Nuclear Battery – Escalating Sea Freight Causes Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Import Prices to Boom in the USA 12-01-2024

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Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

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Nuclear Battery: Atomic Energy Becomes Reality for Civilian Applications

Research activities focused on the development of next-generation batteries aim to achieve multiple ambitious goals. The efforts of manufacturers, academics, and scientists are concentrated on various key areas: increasing energy efficiency, reducing size and weight while enhancing capacity, extending charge life, and ensuring safety. Additionally, there is a focus on sustainable batteries, using environmentally less harmful and recyclable materials. A significant milestone in this direction has recently been achieved by Microsoft and PNNL, leveraging artificial intelligence and HPC, as explained in the article.

Some research is also exploring so-called nuclear batteries, devices that convert nuclear energy into electrical energy through spontaneous nuclear reactions, specifically beta decay. These batteries have found applications in various fields, such as space missions, providing constant energy for extended periods without the need for replacement or recharging.  Nuclear Battery

While nuclear batteries are not a new concept, Betavolt, a Chinese company, has announced the development of an ultracompact nuclear battery named BB100 for civilian use. About the size of a coin at 15 x 15 x 5 mm, this battery can supply 100 microwatts of power for 50 years without any recharging operations. The modular design allows connecting multiple batteries for increased power.

Betavolt’s technology combines the use of the nickel-63 isotope and diamond-structured silicon. The radioactive decay of nickel-63 generates electricity, while fourth-generation diamond-structured silicon enhances the overall efficiency and performance of the nuclear battery. This technological choice enables miniaturization while keeping production costs low.  Nuclear Battery

According to Betavolt, the new battery is already in production for the pilot phase and will soon be produced on a large scale and launched into the market.

Unlike chemical batteries like lithium-ion, nuclear batteries are physical batteries with significantly higher energy density. One gram of this battery can store 3,300 Wh of energy. Moreover, nuclear batteries do not have the tendency to catch fire or explode, and their self-generating nature over a 50-year timeframe makes them unlimited in charge cycles, unlike chemical batteries.  Nuclear Battery

Betavolt plans to release a 1W battery in 2025, and pending regulatory approval, nuclear batteries could power consumer electronic devices without the need for recharging. These power sources offer stable power that remains consistent in challenging environments with variable loads, operating in a temperature range from -60 to 120 °C without any performance variation and no self-discharge phenomena. The company has also disclosed ongoing tests with other isotopes to further extend battery life.

Nuclear Battery

Why “Made in China” Will Be the New “Made in Germany”

The label “Made in Germany” emerged in the UK in the late 19th century to designate products considered inferior to those made in the United Kingdom. Today, “Made in Germany” has a completely different connotation, and soon “Made in China” is likely to follow a similar trajectory. Once synonymous with low-cost mass production, “Made in China” seems destined to take on a new meaning as the Asian powerhouse, after rapid industrialization, increasingly positions itself as an innovator and leader in various strategically important sectors, including cutting-edge technology. Nuclear Battery

In summary:

  • As the Chinese economy matures, it is increasingly geared towards excelling in sectors crucial for global development in the coming decades. We believe that “Made in China” will become synonymous with leadership in terms of quality and innovation.
  • China aims to establish itself as a technological superpower in opposition to the United States, a dynamic that will favor Chinese companies supported by policies, gaining positions along the value chain.
  • Electric vehicles, renewable energy, information technology, and healthcare are among the key areas to closely monitor.  Nuclear Battery

Despite the challenges, positive aspects persist in the Chinese economy. While the overall GDP growth target for 2023 set by Beijing at 5% is modest compared to recent Chinese standards, exceptional growth is evident in certain sectors. For instance, China recently surpassed Japan as the world’s top exporter of automobiles, mainly due to its leadership in the electric vehicle market. Despite the slower-than-expected recovery from the effects of zero-Covid policies, there are positive signs in the Chinese economy.

The focus is shifting towards areas where China is demonstrating leadership in innovation and the development of flagship products for the global market. These areas represent the future of China as the government and regulatory authorities work to support the new direction of the domestic economy, exemplified by the “China Standards 2035” project aiming to play a central role in defining global technical standards for next-generation technology.  Nuclear Battery

In education, China has awarded more STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) doctorates than the United States since the mid-2000s. By 2025, it is likely to surpass the U.S. in annual doctorates. These efforts reflect the country’s determination to transition from a low-cost labor source to a model and leader of innovation in various fields crucial for global growth and prosperity.

Key Sectors: Green Technologies Chinese companies compete with Western counterparts in green technology, including electric vehicles and renewable energy. China dominates the global production (64%) and sales (59%) of electric vehicles powered by new energies in 2022. Its influence extends throughout the automotive supply chain, particularly in battery production.  Nuclear Battery

Hardware, Software, and AI China continues to make strides in the hardware sector, evident in the significant increase of “unicorn” companies in technology hardware and semiconductors. Geopolitical tensions are driving China towards self-sufficiency in software, with Chinese companies gaining market share in recent years. The Chinese expenditure on software, currently only 2% of the U.S. expenditure per employee, indicates significant growth potential.

Healthcare China’s healthcare sector is expected to experience notable growth due to increasing innovation. Chinese biotechnology companies are licensing patents to both emerging countries and established global giants, highlighting the rising quality of local products and China’s power in this sector.  Nuclear Battery

This overview of sectors where China is excelling provides a glimpse of the new meaning and perception of “Made in China.” Like Germany, Japan, and South Korea in the past, China will soon be associated not with low-cost products but with quality and technological leadership. The transformation of China into a modern, innovation-driven economy will likely reshape the global landscape differently from previous economic shifts, creating two opposing technological superpowers with distinct ecosystems. Navigating this new and evolving landscape should be a priority for investors.  Nuclear Battery

Why "Made in China" Will Be the New "Made in Germany": AllianzGI's Analysis

Escalating Sea Freight Causes Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Import Prices to Boom in the USA

The import price for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) in the United States has been undergoing substantial price hikes, with market participants attributing the surge to disruptions in global ocean freight. The current price for PET Resin Bottle Grade rose by 1.6%, with prices hovering at USD 1235/MT DDP Los Angeles, as per the ChemAnalyst database.  Nuclear Battery

During this week, the prices of PET have surged sharply due to disruptions and delays caused by events such as rebel attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. These incidents, coupled with disturbances in traffic through the Suez Canal, have prompted companies to alter their shipping routes, opting to circumvent the Suez Canal and Red Sea by diverting cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope. Unfortunately, this alternative route has resulted in considerable delays and a reduction in the availability of shipping containers.

At the same time, the European market for PET and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) has been also grappling with shortages due to diverted shipments and multiple outages. Simultaneously, the Asian polyester market is feeling the negative effects of the Suez Canal and Red Sea diversions, with rising freight rates hindering buying activities. However, in Europe the price for PET was quoted steady. This was due to the muted purchasing activity from downstream packaging industries.  Nuclear Battery

Adding to the complexity, the Panama Canal is also facing issues due to low water levels resulting from a local drought. The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has been limiting vessel passages since early November. However, the PCA said on January 16 that more vessels would be permitted to transit the waterway every day due to recent improvements in rainfall and lake levels.

On the other side, the United States, which depends significantly on PET imports, has been especially exposed to these logistical problems. Nuclear Battery


Nuclear Battery

Microsoft, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has made a groundbreaking discovery—an innovative material enabling the production of batteries with up to 70% less lithium compared to traditional batteries

Lithium, a crucial element in most batteries, poses environmental and social challenges due to its limited and costly extraction requiring significant water and energy, potentially harming ecosystems and local communities. Lithium recycling is complex, expensive, and generates substantial waste and pollution. Microsoft’s new material could address these issues.  Nuclear Battery

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) played a pivotal role in finding the new material. Leveraging the power of AI and high-performance computing, Microsoft and PNNL utilized the Azure Quantum Elements platform to analyze millions of possible materials and predict their properties and performance.

In just 80 hours, this AI-driven approach identified 18 promising materials, a remarkable achievement compared to the decades often required by traditional material discovery methods.  Nuclear Battery

One of the platform-selected materials was successfully synthesized and tested by PNNL, showing promising results as it powered a light bulb, demonstrating functionality. The material is undergoing further evaluation to assess its stability and effectiveness.

Nathan Baker, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Partnerships for Chemistry and Materials, expressed Microsoft’s commitment to making these innovations accessible to customers through the Azure Quantum Elements platform.

Nuclear Battery

Altana AG, based in Wesel, Germany, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Silberline Group, a prominent U.S.-based company specializing in the development and manufacturing of effect pigments

These pigments find applications in diverse industries, including automotive coatings, printing inks, plastics, protective coatings, and consumer goods packaging.

Martin Babilas, CEO of ALTANA AG, emphasized the strategic significance of this acquisition in advancing their goal of sustainable value-creating growth through targeted expansions. The move is set to strategically enhance ALTANA’s ECKART division, fortifying its presence in North America and Asia.  Nuclear Battery

Dr. Christian Przybyla, President of ECKART, highlighted the complementary nature of Silberline and ECKART’s local research and production capacities, anticipating improved flexibility in addressing regional customer needs and heightened service quality.

Gary Karnish, CEO of Silberline, expressed optimism about the acquisition, foreseeing the collaboration with ECKART as a catalyst for intensified development of sustainable product innovations, benefiting both customers and employees.

Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, Silberline employs over 450 people globally and achieved sales of around 80 million U.S. dollars in 2022. The completion of the acquisition is contingent on customary closing conditions, with the purchase price remaining undisclosed. Silberline was exclusively advised by Grace Matthews throughout the transaction. Nuclear Battery

Altana AG, based in Wesel, Germany, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Silberline Group, a prominent U.S.-based company specializing in the development and manufacturing of effect pigments

Dimension-Polyant Launches New Tactical Pack Fabrics Made Stronger With Tyra Technology®

Responding to increased demand among tactical operators, first responders and shooting sports enthusiasts for  higher quality, performance materials to safeguard their valuable tactical equipment in transit and in the field, Dimension-Polyant, the global leader in sailcloth production and manufacturer of X-Pac® lightweight, durable and waterproof laminates developed for packs and bags, is set to present its new X-Pac® Tactical Fabrics made with Tyra Technology® to esteemed brands in the tactical and shooting sports industry at the Supplier Showcase in booth 51441, January 22-23, 2024 during SHOT Show week in Las Vegas.  Nuclear Battery

Tyra Technology® by Dimension-Polyant is the pinnacle of spread filament fiber efficiency, delivering exceptionally lightweight, incredibly strong laminates. Tyra Technology® expertly aligns and orients each filament, maximizing their contribution to load carrying, tear resistance, and puncture toughness. The result cuts out excess weight and increases performance, boosting tear and tensile strength over conventional materials. Whether it’s for high-performance sails, rugged outdoor equipment, or demanding tactical uses, Tyra Technology® redefines the benchmarks for weight, strength, and durability.

Born from X-Pac®’s legacy on the world’s most challenging peaks and longest trails, X-Pac® Tactical Fabrics are lightweight, durable, and waterproof – the ideal choice for professional operators.  At the forefront of innovation, these fabrics offer peak performance in the harshest environments.  Nuclear Battery

Leveraging a proprietary lamination technology, X-Pac® Tactical Fabrics combine trusted face fabrics and innovative fiber reinforcement; specifically designed for the demanding missions. This unique construction enhances the equipment’s functionality and longevity.


Dimension-Polyant Launches New Tactical Pack Fabrics Made Stronger With Tyra Technology®

TekniPlex Healthcare to debut PET blister film at Pharmapack 

TekniPlex Healthcare has partnered with petrochemical leader Alpek Polyester to introduce the “world’s first” pharmaceutical-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) blister film containing recycled content.

Suitable for a wide array of primary packaging applications, 30% of the PET blister film is manufactured using post-consumer recycled (PCR) monomers. When combined with TekniPlex’s polyester lidding, Teknilid Push, the film plus lidding blister system is also fully recyclable in the polyester recycling stream where recycling infrastructure exists. TekniPlex Healthcare will debut the promising new solution at Pharmapack Paris, Stands C48 & C49, 24-25th January. Nuclear Battery

To create the next-generation film, post-consumer plastic waste undergoes a depolymerisation process via chemical recycling, which reduces it back to monomers. After repolymerisation to PET, the result is a recycled resin that is essentially virgin material. Notably, such monomer-level deconstruction and repolymerisation is impossible to achieve via traditional mechanical recycling methods. The end product from Alpek’s polymer reactor is a sheet in master reel made according to the melt-to-sheet process.

The benchmark-setting new blister film meets all pharmaceutical requirements for PET as outlined in the European Pharmacopoeia Section 3.1.15, and United States Pharmacopoeia Section 661.1.  Nuclear Battery


TekniPlex Healthcare to debut PET blister film at Pharmapack 

ArabPlast 2023: A transformative showcase of innovation and sustainability in the plastics and petrochemical industry 

ArabPlast, the Dubaian trade fair for the plastics, recycling, petrochemical, packaging & rubber industry, opened its doors from 13th to 15th of December 2023. The three-day fair not only celebrated the latest advancements, and innovations, but also delved into sustainable solutions.

A defining feature of ArabPlast 2023 was the participation of more than 750 exhibitors, representing 35 countries across the globe. The exhibition served as a stage for presenting the latest products, showcasing advanced technologies, and exchanging invaluable know-how. The diverse and global representation emphasised the interconnectedness of the plastics and petrochemical sectors, fostering collaboration and cross-border exchange of ideas that are vital for the industry’s evolution. Nuclear Battery

In addition to the comprehensive displays, ArabPlast 2023 featured machine displays that captivated the audience. Cutting-edge machinery was showcased, providing attendees with a firsthand look at the latest innovations in plastic processing. Furthermore, on-the-spot machine sales added an element of practicality to the event, allowing industry professionals to acquire state-of-the-art equipment right on the exhibition floor.

The event also witnessed the unveiling of patented technology in plastic processing. This innovative technology represents a significant milestone in the global plastic industry, tick marking the first time introduction of such advancements.  Nuclear Battery


ArabPlast 2023: A transformative showcase of innovation and sustainability in the plastics and petrochemical industry 

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

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