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PET Chemical Recycling – German plastics are currently facing a crisis looming on the horizon 19-02-2024

PET Chemical Recycling

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have once again targeted a commercial ship in the Red Sea

This particular vessel flies the Greek flag but is owned by a US company. According to the maritime security company Ambrey, the ship fell victim to a double missile attack, fortunately missing its intended target.

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries or damage, and the ship continues its journey toward the Gulf of Aden.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, overseen by the British Navy, acknowledges that the ship experienced “an explosion in the vicinity” but without significant consequences. PET Chemical Recycling

However, the Houthis claim to have struck another cargo ship, this time British, which they believe suffered substantial damage. Additionally, they assert that they shot down a US drone over their territory.

The naval conflict in the Red Sea persists. On Saturday, February 17, the United States launched five attacks against the Houthi group’s positions in Yemen.

This military campaign was initiated by Washington in response to the Yemeni armed group’s threat to global trade passing through the Red Sea.

The trigger for this retaliation was Israel’s military operation in Gaza, which followed the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, 2023. PET Chemical Recycling

Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree, in a televised speech, revealed that the cargo ship Rubymar sustained “catastrophic damage” and came to a complete halt.

He emphasized that the ship now faces the risk of potential sinking in the Gulf of Aden. During the operation, the Houthi forces ensured the safe evacuation of the ship’s crew. Ambrey, a British maritime security firm, confirmed that the Rubymar is a UK-registered, Belize-flagged, Lebanese-operated cargo ship targeted by the Houthi military group controlling part of Yemen on Sunday, February 18.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also verified the incident, although without naming the ship specifically.  PET Chemical Recycling

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have once again targeted a commercial ship in the Red Sea

PET Bottle Grade – De Nora and Mangrove have reached an agreement on lithium refining 

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PET Chemical Recycling

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German plastics are currently facing a crisis looming on the horizon

The German plastics industry finds itself grappling with a crisis as the processing sector experienced a significant downturn in sales, plummeting by approximately 6% last year due to challenges within the domestic market. The industry’s turnover for 2023 amounted to 72.5 billion euros, marking a stark decline from the previous year’s 77.1 billion euros. Unfortunately, the forecasts for the current year do not paint a much brighter picture.

Domestic sales took a severe hit, plunging by 9.4% to 42.3 billion euros, signaling a broader industrial crisis within Germany.

In contrast, exports managed to maintain stability, hovering around 30.2 billion euros, with a slight increase in export share to 41.8%. However, the volume of polymers processed in Germany saw a notable decrease, totaling 12.7 million tonnes, down by 9% compared to 2022. PET Chemical Recycling

Employment in the sector also experienced a decline of 2.2%, totaling 319,264 units, while the number of processing companies remained relatively stagnant at just under three thousand. The industry association, Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie (GKV), led by Bavarian entrepreneur Helen Fürst, has criticized the German Government, urging them to implement a new development agenda promptly to reignite growth within the industry within the next two to three years.

According to the association, the crisis is primarily structural, rather than cyclical, stemming from unfavorable conditions faced by the German industry, including impending policies like the plastic tax.

The proposed growth agenda should address key issues such as energy costs, bureaucratic hurdles, investments, and digitalization. PET Chemical Recycling

In terms of sector performance, packaging experienced a significant decline in both volume and turnover, while construction and consumer goods sectors also faced substantial challenges, albeit with some segments managing to maintain stability or even slight growth.

PET Chemical Recycling

Canada emphasizes that China has a significant responsibility in ensuring the safety of the Red Sea

Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, emphasized the imperative role of China in safeguarding the Red Sea for maritime trade amidst Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi attacks on commercial vessels, exemplified by the recent missile strike on the oil tanker M/T Pollux. Joly stressed that given the presence of Chinese ships in the area, Beijing should actively contribute to ensuring the Red Sea’s security and cease aiding Russia in bypassing global sanctions. PET Chemical Recycling

During discussions with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Joly underscored the necessity for China to exert its influence on the Houthis to maintain open navigation routes in the Red Sea, aligning with China’s interests as a major exporter. The attacks, purportedly in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, have disrupted vital trade passages between Asia and Europe, impacting China-bound shipments.

Moreover, Joly pressed for solidarity in upholding Western sanctions against Russia amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, cautioning against China becoming a loophole in the sanction framework. Highlighting Russia’s emergence as China’s primary crude oil supplier despite sanctions, she underscored the utilization of intermediary traders by Chinese refiners to mitigate sanctions breaches. PET Chemical Recycling

Following the meeting, Minister Yi acknowledged the necessity to mend Canada-China relations strained by diplomatic tensions stemming from the detention of a Chinese telecommunications executive by Canadian authorities in late 2018, followed by reciprocal arrests by Beijing. The relationship endured further strain amid allegations of Chinese interference in Canadian elections, countered by Chinese denial.

Canada emphasizes that China has a significant responsibility in ensuring the safety of the Red Sea

Artificial photosynthesis harnesses carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce eco-friendly biodegradable plastic

A groundbreaking artificial photosynthesis technique has been devised, heralding a significant stride in the creation of biodegradable plastics. Developed by researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan, this innovation aims to address the pressing environmental challenges posed by both greenhouse gas-induced climate change and plastic pollution.  PET Chemical Recycling

Harnessing a visible light-driven redox system, coupled with biomass-derived compounds and gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2), the method yields chemicals pivotal in the production of fumaric acid. Fumaric acid stands as a crucial component in biodegradable plastics like polybutylene succinate, commonly utilized in food packaging.

Building upon previous research led by Professor Yutaka Amao at the Research Centre for Artificial Photosynthesis, which demonstrated fumaric acid synthesis from bicarbonate and pyruvic acid using solar energy, this latest endeavor achieves a pivotal breakthrough. Despite prior challenges with low yield, the team’s refined approach, employing a new photosensitizer to convert light into usable energy, now doubles the production of fumaric acid compared to conventional methods.  PET Chemical Recycling

Professor Amao underscores the significance of this advancement, highlighting its contribution to the intricate bio/photocatalyst system. He emphasizes the pivotal role this plays in advancing towards a sustainable future, synthesizing fumaric acid from renewable energy sources with unprecedented efficiency.

PET Chemical Recycling

Itelyum, a Lodi-based company specializing in industrial waste management and valorization, has announced a substantial investment in Plasta Rei, focusing on the chemical recycling of PET

The collaborative venture entails the establishment of a depolymerization facility within a defunct factory in Latina province.

Pending regulatory approvals, the initiative aims to reclaim PET food packaging, employing advanced chemical recycling techniques to produce high-quality granules equivalent to virgin material. Plasta Rei’s innovative process boasts an impressive PET recovery rate exceeding 95%, significantly mitigating CO2 emissions compared to conventional non-recycled counterparts.

Backed by Stirling Square Capital Partners and Deutsche Beteiligungs, Itelyum views this foray into plastic recycling as a strategic imperative, leveraging its technological prowess and corporate stability to pursue sustainable development goals. CEO and General Director Marco Codognola underscores the venture’s significance, citing growth opportunities in Italy and beyond.  PET Chemical Recycling

According to Francesco Borgomeo, President and Shareholder of Plasta Rei, Itelyum’s investment underscores the project’s merit and underscores a commitment to transformative innovation in plastics. Established three years ago, Plasta Rei endeavors to revolutionize the sector by repurposing defunct facilities and implementing unconventional production methodologies, as envisioned by its founder Francesco Borgomeo.

Itelyum, a Lodi-based company specializing in industrial waste management and valorization, has announced a substantial investment in Plasta Rei, focusing on the chemical recycling of PET

Jonathan Lee, a structural materials engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, pioneered a groundbreaking technology for crafting brake discs, aimed at optimizing efficiency and performance

Amidst the pandemic hiatus, Lee’s innovative insight focused on reducing wheel mass to decrease energy consumption during braking and acceleration. Contrary to conventional ventilated brake discs, Lee’s solution proposes direct cooling of hot surfaces, eliminating one disc per wheel to reduce weight.  PET Chemical Recycling

The prototype features a single disc adorned with small fins and extended grooves, drawing in cooler external air to dissipate heat efficiently. This design results in a 30% increase in available surface area and a remarkable 40% reduction in assembly weight. Additionally, the redesigned brake pads exhibit enhanced friction and efficacy in dislodging debris, thus bolstering reliability.

Beyond performance enhancements, the technology addresses environmental concerns, particularly the emission of toxic nanoparticles. Marcus Hays, co-CEO of Orbis Brakes, emphasizes the health hazards posed by elevated temperatures in brake pads and resultant particulate emissions. Orbis actively refines its EcoWave design to align with impending Euro 7 standards, aiming to mitigate emissions.  PET Chemical Recycling

In the automotive sector, Orbis offers the NextWave as an aftermarket upgrade for high-performance vehicles, presenting a compelling alternative to factory-installed brakes. As feedback accumulates, Orbis plans to expand its product lines, tailoring solutions for electric vehicles.

In essence, NASA’s breakthrough research aligns with evolving industry standards, providing a promising solution to mitigate brake-related emissions and enhance vehicle performance, spearheaded by Jonathan Lee’s innovative approach.

Jonathan Lee, a structural materials engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, pioneered a groundbreaking technology for crafting brake discs, aimed at optimizing efficiency and performance

Aduro Clean Technologies Shares Sample Test Results from its Continuous Flow Unit Experimentation and Optimization Program

Aduro Clean Technologies Inc. , a Canadian technology company using the power of chemistry to transform lower value feedstocks, like waste plastics, heavy bitumen, and renewable oils, into resources for the 21st century, is delighted to provide an update on the significant progress made in confirming and presenting the unique advantages of the Hydrochemolytic™ Technology (HCT).  PET Chemical Recycling

Since commencing the commissioning of its Continuous Flow Plastic Reactor in 2023, Aduro has conducted over 240 test runs on a variety of feedstock compositions, with the longest test stretching to 36 hours. The unit was committed to run experiments both for our Customer Engagement Program (CEP) and to achieve research goals, working with a broad variety of feedstocks and advancing the design of the Next Generation Process. Aduro considers its CEP approach crucial to assuring maximum alignment with market needs and changes therein, and to connect to specialised competences and expertise, and as such the CEP has significantly contributed to the advancement and refinement of Aduro’s Next Generation Process.vv

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Aduro Clean Technologies Shares Sample Test Results from its Continuous Flow Unit Experimentation and Optimization Program

GSE presents iodine ion batteries as an eco-friendly substitute for lithium

Iodine ion batteries were presented as a sustainable alternative to traditional lithium batteries during a conference promoted in Milan by RSE, a company indirectly controlled by the Ministry of Economy through the sole shareholder GSE, with the patronage of the Lombardy region .  PET Chemical Recycling
According to Omar Perego, project manager of the Generation Technologies and Materials Department of RSE, the main advantage of this technology is the use of non-critical materials, such as sodium, which is abundant and distributed in nature, unlike lithium. This makes iodine-ion batteries a more sustainable solution.
RSE states that iodine ion batteries are suitable both for stationary storage, such as domestic self-consumption and grid services, and for use in mobility, constituting a valid alternative to the more widespread lithium batteries. This versatility also makes them competitive in sectors such as energy storage and mobility, ensuring a more sustainable and potentially cheaper option than lithium batteries.  PET Chemical Recycling
GSE presents iodine ion batteries as an eco-friendly substitute for lithium
PET Chemical Recycling

Polyethylene-terephthalate PET – Reshaping the recycling plastics marketThe rapid growth of the global plastics recycling market hides a sector undergoing dramatic change14-02-2024

Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

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HydroGraph PET Test Results Show Improved Plastic Performance

HydroGraph Clean Power Inc. has recently announced groundbreaking results from its research endeavors, spotlighting the integration of its cutting-edge graphene technology with polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET, a widely used plastic resin, finds applications across diverse sectors such as water and soda bottle manufacturing, food packaging, and textile production. By infusing HydroGraph’s exclusive graphene into PET, the company aims to enhance the plastic’s performance, potentially reducing material usage in plastic bottles by a significant margin of 10% to 15%.

In today’s global landscape, there’s a growing corporate commitment to reduce disposable plastic usage in products. This aligns with evolving consumer preferences, regulatory pressures, and environmental concerns. However, completely eliminating plastic from the global economy poses considerable challenges. Therefore, companies are exploring innovative strategies and technologies to extend the lifespan of plastics while minimizing environmental impact.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

HydroGraph’s research primarily focused on evaluating its proprietary graphene variant, FGA-1, to bolster the mechanical properties of PET. Through rigorous testing, HydroGraph aimed to gauge graphene’s efficacy in enhancing PET’s mechanical strength and durability. The results were highly promising, indicating potential material usage reduction of up to 15%, translating to significant cost savings estimated at USD 75 million.

To ensure the integrity of the testing process, HydroGraph collaborated with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester. Leveraging GEIC’s advanced facilities and expertise, HydroGraph conducted thorough testing protocols, producing robust data to support its research.

Furthermore, HydroGraph Clean Power Inc. has emerged as a prominent figure in Greater Manchester’s thriving investment zone, contributing significantly to the region’s technological advancement and economic growth. Positioned within Greater Manchester’s graphene research and development hub, HydroGraph is poised to capitalize on the sector’s rapid expansion, solidifying its position as a key player in the global graphene market.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Reshaping the recycling plastics marketThe rapid growth of the global plastics recycling market hides a sector undergoing dramatic change

Recent innovations all along the plastics recycling value chain are transforming the very foundations of the industry while unlocking new found value in used plastic.

Recycling medical plastics

Driven by the pressing need to expand recycling capacity and performance for greater circularity, these advancements promise to reshape the market landscape in the years ahead. From cutting-edge chemical processes to artificial intelligence systems optimising sorting accuracy, new technologies are evolving rapidly to handle more waste plastic, produce higher-quality recycled resin, open new end markets and strengthen value recovery economics.

The success of these innovations will determine if recycled polymers can expand their footprint substantially across global manufacturing one day. As technology barriers fall, the conditions strengthen for recycled resins to capture 20-50% share across major plastic segments as projected over the next 10-20 years by leading industry groups like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Recycled plastics refer to plastics that undergo processes such as sorting, cleaning, and reprocessing to be reused in various applications. Recycling plastics helps mitigate environmental pollution, reduce dependence on virgin plastic production, and conserve natural resources.

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Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

NextChem Tech and ENGIE have joined forces in a strategic partnership aimed at advancing biomethane technology for a zero-carbon industry

Their collaboration will focus on developing and commercializing advanced methods to produce synthetic methane from dry biomass waste.

Under this partnership, NextChem Tech will serve as a key strategic partner and co-developer, leveraging proprietary technologies from both NextChem and ENGIE. Together, they will optimize and integrate these technologies to create an advanced process for biomethane production.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

The culmination of this effort will be the industrialization of the technology through the Salamandre project in Le Havre. Following this milestone, NextChem Tech will become the exclusive licensor of the integrated package, enabling global dissemination of the advanced biomethane solution.

This collaboration represents a significant step forward in the journey towards a zero-carbon industry. By offering environmentally friendly solutions through a circular approach, NextChem Tech and ENGIE reaffirm their commitment to sustainable energy transition.

In summary, the strategic partnership between NextChem Tech and ENGIE signifies a concerted effort to drive innovation in biomethane technology, thereby contributing to the broader goal of achieving a carbon-neutral industrial sector.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Recycling Partners Collaborate to Eliminate Production Scrap Waste at NPE2024

A collaboration between show organizer PLASTICS, recycler CPR and size reduction experts WEIMA and Conair will seek to recover and recycle 100% of the parts produced at the show.

Around 8,000 communities across the United States have some variation of a recycling program that collects plastics from homes and finds a new life for it. These programs are widely diverse in accepted materials and success rates. Equally important are postindustrial scrap management programs at thousands of production facilities across the country. This May in Orlando, a completely different community will emerge with its own unique recycling program.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

On May 6, a pop-up city will assemble in the Orange County Convention Center as some 55,000 attendees assemble for NPE2024, the largest plastics event in North America. They will come to learn, educate and network, but also show what they can do and see what others can do. Exhibitors will want to show that their equipment at its best and will be churning out parts in the process.

And what will happen to those parts, will they be tossed in a dumpster and forgotten? Not at NPE2024. It wouldn’t do. But it will take a coordinated effort to collect the materials flying out of machines at breakneck speed and irregular intervals, break them down and get them on to a new owner who can turn them into new products. Fortunately, exactly the right people for the job will be on hand.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

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Recycling Partners Collaborate to Eliminate Production Scrap Waste at NPE2024

Canada Backs BOSK Bioproducts’ Compostable Bioplastics Boost

SME to receive $1M in financial assistance from CED to foster sustainable development in Quebec’s regions by offering an ecofriendly alternative to polluting plastics.

SMEs have a key role to play in ensuring Quebec’s economy makes the environmental transition. They seek to innovate and grow by becoming more competitive in a greener world. That is why the Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for CED, accompanied by the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and Minister of Public Services and Procurement, took the opportunity during her visit to announce a repayable contribution of $1M for BOSK Bioproducts Inc. This CED support will enable the business to increase its production capacity by establishing a manufacturing unit for compostable bioplastics. The assistance provided will focus on the cost of acquiring equipment and installing, testing, and commissioning this unit.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

BOSK Bioproducts is an innovative SME based on the model of a circular economy to collect industrial waste, such as bio-sludge from paper manufacturing, and convert it into compostable bioplastics. Its new manufacturing unit will enable it to improve its production capacity by securing its supply chain. The business will thus be able itself to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a key component of REGEN™, a bio-based bioplastic it has developed. Through this 100% compostable solution, BOSK aims to significantly reduce plastic waste in the environment.

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Canada Backs BOSK Bioproducts' Compostable Bioplastics Boost

Breakthrough CFRP Recycling Innovation from Oak Ridge National Laboratory: A Step Towards Sustainable Manufacturing

A Groundbreaking Innovation in Polymer Recycling

In a significant breakthrough, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a closed-loop process for creating a tough and recyclable carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). This innovative technology allows for the reprocessing and recycling of the carbon fiber composite materials, addressing the significant carbon footprint associated with traditional CFRPs.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

The Technology Behind the Breakthrough

The technology developed incorporates dynamic crosslinking into a commodity polymer, thus functionalizing it. The addition of a crosslinker makes it akin to thermoset materials, thereby allowing for the reprocessing or recycling of the carbon fiber composite materials without losing their mechanical properties.

Exceptional Strength and Resilience

The resulting recyclable carbon fiber composite possesses very strong interfacial adhesion and can be reincarnated back into its starting materials.

Impressively, the strength of the composite is almost two times higher than a conventional epoxy composite, and the tensile strength is the highest ever among similar fiber-reinforced composite materials. Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

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Breakthrough CFRP Recycling Innovation from Oak Ridge National Laboratory: A Step Towards Sustainable Manufacturing

Linde Engineering and Daimler Truck have set a groundbreaking standard in liquid hydrogen refueling technology, marking a significant advancement in Europe’s journey towards decarbonizing transportation

Through collaborative efforts, they’ve introduced the sLH2 process, revolutionizing the handling of subcooled liquid hydrogen. This innovative method offers numerous advantages over gaseous hydrogen, including higher storage density, extended range, quicker refueling, reduced costs, and enhanced energy efficiency.

Refueling a 40-ton heavy-duty truck carrying 80 kg of liquid hydrogen now takes merely ten to fifteen minutes, enabling a range of over 1,000 kilometers. Moreover, the sLH2 technology slashes hydrogen refueling station investment costs by two to three times and operational expenses by five to six times. Consequently, liquid hydrogen can now be reliably supplied throughout Europe.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

The sLH2 process involves utilizing a specialized pump to marginally increase the pressure of liquid hydrogen, transforming it into subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2). This state of hydrogen streamlines the refueling process, minimizing energy losses and eliminating the need for data transmission between the station and vehicle, thus simplifying the solution.

The pilot sLH2 refueling station boasts a remarkable capacity of 400 kg per hour, demonstrating its efficiency compared to conventional methods. To promote widespread adoption, the technology is being made available through an ISO standard, with the inaugural public sLH2 pilot station unveiled in Wörth am Rhein.

This milestone event, attended by key stakeholders and international media, highlights the commitment of both companies to drive industry-wide adoption of hydrogen-powered transportation. Andreas Gorbach of Daimler Truck emphasizes the importance of collaboration to establish a common standard, while Juergen Nowicki of Linde Engineering underscores the practicality and environmental benefits of sLH2 as a viable alternative to diesel in the heavy-duty vehicle sector.  Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Linde Engineering and Daimler Truck have set a groundbreaking standard in liquid hydrogen refueling technology, marking a significant advancement in Europe's journey towards decarbonizing transportation

Polyethylene-terephthalate PET

Oxo-degradable products – Corsair Bangkok Company Ltd (CORSAIR), a plastic waste recycling firm, has inked a significant agreement with Shell Singapore Pte Ltd (SSPL) to supply pyrolysis oil, a mixed plastic waste feedstock 13-02-2024

Recycled content – In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries 20-01-2024

Recycled content

ALPLA Group, a leading global packaging entity, is significantly elevating its processing capabilities for recycled PET and HDPE, marking a crucial step towards achieving its 2025 voluntary recycled content goals

In a comprehensive review of its 2023 activities, the Austrian-based plastic packaging and recycling firm reported processing 386,000 short tons of recycled resin in-house, doubling the amount from just two years prior, showcasing a robust commitment to sustainability. ALPLA plans additional investments in 2024 to further strengthen its recycling capabilities.

In a notable achievement, the company integrated 20% recycled content into its packaging materials in 2023, underlining its dedication to advancing sustainable practices. ALPLA is strategically concentrating on internally processing higher-quality recycled PET and HDPE to achieve its ambitious target of 25% recycled content in packaging materials by 2025. Recycled content

To spearhead this effort, the company established a dedicated recycling-focused branch in 2023, named ALPLArecycling.

The company’s commitment to recycling growth is evident in its actions, actively expanding capacities to emphasize sustainable practices and circular economy principles. The surge in demand for recycled HDPE validates the effectiveness of ALPLA’s strategy, with the company expressing confidence in its approach.

ALPLA’s recent strides in recycling underscore its continuous dedication to integrating recycled materials into production processes. In 2022, the company used 361,000 short tons of recycled resin, and in 2021, this figure was 311,000 short tons, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to increasing the utilization of recycled materials and fostering a circular approach to plastics.  Recycled content

ALPLA’s recycling operations have a global footprint, with PET and HDPE recycling plants strategically located in Austria, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Thailand. This extensive presence positions ALPLA as a key player in advancing global recycling practices and contributing to the circular economy.

As ALPLA advances its recycling initiatives, the company stands at the forefront of the packaging industry’s transition to more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Strategic decisions to enhance in-house processing capacities, establish a dedicated recycling branch, and set ambitious recycled content targets underline ALPLA’s leadership in embracing a circular economy model. These efforts not only align with evolving consumer preferences for eco-conscious products but also position ALPLA as a trailblazer in sustainable packaging solutions.  Recycled content

Recycled content

Black Swan Graphene announces a range of Graphene Enhanced Masterbatch (“GEM”) products

Black Swan Graphene has announced a range of Graphene Enhanced Masterbatch (“GEM”) products. These GEMs offer different performance and attributes of products aimed at multiple applications in the polymer industry. This announcement follows a recent commercial agreement ratified with Hubron International, a global leader in black masterbatch manufacturingRecycled content

Black Swan stated that its products are the results of extensive internal development efforts, including independent verification using the expertise at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (“GEIC”) and a strategic partnership with Hubron. The primary objective of the product development endeavors extends beyond performance; it strives for consistency, a pivotal factor in the commercialization of additive products.

Initial production volumes are focused on polypropylene; a widely used polymer known for its versatility and cost-effectiveness. However, its relatively low impact resistance has often posed a challenge in various applications. By incorporating only 1% of graphene into the polypropylene (loading ratio), an impressive 30% improvement in impact resistance was achieved in a Notched Izod test, which assesses the amount of energy absorbed by a material when struck by a notched sample.  Recycled content

Graphene enhanced products, with the addition of Black Swan’s product, reportedly demonstrate multiple performance benefits, including enhanced processability and therefore cost-effectiveness. Masterbatches with a loading ratio of up to 20% are available in various polymers. This repeatable performance in enhancing the impact resistance of polypropylene enables new possibilities across multiple industries, notably for different packaging and lightweighting in the transportation industry, a key driver for range increase and fuel efficiency.

Hubron and Black Swan are also working with the polymer matrix of a world-leading industrial polymer manufacturer, which launched an aggressive initiative to develop plastic materials for electric vehicles aimed at reduced weight, expand design freedom, reduce complexity, enhance thermal management, and reduce environmental impact. The development program resulted thus far in a 20% improvement in tensile strength, based on a loading ratio of only 0.2%.  Recycled content

Robert Laurent, Technical Director at Hubron, commented: “These results further add weight to the potential benefits of incorporating graphene materials into thermoplastics. A 30% impact resistance improvement is exciting, and we are looking to expand these trials into commercial applications. We are also able to fine-tune compound properties to deliver customer specific solutions.”

Simon Marcotte, President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan, commented: “This development marks a substantial leap in advancing the performance of polymer materials. The enhanced capabilities of graphene-enhanced polypropylene not only signify a breakthrough but also have the potential to reshape entire industries. We are confident that this innovation will spark creativity and drive transformative solutions across a diverse range of products and applications.”  Recycled content

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Recycled content

Volkswagen is intensifying its pursuit of solid-state batteries, doubling down on its commitment after a strategic partnership with QuantumScape

The German automaker is now engaging in negotiations with Blue Solutions to expedite the development process.

Seeking to avoid delays experienced with QuantumScape, in which Volkswagen has invested, the company aims to secure a reliable source for solid-state batteries.

Blue Solutions, associated with the Bolloré group, already holds a contract to supply these batteries to Mercedes for use in electric buses.  Recycled content

The negotiations between Volkswagen and Blue Solutions, as reported by Reuters from insider sources, center on a collaborative effort to develop solid-state batteries.

These batteries, based on the technology utilized in Mercedes buses, will be adapted for integration into Volkswagen’s electric vehicles.

The lithium-metal battery, known for its flexible structure called FlexFrame, addresses the stresses encountered during charging and discharging phases.

In a video presentation, QuantumScape’s executives, including Chief Product Officer Chris Dekmezian and Senior Director of Cell Design and Manufacturing Daniel Braithwaite, along with University of Michigan’s Associate Professor Venkat Viswanathan, shed light on the battery’s chemistry and architecture.  Recycled content

Volkswagen’s determination to advance solid-state battery technology underscores its commitment to the electrification of its vehicle fleet, emphasizing a proactive approach to secure a robust and timely supply chain.

Recycled content

StoreDot has introduced a groundbreaking advancement in extreme fast charging (XFC) technology with its innovative I-Beam XFC cell-to-pack (CTP) concept

At the heart of this concept lies StoreDot’s exclusive 100in5 cell technology, capable of providing a remarkable 100 miles (160 kilometers) of range in just 5 minutes of charging. The 100in5 electrodes are intricately integrated into the newly developed I-Beam XFC cells, designed for direct incorporation into the battery pack.

While conventional cell-to-pack architectures primarily target enhancing range and energy density, StoreDot’s focus extends to the acceleration of extreme fast charging. The I-Beam XFC concept overcomes the complexities and cost challenges associated with integrating XFC capability at the vehicle level, facilitating even faster charging for electric vehicles (EVs).  Recycled content

Diverging from traditional cooling systems, the I-Beam XFC introduces the patented Structural Cooling concept embedded within each cell’s structure. This innovative thermal management approach prevents localized hotspots, ensuring uniform temperatures throughout the battery pack. This capability allows the acceptance of ultra-high currents required for fast charging, minimizing system overhead. Recycled content

Although currently a conceptual framework, StoreDot has already secured multiple patents related to the I-Beam XFC architecture. The company perceives this design as pivotal in unlocking the full potential of XFC technology on a mass scale. Dr. Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, affirms their commitment to advancing XFC battery technology from the cell level to the vehicle level, with the I-Beam XFC representing a holistic approach to improving packing efficiency, battery life cycle, and enabling rapid EV charging, likening it to the speed of refueling with petrol. As part of its ambitious plans for 2024, StoreDot aims to demonstrate the world’s first EV equipped with XFC technology, ship prismatic B-samples to OEMs, and expand operations in the US. Recycled content

StoreDot has introduced a groundbreaking advancement in extreme fast charging (XFC) technology with its innovative I-Beam XFC cell-to-pack (CTP) concept

In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries

Over the past fortnight, the pricing trajectory of polyamide has been unfavorably impacted by subdued consumption in sectors vital to Germany’s economy, including textiles, electrical, and automotive.

This downturn has given rise to a bearish market environment, exerting downward pressure on polyamide prices.

The consumption patterns and pricing trends of polyamide are intricately linked to various factors, encompassing economic conditions, industrial activities, and global market dynamics.  Recycled content

A pivotal factor contributing to this market shift is the weakness observed in feedstock prices, particularly Adipic Acid and Caprolactam, which has reverberated through the largest economy in the Eurozone.

This influence has permeated downstream derivative sectors, such as Polyamide 6 and 66. The subdued pricing of essential components like Adipic Acid and Caprolactam has cast a broader impact on the dynamics of Polyamide 6 and 66.

Consequently, the German Polyamide market found itself in a situation where ample supply met domestic requirements, prompting merchants to operate based on existing stock levels, leading to a decline in fresh orders.  Recycled content

The abundance of supply and reliance on existing stock fostered a cautious approach among merchants, thereby hampering the generation of new orders in the market.

The European market, in general, is grappling with the repercussions of global economic volatility and diminished purchasing power due to elevated interest rates and inflation.

The decline in purchasing activity observed in December 2023 extended into January 2024, as manufacturers sought to optimize their stock levels.

Notably, the automotive sector experienced a sharp reduction in new car registrations, with 241,883 fewer registrations nationwide compared to the previous year, marking a substantial 23% decline.  Recycled content

Authorities in the industry attributed this disruption to the premature discontinuation of incentives for purchasing electric cars, contributing to a year-long decline in registrations. These events signify a decreased utilization of Polyamide in the automotive industry during this specific timeframe.

Forecasts indicate that the demand for Polyamide from downstream sectors, particularly automotive and textiles, is expected to further decrease in the coming weeks.

This projection is grounded in the prevailing weak demand conditions across Europe, influenced by ongoing economic factors and market dynamics.

The anticipation is that subdued demand will lead to a reduction in the utilization of Polyamide within sectors such as automotive and textiles.  Recycled content

In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries

Avantium, Helios Resins sign multi-year FDCA agreement

Helios plans to partially or fully replace petro-based terephthalic acid, the key building block for polyester resins, with FDCA

Renewable chemistry company Avantium and Helios, a Slovenia-based manufacturer of  coating resins, composite resins, and polyester polyols for PU flexible foams, have signed a ‘multi-year’ capacity reservation agreement. Avantium will supply Helios with FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) from its flagship plant that is currently under construction in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.  Recycled content

Production at the new facility – the world’s first  commercial facility for the production of FDCA from plant-based sugars – is expected to commence in 2024.

Avantium has developed a proprietary YXY technology that uses catalysts to convert plant-based sugar (fructose) into FDCA, the key building block for a wide range of plant-based chemicals and plastics such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). PEF is a 100% plant-based and recyclable plastic. Applications include polyesters, polyamides and polyurethanes, as well as coating resins, plasticisers, and other chemical products.

Avantium will sell FDCA and PEF directly from its FDCA flagship plant to its customers, in parallel to selling technology licences to industrial partners.

Helios plans to partially or fully replace petro-based terephthalic acid, the key building block for polyester resins, with FDCA.  Recycled content

“This capacity reservation for FDCA developed by Avantium provides assurance that we can use FDCA widely in the future for our resins and coatings,” said Dr. Martin Ocepek, director R&D synthetic resins at Helios Resins.

Avantium, Helios Resins sign multi-year FDCA agreement

Loop Industries, a Canadian company specializing in chemical recycling technology for PET and polyester fiber waste, is set to receive a significant boost with a $66 million investment from Reed Management

This strategic collaboration aims to propel the adoption of Loop’s innovative depolymerization process in Europe.

Reed Management’s investment, outlined in a non-binding memorandum of understanding, includes a $11 million equity investment in a joint venture to acquire commercialization rights for Loop’s technology in Europe. Recycled content

Additionally, a $22 million loan from the joint venture to Loop, divided into two tranches, will further support the company’s initiatives.

The remaining $33 million commitment will cover the initial costs of chemical recycling projects in Europe, including a joint venture with Suez and SK Geo Centric for a new plant in Saint-Avold, France.

Loop Industries Founder and CEO, Daniel Solomita, highlights the strategic significance of the partnership with Reed, leveraging their financial relationships and experience in major capital investments.  Recycled content

This collaboration aims to facilitate Loop’s penetration of the European market, aligning with stringent regulatory requirements for plastic material recycling.

Solomita emphasizes the financial structure’s accretive nature to shareholder value, minimizing dilution while maximizing the potential for future projects.

Loop Industries’ innovative technology focuses on depolymerizing PET and polyester waste, transforming it into high-quality monomers suitable for polymerization into new, virgin-like polyester, providing a sustainable solution for the plastics industry.

Loop Industries, a Canadian company specializing in chemical recycling technology for PET and polyester fiber waste, is set to receive a significant boost with a $66 million investment from Reed Management

Austria’s Lenzing introduces an innovative processing technique for TENCEL Lyocell fibers, designed specifically for stretch fabrics with enhanced recovery properties

These fabrics, known for their ease of care, not only provide superior comfort but also open up endless design possibilities for lightweight apparel. Lenzing actively supports its mill partners in achieving the “BS EN 14704-1” standard for TENCEL Lyocell stretch fabrics, demonstrating a commitment to quality and industry standards.  Recycled content

The groundbreaking processing technique involves the re-engineering of woven fabric composed of TENCEL Lyocell fibers, combined with a fabric pre-treatment. This technique results in increased yarn crimps in the widthwise direction during the wet process, leading to exceptional stretch and recovery properties. The fabric maintains a smooth appearance even after home laundering, showcasing its durability and resistance to shrinkage or wrinkles.

Rex Mok, Vice President of Fiber Technical Marketing and Development at Lenzing, emphasizes the technical innovation’s ability to unlock the inherent potential of TENCEL Lyocell fibers, providing stretch fabrics that move harmoniously with the body.

This not only enhances comfort but also aligns with responsible production practices, offering a fossil-free alternative that adheres to sustainable and transparent supply chain principles.  Recycled content

Lenzing extends comprehensive support to its mill partners, ensuring that the stretch fabrics made with TENCEL Lyocell fibers meet international standards for fabric stretch and recovery properties. This collaboration empowers mills and brands to explore unlimited design possibilities, meeting the growing consumer demand for comfortable and responsibly produced apparel across various sectors.

TENCEL Lyocell fibers used in these stretch fabrics serve as a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic materials. Derived from certified wood sources and produced through a resource-saving closed-loop process, these fibers contribute to reduced carbon emissions and water consumption. The traceability of these fibers back to their sources ensures greater accountability and transparency in the textile supply chain, aligning with Lenzing’s commitment to sustainable practices. Recycled cont Recycled contentent

Austria's Lenzing introduces an innovative processing technique for TENCEL Lyocell fibers, designed specifically for stretch fabrics with enhanced recovery properties

Red Sea Crisis – In a significant development, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions (TCS) has officially emerged as an independent entity within the ERCA Group, exclusively dedicated to the textile industry 19-01-2024

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PET bottles – Ocean freight disruptions threaten domestic supply, push US PET import prices higher – 11-01-2024

PET bottles

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Maschinenbau, a manufacturer of extrusion blow molding machines, has found a buyer following its declaration of insolvency in August of the previous year

The company will now come under the control of the German subsidiary of an unnamed Chinese investor, as disclosed by AndresPartner, a legal and tax firm specializing in industrial restructuring transactions.

The transfer encompasses not only the brand but also the Bonn facility in Germany, where Kautex Maschinenbau is headquartered. This facility is crucial for the development and assembly of the majority of plastic container blow molding machines. However, with 155 employees affected, there is a possibility of job cuts.  PET bottles

Apart from the German base, Kautex Maschinenbau has a second production facility under the independent subsidiary Shunde Kautex Plastics Technology in Shunde, China, which remains unaffected by insolvency. In Germany, the company also has a commercial subsidiary in Berlin. Additionally, independent branches are situated in Shanghai (China), Bangalore (India), Treviso (Italy), Jakarta (Indonesia), Mexico City (Mexico), and Moscow (Russia). The purchaser, being a Chinese investor, marks a strategic shift in ownership and may bring about changes in the company’s operations and global presence.

PET bottles

California market development payments prioritize PET bottles

A long-running post-consumer plastic market development program in California has been modified to further incentivize PET container recycling.

The Plastic Market Development Payment Program uses government funding to make payments to reclaimers and plastic product manufacturers that use recycled content, with the goal of spurring market development in the state.

The program only covers plastic containers that are part of the state’s California Refund Value (CRV) deposit system.  PET bottles

In-state reclaimers who process deposit containers, and in-state manufacturers who purchase the resulting flake, pellet or other output from those processed containers, can be reimbursed at a rate that’s set each program year, up to $150 per ton of material handled.

The market development payment program was created in 2006 and is regularly renewed by state lawmakers. A frequent priority for plastics recycling stakeholders in the state, it was most recently renewed through Senate Bill 1013, passed in 2022, and is set to run until at least July 2025. PET bottles

Lawmakers budgeted $10 million for market development payments during the current program year. Overall, they’ve allocated $47 million for the program to be used through June 30, 2027.

New in 2024, the program has been modified to use a three-tier payment structure, whereas previous years paid one rate for PET and one rate for HDPE. The new system creates a hierarchy within the PET payments to pay more for certain types of manufacturing and processing.  PET bottles

“The payment restructuring will incentivize participants who produce PET #1 or use PET #1 for new beverage containers,” CalRecycle stated in a public notice of the change.

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PET bottles

According to American media, Stellantis and CATL’s LFP batteries may find a home in Spain for electric vehicle production

Following Italy, France, and Germany, Spain could potentially become the birthplace of the next Stellantis electric vehicle batteries. Foreign press rumors suggest the Iberian Peninsula as the chosen location for the Group’s fourth European facility dedicated to accumulator production.

While the American publication Teslarati first reported the speculation, there is currently no mention of official sources or confirmations from the companies. The rumored Spanish plant would be dedicated to manufacturing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in collaboration with the Chinese company CATL.  PET bottles

Stellantis had previously announced an alliance with CATL in November, signing a memorandum of understanding for the supply of cells and modules in Europe without specifying the location for the batteries involved in the agreement.

Now, American media leans towards Spain as the next destination for Stellantis. The Group already owns three vehicle factories in Madrid, Vigo, and Zaragoza, with the latter two being converted for the production of coveted affordable electric cars based on the STLA Small platform.  PET bottles

Among the upcoming models, the Citroen e-C3 may be one of the creations featuring CATL’s LFP batteries, priced at €23,300 and expected to hit the market in 2024. However, it will be built on a different architecture, namely the Smart Platform.

PET bottles

Ocean freight disruptions threaten domestic supply, push US PET import prices higher

Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to the US have experienced price increases of 30-40% due to the global ocean freight disruptions and delays, according to market participants.

Last week, rates for shipping containers from east Asia to the US surged after rebel attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. Additionally, disruption of traffic through the Suez Canal is putting upward pressure on freight rates and increasing concerns of delayed shipments.

As a result, many companies are altering their shipping routes to avoid the disruptions from the Suez Canal and dangers of the Red Sea, opting to divert cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope. However, this route is adding significant delays, as well as reducing the availability of shipping containers.  PET bottles

The European PET and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) market is experiencing shortages as a result of diverted shipments combined with multiple outages. The Asia polyester market is also experiencing negative impacts from the Suez Canal and Red Sea diversions, as rising freight rates have dampened buying on the market.

In addition to the Suez Canal and Red Sea disruptions, commodities markets continue to grapple with issues at the Panama Canal due to low water levels as a result of a local drought. The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has been limiting the number of vessels able to pass through the canal since early November.  PET bottles

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Ocean freight disruptions threaten domestic supply, push US PET import prices higher

The Composition and Evolution of Lithium-Ion Pouch Cell Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles, traditionally employ cylindrical cells. However, pouch cells, characterized by their flattened and flexible structure, have emerged as an alternative. First introduced in 1995 by the U.S. company Li-Polymer, these pouch cells have found applications not only in consumer electronics but also in energy storage systems and electric vehicles.

Similar to conventional lithium-ion cells, pouch cells consist of an anode, a cathode, a separator, and an electrolyte. The anode and cathode, serving as the negative and positive electrodes, are coated with conductive materials.  PET bottles

The separator prevents their direct contact, while the electrolyte facilitates ion movement during charge and discharge cycles.

Internally, pouch cells feature neatly arranged layers of anode-separator-cathode, sealed to form a compact unit resembling a bag or pouch. The negative and positive poles are externally connectable through tabs extending from the pouch.

Pouch cells offer advantages such as compactness, lightweight design, and flexibility, making them initially popular in consumer electronics. Their flexible design allows for greater design freedom, adapting to irregular shapes. Additionally, pouch cells boast higher energy density, exceeding 90%, making them appealing for emerging electric mobility.  PET bottles

Despite their benefits, pouch cells face a durability challenge. Their flexible external structure is susceptible to deformation and mechanical stress during charge and discharge cycles, leading to a shorter lifespan compared to cylindrical or prismatic cells. Factors such as gas production during cycles, sensitivity to humidity, and high temperatures contribute to observable cell swelling.

However, advancements are underway, particularly with the growing use of pouch cells in solid-state battery technology. Companies like Factorial, Solid Power, and QuantumScape are employing stacked layers of pouch cells, reaching up to 24 layers, to create next-generation batteries. Solid-state electrolytes offer improved temperature management and eliminate gas formation, addressing the longevity concerns associated with traditional pouch cells.  PET bottles

As a result, pouch cells are gaining traction, proving ideal for solid-state battery innovations with extended lifespans comparable to cylindrical or prismatic cells.

The Composition and Evolution of Lithium-Ion Pouch Cell Batteries

Heraeus Precious Metals enters hydrogen business

Heraeus Precious Metals has announced the establishment of a new dedicated Business Line, Hydrogen Systems, effective 1 January 2024.

The company aims to offer a comprehensive range of precious metal-based products for electrolysers and fuel cells, in particular state-of-the-art electrocatalyst solutions for next-generation applications. In addition to the supply of precious metals, the new business will offer a comprehensive range of technologies and production capabilities for the recovery of precious metals from production scrap and end-of-life materials such as catalyst-coated membranes.  PET bottles

Heraeus Precious Metals also continues to expand its R&D efforts to the United States and China and beyond PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) technology. In addition, resources have been established to support customers in the development of inks and electrodes.

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Heraeus Precious Metals enters hydrogen business

Newcleo has entered into a partnership with NextChem and Tecnimont, subsidiaries of Maire, to leverage cutting-edge reactors for the decarbonization of the chemical industry, including hydrogen production

The agreement entails the exclusive development of a conceptual study on the sustainable, zero-emission production of hydrogen and chemicals, combining Newcleo’s nuclear technology with Maire’s chemical expertise.

This collaboration will enable the production of electrolytic hydrogen and zero-emission chemical products such as ammonia, methanol, e-fuel, and derivatives. It aligns with the European Union’s decision to incorporate innovative nuclear technologies, like that of Newcleo, into the EU taxonomy of environmentally sustainable economic activities.

Additionally, Tecnimont will provide consultancy services for Newcleo’s nuclear power plant based on small nuclear reactors (SMRs), applying Tecnimont’s modularization approach to optimize construction and planning methodologies, reducing production and construction times and costs.  PET bottles

This supports Newcleo’s vision of realizing a fully modular, accessible, and easy-to-install plant.

Stefano Buono, President and CEO of Newcleo, emphasized that small or advanced modular reactors (SMRs/AMRs) have the potential not only to generate electricity but also for industrial applications. The safety-by-design feature of Newcleo’s reactors, based on the laws of physics, ensures the safety of lead fast reactors (LFR) even in unlikely severe accidents or sabotage scenarios. This enhanced safety, coupled with the favorable physical properties of lead, allows for cost reduction compared to third-generation SMRs, paving the way for a competitive “e-Factory for zero-carbon chemistry” as envisioned by Maire. Buono expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with Maire and looks forward to advancing their shared vision for sustainable, zero-emission hydrogen and chemical production.  PET bottles

Newcleo has entered into a partnership with NextChem and Tecnimont, subsidiaries of Maire, to leverage cutting-edge reactors for the decarbonization of the chemical industry, including hydrogen production

Solid-State Batteries – Bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of potentially dangerous plastic fragments 10-01-2024

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