Plastics into Biofuel – The Green Revolution – Is carbon dioxide to ethylene the sustainable solution? 14-07-2023
Plastics into Biofuel
Crude Oil Prices Trend
Technip Energies and LanzaTech Global, Inc. have announced a collaborative effort to develop carbon dioxide-to-ethylene technology, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing
The two companies will combine their respective technologies to establish an innovative and sustainable approach for producing ethylene.
By leveraging LanzaTech’s carbon capture and utilization technology alongside Technip Energies’ Hummingbird technology, waste carbon will be converted into ethylene, which serves as a fundamental component in various petrochemical applications. Ethylene is extensively used in the manufacturing of plastics, detergents, coatings, and other critical materials that contribute to hospital hygiene, public safety, and food preservation. However, conventional ethylene production processes are major contributors to carbon dioxide emissions within the chemical industry, posing significant challenges for decarbonization efforts. In contrast, this collaborative solution starts with carbon emissions instead of using virgin fossil carbon. Plastics into Biofuel
The joint process begins by capturing up to 95% of the CO2 from the flue gas emitted by ethylene cracking furnaces. This captured CO2 is then combined with hydrogen. Subsequently, LanzaTech’s biorecycling technology transforms the waste carbon into ethanol. Finally, Technip Energies’ Hummingbird technology dehydrates the ethanol, resulting in the production of ethylene.
Technip Energies and LanzaTech have been collaborating on various sustainable initiatives since 2020. Their previous projects include partnerships with Borealis and On, a Swiss running shoe company, to produce EVA foam for running shoe soles. Additionally, Technip Energies collaborates with LanzaJet, an independent company spun off from LanzaTech, incorporating the Hummingbird technology into the LanzaJet Alcohol-to-Jet process, which produces sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol.
Arnaud Pieton, CEO of Technip Energies, expressed satisfaction with the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to collaborate with LanzaTech once again, this time to decarbonize ethylene. This groundbreaking technology not only captures carbon but also utilizes it to create a valuable end product.”
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, emphasized the significance of the collaboration, saying, “By integrating our processes with those of Technip Energies, we have the potential to retrofit ethylene crackers worldwide, contributing to the decarbonization of a sector that currently faces limited options. The sustainable production of one of the most widely used commodity chemicals will positively impact the lives of billions of people on a daily basis. Through partnerships like the one we have with Technip Energies, we are creating meaningful pathways to reduce our dependence on virgin fossil resources for the products we rely on in our everyday lives.” Plastics into Biofuel
The Green Revolution: Transforming Plastics into Biofuel
The concept of the Green Revolution has evolved from its origins in mid-20th century agricultural advancements. In the 21st century, it symbolizes a global movement to combat climate change and foster a sustainable future. Renewable energy sources play a vital role in this modern Green Revolution, and one promising innovation in this field is the conversion of plastics into biofuel. This advancement offers a potential solution to two pressing environmental issues: plastic waste and dependence on fossil fuels.
Plastic waste poses a widespread global problem. Plastics into Biofuel
Each year, millions of tons of plastic find their way into our oceans, causing harm to marine life and ecosystems. Simultaneously, non-biodegradable plastic waste overflows in landfills, contributing to soil and groundwater pollution. Additionally, our reliance on fossil fuels continues to drive climate change, as the combustion of these fuels releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas.
The production of biofuel from plastics presents a promising approach to address both of these challenges. The process involves breaking down plastic waste into its constituent molecules, which can then be converted into biofuel. This not only provides a renewable energy source but also offers a means to reduce the accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and landfills.
While the technology for converting plastic waste into biofuel is still in its early stages, numerous companies and research institutions are making significant progress in this field. For instance, a United States-based company has developed a proprietary process capable of converting plastic waste into high-quality diesel fuel. Similarly, researchers in India have devised a cost-effective method for converting plastic waste into gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel. Plastics into Biofuel
The potential benefits of producing biofuel from plastics are substantial. Firstly, it could significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste polluting our environment. Moreover, it could provide a renewable energy source that helps decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, thereby aiding in mitigating the impacts of climate change.
However, there are challenges to overcome. One of the primary obstacles is the cost of the technology. Presently, producing biofuel from plastics is more expensive than producing traditional fossil fuels. Furthermore, the process requires a consistent supply of plastic waste, which may be a challenge in countries lacking well-developed waste management systems.
Despite these challenges, the production of biofuel from plastics represents a promising pathway for the Green Revolution. It exemplifies how innovative technologies can address some of our most urgent environmental concerns. As we continue to explore and refine these technologies, we move closer to a future where our energy needs are met sustainably and with minimal environmental impact. Plastics into Biofuel
To conclude, the Green Revolution now encompasses more than just increasing food production with fewer resources, as it did in the mid-20th century. Today, it encompasses the creation of sustainable energy solutions, waste reduction, and climate change mitigation. The production of biofuel from plastics stands as one such solution, holding great promise for a greener and more sustainable future.
LyondellBasell differentiated Polyethylene (PE) technology selected for PetroChina Guangxi complex
LyondellBasell announced today that PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical Company will license the LyondellBasell polyethylene technology at their facility located in Qinzhou City, Guangxi, P.R. of China. The newly licensed technology will comprise of the LyondellBasell leading high-pressure Lupotech process technology which will be used for both a 100 kiloton per year (KTA) Autoclave and a 300 KTA Tubular line. Both production trains will produce mainly low-density polyethylene (LDPE) with ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA). Furthermore, an additional 300 KTA Hostalen “Advanced Cascade Process” (ACP) line for the production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) will be built at the same site.
“This latest award from PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical Company continues the long tradition of collaboration with LyondellBasell, as with this award almost 6,000 KTA of capacity has been licensed to the PetroChina group. Plastics into Biofuel
With the selected polyolefin technologies, PetroChina Guangxi will be able to compete in the market and be able to produce benchmark resins to support people’s everyday lives ”, said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added: “The newly added lines will include our latest generation high-pressure Lupotech technology as well as our multi-modal advanced cascade (ACP) HDPE technology enabling PetroChina to produce state-of -the art polyethylene products.”
Decades of experience in high-pressure application design makes the LyondellBasell Lupotech process the preferred technology for EVA/LDPE plant operators. High reliability, unmatched conversion rates and effective process heat integration are key attributes of the Lupotech process, designed to ensure this technology’s on-going energy efficiency. More than 15,000 KTA of LyondellBasell high pressure LDPE technology has been licensed by LyondellBasell in over 80 lines around the world. Plastics into Biofuel
The Hostalen ACP process technology manufactures high performance, multi-modal HDPE resins with an industry-leading stiffness/toughness balance, impact resistance, high stress cracking resistance and process advantages are used in pressure pipe, film and blow molding applications. The PetroChina HDPE plants will commence operations using Avant Z 501 and Avant Z509-1 catalysts to produce a full range of multi-modal HDPE products.
New licensees take advantage of LyondellBasell’s in-house expertise of continuous production improvement, product development according to the latest environmental regulations, and our know-how in high pressure design, by optionally joining our Technical Service program.
In addition to the Hostalen ACP, Lupotech T and Lupotech A process technology, the LyondellBasell licensing portfolio of polyolefin processes and catalysts includes:
Spherizone – The breakthrough multi-zone circulating reactor provides a unique and innovative platform to manufacture polypropylene products with novel architecture and enhanced properties.
Spheripol – The leading polypropylene (PP) process technology with more than 33 million tons of licensed capacity. With globally recognized quality grades featuring leading monomer yield and investment costs to make it the technology of choice.
Avant – Advanced Ziegler-Natta, including non-phthalate, chromium and metallocene catalysts for entire range of polyolefin production. Plastics into Biofuel
Services to Help Blow Molders Convert to rPET
Sidel launches “RePETable” range of services as “one-stop” solution to efficient adoption of rPET for bottle production.
RePETable is the name of a new portfolio of services from Sidel to assist PET stretch-blow molders in overcoming the challenges of including recycled PET (rPET) in their production. RePETable comprises a choice of services from optimizing bottle design for rPET to mold solutions, equipment upgrades and process support to help molders optimize the blowing process to manage rPET resin and identify and reject off-spec rPET before processing. The goal of Sidel’s “360° one-stop shop for recycled PET” is to ensure production efficiency and bottle quality with any rPET content up to 100%. Plastics into Biofuel
The RePETable program is assisted by work with Sidel’s small-scale recycling pilot line, which recreates every step in the recycling process, including washing, drying, pellet extrusion, crystallization and solid-state polymerization to restore IV. R&D on this system is said to help achieve desired bottle mechanical properties with optimum material stretchability and bottle shaping. Sidel also uses this pilot line to aid innovation in closures, sleeves, glues, labels, additives and coloring.
These services are offered in addition to Sidel’s packaging optimization services designed to help reduce bottle weight and achieve cost-effective rPET utilization.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revised its projections for crude oil production in the United States this year, following the extension of output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies until 2024
The EIA now anticipates a smaller increase in crude oil production, expecting a rise of 670,000 barrels per day (bpd) to reach 12.56 million bpd, compared to the previous estimate of 720,000 bpd. This adjustment was revealed in the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook released on Tuesday. Plastics into Biofuel
The production cuts implemented by OPEC+ are predicted to lead to a reduction in global oil inventories over the next five quarters, resulting in a surge in global oil prices towards the end of 2023 and early 2024, according to the EIA’s previous statements. The EIA’s current forecast suggests that Brent crude oil spot prices will average $78 per barrel in July, with a further increase to $80 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2023. On Tuesday, Brent futures stood at $79.34 per barrel, representing a 2% increase.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has indicated that the oil market is expected to remain tight in the latter half of 2023, primarily due to robust demand from China and developing nations, along with supply reductions announced by major exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Simultaneously, both domestic and global oil demand are projected to grow. OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais stated on Tuesday that global demand for all types of energy is forecasted to rise by 23% by 2045. The EIA specifically estimates a 100,000 bpd increase in U.S. total petroleum consumption, serving as a demand proxy, reaching 20.4 million bpd this year. Furthermore, it anticipates a further rise of 400,000 bpd to reach 20.8 million bpd in 2024. The IEA is expected to release updated forecasts later this week.
According to the EIA, the United States is expected to set a new record for natural gas consumption in July and August, driven by high temperatures and increased air conditioning demand. The EIA forecasts a 4% increase in U.S. electricity generation from natural gas during these months in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. As a result, the EIA predicts Henry Hub natural gas prices to average more than $2.80 per million British Thermal Units (MMBTU) in the second half of 2023, up from $2.40/MMBTU in the first half of the year. Plastics into Biofuel
Toray Industries, Inc. has announced that its Korean subsidiary, Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc., has obtained the prestigious ISCC PLUS certification for their production of PPS resins at the Gunsan plant, as reported by Chemanalyst
ISCC PLUS is a recognized certification system that promotes sustainable and climate-friendly supply chains, ensuring traceability and the absence of deforestation.
Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) is an organic polymer composed of interconnected aromatic rings through sulfide bonds. This synthetic fiber and textile material exhibit excellent resistance to thermal and chemical damage. Plastics into Biofuel
PPS is widely utilized in various applications such as filter fabric for coal boilers, papermaking felts, electrical insulation, film capacitors, specialty membranes, gaskets, packings, and even as a semi-flexible rod polymer for conductive polymers. Through oxidation or the use of dopants, non-conductive PPS can be transformed into a semiconducting form.
With the ISCC PLUS certification, Toray Advanced Materials Korea can now manufacture and supply PPS resins using raw materials derived from renewable sources, specifically biomass naphtha and pyrolysis oil from waste plastics, following the mass balance method. These renewable PPS resins possess identical characteristics to those derived from fossil fuels. Plastics into Biofuel
The ISCC PLUS certification ensures that the recycled and biomass raw materials are handled properly within the supply chain during mass balance production. The company is currently making preparations to commence mass production.
As the world’s largest integrated PPS manufacturer, the Toray Group manages a broad range of products, including polymers, compounds, fibers, and films. Toray Advanced Materials Korea, together with Toray’s Tokai Plant in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, possesses the largest PPS polymerization capacity globally. Toray Advanced Materials Korea supplies PPS resins to Group compounding sites located in China, Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia. Plastics into Biofuel
Toray is also pursuing certification for its Tokai Plant as part of its initiative to establish a global supply structure for eco-friendly PPS resins. The company aims to develop supply arrangements at compounding sites in countries where it operates, meeting customer demand for biomass and recycled raw materials while reducing its carbon footprint. Aligned with its Toray Group Sustainability Vision, which envisions sustainable resource management by 2050, Toray will continue to respond to customer needs for environmentally friendly resins, adhering to its corporate philosophy of creating new value and contributing to society.
Toray Industries, Inc. is a multinational corporation that specializes in the production of industrial goods using expertise in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry. Plastics into Biofuel
Originally focused on fibers, textiles, plastics, and chemicals, the company has since expanded its operations into various other sectors, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and R&D, medical products, reverse osmosis big membranes, electronics, IT products, housing and engineering, and advanced composite materials.