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
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 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.
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