High-performance polymers – TiO2 21-09-2022
Crude Oil Prices Trend
Plant expansion and optimization will enable energy-efficient production of high-performance sustainable plastics.
DSM Engineering Materials has officially opened its newly upgraded and expanded Evansville, IN, compounding facility. The investment, which has resulted in significant technology- and sustainability-focused improvements, will help DSM Engineering Materials meet growing demand for next-generation high-performance polymers used in a range of applications and will help drive the shift to a low-carbon, circular economy.
The 40,000-square-foot facility now integrates the latest state-of-the-art production technologies and runs on 100% purchased renewable electricity. The investment will help to meet long-term increased regional demand for high-performance polyamide, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), and other advanced materials, such as Akulon PA6/PA66, Arnite PET/PBT, Arnitel TPC, EcoPaXX PA410, ForTii PA4T/PPA and Stanyl PA46. Arnitel TPC is a high-performance thermoplastic copolyester.
The extensive enhancement and expansion of the site is being driven by increasing customer demand for advanced material solutions for vehicle electrification and supporting infrastructure, along with lightweighting technologies in multiple industries.
Enhancements to increase DSM’s capability to produce more sustainable bio-based and recyclate-based materials were also a key consideration when planning the project. The company has made a global commitment to produce bio-based and recyclate-based alternatives for its entire materials portfolio by 2030.
In addition to the transition to 100% renewable electricity, the project includes a number of advanced energy-saving features. The well-insulated structure is ventilated for optimal occupant health and comfort, while emissions are scrubbed to meet stringent environmental and safety standards. high-performance polymers
Cooling is conducted with environment-friendly, non-flammable refrigerant. Variable-speed drives are used on all compounding lines to reduce energy consumption, and optimized facility controls lead to further energy reductions.
“Our investment in the latest production equipment has reduced energy consumption in Evansville and lowered our environmental impact. Through this project, we also aim to strengthen our business partnerships by continuing to invest in key areas of sustainable growth,” said Roeland Polet, President of DSM Engineering Materials. “Additionally, this investment reinforces our focus on North America as a key growth market for our business.”
Polestar enlisted 12 new partners, some of whom are focused on developing climate-neutral plastics and composites, for its “moonshot.”
Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car company, is accelerating work to eliminate greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by welcoming 12 new partners to the Polestar 0 project. They share a commitment in achieving the company’s moonshot goal of producing a truly climate-neutral car by 2030 without making use of carbon offsets.
The new and existing partners will focus on certain materials, components, and processes involved in car production. New partners cover areas such as plastics, composites, chemicals, and metals.
Transportation is the fastest-growing GHG-emitting sector, expected to reach a share of more than 30% of total GHG emissions in the future, according to the United Nation’s Environment Programme. Polestar and its partners collectively hope to decarbonize the complete supply chain and manufacturing process.
“The real potential of electric cars will be fulfilled when we, as an industry, can say goodbye not just to tailpipe emissions, but production-related emissions, as well,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “We made a bold commitment 18 months ago when we launched the Polestar 0 project, and these strong partnerships show the steady progress toward our goal.” high-performance polymers
Hans Pehrson, leader of the Polestar 0 project and former head of R&D at Polestar, added: “Our new partners will help develop solutions that don’t currently exist, and they embrace the challenge of finding new technologies. The next five years will be critical, and we need partners that will engage with the Polestar 0 project to ensure its success. We will also see spin-off effects across various industries when we address the challenges in the automotive sector with innovation and the development of climate-neutral supply chains throughout a wide array of base industries.”
At K2022 in Düsseldorf, Tosaf will present a series of new white masterbatches with excellent properties in terms of whiteness, colour strength and opacity, which do not contain titanium dioxide (TiO2). The company is thus responding to an increasing number of customers inquiries, since regular white pigment is suspected of being carcinogenic when inhaled in powder form, and because the EU has banned it as a food colourant (E171). Although this decision by the EU does not yet ban the use of titanium dioxide as a pigment in polymers that come into contact with food, there is a growing demand among manufacturers of hard and soft packaging for the food industry, as well as parts of the toys and cosmetics industries, to move to TiO2-free masterbatches in the future.
Such masterbatches have now been developed by Tosaf as cylindrical as well as spherical granules. high-performance polymers
They are the result of a study initiated by Tosaf Benelux R&D on ways to find alternatives for the white colouring of plastics. Although their formulation does not contain unbound titanium dioxide, their opacity as well as their colour strength is on the same high level as that of standard TiO2 masterbatches at equal let down rate. The colour shade itself can be adjusted from yellowish to neutral to bluish. As this applies regardless of the carrier system, Tosaf’s new patent-pending white masterbatches are compatible with any host polymer. The low abrasiveness allows for long tool life, and no plate-out occurs when processed on two-roll systems.
Agreement with Arcus Greencycling GMBH anticipates a volume of 100,000 ton/yr.
In a joint news release, BASF and ARCUS Greencycling announced an agreement for the procurement of pyrolysis oil from the ARCUS plant in Germany.
ARCUS produces pyrolysis oil from mixed plastic waste by heating it rapidly to high temperatures at which the materials depolymerize. BASF plans to use the oil in its production network at Ludwigshafen to create new products, displacing raw material from fossil fuels. high-performance polymers
The agreement represents an expansion of BASF’s existing business in recycled materials, which includes PLA and EPS. The company calls the materials “Ccycled” to indicate their production from chemically recycled raw materials. In 2020, BASF customers launched packaging products manufactured from Ccycled materials.
The ARCUS pyrolysis demonstration unit in Frankfurt is the first commercial-scale system of its kind. With a guaranteed buyer for the oil in place, ARCUS plans to scale up production to 100,000 ton/yr.
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) recently said the European Union (EU) proposals aimed at tackling the dramatic energy crisis that Europe is facing lacks in ambition and, if confirmed, will come at the cost of losing industrial capacity and jobs in Europe. Ultimately, Europe will remain without its integrated textiles ecosystem, it said. high-performance polymers
There will be no means to translate into reality the EU textiles strategy for more sustainable and circular textiles products, EURATEX said in a press release recently.
When gas wholesale prices reached the record level of €340/MWh in August, triggering sky-high electricity prices, the European textiles industry called on the EU to adopt a wholesale price cap for gas, the revision of the merit-order principle in the electricity market, support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and a single European strategy.
On September 14, on the occasion of the State of the Union address by President Ursula Von der Leyen, the European Commission announced initiatives aimed at tackling the energy crisis.
“We understand a very high price cap has been so far discussed among Ministries and that is not reassuring for companies across Europe: if any cap is, as expected, above 100/MWh, these businesses will collapse,” the federation said.
EURATEX has, however, welcomed the proposals by the Commission to change the title transfer facility (TTF) benchmark parameters and decouple the TTF from the electricity market and the revision of the merit-order principle for the electricity market, which is no longer serving the purpose it was designed for.
It also welcomed the proposal to amend the state-aid framework that, in EURATEX’s view, should include the textiles finishing, the textiles services and the non-woven sectors as well as a simplification of the application requirements. The federation called for a uniform implementation across the EU.
Already in March this year, with EU gas wholesale prices at €200/MWh, the business case for keeping textiles production was no longer there, EURATEX said. To date, natural gas wholesale prices have reached the level of €340/MWh, more than 15 times higher compared to 2021 levels. high-performance polymers
As many businesses now have suspended production processes to avoid the loss of tens of thousands of euros every day, EURATEX hoped this will not become the new normal, and to reduce the likelihood of such a scenario, it called on the Commission, the EU Council and the Parliament to ‘swiftly adopt decisive, impactful and concrete actions’ to tackle the energy crisis and ensure the survival of the European industry.
The EU textiles companies are mainly SMEs that do not have the financial structure to absorb such a shock. In contrast with such reality in Europe, the wholesale price of gas in the US and China is €10/MWh, whereas in Turkey the price is €25/MWh.
If the EU does not act, international competitors will easily replace EU companies in the market, resulting in the de-industrialisation of Europe and a worsened reliance on foreign imports of essential products, EURATEX cautioned.
Since 2018, the AST Group, a producer of HDPE plastic containers and drums, has been cleaning and reconditioning used containers to ensure a longer service life for its products. Since 2021, the loop has been closed by another piece – a plastics recycling facility (PRF) from Lindner has been processing post-consumer containers, which are then used to produce new drums and containers. As these products are also destined for the hazardous and foods industries, high-quality recyclate is crucial as are optimally coordinated recycling processes. high-performance polymers
Circular economy, the Green Deal, recycling quotas, resource conservation, energy efficiency, sustainability – these are the words heard every day in the recycling industry. After all, the industry is about responsibly managing our environment and its resources as well as the associated effort to retain materials in the economic system at the highest quality and for as long as possible. As a production company, the focus is on product design, durability, recyclability, and, in particular in the plastics processing industry, the quality of the recyclate used to manufacture the end product.
AST Group focuses on the circular economy
The AST Group has been focusing on the circular economy and recycling for some time. From the beginning, the focus was on creating the ideal production loop that would make it possible to increase the recyclate quota for the company’s own products and also use the products made of recyclate in the hazardous and food industries. A short while later, the first centre of competence for plastics was established and a complete plastics recycling line was installed to process post-industrial and post-consumer HDPE (high-density polyethylene). This solution not only helps contribute to the circular economy, it also ensures the internal supply of raw materials.
Energy efficiency and quality
When it came to the recycling facility, the decision was made in favour of Lindner. “It was important to us that the facility could process all kinds of materials, from hollow objects to regrind,” explains Hauke Grabau, Head of the Recycling Division at AST Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH. “When designing the facility, we focused closely on energy-efficient technology that conserves resources. Shredders, mills, various washing steps – including the hot-wash system, which we can switch on depending on the required intensity – are perfectly matched to our requirements.” high-performance polymers
MEGlobal announced that its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) will be USD800/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival September 2022, said the company.
The September 2022 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market. high-performance polymers
We remind, MEGlobal announced that its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) will be USD820/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival August 2022. The August 2022 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market.
MEGlobal is a fully integrated supplier of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG), collectively known as ethylene glycol (EG).
Calum MacLean brings a wealth of experience from over 30 years in the chemicals industry, most recently as CEO of Synthomer, a UK FTSE 250 specialty chemical company, and prior to that as an executive director and member of the founding management team of INEOS Group
The British chemicals manager Calum MacLean is to become CEO of the envisaged joint venture for high-performance engineering materials which Advent International (Advent) and LANXESS are planning to form. Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors with a well-established track record in chemicals, and LANXESS, a global specialty chemical company, announced today that MacLean is designated to take over the position as the CEO for the envisaged company upon closing of the transaction. high-performance polymers
MacLean brings extensive global CEO experience in petrochemicals, polymers and specialty chemicals from his time with INEOS and most recently as CEO of Synthomer. During his 17 years at INEOS, MacLean established and integrated two highly successful joint ventures in chemicals (Styrolution) and refining (PetroIneos), and therefore brings highly relevant experience in integrating and consolidating multinational blue chip chemical businesses. Due to his background, MacLean is the ideal candidate to lead the envisaged merger of equals following the ‘best-of-both-worlds’ principle and the ambition to preserve the rich heritage of both businesses. He is currently a non-executive board director of SABIC and has recently stepped down as a non-executive board director of Clariant.
Ronald Ayles, Managing Partner at Advent, said, “We are very happy that Calum has accepted the designated CEO role in this strategic investment and are convinced that his highly relevant experience at both INEOS and Synthomer will be invaluable during the integration and subsequent growth of the engineering materials business. We look forward to working with him and the future executive management team on this exciting venture.”
Matthias Zachert, CEO of LANXESS, added, “Calum is a highly regarded executive with a strong reputation in both the chemical industry and financial markets, and I am convinced that he has the right expertise and skill base to lead the joint venture, once it has been established in the first half of next year. LANXESS and Advent will support Calum during the integration phase as the joint venture establishes itself as a strong global player in this highly attractive market, following merger clearances.”
The joint venture will benefit from the strong long-term partnership between Advent and LANXESS, as well as from their vast experience and common understanding of establishing and growing a highly innovative engineering materials business. The new company is expected to have sales of around EUR 3 billion and to be one of the leading suppliers to the attractive and growing automotive, electronics, electrical and consumer goods segments, with a particular focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable products. The highly complementary combination both in terms of regional footprint and product range will bring together well-invested assets, skilled employees with a strong cultural fit, and a comprehensive innovation pipeline, therefore creating a strong foundation for sustainable long-term growth.
Calum MacLean, the CEO-designate of the joint venture, said, “I am truly excited by the challenge and opportunity to lead the merger of equals of two highly successful and complementary businesses with rich heritages from DSM and LANXESS. The combination will create a truly global engineering materials business and an exciting future for both employee teams and customers going forward.” high-performance polymers