Chemical recycling – Pyrowave introduces nanopurification technology for plastics 15-11-2023

Chemical recycling

The Chinese brick is crumbling

As of the first 10 months of 2023, the foundations of China’s real estate sector are visibly cracking, with a 6.8% year-on-year decline in property sales, adding to the preceding 7.5% downturn observed from January to September. This data, emanating from the National Statistics Office, serves as a glaring indicator of the deep-seated crisis gripping the Chinese real estate market. Concurrently, investments in the construction sector have hit the brakes, experiencing a notable 9.3% decrease following the 9.1% contraction in the preceding January-September period. Chemical recycling

A closer look at specific metrics reveals a concerning trend. New construction initiations, measured in square footage, have plummeted by 23.2% on an annual basis, mirroring the 23.4% slump witnessed in the first nine months of the year. Additionally, the funds amassed by real estate developers have seen a precipitous 11% decline, building upon the 13.5% contraction recorded in the initial nine months of the year.

These alarming figures find resonance within the broader context of investments in fixed assets, which, contrary to expectations, have only grown by a modest 2.9% in the first 10 months of the year.  Chemical recycling

The total, amounting to 41,940 billion yuan (equivalent to nearly 5,830 billion dollars), falls short of anticipated growth, which was pegged at 3.1%. This downturn in real estate activity is emblematic of the economic turbulence faced by China, exacerbated by the crises befalling major players in the industry such as Evergrande and Country Garden. These industry giants, grappling with insurmountable debt and teetering on the brink of collapse, are contributing significantly to the erosion of the dragon’s economic prowess. The reverberations of this downturn extend beyond the realm of real estate, casting a shadow on China’s overall economic landscape.

The Chinese brick is crumbling

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Pyrowave introduces nanopurification technology for plastics

A short-loop chemical recycling process to remove toxic additives and contaminants in plastics

At the 2nd ICIS Recycled Polymers conference held last week in Chicago, Pyrowave introduced a new nanopurification technology that specifically addresses the problem of contaminants in plastic waste and in pyrolysis oil. Contamination is an issue that has held back efforts to scale plastic recycling, precisely because of  the inability to secure feedstock compatible with level of purity required in end applications. In fact, a United Nations report recently highlighted the challenges of handling hazardous chemicals present in plastics – additives and contaminants that represent major concerns to human health and the environment.  Chemical recycling

According to Pyrowave, its nanopurification technology operates at the molecular level to remove contaminants from polymers with perfect control on purified resins, offering a plastic waste pre-treatment to purify the resins that can be used in advanced recycling methods, or directly into final applications. The technology  debottlenecks the access to plastic feedstock, by standardising the material upstream to be compliant with most advanced recycling process, including its own microwave depolymerization process.

Pyrowave has successfully demonstrated the technology by decontaminating polymers and supplying high-quality recycled plastics to industries requiring strict compliance, including food-contact applications.

For advanced recyclers, the ability to pre-treat the feedstock results in a higher quality pyrolysis oil, which in turn, means that the threshold of recycled oil added into steam crackers can be raised.  Chemical recycling

The company was inspired by the purification technologies applied in the pharmaceutical industry. The methodology takes advantage of the large difference in size and solubility disparity between polymers and most additives found in the compounds, using advanced nanofiltration membranes to separate the contaminants out. The patent-pending technology enables simultaneous removal of various contaminants – something not possible when using conventional dissolution methods –  all while maintaining meticulous control over the endpoint.


Chemical recycling

Cosmo First results expect worst to be behind

Cosmo First declared its financial results for the quarter ended June 2023 on 10 August. The results for the quarter would have been better by Rs 20-crore but for the non-repetitive inventory loss arising from the sharp drop in prices of raw materials towards the quarter end.  Chemical recycling

During the quarter, the BOPP demand has started picking up and the demand-supply balance should get restored in the coming quarter(s). In the case of BOPET, where the supply is far in excess of demand, it will take many more quarters for the supply-demand gap to bridge. Margins are therefore likely to remain under pressure with little downside risk.

The export markets showed signs of improvement with better specialty sales. Cosmo with over two third of its revenue coming from BOPP speciality films could withstand the margin pressure better than the industry.  Chemical recycling

“We continue to build our specialty films portfolio by adding speciality polyester films, including shrink labels and sun shield films which would further strengthen our overall margins and also the ability to withstand margin pressures if any in the future,” the company said.

The company’s Petcare vertical Zigly continues to grow rapidly and clocked monthly revenue (GMV) with a run rate revenue of Rs 3-crore on the back of expanding retail footprints, innovative sales promotion, and increasing online presence. The acquisition of Petsy, an online venture in the Petcare space, is complete and would further accelerate the growth of the Petcare vertical.  Chemical recycling

The speciality chemical subsidiary is set to launch newer adhesives in H2, FY24.

Pankaj Poddar, Group CEO, Cosmo First, said “The company is working on multiple growth drivers including speciality BOPET films, sun shield film, rigid packaging, specialty chemicals, petcare, etc.


Chemical recycling

The joint ventures intend to issue a final investment decision in 2023, with construction beginning that year

Production is production to commence in late 2025 or early 2026. Between the two facilities, over 125 new jobs would be created if the project moves forward.

“With the establishment of this JV, LG Chem will not only procure production capacities for highly pure lactic acid needed for commercial-scale PLA production, but will also be able to apply biomaterials in the development of various high-value-added products. Based on eco-friendly materials, which is an axis for new growth engines, we will respond to the rapidly changing market and customers, while becoming a market leader, ” said Hak Cheol Shin, CEO of LG Chem, in a statement.  Chemical recycling


The joint ventures intend to issue a final investment decision in 2023, with construction beginning that year

In China, even finance is communist: Xi is the central banker (but the crisis does not pass)

In China, the once-unchallenged trajectory of economic prosperity is now met with unprecedented challenges, sending shockwaves through all levels of society

Unlike the West, which has grown accustomed to periodic crises, China has been relatively immune for several decades. However, the current state of Beijing’s economy is causing widespread concern, marked by a significant slowdown in economic growth, a looming real estate bubble, and the staggering youth unemployment exacerbated by Xi Jinping’s stringent measures on the hi-tech sector.  Chemical recycling

The severity of the situation is not lost on the Communist Party, whose social legitimacy historically hinged on meeting the needs of the people. For decades, a tacit agreement existed: citizens traded some freedoms for steadily improving living conditions. Now, this implicit contract is unraveling, and the Party, under mounting pressure from its populace, is grappling with how to regain control.

The recent Central Financial Work Conference, held every five years to outline financial objectives, provided a glimpse into Xi’s vision. In his central speech, Xi unveiled a new economic model emphasizing the “rejuvenation” of the country through “socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era.” A central tenet of this vision involves the Communist Party reclaiming a pivotal role in the entire economy.

Market forces, once allowed a degree of freedom, are now to be tightly controlled, if not outright impeded.  Chemical recycling

This shift had already manifested in various measures, such as the drastic downsizing of Alibaba’s Jack Ma, the crackdown on internet giants, dismantling of online higher education sectors, and restrictions imposed on private businesses, which constitute 80% of the nation’s employment. The presence of party cells in companies, even foreign ones, reflects the growing intrusion of political influence. Foreign consultancy firms have faced ostracism and repression, while security and anti-espionage laws grant unprecedented powers to Chinese authorities.

In a departure from the previous focus on economic development, the central theme now is security – both geopolitical and domestic.

The goal is to create an economy and technology that are less reliant on international relations and foreign exchanges.  Chemical recycling

Against this backdrop, the latest move is a profound transformation of the financial sector. The establishment of a Central Financial Commission, announced during the Conference, consolidates significant powers directly under the Communist Party’s purview.

This Commission will oversee the central bank, the regulatory commission for financial activities, and stock exchange authorities, essentially placing the entire Chinese financial sector, valued at over 60 trillion dollars, under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party. As the economic landscape undergoes this tectonic shift, the world watches with anticipation, wondering whether these measures will steer China towards stability or introduce a new chapter of uncertainties.  Chemical recycling

Chemical recycling

Hyundai, the electric revolution of the world’s largest car factory

Hyundai, at the forefront of the global automotive industry, is gearing up for an electric revolution that promises to reshape the landscape of the world’s largest car factory

The visionary words of Ju-yung Chung, Hyundai’s founder, echoing the conviction that “Korean cars will conquer the world,” laid the foundation for a remarkable journey.

Now, Hyundai Motor Group, currently holding the esteemed third place among car manufacturers globally, is poised to dominate the electric vehicle (EV) market by expanding the production capacity of its colossal Ulsan plant.

The Ulsan plant, already a colossus in the automotive realm, assembled a staggering 1.4 million cars in 2022 alone, dwarfing even Volkswagen’s facility in Wolfsburg, Germany, which can manage a maximum of 800,000 cars annually. Chemical recycling

In an ambitious move, Hyundai plans to carve out a dedicated production line within this automotive behemoth, earmarking a substantial 548 thousand square meters for the construction of a cutting-edge electric car plant.

The symbolic laying of the first stone on November 13 marked the initiation of this transformative endeavor, attended by key figures such as Euisun Chung, executive president of Hyundai Motor Group, Jaehoon Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, along with local officials.

The emphasis of this new facility extends beyond mere production capacity augmentation. Hyundai is actively seeking to integrate revolutionary production technologies to redefine the manufacturing process for electric vehicles.

While details remain undisclosed, there are tantalizing speculations about the adoption of the Hyundai Hyper Casting method.  Chemical recycling

When queried about this groundbreaking technique, the response was elusive yet suggestive, hinting at an innovative manufacturing platform developed by the Hyundai Motor Group Singapore Innovation Center (HMGICS). This platform incorporates intelligent control systems driven by artificial intelligence, prioritizing employee safety, convenience, and operational efficiency.

Additionally, it employs eco-friendly, low-carbon construction methods, aligning with sustainability goals such as carbon neutrality and RE100 certification.

The investment allocated for the Ulsan expansion amounts to a formidable $1.53 billion, a strategic move in line with Hyundai’s broader vision.  Chemical recycling

The Korean conglomerate aims to bolster domestic production of electric cars from the current 330 thousand units to a staggering 1.51 million by 2030. This surge in production will contribute to a global output of 3 million cars, emanating from 10 factories strategically positioned worldwide.

In this ambitious pursuit, Hyundai plans to unleash approximately thirty electric models under both the Hyundai and Kia brands.

This multifaceted approach positions Hyundai to contend for a spot among the top three electric car manufacturers globally, an echelon currently dominated by Tesla and BYD.

The challenge for electric domination is not only a strategic business move for Hyundai; it is a revival of ambition echoing the spirit of 1963, when Hyundai embarked on its journey. As the electric revolution unfolds, the Korean giant aims to rewrite history and reclaim its position at the forefront of automotive innovation.  Chemical recycling

Hyundai, the electric revolution of the world's largest car factory

Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to San Francisco from November 14 to 17 holds critical significance, especially in light of the recent economic turbulence between the USA and China

The central focus of this diplomatic journey is a dinner engagement with American captains of industry. The primary objective for the Chinese leader is to reestablish trust and confidence among US investors, given the substantial withdrawal of funds by foreign companies from the Chinese market over the last six quarters.  Chemical recycling

An astonishing $160 billion has been pulled out by foreign companies during this period. Even more concerning is the fact that the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe) reported a deficit in foreign direct investments for the first time in a quarter of a century, amounting to $11.8 billion in the third quarter of 2023. This financial setback prompted Chinese authorities to diligently prepare for the summit in San Francisco.

Simultaneously occurring with the Apec summit dominated by Biden and Xi, the meeting in San Francisco gathers hundreds of American business executives, including CEOs of major multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Pfizer, and ExxonMobil. The gala evening invitation hints at the participation of a “senior Chinese official and his ministerial delegation.” While the name remains undisclosed, the ticket price is hefty, requiring $40,000 for a table reservation accommodating eight executives. This investment promises a close encounter with the mysterious Chinese official expected to deliver a significant speech.  Chemical recycling

The anticipation surrounding this event stems from the urgent need for Xi Jinping to address the concerns and reservations of American business leaders. The invitation card emphasizes the importance of the speech, raising expectations for a persuasive and reassuring message from the communist general secretary.

Xi’s recent diplomatic efforts include a letter read by his ambassador at the National Committee on US-China Relations gala in New York.

The letter stressed the need for “mutual respect,” “peaceful coexistence,” and “double win-win cooperation,” highlighting the crucial role of amicable relations between the two superpowers for global stability. However, the reality contradicts these diplomatic aspirations.  Chemical recycling

A survey conducted by the US-China Business Council reveals that 34 percent of its members have either halted or reduced planned investments for the year 2023.

The hesitancy among American businesses stems from the Chinese Communist Party’s increased intervention in the market and the intimidating effects of recent anti-espionage legislation. Incidents such as the arrests of employees from Mintz Group and the searches at the offices of Bain & Company in Shanghai have further deterred US businesses.

Beijing TV, in a report on these incidents, has framed them as attempts by Americans to steal intelligence on crucial sectors of the Chinese production system, financial data, energy, and even healthcare. This narrative suggests a purported “well-known plan to contain and suffocate the rise of China.”  Chemical recycling

As of November, Gallup, renowned for its opinion polls, has also withdrawn from China. The question remains: can a $40,000 dinner and an eloquent speech truly alter the perspectives of the skeptical American business community? Xi Jinping’s words during this high-stakes summit will play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of US-China economic relations.

Xi Jinping's upcoming trip to San Francisco from November 14 to 17 holds critical significance, especially in light of the recent economic turbulence between the USA and China

Global negotiations for plastic treaty commences in Kenya

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3), tasked with developing a legally binding global treaty to address plastic pollution, opened in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday.Over 2,000 representatives from governments, civil society, industry and academia are attending the seven-day meeting. They will discuss the Zero draft text, which forms the basis for establishing a global treaty to enhance action against plastic litter that is causing harm to terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

In his opening remarks, Kenyan President William Ruto said that plastic pollution remains an existential threat to a just transition as well as human and planetary health, noting that a legally binding treaty could offer some relief.  Chemical recycling

Ruto said ending plastic pollution from the source to the end users will ensure a just and green transition for humanity, promote ecological health and revitalize the growth of the circular economy.

The Kenya meeting follows previous sessions held in Uruguay in 2022, and Paris earlier this year.

The negotiations for a global plastic treaty stem from the adoption of a landmark resolution at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi in February 2022.  Chemical recycling

Discussions on the contents of the Zero draft, which was agreed upon at INC-2, will dominate this week’s meeting, aiming to expedite the process of establishing a legally binding global treaty to combat plastic pollution by 2024.

Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Cuadra Velasquez, the INC chairperson, said that the transnational nature of plastic pollution necessitates the creation of an international legally binding instrument to address the challenge. He highlighted the need for legal interventions to support efforts to eliminate plastic pollution that harms wildlife sanctuaries, oceans and freshwater bodies.  Chemical recycling


Global negotiations for plastic treaty commences in Kenya

Sulzer Technology To Enable A Carbon Capture Plant In Austria

Sulzer’s mass transfer technologies are being leveraged by Messer, the world’s largest privately owned industrial gas specialist, in collaboration with a manufacturer of inorganic chemicals to enable innovative carbon capture and utilization (CCU) at a plant in Landeck, Austria.

The CO2 capture unit will rely on Sulzer Chemtech’s carbon capture technology to capture more than 50,000 tons of CO2 per year, which will be re-used in the food & beverage industry and by other companies from nearby regions.  Chemical recycling

Messer and its business partner are collaborating to convert carbon emissions resulting from calcium carbide production into valuable feedstock for food & beverages, greenhouse fertilizers and fire extinguishers. The selected carbon capture technology for flue gas and post-combustion CO2 capture, OASE® blue from BASF, utilizes Sulzer Chemtech’s carbon capture products, which are designed to address the specific needs of carbon capture applications while offering maximum CO2 capture rates in combination with low energy demand.

Sulzer Chemtech Division President Uwe Boltersdorf says: “We appreciate our customers’ needs to remain competitive as they strive to deliver sustainable products and processes – which is why we work to maximize efficiency, performance, and productivity by default. This is how we ensure our range of mass transfer components enable businesses worldwide to adopt more sustainable practices.”  Chemical recycling


Sulzer Technology To Enable A Carbon Capture Plant In Austria

Solid-state batteries – Bio-based Leather Alternative for Auto Interiors Attracts Investment 14-11-2023

Chemical recycling