Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic 14-06-2022 - Arhive
Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Crude Oil Prices Trend
Almost 70% of CFOs expect a recession in the first half of 2023, but twice as many say their companies will increase rather than decrease spending over the next year, according to a survey.
Financial author Morgan Housel said, “People are very good at forecasting the future, except for the surprises, which tend to be all that matter.” When it comes to talent acquisition within the plastics industry, Talent Talk has a pretty good track record. Back in April 2020 we advised businesses that there was a brief open window of opportunity for hiring. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The past two years have seen that brief opportunity turn rapidly into the tightest labor market of our lifetimes. Candidates have had multiple opportunities, almost always a counteroffer, and there has been a bidding war for top talent.
For plastics companies that have been crushed by staffing issues, there is good news and bad news. I believe there will be a window to correct those imbalances if they are proactive and ready to take advantage of the opportunity. The bad news? What will trigger that means a different set of issues.
A recent survey of CFOs conducted by business network CNBC showed that 68% believe a recession will occur during the first half of 2023. One hundred percent believe a recession is unavoidable at some point.
But this is not a gloom and doom forecast. Twice as many CFOs say their companies will increase spending over the next year than will cut back, and 82% plan to maintain at least their current spending levels. Those planning to increase headcount outnumber those planning to decrease it by three to one. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The physical edition of TaipeiPlas is scheduled to return from September 27 to October 1 this year at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 1 (TaiNEX 1) in conjunction with ShoeTech Taipei. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
A month-long online exhibition will continue till October 27. This year’s TaipeiPlas focuses on three major themes – “Smart Machinery,” “Next-gen Materials” and “Circular Economy – Net Zero Carbon Emissions.” Starting from June, the organiser, Taitra, launches monthly theme-based campaigns to unveil the highlights of the coming TaipeiPlas with social media news, exhibitor & production introductions, e-newsletters and videos. E-newsletter subscription and visitor registration are both now available on the official website.
The pre-show monthly campaigns for the show kick off with the first theme “Smart Manufacturing” in June. The plastics and rubber manufacturing has become greatly different from what it was, says Taitra. In the past, the manufacturing processes of plastics and rubber such as the parameters setting, the material selection, and the processing of complex components relied on the operation and judgment of experienced labor. The smart manufacturing technologies today have turned the production line to be fully automated, more efficient, meanwhile, led the industry to create new business models. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Key industry players from home and abroad all gear up to make a splash at the trade show by presenting their smart machines and smart manufacturing solutions. FCS and FKI for example, the two leading plastic injection moulding machine manufacturers in Taiwan have integrated Manufacturing Execution System (MES) into every section of their machine production and assembly lines. Multiple benefits are achieved, including more accurate production control, improved quality management and production cost reduction. Taiwan plastic and rubber machinery manufacturers are transforming to become smarter, and at the same time, providing a full line of services in building smart production lines overseas.
Japanese craftsmanship improves fiber quality, as company plans Europe sales
HighChem, a Tokyo-based chemical trading company, has applied Japanese traditional craftsmanship to improve a Chinese-made biodegradable plastic fiber so it can be used in fashionable apparel and is marketing the fiber and fabrics to European garment makers.
The sustainable plastic has been deemed an alternative material for use as utensils and shopping bags because of its low heat conductivity and its ability to absorb dye so that prints can be made on it.
“This could not have been realized with ideas of chemical specialists,” said Yuichi Taka, a director of HighChem. In December 2021, the company started marketing a fiber of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable plastic made from corn, under the brand name Highlact. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
HighChem invested in China BBCA Group, a maker of PLA, and concluded a contract for sales in Japan with the company in 2020, using the connections of Ushio Taka, the company’s founder and president, who comes from China and is the father of Yuichi Taka. BBCA is the world’s second-largest PLA maker, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 tons. The Chinese company is expected to be the world’s top PLA maker when it starts operating a large, 300,000-ton plant this summer.
Yuichi Taka said he had gotten the idea of using PLA as an apparel fiber but his father opposed it at first. Major Japanese chemical makers had tried to commercialize PLA fibers but had not had success in dealing with the fibers’ technical weaknesses, such as insufficient heat resistance. President Taka, an engineer, knew their unsuccessful attempts well.
He decided to make a business of PLA fibers despite his father’s opposition in early 2021, saying he “would like to draw on the wisdom of the Japanese fiber and textile industries.” Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
HighChem has hired four apparel and fabric specialists so far and has marketed the fibers to traditional textile producers across Japan, including makers of synthetic fibers in Fukui Prefecture and denim fabrics in Okayama Prefecture.
PET plastic bottles, food containers, and lightweight wrap for packaging have become a problem if they’re not recycled—but scientists searching through compost piles have discovered an enzyme that degrades the plastic in record time.
The enzyme PHL7, which the German researchers found in a compost heap in Leipzig, could make bio-PET recycling possible much faster than previously thought—and their compelling photos appearing in a scientific journal are an eye-opener.
One way in which enzymes are used in nature is when bacteria decompose plant parts. It has been known for some time that some enzymes, so-called polyester-cleaving hydrolases, can also degrade PET. For example, the enzyme LCC, which was discovered in Japan in 2012, is considered to be a particularly effective “plastic eater”. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The team led by Leipzig University researcher Dr. Christian Sonnendecker, has been searching for previously undiscovered examples of these biological helpers as part of the EU-funded projects MIPLACE and ENZYCLE. They found what they were looking for in the Südfriedhof cemetery hidden inside their compost sample.
Out of seven different enzymes, PHL7 achieved results in the lab that were significantly above average—twice as active as the previous leader in PET decomposition, LCC.
They added PET, which is the most widely produced plastic, to containers full of an aqueous solution containing either PHL7 or LCC, then measured the amount of plastic that was degraded in a given period of time and compared the values with each other.
The results, published in ChemSusChem, showed that within 16 hours, PHL7 caused the PET to decompose by a whopping 90 percent; in that same time, LCC managed a degradation of just 45 percent.
“So our enzyme is twice as active as the gold standard among polyester-cleaving hydrolases,” Sonnendecker said. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
NIGERIA risks losing outright gains from rising oil price of above $100 dollars per barrel since it has failed to embrace reforms that could make it reap such gains.
Nigeria’s highly priced brent crude presently sells for $123.06 per barrel, a price which could have impacted on Nigeria’s economy postively and reduced borrowing.
A large chunk of Nigeria’s income and its Federating budgets are dependent on proceeds from oil resources. Furthermore, sharing of allocations by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the Federal, states and local governments is derived from proceeds from Nigeria’s oil earnings, which have risen from the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, but are having no positive impact on the country’s fortune because of oil imports. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Poor economic choices by the government and delay in the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) have threatened Nigeria’s federation allocation and foreign exchange inflows.
As a result of poor inflow of oil remittances, the federal government had borrowed over N10 trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a step which intensified inflationary pressures on the overall economy.
To compound the concerns, Nigeria is currently not meeting the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) allocated oil quota of 1.7 million barrels per day, as oil theft and pipeline vandalism have made it produce a lesser number of barrels.
OPEC’s data showed that Nigeria’s oil production has slumped to an average of 1.35m barrels per day. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Although it hit roughly 1.4m bpd in May, according to secondary sources, Nigeria still has a deficit of 350,000 barrels per day to contend with.
Chemical pre-treatments that deconstruct certain types of plastics can help naturally occurring microbial communities break down plastic waste more quickly, according to researchers at Michigan Technological University. The research will be presented at Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, on June 12, 2022 in Washington D.C. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The compounds derived from the chemical deconstruction of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polycarbonate plastics or the pyrolysis of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic can successfully sustain the growth. The genomes of microbial communities derived from multiple soils show that these organisms are capable of degrading complex carbon compounds, such as those found in gasoline, oil and plastics. Breaking up the plastic with chemical pre-treatment makes the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen from the plastic’s molecular structure more accessible for bacteria to use as food.
“Bacteria grow quickly on this diet of deconstructed plastics and make more bacteria cells, effectively breaking down the plastic. We can use these plastic-fed bacterial communities to create lubricant and even protein powder, truly turning trash into treasure while taking a bite out of the plastic waste problem,” said Dr. Stephen Techtmann, associate professor of biological sciences at Michigan Tech.
Of the 6.3 billion tons of plastic made every year, 79 percent accumulates in landfills, according to the United Nations’ Environmental Programme. By 2050, plastic waste will have grown 3-fold, taking tens or thousands of years to degrade. The researchers demonstrated that combined chemical and biological degradation methods may be used to effectively degrade multiple types of plastic over a relatively short period and may be a future avenue to handle rapidly accumulating plastic waste.
“These finding supported our hypothesis that the natural environment is an untapped reservoir of microorganisms capable of degrading the building blocks of plastic, and that mixed microbial communities can simultaneously degrade mixed plastic waste inputs,” said Lindsay Putman, postdoctoral fellow in the department of biological sciences at Michigan Tech, who designed and led the study.
Funding for this work was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ReSource program cooperative agreement HR00112020033. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The same supply chain disruptions that slow Michigan manufacturing could help the recycling industry bring in new business.
The opportunity started with pandemic shutdowns, which disrupted manufacturing and the movement of goods, said Dave Smith, a recycling coordinator at the Michigan State University Recycling Center. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
That resulted in material shortages for businesses across the state, said Patrick Gagliardi, the chair of the state Liquor Control Commission.
Since 2020, the adult beverage industry has struggled to manufacture and ship glass, aluminum, cardboard and bottle caps, Gagliardi said. And recent spikes in the price of petroleum in response to the war in Ukraine have not helped.
“That was just hard on businesses, especially those who get their goods through some sort of transportation,” he said.
Shortages of raw materials cause price spikes, Smith said. And rising prices for petroleum are making plastic much more expensive.
The cost to make “virgin” or new plastic products is much higher than normal, he said.
The cost of polypropylene, a flexible plastic resin used to make items like reusable water bottles, plastic food containers and car parts, has risen roughly 36% since 2020, according to Statistica, an online data analytics platform.
Its report, which compiles price points from 2017 to 2022, shows that the price jumped to $1,285 per ton in 2021 and was $1,208 per ton as of March of this year.
For plastic producers, the higher cost makes it harder to keep up with demand, Smith said. As oil prices increase, plastic prices do as well.
But recycling centers like that at MSU could benefit when cost-cutting companies look for alternatives. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Selling recycled plastic is one way.
Wearwell’s Foundation modular platform systems line uses 100 percent postconsumer recycled polypropylene.
Sustainability was not top of mind for companies in the 1950s, but recycling was the main reason Wearwell, originally known as Tennessee Mat, began producing industrial mats in 1950. Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
The Smyrna, Tennessee-based company launched when its founders, Max Greenberg and Charley Gross, saw an opportunity to convert scrap tires into industrial mats.
“They would take old tires, cut them down and put them together with wires and make mats you used to see at businesses,” says Phil Huss, product and engineering manager at Wearwell. “We were taking this material that nobody else wanted and making a product out of it. At the time, it wasn’t about sustainability. It was more that there was this waste and we wanted to turn it into something valuable.”
For the last 30 years, Wearwell has focused on developing safety products and ergonomic floor-related products for industrial workers. Huss says sustainability is a bigger consideration with product design today as the company has sought opportunities to include plastic scrap in its products this past decade.
“Our majority owner [Elliot Greenberg] is environmentally minded, and so am I,” he says. “We try to push for that kind of thought to be put into products when we’re developing them so that we do the best we can. We’ve come to the conclusion that in order to fix the plastic [waste] problem, we have to make sure there’s demand for recycled plastic.
If there’s not, it doesn’t matter how much people put in their recycling bins if it’s not turned into anything. We have to create that demand so that there’s a value for it so people will do something with it.” Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic
Recycle-materials – Biodegradable-plastic