for renewable and raw nonrenewable materials. On the other hand, materials based on material cycles have a more favorable energy footprint. The company with the four rings is also keeping a close eye on the energy required for recycling – anything that does not make sense from an ecological point of view will not be pursued after the pilot phase. In addition, ever more efficient recycling methods are increasing the company’s sustainability as a whole.

Different Recycling Methods for Different Types of Plastic

Since not all types of plastic can be sorted and recycled with the same quality or even in the same way, Audi is looking at different technologies at the same time: mechanical, chemical and, most recently, physical recycling. Audi’s vision is to qualify more and more materials for diverse and demanding applications in cars and to identify optimal processing and recycling techniques in order to be able to close cycles. “Our focus is always on getting as many plastic contents as possible out of the car at the end of its life in order to be able to recycle them again,” says Mike Herbig of Audi’s polymer team.

Today’s vehicles typically contain more than 200 kilograms (440 lbs.) of various plastics and plastic composites. Bumpers, radiator grilles, various interior parts, as well as components in the drive system and air conditioning are all made from it. This sometimes mixed plastic waste is first mechanically crushed and separated from other materials. It can then be processed again into plastic granules in a subsequent process.

Same Requirements for Components Made from Recycled Materials and Virgin Materials

The quality demands placed on the plastics are high. The same criteria apply to recycled components as to virgin materials. These include crash safety, heat resistance, and media resistance, e.g., against organic solvents, oil, or hydraulic fluids. In addition, there is dimensional stability and quality, feel, appearance, and smell throughout the vehicle’s entire service life. Environmental requirements also must increasingly be taken into account. Mike Herbig says, “We only use a recycled material if the components made from it also meet the requirements, which is to say if the quality of the parts remains the same over their entire useful life.”

Mechanical recycling of plastics reaches its limits where different plastics are processed as a composite and various adhesives, coatings, and fillers such as glass fibers are used. An added disadvantage is that the quality of the plastics decreases with each mechanical processing step. As a rule, plastics recycled in this way are no longer suitable for use in vehicle construction, especially not for safety-related components.

Together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and industry partners, Audi has also developed on a chemical recycling method. Mixed plastic waste is processed into pyrolysis oil. Pyrolysis oil can replace crude oil as a raw material in the production of high-quality plastics. The components produced in this way are just as valuable and safe as when they are made from virgin material.

Physical Recycling Feasibility Study

In addition to research projects focusing on mechanical and chemical recycling, Audi is also conducting a feasibility study in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV to investigate the possibilities of the physical recycling of automotive plastic waste and its reuse in vehicles. This method makes it possible to work with plastics with significantly higher levels of contamination, meaning that simple and incomplete pre-sorting from on old vehicle is sufficient.

Unlike chemical recycling, plastic is not destroyed by physical recycling. Instead, it is dissolved with solvents. This means that no chemical degradation reaction takes place and the polymer chains remain undamaged. “Only substances that are absolutely harmless are used as solvents,” explains Dr. Martin Schlummer of Fraunhofer IVV. “Other solids that could interfere with the new end product are separated”. Dissolved substances such as flame retardants can also be dissolved from the plastic solution if necessary. The solvents used are then evaporated and also fed into the cycle. After drying, this results in a very pure plastic granulate that matches the quality of virgin material.

The aim is now to produce larger quantities of this granulate in order to ensure its technical feasibility and to test its cost-effectiveness. In further testing, the “plastic with a past” will be transformed into add-on parts, such as the seat height adjuster. It is a small component, but it has to meet high standards in terms of emissions and odor. In the future, Audi plans to use the various recycling technologies to complement each other in order to recover plastics from old vehicles for high-quality reuse.

Further Increase in the Proportion of Recycled Materials in the Vehicle

In the future, Audi wants to increase the proportion of recycled materials in vehicles further. There are already as many as 27 components made with recyclates in an Audi Q4 e-tron. The exterior includes components such as the mounting bracket, a component that has to meet particularly high demands in terms of its mechanical properties. What’s more, large proportions of the headlight mounts, wheel arch liners, fender covers, floor trim, and wheel spoilers are made from secondary raw materials.

In the interior of the Audi Q4 e-tron, recyclates are used in the insulation and damping materials. Moreover, many of the visible surfaces contain recycled materials. These include the floor covering and parts of the luggage compartment trim. In the S line interior, the upholstery for the sport seats is made of Dinamica microfiber material, in combination with artificial leather. Polyester fibers make up 45 percent of the Dinamica material, which nonetheless looks and feels like suede. The fibers used are derived from recycled PET bottles, old textiles, or residual fibers.




TotalEnergies and SARIA join forces to produce

sustainable aviation fuels

TotalEnergies and SARIA, a leader in the European market for the collection and valorisation of organic materials into sustainable products, have concluded an agreement to develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production on the Grandpuits (Seine-et-Marne) zero-crude platform.

This agreement is a major step in securing feedstock supply (used cooking oils and animal fats) eligible to produce SAF and will enable the SAF production capacity to reach 210,000 tons per year, 25% higher than foreseen in the initial project announced in 2020.

Under this agreement, TotalEnergies will take 50% of a production activity of SARIA, that will supply animal fat esters to Grandpuits. SARIA will take an equivalent stake in the biofuels business of the Grandpuits biorefinery, which will remain operated by TotalEnergies. SARIA will also directly supply used cooking oils.

“I am delighted to conclude this strategic partnership with SARIA, which reinforces the conversion of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform oriented towards SAF. This is a major milestone in our ambition to become one of the leaders in sustainable aviation fuels,” says Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals at TotalEnergies. “SAF is the most efficient solution to immediately reduce CO2 emissions from air travel, and its development is fully in line with the Company’s Climate ambition to get to net zero by 2050, together with society.”

Sustainable fuels - car-to-car

-Controlled viscosity moulding to light up the room at K 2022

Injection moulder X2F has partnered with materials player Covestro to develop a thermally conductive automotive heat-sink with in-mould electronics using X2F’s transformative controlled viscosity moulding technology.

Application samples will be displayed at Covestro’s stand (Hall 6/A75-1/A75-2), during K 2022.

The application presents an alternative to cast-aluminium heat-sinks for automotive OEMs and processors.

The new heat-sink moulded of Makrolon polycarbonate (PC) is approximately half as heavy as a comparable aluminium part.

It is part of an in-mould assembly that can be used to integrate LED modules directly into the headlamp housing – eliminating the need for brackets, screws, thermal pastes, and adhesives.  X2F technology has been demonstrated in high-volume series manufacturing for other applications.

Covestro’s Makrolon TC polycarbonate provides heat management and other suitable properties for in-mould electronics (IME).

“This new program involves using controlled viscosity moulding by X2F to attach the LED module directly onto the thermally conductive heat-sink without fundamentally changing the heat-sink adjuster module design. We are pleased with the outcome so far of the X2F project where we have recently seen enhanced thermal management performance compared to traditional injection-moulded processes, and look forward to how the automotive industry will adopt the technology.,” said Paul Platte, senior marketing manager, Covestro LLC.

X2F’s process enables sensitive electronics to be insert moulded, thus providing functional integration, heat management, modularity, and miniaturisation.

“This innovative technology enables the manufacture of previously impossible-to-mould thermoplastic parts that provide step-change improvements for our customers. In the case of heat-sinks, it dramatically streamlines production, reduces manufacturing times, eliminates fasteners and pastes, and increases product design flexibility,” said Reza Garaee, senior project manager for X2F.




-Technip, Agilyx advance polystyrene chemical recycling technology

“All-in-one” solution combines Agilyx pyrolysis technology and Technip’s purification process

Paris – French engineering & technology company Technip Energies and plastics pyrolysis company Agilyx have advanced the chemical recycling of post-consumer polystyrene with the development of a new technology to delliver ‘high purity styrene monomers’.

TruStyrenyx is an “all-in-one solution” combining Agilyx’s pyrolysis process and Technip Energies’ purification technology, yielding a recycled styrene monomer “with exceptional high purity” the companies announced in a statement last month.

The technology was launched following successful results from pilot plant testing conducted on difficult-to-recycle waste polystyrene, including flame retardant laden waste polystyrene.

According to the partners, the recycled styrene monomer from the unit in Weymouth, Massachusetts, meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for styrene monomer and is greater than 99.8 wt% purity.

In particular, the process reduces halogens from flame retardants to “below available detection limit” – an impurity which is currently difficult to reduce in the existing production processes.

The ‘pure monomer’ styrene monomer can be used as a key component for the production of ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) as well as various synthetic rubbers.

Technip Energies and Agilyx announced their partnership in June 2021, leveraging Agilyx conversion technology and Technip Energies purification process.

“This marks an important step in our development of circular solutions for styrenics technologies, and our relationship with Agilyx,” said Bhaskar Patel, SVP of sustainable fuels, chemicals and circularity at Technip Energies.

According to Agilyx chief technology officer Chris Faulkner, the technology is “completely new” to the marketplace, offering an all-in-one solution for the chemical recycling of polystyrene.




-Amcor introduces Dairyseal™ featuring Clearcor™, a more sustainable packaging line for the ready-to-drink dairy market

  • Can be made with up to 80 percent recyclable material
  • New barrier technology maintains superior taste and freshness
  • Allows brands to easily expand into e-commerce and convenience store distribution channels

Amcor Rigid Packaging (ARP) introduces the DairySeal™ line of packaging that features ClearCor™, an advanced polyethylene terephthalate (PET) barrier. With the introduction of DairySeal, the exploding nutritional, dairy alternatives, and ready-to-drink (RTD) market will now have a more sustainable packaging option that can be leveraged across all retail channels.

The ClearCor PET barrier technology is a concentrated capsulation in the center of the preform that allows more flexibility and resin options. This technology positively impacts the overall performance of the barrier in the packaging and maintains recyclability. The DairySeal line of packaging can be made with up to 80 percent of recyclable material while maintaining superior taste and performance for the brand.

“PET is the most recycled plastic in the world, with more than 1.8 billion pounds of used PET bottles and containers recovered in the U.S. each year alone,” notes Greg Rosati, Amcor Rigid Packaging vice-president of marketing & sales for specialty containers. “With the development of our DairySeal line, we are able to offer PET packaging that helps improve sustainability for brands in the dairy alternatives, nutritional drinks, and ready-to-drink coffee space. In doing so, Amcor Rigid Packaging is bringing this packaging, and its significant environmental and commercial benefits, to market.”

Along with providing more sustainable benefits, DairySeal maintains its physical integrity during shipment; allows for customizable design while meeting shelf requirements; and is designed to help improve overall consumer satisfaction in a highly competitive landscape. The DairySeal line is currently available in 8 oz, 11 oz, 12 oz and 14 oz stock options, with additional sizes and shapes planned for future stock demand.

“A superior dairy product deserves superior packaging. The DairySeal line in PET offers brands easy access to e-commerce and convenience store distribution channels, where refrigerated shelf space is designed for round, rigid plastic bottles,” notes Greg Rosati, Amcor Rigid Packaging vice-president of marketing & sales for specialty containers. “When considering that PET significant environmental advantages, the DairySeal line will help drive a circular economy where brands, consumers and the environment all benefit.”

The attributes of PET is reinforced by a report from McKinsey & Company, the Climate Impact of Plastics, which found that PET bottles have the lowest emissions because of their lightweight properties and the low amount of energy required to produce them. By contrast, aluminum cans produce twice the emissions of PET bottles, and emissions from glass bottles are three times higher. Additionally, a recent study conducted by the by the National Association for PET Container Resources found the impact of a PET bottle on global warming, smog, acid rain and water usage was far less than its glass bottle or aluminum can counterpart.

Sustainable fuels - car-to-car

-W.R. Grace & Co. welcomes new UNIPOL polypropylene technology licensee in Indonesia

W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) technology, has received a commitment from PT Kilang Pertamina International (PT KPI) to use Grace’s UNIPOL PP technology, which is part of its larger initiative, the Trans-Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI) Olefin Complex Development Project in Indonesia, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This project will empower PT KPI to increase refinery and polyolefin capacity by addressing the gap between strong demand growth of petrochemicals and the shortage in domestic production capacity.

The 600,000 tpy polypropylene plant will be designed to produce homopolymers, random and impact copolymers to cover domestic and international market needs.

Laura Schwinn, President of Grace’s Specialty Catalysts business said, “We thank PT KPI for trusting Grace UNIPOL PP technology to deliver the technology, innovation and services that PT KPI will use to grow and enhance the polymer market in Indonesia and beyond. As a member of the UNIPOL PP technology global community, through the PPartner Program, they can gain access to services and knowledge for the lifetime of the plant to enhance efficiency and performance.”




-LyondellBasell licenses Lupotech T technology to Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.

LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) announced today that Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A. (PKN ORLEN) will be using the LyondellBasell Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene technology.

The Lupotech T process technology will be used for a 250 kiloton per year (KTA) low density polyethylene (LDPE) line. The new line will be located at their existing complex in Plock, Poland.

“With our high-pressure process engineering capabilities and long-standing operating and product expertise, LyondellBasell is delighted to become PKN ORLEN’s licensing partner for the new LDPE project at their site at Plock,” said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added, “For larger scale production of LDPE resins, the Lupotech T process technology has proven to be the safe, reliable and energy efficient benchmark for our customers around the world.”

“Investment in modern technology is one of our strategic goals. In this way, we are consistently bolstering our position in the European market and increasing profits. Petrochemicals are crucial to the future of the ORLEN Group and the strength of the Polish economy. According to global forecasts, the value of the petrochemicals and base plastics market is expected to double by 2030. That is why we are investing heavily in this area of our business, effectively leveraging the potential of the Płock plant. The project we are looking into will allow us to add another petrochemical product to our portfolio, develop our competencies and create specialised jobs,” says Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board

Decades of experience in high-pressure application design makes the Lupotech T process the preferred technology for LDPE plant operators. High conversion rates, demonstrated high plant availability and effective process heat integration are key attributes of the Lupotech T process, designed to ensure this technology’s energy efficiency.

More than 14 million tons of the Lupotech T process for LDPE/EVA production capacity has been licensed by LyondellBasell in over 70 lines around the world.

Licensees can take advantage of LyondellBasell’s in-house expertise of continuous production improvement, product development according to the latest environmental regulations and LyondellBasell’s knowhow in high pressure design, by optionally joining our Technical Service program.

In addition to the Lupotech T process technology, the LyondellBasell portfolio of licensed polyolefin processes and catalysts includes:

Hostalen – Leading low-pressure slurry process for the production of high-performance multimodal high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Spherizone – The breakthrough multi-zone circulating reactor provides a unique and innovative platform to manufacture polypropylene products with novel architecture and enhanced properties.

Spheripol – The leading polypropylene (PP) process technology with more than 30 million tons of licensed capacity. With globally recognized quality grades featuring leading monomer yield and investment costs to make it the technology of choice.

LyondellBasell licenses Lupotech T technology to Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.

-Mexican plastic resin market sees plunging prices as U.S. imports surge with new capacity

The Mexican packaging material market has seen sharp price declines as of late September compared with the start of the year for polyethylene and polypropylene, two of the most traded hydrocarbons-derived products.

The two Mexican producers of polyethylene, the Braskem-Idesa venture in Nanchital, Veracruz and the state-owned oil and gas company Pemex, have faced problems already ongoing for about three years that have reduced the availability of Mexican-origin polyethylene.

U.S.-made polyethylene pellets that as of late Sep. 2022 continued to be offered south of the Rio Grande border, after new capacity was added this year, have more than compensated for the reduction and prices fell.

Prices of polypropylene, another plastic resin material that contributes to the manufacture of multiple products, also fell. There is only one Mexican producer of polypropylene: Indelpro, a partnership of Mexico´s Alpek and LyondellBasell. It is based in Tamaulipas, just south of Texas, in the same Mexican Gulf region where Braskem Idesa has its ethylene and polyethylene complex.

“Producers along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana have shown their capacity to produce resin is clearly bigger (as of late September) compared with the first months of the year and prices have fallen sharply,” said a Mexican market source, who requested that his name and company be withheld.

New U.S. PE capacity floods Mexico

“For polyethylene, there is currently availability of polyethylene in Mexico from U.S. origin that used to be sold anywhere from $1,300 to $1,500 per tonne now imported into Mexico in the order of $1,130. This is for a linear low density (LLDPE) very common in flexible packaging,” the source said.

“And those of high density (HDPE) for blow molding have seen the greatest increase in availability,” he added.  Some of those grades are more expensive than LLDPE and can be obtained currently at $1,250 per tonne, the source said.




-Texon launches recycled insole

Texon has launched its first insole made with 100% recycled content.

Produced using recycled PET and a special fusion-bonding technology that completely removes the need for chemicals or water, the Ecostrobe insole offers new possibilities for footwear designers seeking to integrate sustainability into strobel applications, without compromising strength and performance.

Unveiled at Lineapelle in Milan from September 20-22, Ecostrobe is suitable for use in high-performance and delivers all the physical properties expected from a top-quality insole material. It is strong and durable and has excellent moisture absorption and dispersal qualities. When evaluated against comparable products, it is also 20% lighter and its production requires 50% less energy.

“We have adapted our production processes to ensure the recycled composition and recyclability of our products,” said Boyd Mulder, sustainability and marketing director at Texon. “We’ve calculated that for every one million pairs of shoes containing Ecostrobe, more than 2.1 million bottles will be diverted from landfill, making it the ultimate enviro-conscious choice for strobel applications.”




Biodegradable-films – Polyamide 27-09-2022