Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET 23-01-2023
Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
Crude Oil Prices Trend
-Petrochemicals – Recycled-Polyester
-Covestro and Lanxess cooperate to produce more sustainable raw materials with reduced CO₂ footprint
Companies agree production of key basic chemicals
Covestro uses electricity with certificates of origin from hydropower for electrolysis in North Rhine-Westphalia
Cooperation reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 120,000 tons per year
Chemical companies Covestro and LANXESS are cooperating in the energy-intensive production of basic chemicals at their Lower Rhine sites in Germany and make them more climate friendly. LANXESS procures chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from the ISCC PLUS-certified sites of Covestro in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen.
With immediate effect, Covestro is manufacturing around one-third of the volume of products it supplies to LANXESS using energy from hydropower based on guarantees of origin. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
“Covestro is pursuing the goal of completely converting its production to electricity from renewable sources on its path to operational climate neutrality in 2035,” says Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro. “A particular focus is on the energy-intensive production of basic raw materials. In cooperation with LANXESS, we use energy in our electrolysis plants in North Rhine-Westphalia on a pro-rata basis, which enables us to reduce our reported emissions by up to 120,000 metric tons of CO₂ per year.”
“The joint project with Covestro is an important building block in making our entire value chain climate-neutral. By sourcing raw materials for these products with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, we will be able to reduce our reported indirect emissions by up to 120,000 metric tons of CO₂ equivalents per year,” says Dr. Hubert Fink, member of the LANXESS Board of Management. With its Net Zero Value Chain Initiative, the specialty chemicals group plans to eliminate Scope 3 emissions within its upstream and downstream supply chain by 2050.
-SINTEF partners with WNRI to find new ways to recycle marine plastics
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Fishing and aquaculture are largely responsible for the large amounts of plastic waste that end up in the oceans. The plastic fishing gear they use contains various components and chemicals. For instance, the rope may be made of plastic containing metal wire. Now it appears that Norway’s SINTEF is joining hands with the Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI) to investigate how these plastics can be recycled and made into new products.
“With the exception of fishing nets and crab pots made of biodegradable materials, research of this type has never before been conducted on fishing and aquaculture equipment,” SINTEF said in a press release. Another important task involves finding out whether biodegradable plastics would be suitable for fishing gear leading to continued fishing.
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“This project should find new solutions that can contribute to the introduction of new circular products in the fisheries and aquaculture sector,” says Hans Jacob Walnum, project manager at WNRI. “There is everything in this: from new technologies to policy design and the answer to how completely new industries can be established,” he says.
-High-concentration lignin biocomposites with low-melting point biopolyamide
Novel low-melting point biopolyamide was synthesized via a copolymerization reaction.
- Lignin modification was done through grafting of octadecyl isocyanate molecules.
- Biocomposites with a high concentration of lignin were prepared.
- Surface-modified lignin particles dispersed evenly in all biocomposites.
- The mechanical properties of the biocomposite improved upon the addition of lignin.
Blending polymers with a high concentration of bio-based fillers is one of the solutions that not only reduces a dependency on petroleum-based feedstocks but can also significantly decrease the carbon footprint. In the current study, n-octadecyl isocyanate (ODI) molecules were grafted on lignin particles to render them compatible with a novel copolyamide matrix, which was successfully synthesized through a copolymerization between petroleum- and bio-based monomers.
Different concentrations of the surface-modified particles were melt-blended with a low-melting point copolyimide, and the properties of the developed biocomposites being thoroughly studied. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
The SEM imaging revealed that the surface-modified particles homogeneously dispersed into the polymer matrix for all loading levels without any clear evidence of particle agglomeration, phase separation, or voids formation, proposing excellent compatibility between the components that arose from a successful surface modification process. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of the biocomposites significantly improved. For instance, the yield stress and tensile modulus were enhanced by 50% and 200% at the biocomposite with 50 wt% filler content, without any considerable change in the tensile strain. The dynamic mechanical analysis, as well as the rheology measurements, further confirmed the uniform dispersion of the surface-modified particles and their compatibility with the copolymer matrix, within which the storage modulus considerably improved upon the increase of filler content.
Overall, our findings strongly suggest that these newly developed biocomposites with a green content of up to 80% are attractive candidates for substituting petroleum-based plastics for the demanded applications. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
Plastics are widely used in daily life due to their ease of processing, low cost, and low density. However, due to the depletion of sources as well as the environmental concerns arising from excessive consumption of polymers, such as global warming, an increased carbon footprint, and the effects on marine life, great efforts are being made to substitute these types of polymers with green, sustainable, and eco-friendly ones to fulfill the requirements of daily life.
Monomers derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable oils, are mostly considered for developing green and sustainable polymers. They are abundantly available in nature with diverse structural features and are usually cheap as well as mostly non-toxic , . As one of the most promising vegetable oils, castor oil has been extensively used to develop partially and fully bio-based sustainable polymers, including polyurethanes, polyesters, and polyamides , . Polyamides, PAs, also known as nylons, are polymer families with high-performance properties, including superior mechanical strength, high stiffness/toughness, good thermal stability, and excellent resistance to a wide range of organic and inorganic solvents , , . Polyamides are recyclable and, fortunately, can be synthesized from renewable biomass resources, such as castor oil. PA11, PA410, and PA1010 are clear examples of bio-based polyamides derived from castor oil-based monomers , .
-Heat and Chemicals Is Costly and Environmentally Problematic, A New Government Study Finds
Industry is pursuing various technologies to help solve the global plastic waste problem, but environmentalists say new recycling techniques only make environmental problems worse.
The plastics industry’s quest to solve the problem of plastic waste through so-called “advanced” recycling—using chemical additives and sometimes extremely high heat to turn waste back into new plastics—is costly and comes with significant environmental impacts, according to new research from the federal government’s National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
Government researchers singled out two prominent “advanced” technologies—pyrolysis and gasification—as particularly problematic, saying they should not even be considered “closed-loop” recycling technologies. These technologies require large amounts of energy and emit significant pollutants and greenhouse gases to turn discarded plastics into oil or fuel, or chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylene, synthetic gases and a carbon char waste product.
So far, 21 states have enacted laws sought by the U.S. plastics industry that categorize advanced plastics recycling as a manufacturing process and not waste disposal. But environmentalists say using plastic waste to make new fossil fuels or feedstocks for more plastic further damages the environment and worsens climate change.
Other forms of chemical recycling fared better than pyrolysis and gasification in the new research, but the more traditional method of recycling—using mechanical means to sort, clean, shred and remold waste plastic—performed better on economic and environmental parameters than emerging methods, although it still has technical limitations, the researchers found. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
Taken together, the peer-reviewed study by a 12-member Department of Energy team that examined the benefits and trade-offs of current and emerging technologies for recycling illustrates the major challenges ahead as the world seeks ways to handle the 400 million metric tons of plastic waste generated globally each year.
Mankind is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago, with the bulk of it dumped in landfills, burned by incinerators or littered across the environment, with only 9 percent recycled, according to a report last year from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group that represents developed nations.
“There’s a lot of work around plastics and it’s very much a hot topic,” said research analyst Taylor Uekert, the lead author of the new study, “Technical, Economic, and Environmental Comparison of Closed-Loop Recycling Technologies for Common Plastics,” published Jan. 12 in the American Chemical Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. “The inspiration here was really to look at all of these different up-and-coming recycling technologies and figure out how they stack up on a consistent basis on environmental, economic and technical perspectives.”
-Economic sentiment for Germany positive for 1st time since Feb 2022
The outlook for the German economy has become increasingly positive in January 2023 against a backdrop of easing inflation, lowering recession fears, and decreasing energy prices. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany makes a considerable leap upwards in the current January 2023 survey, climbing 40.2 points to a new value of 16.9 points. For the first time since February 2022, the economic sentiment indicator for the country is back in positive territory. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
The assessment of the economic situation in Germany has also improved further, but only slightly. The corresponding indicator currently stands at minus 58.6 points, 2.8 points higher than in the previous month, according to a press release by ZEW.
“The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment signals a positive outlook again in January. For the first time since February 2022, the month in which the war in Ukraine began, the indicator points to a noticeable improvement in the economic situation over the next six months. The more favourable situation for the energy markets and the German government’s energy price caps have contributed to this in particular. In addition, export conditions for the German economy are improving due to China’s lifting of COVID-restrictions. Accordingly, the earnings expectations of the export-oriented and energy-intensive sectors have gone up significantly. The prospect that the inflation rate will continue to fall has brightened expectations for the consumer-related sectors,” commented ZEW president professor Achim Wambach on current expectations.
The financial market experts’ sentiment concerning the economic development of the eurozone also improved very strongly in January, rising 40.3 points to a current reading of 16.7 points. The situation indicator also recorded an increase and currently stands at minus 54.8 points, 2.6 points above the previous month’s value.
Inflation expectations for the eurozone declined by 4.4 points in January and currently stand at minus 83.7 points. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
-Digimarc expands pilot program to France
The pilot will provide insights on the potential of digital watermarks for sorting packaging.
Digimarc Corp., Beaverton, Oregon, is expanding its Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 to France. With successful semi-industrial trials, Digimarc says the initiative’s stakeholders have selected France as the European pilot market for Digimarc Recycle.
Digimarc says HolyGrail 2.0 technology is being tested for detection, ejection and purity at industrial level in three testing facilities in France and Germany. France will serve as a pilot market for Digimarc Recycle, providing stakeholders with real-life data on the value creation potential of digital watermarks for sorting packaging materials.
In March 2022, the HolyGrail 2.0 project announced results from its European trials showed that Digimarc’s technology achieved a 99 percent average detection rate across all tested categories of plastic packaging. Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET
The effectiveness of Digimarc Recycle also has been validated in Canada with a 99 percent detection rate in a pilot with the Circular Plastics Taskforce (CPT). CPT plans to implement Digimarc Recycle in Canadian facilities this year to enable the separation of flexibles by attributes, allowing the creation of new end markets.
“As the semi-industrial trials clearly demonstrated last year, digital watermarking technology has the power to transform recycling,” says Digimarc CEO Riley McCormack. “We could not be more thrilled to support our partners in France as they progress in their journey to achieving a more circular economy.”
Biopolyamide – Chemicals – rPET