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Recycled content – In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries 20-01-2024

Recycled content

ALPLA Group, a leading global packaging entity, is significantly elevating its processing capabilities for recycled PET and HDPE, marking a crucial step towards achieving its 2025 voluntary recycled content goals

In a comprehensive review of its 2023 activities, the Austrian-based plastic packaging and recycling firm reported processing 386,000 short tons of recycled resin in-house, doubling the amount from just two years prior, showcasing a robust commitment to sustainability. ALPLA plans additional investments in 2024 to further strengthen its recycling capabilities.

In a notable achievement, the company integrated 20% recycled content into its packaging materials in 2023, underlining its dedication to advancing sustainable practices. ALPLA is strategically concentrating on internally processing higher-quality recycled PET and HDPE to achieve its ambitious target of 25% recycled content in packaging materials by 2025. Recycled content

To spearhead this effort, the company established a dedicated recycling-focused branch in 2023, named ALPLArecycling.

The company’s commitment to recycling growth is evident in its actions, actively expanding capacities to emphasize sustainable practices and circular economy principles. The surge in demand for recycled HDPE validates the effectiveness of ALPLA’s strategy, with the company expressing confidence in its approach.

ALPLA’s recent strides in recycling underscore its continuous dedication to integrating recycled materials into production processes. In 2022, the company used 361,000 short tons of recycled resin, and in 2021, this figure was 311,000 short tons, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to increasing the utilization of recycled materials and fostering a circular approach to plastics.  Recycled content

ALPLA’s recycling operations have a global footprint, with PET and HDPE recycling plants strategically located in Austria, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Thailand. This extensive presence positions ALPLA as a key player in advancing global recycling practices and contributing to the circular economy.

As ALPLA advances its recycling initiatives, the company stands at the forefront of the packaging industry’s transition to more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Strategic decisions to enhance in-house processing capacities, establish a dedicated recycling branch, and set ambitious recycled content targets underline ALPLA’s leadership in embracing a circular economy model. These efforts not only align with evolving consumer preferences for eco-conscious products but also position ALPLA as a trailblazer in sustainable packaging solutions.  Recycled content

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Black Swan Graphene announces a range of Graphene Enhanced Masterbatch (“GEM”) products

Black Swan Graphene has announced a range of Graphene Enhanced Masterbatch (“GEM”) products. These GEMs offer different performance and attributes of products aimed at multiple applications in the polymer industry. This announcement follows a recent commercial agreement ratified with Hubron International, a global leader in black masterbatch manufacturingRecycled content

Black Swan stated that its products are the results of extensive internal development efforts, including independent verification using the expertise at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (“GEIC”) and a strategic partnership with Hubron. The primary objective of the product development endeavors extends beyond performance; it strives for consistency, a pivotal factor in the commercialization of additive products.

Initial production volumes are focused on polypropylene; a widely used polymer known for its versatility and cost-effectiveness. However, its relatively low impact resistance has often posed a challenge in various applications. By incorporating only 1% of graphene into the polypropylene (loading ratio), an impressive 30% improvement in impact resistance was achieved in a Notched Izod test, which assesses the amount of energy absorbed by a material when struck by a notched sample.  Recycled content

Graphene enhanced products, with the addition of Black Swan’s product, reportedly demonstrate multiple performance benefits, including enhanced processability and therefore cost-effectiveness. Masterbatches with a loading ratio of up to 20% are available in various polymers. This repeatable performance in enhancing the impact resistance of polypropylene enables new possibilities across multiple industries, notably for different packaging and lightweighting in the transportation industry, a key driver for range increase and fuel efficiency.

Hubron and Black Swan are also working with the polymer matrix of a world-leading industrial polymer manufacturer, which launched an aggressive initiative to develop plastic materials for electric vehicles aimed at reduced weight, expand design freedom, reduce complexity, enhance thermal management, and reduce environmental impact. The development program resulted thus far in a 20% improvement in tensile strength, based on a loading ratio of only 0.2%.  Recycled content

Robert Laurent, Technical Director at Hubron, commented: “These results further add weight to the potential benefits of incorporating graphene materials into thermoplastics. A 30% impact resistance improvement is exciting, and we are looking to expand these trials into commercial applications. We are also able to fine-tune compound properties to deliver customer specific solutions.”

Simon Marcotte, President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan, commented: “This development marks a substantial leap in advancing the performance of polymer materials. The enhanced capabilities of graphene-enhanced polypropylene not only signify a breakthrough but also have the potential to reshape entire industries. We are confident that this innovation will spark creativity and drive transformative solutions across a diverse range of products and applications.”  Recycled content

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Volkswagen is intensifying its pursuit of solid-state batteries, doubling down on its commitment after a strategic partnership with QuantumScape

The German automaker is now engaging in negotiations with Blue Solutions to expedite the development process.

Seeking to avoid delays experienced with QuantumScape, in which Volkswagen has invested, the company aims to secure a reliable source for solid-state batteries.

Blue Solutions, associated with the Bolloré group, already holds a contract to supply these batteries to Mercedes for use in electric buses.  Recycled content

The negotiations between Volkswagen and Blue Solutions, as reported by Reuters from insider sources, center on a collaborative effort to develop solid-state batteries.

These batteries, based on the technology utilized in Mercedes buses, will be adapted for integration into Volkswagen’s electric vehicles.

The lithium-metal battery, known for its flexible structure called FlexFrame, addresses the stresses encountered during charging and discharging phases.

In a video presentation, QuantumScape’s executives, including Chief Product Officer Chris Dekmezian and Senior Director of Cell Design and Manufacturing Daniel Braithwaite, along with University of Michigan’s Associate Professor Venkat Viswanathan, shed light on the battery’s chemistry and architecture.  Recycled content

Volkswagen’s determination to advance solid-state battery technology underscores its commitment to the electrification of its vehicle fleet, emphasizing a proactive approach to secure a robust and timely supply chain.

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StoreDot has introduced a groundbreaking advancement in extreme fast charging (XFC) technology with its innovative I-Beam XFC cell-to-pack (CTP) concept

At the heart of this concept lies StoreDot’s exclusive 100in5 cell technology, capable of providing a remarkable 100 miles (160 kilometers) of range in just 5 minutes of charging. The 100in5 electrodes are intricately integrated into the newly developed I-Beam XFC cells, designed for direct incorporation into the battery pack.

While conventional cell-to-pack architectures primarily target enhancing range and energy density, StoreDot’s focus extends to the acceleration of extreme fast charging. The I-Beam XFC concept overcomes the complexities and cost challenges associated with integrating XFC capability at the vehicle level, facilitating even faster charging for electric vehicles (EVs).  Recycled content

Diverging from traditional cooling systems, the I-Beam XFC introduces the patented Structural Cooling concept embedded within each cell’s structure. This innovative thermal management approach prevents localized hotspots, ensuring uniform temperatures throughout the battery pack. This capability allows the acceptance of ultra-high currents required for fast charging, minimizing system overhead. Recycled content

Although currently a conceptual framework, StoreDot has already secured multiple patents related to the I-Beam XFC architecture. The company perceives this design as pivotal in unlocking the full potential of XFC technology on a mass scale. Dr. Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, affirms their commitment to advancing XFC battery technology from the cell level to the vehicle level, with the I-Beam XFC representing a holistic approach to improving packing efficiency, battery life cycle, and enabling rapid EV charging, likening it to the speed of refueling with petrol. As part of its ambitious plans for 2024, StoreDot aims to demonstrate the world’s first EV equipped with XFC technology, ship prismatic B-samples to OEMs, and expand operations in the US. Recycled content

StoreDot has introduced a groundbreaking advancement in extreme fast charging (XFC) technology with its innovative I-Beam XFC cell-to-pack (CTP) concept

In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries

Over the past fortnight, the pricing trajectory of polyamide has been unfavorably impacted by subdued consumption in sectors vital to Germany’s economy, including textiles, electrical, and automotive.

This downturn has given rise to a bearish market environment, exerting downward pressure on polyamide prices.

The consumption patterns and pricing trends of polyamide are intricately linked to various factors, encompassing economic conditions, industrial activities, and global market dynamics.  Recycled content

A pivotal factor contributing to this market shift is the weakness observed in feedstock prices, particularly Adipic Acid and Caprolactam, which has reverberated through the largest economy in the Eurozone.

This influence has permeated downstream derivative sectors, such as Polyamide 6 and 66. The subdued pricing of essential components like Adipic Acid and Caprolactam has cast a broader impact on the dynamics of Polyamide 6 and 66.

Consequently, the German Polyamide market found itself in a situation where ample supply met domestic requirements, prompting merchants to operate based on existing stock levels, leading to a decline in fresh orders.  Recycled content

The abundance of supply and reliance on existing stock fostered a cautious approach among merchants, thereby hampering the generation of new orders in the market.

The European market, in general, is grappling with the repercussions of global economic volatility and diminished purchasing power due to elevated interest rates and inflation.

The decline in purchasing activity observed in December 2023 extended into January 2024, as manufacturers sought to optimize their stock levels.

Notably, the automotive sector experienced a sharp reduction in new car registrations, with 241,883 fewer registrations nationwide compared to the previous year, marking a substantial 23% decline.  Recycled content

Authorities in the industry attributed this disruption to the premature discontinuation of incentives for purchasing electric cars, contributing to a year-long decline in registrations. These events signify a decreased utilization of Polyamide in the automotive industry during this specific timeframe.

Forecasts indicate that the demand for Polyamide from downstream sectors, particularly automotive and textiles, is expected to further decrease in the coming weeks.

This projection is grounded in the prevailing weak demand conditions across Europe, influenced by ongoing economic factors and market dynamics.

The anticipation is that subdued demand will lead to a reduction in the utilization of Polyamide within sectors such as automotive and textiles.  Recycled content

In the initial half of January 2024, the German polyamide market witnessed a notable decline in prices, primarily attributed to feeble demand in key downstream industries

Avantium, Helios Resins sign multi-year FDCA agreement

Helios plans to partially or fully replace petro-based terephthalic acid, the key building block for polyester resins, with FDCA

Renewable chemistry company Avantium and Helios, a Slovenia-based manufacturer of  coating resins, composite resins, and polyester polyols for PU flexible foams, have signed a ‘multi-year’ capacity reservation agreement. Avantium will supply Helios with FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) from its flagship plant that is currently under construction in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.  Recycled content

Production at the new facility – the world’s first  commercial facility for the production of FDCA from plant-based sugars – is expected to commence in 2024.

Avantium has developed a proprietary YXY technology that uses catalysts to convert plant-based sugar (fructose) into FDCA, the key building block for a wide range of plant-based chemicals and plastics such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). PEF is a 100% plant-based and recyclable plastic. Applications include polyesters, polyamides and polyurethanes, as well as coating resins, plasticisers, and other chemical products.

Avantium will sell FDCA and PEF directly from its FDCA flagship plant to its customers, in parallel to selling technology licences to industrial partners.

Helios plans to partially or fully replace petro-based terephthalic acid, the key building block for polyester resins, with FDCA.  Recycled content

“This capacity reservation for FDCA developed by Avantium provides assurance that we can use FDCA widely in the future for our resins and coatings,” said Dr. Martin Ocepek, director R&D synthetic resins at Helios Resins.

Avantium, Helios Resins sign multi-year FDCA agreement

Loop Industries, a Canadian company specializing in chemical recycling technology for PET and polyester fiber waste, is set to receive a significant boost with a $66 million investment from Reed Management

This strategic collaboration aims to propel the adoption of Loop’s innovative depolymerization process in Europe.

Reed Management’s investment, outlined in a non-binding memorandum of understanding, includes a $11 million equity investment in a joint venture to acquire commercialization rights for Loop’s technology in Europe. Recycled content

Additionally, a $22 million loan from the joint venture to Loop, divided into two tranches, will further support the company’s initiatives.

The remaining $33 million commitment will cover the initial costs of chemical recycling projects in Europe, including a joint venture with Suez and SK Geo Centric for a new plant in Saint-Avold, France.

Loop Industries Founder and CEO, Daniel Solomita, highlights the strategic significance of the partnership with Reed, leveraging their financial relationships and experience in major capital investments.  Recycled content

This collaboration aims to facilitate Loop’s penetration of the European market, aligning with stringent regulatory requirements for plastic material recycling.

Solomita emphasizes the financial structure’s accretive nature to shareholder value, minimizing dilution while maximizing the potential for future projects.

Loop Industries’ innovative technology focuses on depolymerizing PET and polyester waste, transforming it into high-quality monomers suitable for polymerization into new, virgin-like polyester, providing a sustainable solution for the plastics industry.

Loop Industries, a Canadian company specializing in chemical recycling technology for PET and polyester fiber waste, is set to receive a significant boost with a $66 million investment from Reed Management

Austria’s Lenzing introduces an innovative processing technique for TENCEL Lyocell fibers, designed specifically for stretch fabrics with enhanced recovery properties

These fabrics, known for their ease of care, not only provide superior comfort but also open up endless design possibilities for lightweight apparel. Lenzing actively supports its mill partners in achieving the “BS EN 14704-1” standard for TENCEL Lyocell stretch fabrics, demonstrating a commitment to quality and industry standards.  Recycled content

The groundbreaking processing technique involves the re-engineering of woven fabric composed of TENCEL Lyocell fibers, combined with a fabric pre-treatment. This technique results in increased yarn crimps in the widthwise direction during the wet process, leading to exceptional stretch and recovery properties. The fabric maintains a smooth appearance even after home laundering, showcasing its durability and resistance to shrinkage or wrinkles.

Rex Mok, Vice President of Fiber Technical Marketing and Development at Lenzing, emphasizes the technical innovation’s ability to unlock the inherent potential of TENCEL Lyocell fibers, providing stretch fabrics that move harmoniously with the body.

This not only enhances comfort but also aligns with responsible production practices, offering a fossil-free alternative that adheres to sustainable and transparent supply chain principles.  Recycled content

Lenzing extends comprehensive support to its mill partners, ensuring that the stretch fabrics made with TENCEL Lyocell fibers meet international standards for fabric stretch and recovery properties. This collaboration empowers mills and brands to explore unlimited design possibilities, meeting the growing consumer demand for comfortable and responsibly produced apparel across various sectors.

TENCEL Lyocell fibers used in these stretch fabrics serve as a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic materials. Derived from certified wood sources and produced through a resource-saving closed-loop process, these fibers contribute to reduced carbon emissions and water consumption. The traceability of these fibers back to their sources ensures greater accountability and transparency in the textile supply chain, aligning with Lenzing’s commitment to sustainable practices. Recycled cont Recycled contentent

Austria's Lenzing introduces an innovative processing technique for TENCEL Lyocell fibers, designed specifically for stretch fabrics with enhanced recovery properties

Red Sea Crisis – In a significant development, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions (TCS) has officially emerged as an independent entity within the ERCA Group, exclusively dedicated to the textile industry 19-01-2024

Recycled content

Red Sea Crisis – In a significant development, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions (TCS) has officially emerged as an independent entity within the ERCA Group, exclusively dedicated to the textile industry 19-01-2024

Red Sea Crisis

Maritime Security and Geopolitical Tensions: A Comprehensive Overview

In recent developments, the Houthi rebels in Yemen have assured the safe passage of Russian and Chinese ships transiting through the Red Sea. Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior Houthi official, emphasized in an interview with the Russian agency Izvestia that the waters around Yemen remain safe for navigation, provided the ships are not connected to certain countries, particularly Israel. Al-Bukhaiti’s assurance underscores the Houthi commitment to ensuring free navigation, a crucial aspect for their country.

However, amidst these assurances, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a missile attack on the American ship Chem Ranger off the coast of Yemen. They asserted that the attack was in retaliation for American and British actions, warning of further aggression if their interests are targeted. Red Sea Crisis

The United States Central Command confirmed the attack, stating that two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched, but fortunately, no injuries or damage to the vessel were reported, allowing the tanker to continue its journey.

Despite the Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi’s vow to continue naval attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, he specifically highlighted their intention to strike ships linked to Israel. This follows recent air attacks by the United States and Britain on Houthi targets in Yemen, escalating tensions in the region.

In a surprising turn of events, the Houthi rebels, whose attacks have disrupted maritime traffic in the Red Sea, offered a guarantee of “safe passage” to Chinese and Russian ships on this strategically important route. This move raises questions about the geopolitical dynamics at play, with the Houthi leadership seemingly distinguishing between nations and their vessels based on political affiliations.

The Houthi leadership criticized the military actions of the United States and the United Kingdom, claiming that their “folly and idiocy” have backfired, resulting in losses greater than those suffered by Yemen. According to Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, member of the Houthi political leadership, ships from China and Russia are not under threat, and the rebels are prepared to ensure the safe passage of their vessels in the Red Sea.

The exclusion of Israeli ships or those with any link to Israel from safe passage through the Red Sea reflects the Houthi rebels’ strategic objective of increasing the economic cost for the state of Israel, aiming to draw attention to the situation in Gaza and curb what they perceive as a humanitarian crisis. Red Sea Crisis

As tensions escalate, Al-Bukhaiti also warned of various scenarios, including the possibility of an American ground operation in Yemen. This highlights the complex and precarious nature of the geopolitical landscape in the region and the potential for further military engagements.

In conclusion, the assurance of safe passage for Russian and Chinese ships, coupled with the Houthi rebels’ continued naval attacks and warnings of potential scenarios, underscores the volatile situation in the Red Sea and the broader implications for maritime security and international relations. The geopolitical complexities in the region demand careful consideration and diplomatic efforts to prevent further escalation and protect the interests of all nations involved. Red Sea Crisis

Maritime Security and Geopolitical Tensions: A Comprehensive Overview

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

MEGlobal has announced a $10/tonne increase in the Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) for February 2024

The new nominated price stands at $850/tonne, reflecting a rise from the previous month’s ACP, as reported by the company. This adjustment is based on the CFR (cost & freight) Asia basis.

In January 2024, MEGlobal had set the ACP for MEG at $840/tonne, maintaining stability compared to the December ACP, according to information provided by a company source. During that period, the ACP was also determined on a CFR Asia basis.

The decision to raise the February ACP by $10/tonne aligns with market dynamics and may be influenced by factors such as production costs, supply and demand trends, and global economic conditions. MEGlobal’s proactive approach to periodic pricing adjustments reflects its responsiveness to the dynamic nature of the MEG market.

As MEGlobal continues to navigate market fluctuations, stakeholders will monitor how these adjustments impact the broader industry and whether they are indicative of wider trends in the global MEG market.

MEGlobal has announced a $10/tonne increase in the Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) for February 2024

TotalEnergies Corbion, based in Gorinchem, Netherlands, has unveiled the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for recycled Luminy® PLA, titled “Life Cycle Assessment of PLA through Advanced Recycling – Utilizing Waste Streams as Feedstock for a Biobased Polyester”

The study reveals that the advanced recycling of PLA significantly reduces environmental impact compared to its production from virgin feedstock.

Specifically, the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Luminy 30% rPLA, factoring in its biogenic carbon content, stands at 0.19 kgCO2/kg of PLA, whereas virgin Luminy PLA emits 0.51 kgCO2/kg of PLA. Seven impact categories were assessed in the report, including GWP, water consumption, and land use. Luminy recycled PLA, with 20% and 30% recycled content, effectively mitigates impacts across these categories, showcasing environmental benefits over traditional virgin production methods.

The report underscores the significance of considering temporary carbon storage in biobased materials, emphasizing the role of biogenic carbon content in PLA. Recycling PLA extends the storage of biogenic carbon from the atmosphere, contributing to reduced GWP. Notably, the GWP of 30% recycled PLA is reduced by 300 kgCO2/tPLA compared to virgin PLA, marking a substantial stride towards global climate targets.

Maelenn Ravard, Regulatory and Sustainability Manager at TotalEnergies Corbion, emphasizes the energy-efficient depolymerization process via hydrolysis in advanced recycling, closing the loop and enhancing circularity for biobased materials. The LCA results validate the efficiency of this process.

The LCAs evaluate the environmental impact of a product across its defined life scope. TotalEnergies Corbion’s commitment to sustainability aligns with its recent announcement of aligning with the United Nations Global Compact initiative. This collaboration emphasizes the company’s dedication to universal sustainability principles, actively supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through responsible production practices and collaborative initiatives across its value chain.

For those interested in the comprehensive analysis, the Life Cycle Assessment of PLA through Advanced Recycling can be accessed through the provided link.

TotalEnergies Corbion, based in Gorinchem, Netherlands, has unveiled the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for recycled Luminy® PLA, titled "Life Cycle Assessment of PLA through Advanced Recycling - Utilizing Waste Streams as Feedstock for a Biobased Polyester"

In a significant development, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions (TCS) has officially emerged as an independent entity within the ERCA Group, exclusively dedicated to the textile industry

Fabio Locatelli, CEO of ERCA TCS and an Associate of the ERCA Group, announced the decision, highlighting the company’s commitment to focusing solely on textile solutions while maintaining a robust foundation from ERCA S.p.A.

The strategic move to establish ERCA TCS as a distinct company is driven by the aspiration to prioritize the textile industry, fostering agility in research and production with a steadfast commitment to ethical, social, environmental, and economic responsibility. With an agile organizational structure and an amplified research and development department, ERCA TCS aims to swiftly address customer needs, fostering an engaging dialogue that results in pioneering developments and innovative chemical solutions.

As a pioneering force, ERCA TCS seeks to be the premier global reference for sustainable innovation in the textile sector, contributing to reducing the industry’s environmental impact while upholding performance and competitiveness. Red Sea Crisis

Fabio Locatelli emphasizes the company’s dedication to well-being, responsible resource usage, and the initiation of education and training initiatives, ensuring transparent and professional communication.

ERCA TCS employs “green chemistry” principles in its operations, exemplified by its flagship product, REVECOL®. This innovative chemical auxiliary, derived from critical waste materials like used vegetable oils, demonstrates immediate success in the textile industry. The establishment of ERCA TCS will further propel research and investment, expanding the product range available to the textile industry.

ERCA Group, with six plants across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, embodies responsible innovation in chemical specialties and auxiliaries, covering diverse markets. With a turnover of 150 million euros and a global workforce of 350 employees, ERCA Group is poised to address the challenges and opportunities in the textile industry, positioning ERCA TCS as a catalyst for responsible and high-quality productions.  Red Sea Crisis

Red Sea Crisis

Baltex Plans to Expand Polyamide Fabric Manufacturing in Russia

Baltex, also known as Balashovsky Textile Plant situated in Saratov, Russia, has embarked on a substantial investment project with a total value exceeding 800 million rubles to augment the production of polyamide fabrics. The inaugural phase of this expansive initiative, surpassing 300 million rubles, was successfully executed in 2023. This initial phase involved the installation of cutting-edge equipment, renovation of both production and residential facilities, and endeavors to enhance operational processes.

Citing a robust domestic demand for technological fabrics coupled with state support in the form of preferential financing from the Industrial Development Fund (IDF) of Russia, Baltex foresees commencing the second stage of production modernization in 2024. The projected investment for this stage focuses primarily on main equipment and is estimated to reach 500 million rubles.  Red Sea Crisis

The anticipated outcome of this ambitious investment project is a noteworthy 50% increase in production capacity, fortifying Baltex’s standing in the consumer market, particularly within the Saratov region.

It is noteworthy that the company’s strategic vision aligns with the broader industry trend of expansion and modernization. Recently, the Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens in the Tambov Region announced plans to double the production of polyester, signalling a collective effort within the Russian textile sector to meet growing market demands.

Financial commitments to Baltex’s project are substantial, amounting to almost 141 million rubles. Notably, 91 million rubles of this sum are sourced from a preferential loan provided by VEB.RF, carrying an interest rate of merely 1% per annum. These funds are earmarked for the acquisition and deployment of state-of-the-art equipment critical to the success of the modernization efforts.  Red Sea Crisis

Baltex, as a comprehensive textile enterprise, boasts a full-cycle operational model, covering the spectrum from material development to the serial production of functional textiles. The company specializes specifically in the manufacturing and supply of high-strength polyamide fabrics, a niche that aligns with the increasing demand for advanced and durable materials in various industries.

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Red Sea Crisis

Red Sea Crisis Casts a Shadow on Asian Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF) Exports in Early 2024

The recent crisis in the Red Sea and the subsequent changes in shipping routes through the Suez Canal are posing significant challenges on the export of Asian garments and textiles, particularly those made from Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF). This development comes at a time when these nations had anticipated improved prospects for 2024, but the crisis threatens to extend the slowdown in garment and textile exports due to the surge in freight charges, particularly to Europe.  Red Sea Crisis

Shinhan Securities Vietnam reports that Vietnamese firms exporting PSF to Europe and the East Coast of North America are facing disruptions due to the altered Red Sea routes. Vietnamese PSF exporters are expressing concerns about escalating transportation fees as shipping lines divert their routes to ensure safety amidst tensions in the Red Sea. This situation places an additional burden on exporters of PSF who were already grappling with the repercussions of the global economic slowdown in 2023.

Truong Dinh Hoe, the general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), notes that transport fees to the West Coast of the US surged by approximately 55-60% in January compared to the previous month. For the East Coast, the increase ranges from 58-73%. Notably, transportation fees to Hamburg, Germany, have skyrocketed to 3-4 times higher, jumping from USD 1200-1300 to USD 4350-4450.

The prevailing tension in the Red Sea area is causing an increase in oil prices, thereby positively affecting the upstream sector, and feedstock linked to oil like Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG), which serve as crucial feedstock for PSF.

At the beginning of 2024, there is a slowdown in the rate of growth in the demand for PSF in Asia, specifically in the home textiles sector. Nonetheless, there is an anticipated continuation of replenishment demand across the PSF industrial chain.

Concurrently, the outlook for foreign trade to Europe and the US is cautiously optimistic, marked by sluggish growth in PSF market, weakened economic strength, and an anticipation of reduced prices. Red Sea Crisis

More.. Red Sea Crisis

Newcleo and Naarea partners for fourth generation nuclear power

Newcleo and Naarea, two companies that are working on fourth generation nuclear reactors that can use waste as fuel, have announced a strategic and industrial partnership with the goal of “helping all the stakeholders involved in the fourth nuclear generation in their industrial, technological, scientific and regulatory progress”.

The partnership, according to a statement, is in line with the industrial alliance for Small Modular Reactors, which the European Commission will launch soon. Red Sea Crisis

The two companies, which were the first to win the France 2030 competition for innovative nuclear reactor projects, will collaborate to speed up the development of their technologies: newcleo is working on a mini-reactor with lead cooling and fast neutrons (a 30MWe prototype and a 200MWe commercial unit) and NAAREA is working on a micro-generator with molten salt and fast neutrons (40MWe, 80MWth).

Although they are different technologies, both solutions are fourth generation and can use the spent fuel from conventional reactors, ensuring the full closure of the fuel cycle. Newcleo and Naarea aim to bring their solutions to the market by 2030.

The partnership, the statement adds, “will enable the creation of joint initiatives with the whole French nuclear sector to make the decision-making process easier for the successful completion of the energy transition through a mix that includes sustainable and innovative nuclear energy”.  Red Sea Crisis

Newcleo and Naarea partners for fourth generation nuclear power

Braskem And WEAV3D Automotive Component To Showcase At The 2024 JEC World Trade Show In Paris, France, March 5-7, 2024

Braskem, a leading producer of polyolefins and biopolymers in the Americas, and WEAV3D, a startup specializing in advanced materials and manufacturing, have announced that their novel automotive door component prototype has been chosen as one of the top three finalists in the JEC Composites Innovation Awards 2024, under the Automotive and Road Transportation – Process category. Red Sea Crisis

The prototype uses WEAV3D composite lattice reinforcement with Braskem PP to create lighter and cheaper thermoplastic solutions than traditional organosheet, opening up new possibilities for replacing sheet metal structures with thermoplastics in vehicles.

“We are very proud to be a finalist for the JEC World Innovation Awards and to offer our clients innovative solutions and partnerships based on high-performance polypropylene materials with the WEAV3D lattice technology, which we launched in 2023.

The automotive industry needs to adopt new performance materials and sustainable end-of-life options as it develops new electric vehicle designs.

The WEAV3D technology can be used for both thermoforming and injection molding of parts, depending on the complexity.

By combining Braskem’s PP portfolio with WEAV3D composite lattices, we achieve a ‘win-win’ situation of improved material performance and reduced environmental impact, with the possibility of incorporating natural fibers,” said Amanda Zani, Technology Platform Manager, Braskem. Red Sea Crisis

Advantages of using WEAV3D’s Rebar for Plastics® and Braskem Polypropylene over conventional composite organosheet:

• LIGHTWEIGHT – Cuts sheet blank weight by ~50% and final part weight by ~23%

• COST EFFECTIVE – Lowers costs by ~50%

• EFFICIENT – Boosts sheet yield from 25% to 45% by weight, resulting in a 62% decrease in trim waste “WEAV3D and Braskem are showing the great potential of the WEAV3D lattice material with this automotive door prototype and we are delighted to be selected a finalist by the Innovation Awards jury,” said Chris Oberste, President of WEAV3D.

“With the help of Altair Engineering, we developed a simulation workflow that allowed us to optimize the lattice structure for cost and performance, using the same organosheet tooling and forming process equipment at the Clemson Composites Center at Clemson University.”  Red Sea Crisis

The winners of the JEC Composites Award 2024 will be revealed during an online ceremony on February 8, 2024, from 13:30 to 15:30 CET, at www.jec-world.events. The Braskem-WEAV3D prototype part will also be exhibited in the JEC Innovation Planets section of JEC World, in Paris, France, from March 5-7, 2024.

To learn more about the prototype part, visit WEAV3D’s booth 6P32e in the American Pavilion.

Braskem And WEAV3D Automotive Component To Showcase At The 2024 JEC World Trade Show In Paris, France, March 5-7, 2024

The mLLDPE market saw a sharp increase in spot prices in both Europe and the US in the first half of January 2024

This was due to various factors, such as sellers raising prices, material shortages, geopolitical conflicts, and shipping issues.  Red Sea Crisis

The US market also recovered from the holiday slump, with more trading activity and higher prices.

In Europe, mLLDPE spot prices rose significantly, despite the stable feedstock Ethylene prices. This was because sellers announced price hikes, breaking the previous downward trend.

They also lowered their offers to attract buyers, as the market was weak and demand was low.

However, the situation in the Middle East added more uncertainty to the market. The shipping disruptions in the Red Sea led to higher freight rates, as ships had to take a longer and more costly route through the Cape of Good Hope. Red Sea Crisis

This posed many challenges for exporters, such as longer transit times, higher fuel costs, and possible delays.

In the US, mLLDPE prices also went up during the same period. They bounced back from the low levels in mid-December, as the market regained momentum after the New Year holiday.

Spot resin trading picked up gradually, as more participants returned to the market. Some processors bought resin to secure their operations, resulting in a decent volume of business.

The low inventories held by traders also helped to push up the average prices in the US.

ChemAnalyst predicts that mLLDPE prices will remain high in the near future, due to the supply chain problems and freight rate increases in both regions. Red Sea Crisis

Moreover, the anticipated rise in the costs of Ethylene and Naphtha may also drive up the production costs, leading to higher mLLDPE prices.

The mLLDPE market saw a sharp increase in spot prices in both Europe and the US in the first half of January 2024

The US dollar enjoys a special status as the world’s reserve currency, which gives the US a huge advantage in the global economy

However, this status is not guaranteed, and recent events have challenged the dominance of the dollar. Red Sea Crisis

Many countries that are not aligned with the US are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on the dollar.

This was triggered by the US’s decision to impose harsh sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine in February 2022.

The sanctions aimed to cut off Russia’s access to the dollar and weaken its currency, the rouble.

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said this was an “unprecedented action” that would “significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilising activities”.

But this also had the effect of pushing Russia and other countries to seek alternatives to the dollar.

One of these alternatives is the Chinese renminbi, which is gaining popularity as a currency for international trade and investment. Red Sea Crisis

Russia is now using the renminbi for a quarter of its foreign trade, and most of its trade with China is done in their own currencies.

China has also made deals with the UAE and Saudi Arabia to use the renminbi instead of the dollar for gas and oil transactions.

These moves are undermining the demand for the dollar, which is reflected in the decline of its share in central banks’ foreign exchange reserves.  Red Sea Crisis

The dollar’s share has fallen from over 70 per cent in the early 2000s to under 60 per cent today, the lowest level in decades.

This is not a temporary dip, but a long-term trend that reflects the changing balance of power in the world economy.

The US is losing ground to emerging economies, especially China, which is now the largest trading partner for more than 120 countries and exports more than US$3.6 trillion (£2.8 billion) worth of goods.

China’s share of the global economy has more than doubled from 8.9 per cent to 18.5 per cent in the last 20 years, while the US’s share has dropped from 20.1 per cent to 15.5 per cent, based on purchasing power parity (which compares the prices of specific goods across countries). Red Sea Crisis

The shift in economic power is also reflected in the rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which have surpassed the G7 countries (US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Germany) in terms of their share of world GDP, based on purchasing power parity.

This means that the dollar is facing more competition from other currencies in the global market.

The US dollar enjoys a special status as the world’s reserve currency, which gives the US a huge advantage in the global economy

Red Sea Crisis

Battery technology – Polyamide 6.6: A Versatile Material in Automotive Applications 18-01-2024

Battery technology – Polyamide 6.6: A Versatile Material in Automotive Applications 18-01-2024

Battery technology

Red Sea Crisis and Auto Production: What’s Really Happening

The Red Sea Crisis, specifically the tensions escalating into assaults on merchant ships by Houthi rebels, is causing production halts across various sectors, and the automotive industry is far from exempt.

This crisis has halted several automobile factories, posing a tangible threat following the 2023 chip crisis. Escalating tensions in the Red Sea, stemming from the Israel-Hamas conflict, directly involve the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, with rebel Houthi attacks on merchant ships (armed group in Yemen supported by Iran).

The global and particularly European automotive sector is significantly affected by this new crisis, as the sea route, usually taken by container ships, has become hardly accessible, if not risky. Battery technology

For incoming goods, especially auto components from China, the current alternative is circumnavigating Africa, impacting both time and costs substantially.

In response to the Red Sea Crisis, Volvo and Tesla have taken a stand among the first automotive brands. They’ve decided to temporarily halt production in their European facilities. The reasons are straightforward, directly linked to significant supply shortages.

Stellantis, aiming to bypass the issue, opted for air transport. However, this may impact costs and prove to be an unsustainable solution over time.

Volvo’s Belgian Gent plant, producing models like the XC40 and C40, will pause production for a few days. Tesla’s leadership also announced a suspension of most production in Berlin. Battery technology

Suzuki is another brand temporarily halting production, in this case, at its Hungarian factory, allowing time to assess the evolving situation.

Rerouting ships and closely monitoring the situation are possible but complex measures that may not be sustainable in the long term.

Origin of the Red Sea Crisis: Houthi militant attacks, in solidarity with Palestinian group Hamas against Israel in Gaza, forced container ships to avoid the strategically crucial Suez Canal. This canal is a vital passage for goods traveling from Asia to Europe.

Red Sea Crisis and Auto Production: What's Really Happening

Covestro and Encina have forged a long-term agreement for the sustainable supply of circular raw materials

Under this collaboration, Encina will provide Covestro with chemically recycled raw materials derived from post-consumer end-of-life plastics, enabling the production of circular MDI, TDI, and polycarbonate, commencing by the close of 2027.

This landmark deal marks a significant step for Covestro, a global leader in high-performance polymers, in its pursuit of circularity. The circular feedstock supplied by Encina, namely benzene and toluene, will play a crucial role in Covestro’s manufacturing processes for MDI and TDI, essential components for producing rigid and flexible polyurethane foams.

These foams find applications in various industries, including household appliances, building insulation, furniture, and automotive seating.

Encina’s cutting-edge catalytic technology ensures the production of circular feedstock with a lower carbon footprint compared to fossil-based alternatives, aligning with Covestro’s commitment to sustainability and reducing Scope 3 emissions. The agreement signifies Covestro’s inaugural major procurement involving chemically recycled, circular-based raw materials, bolstering its journey towards a fully circular economy.

Thorsten Dreier, Chief Technology Officer at Covestro, emphasized the pivotal role of sourcing raw materials from recycled plastics, stating, “This is because such raw materials not only enable the reuse of used plastics but also have a lower carbon footprint, which leads to more sustainable end products.”

Benzene and toluene, supplied by Encina, are vital components not only for MDI and TDI production but also for the synthesis of phenol and acetone, essential raw materials for manufacturing polycarbonate plastics like Makrolon®. These plastics find applications in high-quality products in industries such as automotive, electronics, and IT.

David Roesser, Chief Executive Officer of Encina, expressed pride in collaborating with Covestro and highlighted the potential for a lasting partnership. He stated, “This agreement represents the beginning of what we hope to be a long-standing partnership between our companies as we work to create a truly circular economy and realize a future in which nothing is wasted.”

Covestro’s commitment to achieving full circularity is driven by four key pillars: the utilization of alternative raw materials, innovative recycling, renewable energy, and collaborative solutions. The agreement with Encina exemplifies a groundbreaking milestone in integrating innovative recycling technologies, specifically chemical recycling of end-of-life plastics, into Covestro’s production processes.

Covestro and Encina have forged a long-term agreement for the sustainable supply of circular raw materials

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Polyamide 6.6: A Versatile Material in Automotive Applications

Polyamide 6.6, also known as nylon 6.6, is a versatile and widely used engineering plastic that offers a unique combination of properties that make it ideal for a wide range of automotive applications. From engine components to interior trim, polyamide 6.6 plays a crucial role in modern cars.

Key Properties of Polyamide 6.6

Polyamide 6.6 is characterized by its excellent mechanical strength, toughness, and abrasion resistance.

It also exhibits good chemical resistance, particularly to fuels and lubricants, making it a suitable choice for components exposed to harsh environments. Additionally, polyamide 6.6 is lightweight, making it an effective material for reducing vehicle weight, which contributes to improved fuel efficiency and emissions reduction. Battery technology

Common Automotive Applications of Polyamide 6.6

Polyamide 6.6 finds extensive use in various automotive components, including:

  • Engine components: Polyamide 6.6 is commonly used for engine parts such as gears, bearings, valve covers, and oil pans. Its high strength and wear resistance make it ideal for applications that require durability and resistance to heat and fluids.
  • Interior trim: Polyamide 6.6 is a popular choice for interior trim pieces, including door panels, dashboards, center consoles, and armrests. Its ability to withstand wear and tear, as well as its aesthetic appeal, makes it a suitable material for these applications. Battery technology
  • Cooling systems: Polyamide 6.6 is used in various cooling system components, such as radiator tanks, heater hoses, and thermostat housings. Its resistance to heat and chemicals makes it suitable for these applications, which are exposed to high temperatures and various fluids.
  • Electrical connectors: Polyamide 6.6 is often used for electrical connectors due to its electrical insulation properties and its ability to withstand vibration and impact. It is also flame-retardant, making it a safe choice for these applications.

Benefits of Using Polyamide 6.6 in Automotive Applications

The use of polyamide 6.6 in automotive applications offers several benefits:

  • Reduced weight: Polyamide 6.6 is lightweight compared to metals, such as steel or aluminum, making it an effective material for reducing vehicle weight. This contributes to improved fuel efficiency and emissions reduction.
  • Improved durability: Polyamide 6.6 is a durable material that can withstand the rigors of automotive use, including exposure to heat, chemicals, vibration, and impact.  Battery technology
  • Enhanced safety: Polyamide 6.6 is often flame-retardant and can be formulated to meet specific safety requirements.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Polyamide 6.6 is a relatively inexpensive material, making it a cost-effective choice for many automotive applications.

Conclusion

Polyamide 6.6 is a valuable material in the automotive industry, offering a combination of properties that make it suitable for a wide range of applications. Its strength, durability, and resistance to harsh environments make it an ideal choice for components that need to withstand the rigors of everyday driving. As the automotive industry continues to strive for lighter, more fuel-efficient, and safer vehicles, polyamide 6.6 is expected to play an even more significant role in future automotive designs.  Battery technology

Additional Notes

  • Polyamide 6.6 is often blended with other plastics or reinforcements to enhance specific properties. For instance, glass fiber reinforcement can be added to improve stiffness and strength, while mineral fillers can be used to reduce weight and improve flame retardancy.
  • Polyamide 6.6 is a recyclable material, and many automotive manufacturers are incorporating recycled polyamide into their products to reduce their environmental impact.  Battery technology

Battery technology

The landscape of electric vehicle (EV) batteries is undergoing a transformative shift, driven by continuous advancements in battery technology

Serving as the linchpin for EV functionality, batteries play a pivotal role in determining driving range, charging efficiency, overall cost, and environmental impact. Despite the rising popularity and affordability of EVs, current battery technologies grapple with challenges like low energy density, prolonged charging times, elevated costs, and safety concerns. Consequently, concerted efforts from researchers and industry players are directed towards developing innovative battery solutions capable of surmounting these impediments, facilitating the widespread adoption of EVs.  Battery technology

Among the frontrunners for the next generation of batteries is the solid-state battery, which replaces the liquid electrolyte found in traditional lithium-ion batteries with a solid substance. This substitution presents notable benefits, including heightened energy density, accelerated charging capabilities, extended lifespan, and reduced fire risks. Renowned automakers like Toyota and Mercedes have already articulated plans to integrate solid-state batteries into their EV models by the mid-2020s.

An additional promising battery technology on the horizon is the lithium-sulfur battery, featuring sulfur as the cathode material instead of conventional cobalt or nickel.

Sulfur, being abundant, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, boasts a higher energy storage capacity per unit mass.  Battery technology

However, challenges such as low conductivity, limited cycle life, and volume expansion have prompted recent breakthroughs, such as the discovery that adding sugar to sulfur enhances its performance and stability. This breakthrough holds potential for the development of more economical and efficient batteries for EVs.

Beyond exploring novel battery chemistries, efforts are underway to enhance battery performance by optimizing cell and pack design and engineering. Strategies involve increasing electrode surface area, reducing internal resistance, improving thermal management, and integrating intelligent sensors and controllers. These innovations promise to elevate battery efficiency, reliability, and safety. Battery technology

The future of automotive batteries is marked by promise and excitement, fueled by emerging technologies and innovations to meet the escalating demand for EVs. However, challenges loom, including concerns about the availability and sustainability of raw materials, the scalability and cost-effectiveness of manufacturing processes, the compatibility and interoperability of charging infrastructure, and the need for regulation and standardization in the battery industry. Realizing the full potential of future batteries will necessitate collaborative efforts from diverse stakeholders, encompassing researchers, manufacturers, policymakers, and consumers.  Battery technology

Battery technology

Global PC and PP Markets Navigate Turbulent Waters Amidst Supply Chain Disruptions

In the aftermath of recent supply chain disruptions due to Red Sea crisis, the global markets for Polypropylene (PP) and Polycarbonate (PC) are on high alert for potential price fluctuations. The suspension of production by automotive giants Tesla and Geely-owned Volvo Car in Europe, attributed to a shortage of components linked to Red Sea shipping attacks, is poised to impact the consumption and pricing of these crucial chemical commodities like PP and PC.  Battery technology

The conflicts in the Red Sea, coupled with shifts in transport routes and disruptions in key canals such as the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal, have set off a ripple effect across the production and transportation of chemical commodities such as PC and PP. The resulting longer transportation times and logistical challenges are contributing to uncertainties in supply chains, further influencing the dynamics of the PC and PP markets.

While global freight rates showed a bullish trend in the past month, a recent slight decrease in freight between China and the U.S. West Coast in the second week of 2024 has been observed.  Battery technology

This dip is attributed to a slowdown in demand for PP and PC manufactured in Asia, prompting ocean carriers to adjust freight rates accordingly. The broader context of supply chain disruptions, compounded by the geopolitical events in the Red Sea, adds a layer of complexity to the pricing dynamics of PC and PP.

The attacks on shipping in the Red Sea have triggered concerns about extended shipping route disruptions, particularly through the Suez Canal. Consequently, the automotive industry’s supply chain has been directly affected, leading to reduced production and a potential oversupply of PP and PC in the market.

This oversupply may exert downward pressure on prices in the European and US regions in the coming weeks.  Battery technology

Vessels traversing the Red Sea have faced attacks over the past several weeks from Yemen-based Houthis, prompting shipping companies to alter routes, resulting in a spike in freight rates. Embarking on longer detours around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa has pushed ocean freight rates up, diverting container ships carrying over $200 billion worth of goods away from the Red Sea waterway to avoid potential strikes by Houthi militants.

Industry experts are closely monitoring these developments, anticipating potential shifts in market conditions and urging stakeholders to remain adaptable to the evolving situation. The extent of the impact on PC and PP prices will depend on the duration and severity of the supply chain disruptions caused by ongoing geopolitical tensions and their subsequent effects on global trade routes.  Battery technology

Battery technology

The latest report of The Recycling Partnership shows that only 28% of PET bottles are recycled in the US

The Recycling Partnership, a non-governmental organisation committed to building a better recycling system, released a report analysing the state of recycling in the US. One of the key takeaways of the report, titled “State of Recycling: Present and Future of Residential Recycling in the U.S.”, is that every material type of residential recyclables is under-recycled, including PET-bottles.

The data reveals where the gaps are greatest, and where policy, investment, and action will have the largest impact. The report is based on multi-year field measurement studies conducted across the US and The Recycling Partnership’s National Database; it employs an updated methodology for determining recycling rates that tracks materials throughout the system.  Battery technology

We will focus on the recycling rates for PET bottles only. While PET bottles rank among the most effectively recycled plastic packaging, the authors of the report come to the conclusion that still seven out ten PET bottles are not recycled. The reasons for the insufficient recycling rates of PET bottles are manifold.

Recycling Access

Only 73% of all households have access to recycling. The numbers vary depending on the state. In Delaware, 97% of all households have access to recycling containers, whereas in Mississippi only 37% of households are able to conveniently recycle their trash. For those with access, some locations do not collect all packaging types thus limiting the amount of recyclable material collected.  Battery technology

More…

The latest report of The Recycling Partnership shows that only 28% of PET bottles are recycled in the US

MyRemono, an Italian company specializing in innovative PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) technology, has successfully entered the preparatory phase for small-scale projects under the European Innovation Fund

With 51% ownership by Maire Tecnimont via the NextChem division, MyRemono’s NXRe PMMA technology focuses on chemical recycling through catalytic depolymerization of plastic waste, specifically targeting acrylic (PMMA) and styrenic resins.

The company’s admission to the third call for small-scale projects by the European Innovation Fund was based on rigorous evaluation criteria, including its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, innovation level, project maturity, scalability, and cost efficiency. The grant agreement is anticipated to be finalized in the second quarter of 2024.  Battery technology

MyRemono’s proposed project involves the industrial scale-up of NXRe PMMA technology, intending to construct a demonstration plant with a treatment capacity of approximately 5,000 tonnes per year of polymethylmethacrylate-based waste. Collaborating with Biorenova, the continuous depolymerization process employs thermal energy and a specific catalyst to break polymer bonds, returning plastics to their original monomers. Already operational in a pilot plant in Montorio al Vomano (TE) with a treatment capacity of around 1,600 tonnes, the technology has shown promise.

The European Innovation Fund, a significant supporter of innovative projects in clean technologies, allocated an overall budget of 100 million euros for its third call on small-scale projects, ranging from 2.5 to 7.5 million euros in capital costs. Out of 72 applications, only 17 projects, including MyRemono’s NXRe PMMA technology, were selected for the preparatory phase of the grant agreement.  Battery technology

MyRemono, an Italian company specializing in innovative PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) technology, has successfully entered the preparatory phase for small-scale projects under the European Innovation Fund

NextChem selected for grant agreement under EU innovation fund

NextChem’s subsidiary dedicated to plastic depolymerisation has been pre-selected for the grant agreement preparation related to the ‘Innovation Fund 3rd call for Small Scale projects’. The Innovation Fund stands among the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative clean tech projects.

The selected initiative is related to the industrial scale-up of MyRemono’s NXRe PMMA modular technology through the implementation of a first-of-its-kind plant with a processing capacity of up to approximately 5000 tpy. Battery technology

This solution, jointly developed with Biorenova, is a plastic depolymerisation technology which recovers monomers (building blocks for the plastic value chain) with ultra-high levels of purity from sorted plastic waste, particularly polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) through a continuous chemical recycling process. The project intends to increase the recycling rate of PMMA waste and scraps within the EU and reduce dependence on fossil raw materials for the production of these intermediates, embracing a fully circular model.

More…

NextChem selected for grant agreement under EU innovation fund

What happens to biodegradable plastics if they enter the sea? New study

Our new study investigates what happens when biodegradable plastics enter the ocean, and whether these increasingly popular alternatives to conventional plastics are safer for marine ecosystems, or whether they come with their own risks.  Battery technology

When the first full synthetic plastic was invented in 1906 – over 100 years ago – widespread use of the material for consumer products soon arose in the post-war period. Plastic was cheaper to produce than the more expensive paper, glass and metal materials used in throwaway items – such as consumer packaging – and was also stronger, lighter, safer and more durable, and it shifted the way that we use materials forever.

However, the properties of plastic that make it such an attractive material, such as durability and strength, also make it a lasting problem once it reaches the end of its useful life. Some types of plastic can take thousands of years to degrade, and it is estimated that a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute.  Battery technology

In response to such concerns, biodegradable plastics – that is, plastics that can break down or ‘biodegrade’ – have been in development since the end of the last century, to achieve similar usage and convenience of traditional plastics, but with the goal of breaking down quickly and harmlessly.

But, as the global production of biodegradable plastics increases – from 1.5 million metric tons in 2023 to almost 5.3 million in 2028 – it is critical that we understand the impacts of these materials on the environment.  Battery technology

More…

What happens to biodegradable plastics if they enter the sea? New study

The Versatile Role of Nylon 6.6 in Automotive Textiles: Driving Innovation on the Road

Introduction

In the dynamic world of automotive engineering, materials play a pivotal role in enhancing performance, durability, and overall efficiency. One such material that has revolutionized the automotive industry is Nylon 6.6. This synthetic polymer, known for its exceptional strength, durability, and versatility, has found numerous applications in various components of modern cars, particularly in textiles. In this article, we’ll explore the diverse applications of Nylon 6.6 in automotive textiles, showcasing how this resilient material is driving innovation on the road.  Battery technology

Nylon 6.6: A Brief Overview

Nylon 6.6, a type of polyamide, is a synthetic thermoplastic material that exhibits remarkable mechanical properties. Its structure is formed through the polymerization of hexamethylene diamine and adipic acid, resulting in a robust and resilient polymer. The exceptional strength, heat resistance, and durability of Nylon 6.6 make it an ideal candidate for automotive applications, especially in textile components.

Automotive Textiles and Nylon 6.6

  1. Seat Fabrics: Nylon 6.6 is widely used in the production of seat fabrics due to its high tensile strength and resistance to wear and tear. Car seats endure constant use, including exposure to sunlight, friction, and spills. Nylon 6.6’s ability to resist abrasion and fading makes it an excellent choice for manufacturing seat covers that maintain their aesthetic appeal and structural integrity over time.
  2. Carpeting and Floor Mats: The interior of a car experiences high foot traffic, necessitating robust and durable materials for carpets and floor mats. Nylon 6.6 is favored for its resistance to stains, moisture, and heavy wear. Its ability to retain color and texture, even in high-traffic areas, contributes to the longevity and visual appeal of automotive interiors. Battery technology
  3. Safety Belts and Airbag Fabrics: In critical safety components like seat belts and airbags, strength and reliability are paramount. Nylon 6.6’s high tensile strength and energy-absorbing properties make it an excellent choice for weaving the fabrics used in safety belts and airbags. These textiles play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of passengers during sudden stops or collisions.
  4. Convertible Tops: For convertible vehicles, the top material needs to withstand exposure to various weather conditions while maintaining flexibility and durability. Nylon 6.6, with its excellent weather resistance and flexibility, is often employed in the production of convertible tops, providing a reliable barrier against rain, sunlight, and other environmental factors.  Battery technology
  5. Engine Compartment Textiles: Beyond the interior, Nylon 6.6 is utilized in various engine compartment textiles, such as cable wraps and protective covers. Its resistance to high temperatures, chemicals, and abrasion makes it suitable for applications where exposure to harsh conditions is common.

Conclusion

Nylon 6.6 has emerged as a driving force in automotive textiles, offering unparalleled strength, durability, and versatility. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, the demand for materials that can meet the rigorous requirements of modern vehicles becomes increasingly vital.  Battery technology

Nylon 6.6, with its impressive set of properties, has proven to be a valuable asset in enhancing the performance, safety, and aesthetics of automobiles. As technology advances, we can expect to see further innovations in automotive textiles, with Nylon 6.6 at the forefront of these developments.

The Versatile Role of Nylon 6.6 in Automotive Textiles: Driving Innovation on the Road

Battery technology

European economy – Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, January 16, as investors balanced the risks of Middle East tensions with a firmer dollar and lower expectations of US rate cuts 17-01-2024

European economy – Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, January 16, as investors balanced the risks of Middle East tensions with a firmer dollar and lower expectations of US rate cuts 17-01-2024

European economy

The United States has re-designated Yemen’s Houthi rebels as specially designated global terrorists, announcing fresh financial sanctions alongside military strikes in an effort to curb the group’s attacks on global shipping

The move by the Biden administration, aimed at countering the Iran-backed Houthis, is part of ongoing measures to address the conflict in Yemen. In addition to military actions, the administration vows to impose financial penalties strategically to minimize adverse impacts on Yemen’s 32 million people, who already face extreme poverty and hunger due to the prolonged conflict between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition.

Despite the pledge to mitigate harm, concerns have been raised by aid officials, including Scott Paul, associate director at Oxfam America, who fears the decision will introduce further uncertainty and threats for Yemenis. The country is grappling with one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. European economy

The sanctions accompanying the terrorist designation are intended to disrupt the financial support networks of violent extremist groups. Notably, this move reverses a decision made during the final days of the Trump administration, where the Houthis were labeled as global terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization. President Joe Biden initially overturned this designation, citing the potential humanitarian consequences.

The United States has re-designated Yemen's Houthi rebels as specially designated global terrorists, announcing fresh financial sanctions alongside military strikes in an effort to curb the group's attacks on global shipping

The UN urges Houthis to stop Red Sea attacks

The United Nations has called on the Houthis of Yemen to comply with the Security Council resolution passed last week, which demands an immediate halt to the assaults on vessels crossing the Red Sea.
The UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the attacks were “very worrying”.
The Houthis, backed by Iran, are fighting a civil war against their own government, which has international recognition since 2014.
They also claimed to have attacked ships heading to the Suez Canal in support of the Gaza Palestinians, during the war sparked by Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
The UN stance on the Houthis The UN resolution denounces the Houthi actions that have affected one of the most important trade routes in the world and raised the cost of shipping. European economy
Dujarric said that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talked to the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday about the situation in the Red Sea and Gaza. The UN leader “repeated his appeal for all sides to avoid any more escalation” in Yemen and follow the resolution of last week, and also stressed the need for more humanitarian aid to Gaza and the prompt release of all Israeli captives, the UN spokesperson said.
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, who has met with all parties, had a conversation with the senior adviser to Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Asghar Khaji, on Tuesday morning, Dujarric said.
They discussed “the necessity to keep an environment that fosters positive dialogue and continuous joint regional efforts for peace in Yemen”, the UN spokesperson said. Grundberg and others then updated the Security Council in a private meeting. Red Sea in flames Meanwhile, working in the region is becoming more difficult.
Japan’s Nippon Yusen announced that it would follow other big shipping companies in stopping routes through the Red Sea due to the attacks by the Houthi rebels on the ships passing by. European economy
“We have stopped sailing through the Red Sea with all the ships we run”, a Nippon Yusen spokesperson told AFP, adding that the decision was made to “guarantee the safety of the crews”.
US and British forces have hit many targets in Houthi-controlled Yemen since Friday in response to the attacks by the rebels, who say they are aiming at vessels linked to Israel in the Red Sea in solidarity with Gaza.
The main route between Asia and Europe markets usually carries around 12% of the global maritime trade.
Other shipping companies have also decided the same as Nippon Yusen. The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) stopped the passage of its ships from the Red Sea in December.
The French Cma CGM, the Danish Maersk, and the German Hapag-Llyod did the same thing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has declared that it will put the Yemeni rebels on the list of global terrorist groups.
The US military has carried out a series of strikes in Yemen against anti-ship missiles in a part of the country controlled by the Houthis, in response to the attacks by the rebel group that disturbed shipping in the Red Sea. European economy
The Houthi militia has warned that it will extend its attacks to include US ships in retaliation for the American and British strikes on its locations in Yemen.
The UN urges Houthis to stop Red Sea attacks

Anti-ship missiles displayed at the Houthi armed military parade

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EcoBlue, a prominent recycler specializing in post-consumer and post-industrial polyolefins and PET, situated in Rayong, Thailand, has significantly enhanced its PET recycling capabilities, marking a milestone achievement just a year and a half after initiating operations at its new facility

In a strategic move to bolster its processing capacity, the company recently integrated its second cutting-edge Starlinger viscotec solid-state polycondensation (SSP) machine. This state-of-the-art machinery, commissioned in December 2023, is dedicated to the production of food-grade PET, positioning EcoBlue as a major player in sustainable packaging solutions. Following the successful commissioning, EcoBlue has achieved an annual capacity of an impressive 30,000 tonnes of food-grade recycled PET (rPET).

Pranay Jain, the visionary CEO and Founder of EcoBlue, expressed his enthusiasm about the significant development, stating, “The successful commissioning of the Starlinger viscotec SSP is a testament to our unwavering dedication to the cause of sustainable packaging.  European economy

This investment solidifies our standing as the largest recycler of high-quality resins in Thailand. We are well-positioned to meet the burgeoning demands of environmentally conscious customers globally. Our overarching goal is to promote resource circularity by diverting post-consumer and post-industrial waste away from landfills and channeling it into the recycling stream.”

EcoBlue’s augmented production capacity is a noteworthy achievement, especially considering the backdrop of European PET recyclers scaling back their capacities due to prevailing challenges such as low prices and reduced profitability in the market.

The augmented production volume by EcoBlue is poised to contribute significantly to the manufacturing of beverage bottles.  European economy

Notably, global giants Pepsi and Nestlé made headlines in August 2023 by introducing the first-ever 100% recycled PET bottles in Thailand. This move aligns with the growing global emphasis on sustainable practices and serves as a testament to EcoBlue’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of environmentally responsible customers.

As the demand for recycled PET materials continues to rise, EcoBlue’s expanded capabilities position the company as a key player in meeting this demand.

By actively participating in the circular economy, EcoBlue aims to divert waste away from landfills, thereby fostering a sustainable and responsible approach to resource management.  European economy

This achievement not only reinforces EcoBlue’s commitment to sustainability but also underscores its dedication to pioneering innovations in the field of PET recycling.

European economy

Electric cars and lithium: a global competition

The electric car market is heating up, with China’s BYD surpassing Tesla as the world’s top seller of battery-only vehicles in the last quarter of 2023. BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, is also eyeing the largest lithium reserve in Brazil, a key metal for making batteries.

This could spark a rivalry with Elon Musk, who also wants to secure the Brazilian mine.

The current owner of the reserve is Sigma Lithium, a Canadian company that is struggling financially and may be open to selling.  European economy

Other players, such as Volkswagen and Catl, are also interested in Sigma’s lithium.

China has an advantage in the electric car industry, as it controls the entire supply chain, from raw materials to batteries and microchips.

It is also the third largest producer of lithium in the world, and has a strong presence in South America, the main source of the metal.

In contrast, North America faces challenges, such as higher production costs and protectionist policies.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has blocked Chinese investments in Canadian mining companies, citing human rights concerns.  European economy

The electric car and lithium war is not only a clash between the US and China, but also a personal battle between Musk and Buffett.

European economy

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, January 16, as investors balanced the risks of Middle East tensions with a firmer dollar and lower expectations of US rate cuts

A worsening shipping crisis in the Red Sea and Iranian missile attacks on Syria and Iraq increased the geopolitical uncertainty on oil prices earlier today.

Brent crude futures fell 46 cents, or around 0.59 per cent, to $77.69 a barrel.

The contract had risen more than $1 above its Monday close earlier in the session. US West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 90 cents, or 1.24 percent, from Friday at $71.78 a barrel, as per news agency Reuters.

On the domestic front, on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), crude oil futures for January 19 delivery, traded 0.72 per cent higher at ₹6,051 per bbl, after fluctuating between ₹5,969 and ₹6,109 per bbl during the session, compared to a previous close of ₹6,008 per barrel.

What’s dragging down crude oil prices? -Analysts say that oil prices may face a limit unless output is disrupted.

Oil markets remain vulnerable to tensions in the Middle East, but the main scenario is that there will be no major interruption to supplies, according to OANDA analysts. -Without a clear and tangible effect on oil production, prices will stay within the current $72-$82 range, said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM in a note.

Oil prices surrendered to a stronger dollar and weaker stocks on Tuesday, due to reduced hopes that US Fed would begin lowering interest rates by March. -Investors are also looking forward to a speech by Fed Governor Christopher Waller for hints about when the US central bank might start to lower rates.

The European Central Bank’s interest rates are expected to decline this year, but officials have refrained from making definite statements on the timing of such moves. -In the Red Sea, a missile hit a Malta-flagged bulk carrier off Yemen on Tuesday.

NYK, Japan’s biggest shipper by sales, ordered all vessels it operates to avoid the Red Sea, while Sovcomflot, Russia’s top tanker group, is also exploring alternative routes. -Fears of the conflict spilling over the region also rose on Tuesday, as Iran’s targeting of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq sparked a diplomatic row.

Iran also struck Islamic State positions in Syria. Where are prices headed? Crude oil saw some profit-taking before key US economic data and a stronger dollar index.

The market also watched for possible backlash by the Iran-backed Houthi group for recent attacks by US and UK forces.

Worries about a ripple effect in the Israel-Hamas conflict due to air-strikes in Yemen added to the market’s unease.

The Houthi Group declared its plan to widen its targets in the Red Sea, including US ships, after the latest attack, adding to tensions that are supporting oil prices at lower levels, according to analysts.

‘’We expect continued fluctuations in crude oil prices during today’s session.

Crude oil has support at $71.80–71.20, with resistance at $73.05-73.80. In INR, crude oil has support at ₹5,920-5,840 and resistance at ₹6,110-6,190,‘’ said Rahul Kalantri, VP Commodities, Mehta Equities Ltd.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, January 16, as investors balanced the risks of Middle East tensions with a firmer dollar and lower expectations of US rate cuts

Germany, the locomotive of the European economy, is now stuck in a recession, marked by a sudden 0.3% drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023

This decline was mainly caused by rising energy costs, high interest rates and a slowdown in foreign demand, which have negatively affected industry, exports and private consumption. Ruth Brand, president of the federal statistics office Destatis, said economic performance in Germany has faltered due to multiple persistent crises in 2023.
Although the upward revision of GDP in the third quarter avoided a technical recession, the situation remains worrying compared to the growth of 1.8% in 2022 and the European average of 0.6%. Household consumption, gross value added in the manufacturing sector and public spending are declining, reflecting the gradual elimination of anti-pandemic measures.  European economy
The negative indicators worry analysts, with projections of zero growth in German GDP in 2024. The Federal Court declared the transfer of funds to the Climate Fund unconstitutional, further worsening the situation. While the Berlin Central Bank urges us not to give in to alarmism, Llbw Bank analysts predict prolonged stagnation, and the German Chamber of Commerce believes another year of recession is possible.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, already dealing with record unpopularity and many structural challenges, now faces an economic recession, with the risk of further slowdowns due to labor shortages, declining investment and an aging population.  European economy
European economy

Circular Plastics Case Competition aims to increase recycled PET supply

The second edition of the competition prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of recycled polyethylene (rPET)

The Circular Plastics Case Competition is back for a second round. Organised by non-profit organisation Net Impact in partnership with Hillenbrand Inc and The Coca-Cola Company, the competition encourages emerging business professionals to rethink the plastics value chain by designing innovative solutions that help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment.  European economy

This year, the case competition will prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of recycled polyethylene (rPET). The organisers hope the solutions presented will contribute to solving current rPET supply challenges due to low recycling rates, spurred by falling prices and profitability.

The deadline for submissions is March 29. Participating teams must have between two to five members and may include undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals from around the world. Existing businesses and start-ups who are currently worth or raised more than $100,000 in capital cannot participate.  European economy

Finalist teams will be paired with an expert mentor to refine their final pitch presentation before presenting virtually to a panel of experts at NPE in May. The first-place winner will be awarded $10,000, followed by $2,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.

“We initiated this competition to engage the next generation to think creatively and develop solutions that promote a circular plastics economy,” said Kim Ryan, president and CEO of Hillenbrand.

More…

European economy

Towards zero plastic waste in 2050

Plastic consumption is still rising. Versatile compounds! But plastic recycling isn’t well organized. Therefore, the mountain of plastic waste is still growing. The world needs to find a solution to that problem, A subject addressed at Wageningen University. Their goal: no more plastic waste in year 2050.

Towards zero plastic waste  European economy

Global plastics production is still growing, even exponentially; as highlighted by an article on the site of Wageningen University and Research (WUR). But our goal is to arrive at a circular economy. Meaning: recycling all plastic waste. New plastic will then be produced from biobased resources. How do we get there? Researchers from Wageningen delved into that subject.

An appreciable part of plastics that aren’t reprocessed, end up as litter. The amount of litter is still growing. As does the amount of plastics produced. If policy doesn’t change, we will produce twice as many plastics in 2050 than we do now. Growth will primarily take place in Asia and Africa.  European economy

Europe’s role

In its combat against plastic waste, Europe plays an important part. The European Commission issued guidelines intended to curb the use of plastics. The most ambitious one is the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). This requires high recycling percentages, high amounts of recyclate in new products and reuse of plastic articles. Moreover, this guideline puts a maximum to the number of plastic bags that a European consumer is allowed to use daily. Some countries, like the Netherlands, have even formulated stricter goals: a fully circular economy. Meaning that almost all paper, plastics and textiles should in due course be processed for reuse. And that the resource should be biobased.  European economy

More…

Towards zero plastic waste in 2050

The European Union’s recent prohibition on exporting plastic waste within and beyond its borders poses a significant threat to the plastic packaging recycling market, according to warnings from Belgian industry association Valipac

The EU’s decision, part of an agreement on waste shipment regulation reached on November 17, mandates that plastic waste collected in EU nations must be stored and, if no buyers emerge for recycling, ultimately incinerated within Europe. Valipac highlights the risk of market collapse due to the inability to export collected plastic and insufficient recycling capacity within the EU. Belgium alone, with an annual consumption of 100,000 tons of commercial plastic packaging, faces challenges in processing around 24,000 tons currently exported outside the OECD.  European economy

The association stresses the genuine risk of the plastic packaging waste market collapsing due to limited recycling capacity in the EU and insufficient demand for recyclate. Valipac emphasizes the economic factor, stating that manufacturing packaging from virgin plastic remains cheaper than using recyclate, leading to the majority of Europe’s plastic waste being exported for recycling into secondary products. Without addressing this issue, the plastic packaging waste market is at risk of collapse, hindered by a lack of sales outlets in Europe and the ban on exports to non-OECD countries.

In response, the European recycling industry confederation (EuRIC) advocates for binding recycled content targets as the sole solution to stimulate demand for recycled materials, creating markets for circular materials.  European economy

Valipac encourages businesses by offering financial bonuses for using plastic packaging containing a minimum of 30% recyclate. However, EuRIC Secretary General Emmanuel Katrakis emphasizes the need for more recycled content targets across various materials, citing stagnation in the circular material use rate at the EU level. The trade association Plastics Europe echoes these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of a waste management system favoring plastic reuse and recycling, while also addressing challenges posed by the rise in imports of plastics labeled as recycled.  European economy

The European Union's recent prohibition on exporting plastic waste within and beyond its borders poses a significant threat to the plastic packaging recycling market, according to warnings from Belgian industry association Valipac

Startup Resynergi raises $6.4 million to advance plastic recycling technology

Resynergi, a California-based startup with a focus on circularity, has successfully secured $6.4 million (USD$7 million) in series B funding. The funds will be utilized to scale its cutting-edge plastic recycling technology, which efficiently transforms plastic waste into reusable, eco-friendly materials.

Established in 2015, Resynergi employs Continuous Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis (CMAP) technology to convert plastic molecules into building blocks for creating new materials. The company collaborates with recycling organizations to acquire and process challenging-to-recycle plastics, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density PE (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS), constituting around 60% of the total plastic types produced.  European economy

Resynergi asserts that its modular CMAP technology outpaces traditional pyrolysis methods by converting plastic waste into reusable materials at a rate 20 times faster. Additionally, it claims to achieve a significant CO2 reduction of up to 68% in the generated products.

The raised capital will be allocated to expanding the production of Resynergi’s CMAP technology and enhancing its executive team to support further growth. Brian Bauer, CEO of Resynergi, expressed the company’s commitment to promoting plastic circularity and safeguarding the environment by diverting plastic from landfills and oceans.

The funding round was co-led by Transitions First, an international industrial deep tech seed-stage venture capital fund, and Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and energy solutions.  European economy

Marianne Abib-Pech, Managing Partner at Transitions First, and Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO of Lummus Technology, will join Resynergi’s board of directors. Abib-Pech emphasized the importance of supporting Resynergi in scaling their recycling process technology to drive innovation and contribute to a more sustainable future, while de Bruyn highlighted the alignment of the investment with their commitment to a circular, low-carbon future and clean energy solutions in the downstream energy industry.

Startup Resynergi raises $6.4 million to advance plastic recycling technology

Supercomputer Leonardo – The Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens, located in the Tambov Region, is set to embark on an ambitious expansion strategy aimed at doubling its polyester production by 2025 16-01-2024

European econom

Supercomputer Leonardo – The Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens, located in the Tambov Region, is set to embark on an ambitious expansion strategy aimed at doubling its polyester production by 2025 16-01-2024

Supercomputer Leonardo

Holzmann’s warning sinks Chinese stocks to 7-year low

Asian markets plunged on Tuesday 16 January, following the downward trend in Europe on Monday amid growing economic worries (with Germany’s GDP shrinking by 0.3% in 2023) and the likelihood of prolonged higher interest rates. By 7.30 am Italian time, the Nikkei was down 0.8%, giving up its highest level since 1990, the Hang Seng dropped over 2% and Shanghai slipped 0.15%.

The Shanghai 50 Index hit a 7-year low today at 2225.00 points. It has lost 1% in the last 4 weeks and 21.16% in the last 12 months. The yuan also fell to above 7.19 per dollar, its lowest point in the last month, affected by deflationary forces in China. The euro declined 0.3% to 1.0919, while the ten-year US T bond traded at 3.999% and Nasdaq futures were down 0.6%. Supercomputer Leonardo

Chinese stocks face pressure Investors remain cautious due to economic and political uncertainties. The PBoC kept its one-year medium-term lending rate at 2.5% on Monday, disappointing markets that were looking for more monetary policy easing. Meanwhile, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said at the World Economic Forum on Monday that China needs structural reforms to prevent “a fairly significant decline in the growth rate.” Investors are now waiting for Chinese GDP data that will be released this week for more clues. Holzmann: Markets should not expect rate cuts in 2024 In a TV interview with Bloomberg, German ECB Governing Council member Joachim Nagel joined a group of economists who are open to cutting interest rates this summer, indicating that the eurozone’s economic outlook is improving.  Supercomputer Leonardo

But Robert Holzmann, Nagel’s Austrian colleague, cautioned that persistent inflation risks will stop the central bank from lowering rates this year. In the US, markets are expecting cuts of at least six quarter points this year, leading BlackRock Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand to warn that such expectations could be excessive once inflation turns out to be more complicated than expected. US quarterly reports in focus US stock futures fell on Tuesday as investors look for more data this week to measure the state of the US economy. Markets will pay close attention to December retail sales on Wednesday, which are expected to show a slight slowdown in consumer spending last month. More banking quarterly reports are due this week, including from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab.  Supercomputer Leonardo

The main US indexes ended mixed on Monday, with the Dow losing 0.31%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 0.08% and 0.02% respectively as investors evaluated the previous series of corporate earnings reports.

Holzmann’s warning sinks Chinese stocks to 7-year low

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

China has urged an end to attacks on civilian vessels in the Red Sea due to concerns about the widening Hamas-Israel conflict, which poses a threat to China’s commercial interests along the Suez Canal

The Iran-backed Houthi militia from Yemen, known for its anti-Israel stance, is challenging China’s ability to safeguard its strategic investments in Egypt. Since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi assumed power in 2014, China has increased investments in Egypt’s Suez Canal, a crucial route for its west-bound goods.

Beijing has encouraged state-owned companies to invest billions in Egypt’s logistics, transport, and energy sectors. Chinese and Hong Kong firms pledged over $20 billion for various projects along the Suez Canal before the recent attacks. Commercial shipping disruptions in the region could impact Chinese investors committed to the canal’s development.

Notable investments include state-owned shipping giant COSCO’s $1 billion investment in Egypt’s port infrastructure and CK Hutchison Holdings’ plan to invest $700 million in new container terminals. China’s broader commercial interests in Egypt involve investments in iron and steel plants, ammonia and hydrogen projects, and potassium chloride production.

The situation also challenges President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which Egypt, Yemen, and Iran are members. China faces the dilemma of balancing non-interference principles with addressing issues that undermine the BRI’s purpose. Beijing is under pressure to play a constructive role in global hotspot issues, particularly in light of its involvement in the Saudi Arabia-Iran detente.

Beyond financial stakes, China’s reputation is on the line, especially after its involvement in the regional detente in 2023. The U.S. has urged China to use its influence over Iran to prevent the conflict between Hamas and Israel from escalating. China, while practicing non-interference, aims to enhance its international influence through restrained diplomacy. Chinese vessels in the Red Sea are reportedly taking precautions, signaling their nationality to avoid attacks. China has expressed support for a larger Israeli-Palestinian peace conference and a two-state solution, emphasizing its desire to shape events through diplomacy.

China has urged an end to attacks on civilian vessels in the Red Sea due to concerns about the widening Hamas-Israel conflict, which poses a threat to China's commercial interests along the Suez Canal

The Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens, located in the Tambov Region, is set to embark on an ambitious expansion strategy aimed at doubling its polyester production by 2025

This initiative involves a significant investment of approximately 141 million rubles, with a preferential loan of 91 million rubles secured from VEB.RF at a nominal interest rate of 1% per annum. The allocated funds will be utilized for acquiring and deploying essential equipment, crucial for augmenting polyester production from 26 million to an impressive 50 million linear meters annually.  Supercomputer Leonardo

Motivating this expansion is a focused endeavor to address the shortage of polyester in the domestic market, exacerbated by sanctions imposed by unfriendly nations, resulting in reduced supply of polyester-containing goods like clothing, bed linen, furniture, and soft toys. Recognizing the escalating demand for such products among domestic manufacturers, the Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens aims to bridge this gap by significantly enhancing its production capacity. The successful execution of this project is anticipated to play a pivotal role in meeting the surging demand for polyester-based products within the country.

Beyond immediate market concerns, the project aligns with the broader goal of import substitution, crucial in the current geopolitical landscape. The increase in polyester production is seen as a strategic move to reduce dependence on external sources, contributing to import substitution—an imperative for the Russian economy. Guided by entrepreneur Andrey Letuchev, the Kotovsky Plant emphasizes the strategic significance of initiatives like these in fostering economic growth and sustainability. Supercomputer Leonardo

Regional head Maxim Egorov highlights the importance of new investment projects as drivers of regional economic growth. Effective support measures, coupled with the initiative and responsibility of entrepreneurs and investors, are identified as key factors in making such expansions feasible. This collaborative effort reflects a commitment to bolstering the regional economy and supporting the overall development of the Russian economy.

This expansion plan aligns with a broader regional trend, exemplified by the Neotex nonwovens plant in the Tula region. With a substantial loan of 704.7 million rubles from the Industrial Development Fund, Neotex aims to establish a production complex for polypropylene nonwovens, projecting an annual capacity of 12.2 thousand tons. This concurrent initiative underscores the industry’s commitment to diversification and the development of various nonwoven materials.  Supercomputer Leonardo

As of the end of 2022, the Kotovsky Plant of Nonwovens reported robust financial performance, boasting a revenue of 4.4 billion rubles and a net profit of 160.4 million rubles.

Supercomputer Leonardo

Global MEG Market Struggles, Weighs on Supply Constraints and Reduced Demand

The global Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG) market is currently facing challenges due to high production costs and low profits, creating a tough environment for suppliers. January usually sees increased demand, especially in the antifreeze sector. However, weak macroeconomic conditions and the ongoing shipping crisis are causing uncertainty in buying activities, affecting the MEG market. Supercomputer Leonardo

The Suez Canal, a critical waterway for global trade, is under threat from Houthi rebels in Yemen. The rebels have launched attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea, causing disruptions and delays for cargo and oil shipments. This situation has also increased security risks and costs for the maritime industry. The attacks on vessels have led to serious concerns about the stability of the Suez Canal, which is crucial for the transportation of goods between United States and Asia.

The turmoil in the Red Sea has had a cascading effect on global crude oil prices, exerting pressure on downstream commodities like MEG. This has prompted MEG manufacturing firms to take measures to balance supply and demand, with some operating at reduced rates, ranging from 60%-70%. Supercomputer Leonardo

The bottleneck in the Red Sea, which started in mid-December, has continued to worsen, and is affecting spot freight rates for container shipping. The heightened tension in the region has led to significant increases in MEG spot rates, especially for routes from US to Asia that rely on the Red Sea as a transit route. Surprisingly, even routes unaffected by the crisis have witnessed surges in freight rates.

As a consequence of these developments, the impact of the shipping crisis is reverberating through global trade, affecting Chinese MEG imports from the US. Ocean freight rates have doubled or even tripled on a spot basis since the crisis began in mid-December.

This surge in freight costs adds an additional layer of challenge for trade between the two nations, influencing the cost dynamics of imported goods and potentially impacting supply chains and pricing strategies for businesses involved in the Chinese-US trade route.

On the demand side, there are fewer inquiries for MEG from downstream industries like Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, due to weakened consumption in end-user packaging and the plastic industry during the off-season. Supercomputer Leonardo

Overall, the shipping crisis is affecting the MEG market dynamics, from increased costs to disruptions in supply chains and decreased demand from downstream industries.

More…

Supercomputer Leonardo

Supercomputer Leonardo: What It Is, How It Works, and Its Purpose

Ranked sixth in the world’s list of the most powerful supercomputers, the renowned TOP500, updated in June and November each year, features an Italian system. Meet the supercomputer Leonardo, inaugurated on November 24, 2022, and physically located at the Bologna Technopole. Managed by CINECA, an Italian interuniversity non-profit consortium with 69 Italian universities, 2 Ministries, and 27 National public institutions as members, Leonardo propels Italy into the exascale-class computing for research and technological innovation.  Supercomputer Leonardo

Leonardo employs a versatile system architecture to serve scientific communities and meet industrial clients’ R&D needs. Its capabilities extend to maximizing applications based on artificial intelligence, utilizing parallelized GPUs, dedicated Tensor cores, and an I/O-focused system architecture.

A supercomputer is a high-performance computing system used for complex problem-solving and intensive calculations. They operate at billions of operations per second, powered by thousands of processors maximizing parallelism.

Leonardo utilizes both x86 and ARM architectures, relying on Xeon Platinum 8358 processors, NVIDIA A100 SXM4 64 GB GPUs, and Infiniband Quad-rail NVIDIA HDR100 interconnection. Its computing modules, Booster and Data Centric, enhance computational capacity and expand application possibilities.  Supercomputer Leonardo

As of January 2024, Leonardo is at full capacity, reflecting the growing demand for supercomputing, particularly in AI training. CINECA looks towards the future, with the European Commission and the Italian Government providing additional funding for Leonardo’s evolution, introducing its successor, Lisa, by June 2024. Leonardo’s journey continues, contributing significantly to various fields and laying the groundwork for post-exascale computing between 2026 and 2028.

Supercomputer Leonardo

Leonardo supercomputer: what it is, how it works and what it is used for

100 Metric Tons of PET Recyclate Per Day

Herbold Meckesheim supplies fifth PET washing line to Türkiye – Doğa will produce rPET flakes for bottle-to-bottle applications

The first truck has left the yard. Another 20 will follow. They will deliver the newest washing line from Herbold Meckesheim to Kırklareli, Türkiye, almost 2,100 kilometers away. There, in the European part of Türkiye, the latest recycling plant of the Meckesheim-based special machinery manufacturer is being built for the company Doğa. After commissioning, the washing line is expected to produce a daily output of 100 metric tons of PET recyclate. Doğa, a company hitherto active in the construction industry, intends to sell the recycled PET flakes for bottle-to-bottle applications. Supercomputer Leonardo

“As the Doğa Group, we are proud to add the recycling sector to our activities of fields such as real estate, construction, mining and textiles,” explains Ömer Ayvacı, Chairman of the Board of the Doğa Group. “In today’s world, where the concepts of environmentally friendly production are becoming increasingly important, we aim to start rPET flakes production with completely environmentally friendly solutions with our state-of-the-art machinery park as of the beginning of next year.”

Ömer Ayvacı emphasizes: “We are confident that we will meet the needs of the sector with Herbold Meckesheim, a company that has mechanical recycling technology accepted all over the world. With the technical information, support and know-how provided by Herbold Meckesheim, we know that we will realize the highest quality rPET flakes production in the most efficient way.”  Supercomputer Leonardo

More…

100 Metric Tons of PET Recyclate Per Day

HeiQ to showcase its bio-based textile technologies 

In Switzerland, HeiQ said its bio-based textile technologies HeiQ Skin Care, HeiQ Allergen Tech, HeiQ Cool, and HeiQ Mint are going to be showcased at the Heimtextil show in Frankfurt in January.

HeiQ presents a complete set of tailored textile technologies designed to enhance the quality of a comfortable night’s rest through sustainable and bio-based solutions, the firm said.  Supercomputer Leonardo

Mike Abbott, Head of HeiQ Textiles & Flooring business unit, said: “HeiQ has developed a way to turn textile technologies into sleep-enhancing elements through its innovative approach to biobased ingredients, incorporating their benefits into bedding and home textile items..”

The flagship products are the 100% biobased cosmetic technology HeiQ Skin Care, the plant-based deodorizer HeiQ Mint , the dual action cooling solution HeiQ Cool, and HeiQ Allergen Tech that reduces exposure to inanimate allergens through active probiotics, HeiQ said.

HeiQ to showcase its bio-based textile technologies 

Marelli Launches Lightweight, Sustainable Headlights at CES 2024

The automobile lights feature up to 20% fewer components, a 20% reduction in weight, and a 6 kg reduction in CO2 emissions.  Supercomputer Leonardo

Mobility technology supplier to the automotive sector Marelli selected CES 2024 in Las Vegas to launch its LeanLight headlight and rear light concepts. Compared with traditional automotive lighting, the products feature up to 20% fewer components, a 20% reduction in weight, and a 6 kg reduction in CO2 emissions.

Systems based on Marelli’s Lean platforms are primarily pre-developed, leaving room for automakers to customize certain features. This module-based platform approach targets entry-level vehicles, brands, and trim levels, and is designed to appeal to budget-oriented consumers and fleet buyers.  Supercomputer Leonardo

The introduction of a new injection molding process for the LeanLight contributes to lighter weight and reduced energy consumption, while a newly developed surface treatment solution eliminates the need for a chemical coating, further contributing to sustainability benefits.

More…

Marelli Launches Lightweight, Sustainable Headlights at CES 2024

Heimtextil Ends With An Increase In Exhibitors, A Plus In Visitors And Sets New Standards For A Sustainable And AI-Driven Textile Industry

New contacts with decision-makers, global business opportunities and worldwide streams of visitors: Heimtextil 2024 ended with 46,000 visitors[1] from around 130 nations and 2,838 exhibitors from 60 nations with 25 per cent growth. With a plus in visitors, the show overcame difficult travel conditions due to nationwide rail strikes and regional demonstrations. Supercomputer Leonardo

The response from international buyers to the quality and variety of the new Carpets & Rugs product segment was overwhelming. In numerous talks, tours and workshops, Heimtextil as well focused on two of the most important key topics of the coming decades: sustainable production and action as well as artificial intelligence. At the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles, transformations could be experienced more intensively than ever before.  Supercomputer Leonardo

With intercontinental strength, Heimtextil 2024 laid the foundation for a record year for Messe Frankfurt. 46,000 buyers from around 130 nations took the opportunity to participate in the global textile market – from upholstery and decorative fabrics, bed and bathroom textiles, mattresses, functional textiles and carpets to wallpapers, outdoor fabrics, artificial leather, curtains, fibres, yarns, sleeping systems and decorative cushions.

More…

Heimtextil Ends With An Increase In Exhibitors, A Plus In Visitors And Sets New Standards For A Sustainable And AI-Driven Textile Industry

Naphtha rPET – Mercedes: Solid-State Batteries “May Not Be Necessary” Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries 15-01-2024

Supercomputer Leonardo

Naphtha rPET – Mercedes: Solid-State Batteries “May Not Be Necessary” Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries 15-01-2024

Naphtha rPET

Naphtha rPET

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

Naphtha rPET

Naphtha rPET

Polyestertime
ITEM 08/01/2024 15/01/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,900 yuan/ton 6,870 yuan/ton -30
Bottle grade PET chips export market 890 $/ton 890 $/ton
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,760 yuan/ton 6,730 yuan/ton -30
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,760 yuan/ton 6,730 yuan/ton -30
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,780 yuan/ton 5,730 yuan/ton -50
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 730 $/ton 715 $/ton  

-15

 

Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,555 yuan/ton 4,540 yuan/ton -15
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 535 $/ton 532 $/ton -3
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

Naphtha rPET

1,016 $/ton 1,017 $/ton
+1
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 994 $/ton 995 $/ton +1
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,070 $/7on 1,050 $/ton -20
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,580  yuan/ton 7,450 yuan/ton
-130
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,600 yuan/ton 7,600 yuan/ton
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,900 yuan/ton 8,850 yuan/ton -50
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

Naphtha rPET

8,950 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton -50
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,230 yuan/ton 8,175 yuan/ton -55
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,280 yuan/ton 7,280 yuan/ton
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 13,800 yuan/ton 13,600 yuan/ton
-200
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,630 $/ton 1,630 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,880 $/ton 1,880 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 14,425 yuan/ton 14,300 yuan/ton -125
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

Naphtha rPET

15,050 yuan/ton 14,900 yuan/ton -150
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,500 yuan/ton 19,700 yuan/ton +200
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 17,100 yuan/ton 17,000 yuan/ton -100
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 19,250 yuan/ton 19,200 yuan/ton- -50
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,850 yuan/ton 17,900 yuan/ton +50
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

Naphtha rPET

34,500 yuan/ton 34,500 yuan/ton
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 33,000 yuan/ton 33,000 yuan/ton
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  30,000 yuan/ton 30,000 yuan/ton
Adipic Acid domestic market 9,550 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton +150
Benzene domestic market

Naphtha rPET

7,410 yuan/ton 7,560 yuan/ton +150
Benzene overseas  market 897 $/ton 939 $/ton +42
Ethylene South East market 850 $/ton 870 $/ton +20
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

Naphtha rPET

9,700 yuan/ton 9,500 yuan/ton -200
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,650 yuan/ton 12,700 yuan/ton +50
PP Powder domestic market

Naphtha rPET

7,150 yuan/ton 7,150 yuan/ton
Naphtha overseas market  639 $/ton 662 $/ton +23
Phenol domestic market 7,227 yuan/ton 7,220 yuan/ton -7

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

Naphtha rPET

Mercedes: Solid-State Batteries “May Not Be Necessary” Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries

The technology of solid-state batteries may not be essential for future electric vehicles, as developments in lithium-ion batteries are surprisingly improving their energy density. Markus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer of Mercedes, emphasized that these improvements were unexpected, putting lithium-ion batteries in direct competition with solid-state batteries in terms of cost and energy density.

Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries. The technology of solid-state batteries has long been considered the next big innovation for battery electric vehicles, praised for its supposed higher energy density and lower costs. However, according to Schäfer, he does not see them having “a significant cost advantage or an energy advantage,” as many efforts have been devoted to improving conventional cells, making them significantly more efficient.

Mercedes’ executive acknowledged a safety advantage in solid-state battery technology but indicated that significant developments are also expected in lithium-ion battery technology. In this competition, the two technologies are advancing in a “head-to-head race,” and Schäfer stated that he does not yet know the winner. Currently, solid-state technology no longer seems to be the “big breakthrough” and faces a “long, long development time.” Schäfer also confirmed that Mercedes has invested in startups working on this technology in the United States and Korea, and continues to closely monitor developments in this sector.

However, Schäfer noted that the “very optimistic predictions from some time ago” about the potential launch of solid-state battery technology remind him of predictions for autonomous driving. This refers to the fact that autonomous driving has experienced delays, and the industry has subsequently revised projections regarding its adoption. Therefore, we will see what innovations Mercedes brings to this matter.

Mercedes: Solid-State Batteries "May Not Be Necessary" Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries

Polyester BCF-yarns – All maritime navigation in danger on Suez Canal for Houthi attacks 15-01-2024

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Naphtha rPET – Mercedes: Solid-State Batteries “May Not Be Necessary” Solid-state batteries? For Mercedes, they might no longer be necessary given the progress of lithium-ion batteries 

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All maritime navigation in danger on Suez Canal for Houthi attacks

The Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important waterways for global trade, is facing a serious threat from the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have launched a series of attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea. The attacks have caused major disruptions and delays for cargo and oil shipments, as well as increased security risks and costs for the maritime industry.

What are the Houthi attacks?

The Houthi rebels are an Iran-aligned group that have been fighting a civil war against the internationally recognized government of Yemen since 2014. They control most of the western coast of Yemen, including the port of Hodeidah, which gives them access to the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a narrow chokepoint that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.  Polyester BCF-yarnsSuez Canal attacks

The Houthis have claimed responsibility for several attacks on ships in the Red Sea, using drones, missiles, and mines. They have said they are targeting ships linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports, in solidarity with Hamas in its conflict with Israel in Gaza. However, many of the attacked ships have had no connection to Israel, and some have been carrying humanitarian aid or civilian passengers.

The Houthis have also seized a Japanese-operated vehicle carrier, the Galaxy Leader, on 19 November 2023, along with its 25 crew members. Suez Canal attacks

The ship is reportedly linked to an Israeli businessman, and the Houthis have demanded a ransom for its release. Polyester BCF-yarns

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B.I.G. Yarns, A New European Producer Of PET BCF Yarns For Automotive Carpet

To expand its support for high-end and luxurious automotive interiors, B.I.G. Yarns has completed its first industrial production runs of virgin polyester BCF yarns for automotive carpet to complement its line of polyamide PA6 superior yarns.

There is a growing market in PET for automotive interior applications, with polyester allowing automotive OEMs and Tier 1 to develop products that, from the outset, consider eco-design by building MONO-polymer carpets and flooring that are 100% recyclable at End of Life (EOL ). Polyester BCF-yarns

These materials are helping to ensure improved and more sustainable EOL recycling of electric vehicles that are driving the future of the car industry.

The new PET BCF Yarns offer high-performance for automotive carpets, including abrasion and stain resistance, and durability, passing all stringent automotive tests including the Taber test for abrasion performance, compressibility and recovery ability test, light fastness in automotive (DIN EN ISO 105-B06) and VOC (fogging) according the VDA 278 test on VOC and FOG emission. The yarns can be color solution dyed, have a dTex between 1300 – 1500, 81 filaments and are ideally for mats with a composition of 400 to 800 gram per m², while the yarns for molded carpets have a dTex of 1200, 144 filaments for 380 gram per m².  Polyester BCF-yarns

“As the industry continues its transition towards circularity, making the right material choice is crucial from the outset to ensure the best possible eco-design and recyclability. Our newcomer, PET BCF yarns, brings virgin material to automotive carpets, creating a new systemic approach towards MONO-polymer-based automotive applications,” said Glenn Hyzak, Global Sales Director Yarns.

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Stellantis Ventures, the venture capital fund of Stellantis N.V., has announced its strategic investment in Tiamat, a French company specializing in sodium-ion battery technology

Sodium-ion batteries are anticipated to bring about cost reductions, increased sustainability, improved low-temperature performance, and faster charging capacity compared to current lithium-ion battery technology.

This investment aligns with Stellantis’ commitment to providing clean, safe, and affordable mobility as part of its Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan. The Dare Forward 2030 plan focuses on achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2038 and emphasizes electric propulsion as a key pillar.  Polyester BCF-yarns

The sodium-ion battery technology developed by Tiamat is highlighted for its lower cost per kilowatt-hour and the absence of lithium and cobalt. The abundance of sodium as a raw material is seen as a strategic advantage, offering greater sustainability and reducing dependence on scarce resources.

Ned Curic, Chief Engineering and Technology Officer of Stellantis, emphasized the importance of finding sustainable and affordable battery options as part of their strategic plan. The goal is to meet customer expectations for zero-emission vehicles that provide autonomy, performance, and convenience.  Polyester BCF-yarns

As part of the Dare Forward 2030 plan, Stellantis aims to transition to electric propulsion, targeting 100% of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) passenger car sales in Europe and 50% in the United States for both BEV passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 2030. To achieve this, Stellantis is securing approximately 400 GWh of battery capacity and investing in various alternative energy storage technologies.

Tiamat, a spin-off of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), plans to use the investment to construct a sodium-ion battery plant in France. Initially, the batteries will be used for electrical appliances and stationary storage applications, with plans to expand production for second-generation products specific to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) in the future.  Polyester BCF-yarns

The investment in Tiamat is part of Stellantis’ broader strategy to support innovation in battery technologies and move towards a zero-carbon emission future.

Polyester BCF-yarns

NEVEON has successfully finalized the sale of its OEM automotive business to the Trèves Group of France, following the receipt of antitrust approval on December 31, 2023

The economic transition of the divested entities, which include Greiner Perfoam GmbH in Enns and Linz (Austria), Greiner Perfoam s.r.o. in Tabor and Valašské Meziříči (Czechia), Greiner Perfoam Automotive Components, S. de R.L. de C.V. in Mexico, and the joint ventures Shen-yang Greiner Automotive Components Co., Ltd. and Tianjin Greiner Automotive Components in China, is now complete.  Polyester BCF-yarns

This strategic move signifies NEVEON’s exit from the OEM automotive sector, allowing the company to concentrate on its vertically integrated foam core business in Living & Care (mattresses, upholstered furniture, and healthcare applications) and Mobility & Specialties (including Aviation, Railway, and various specialized foam applications such as boiler insulations, technical foams, and composite foams).

Simultaneously, Henning Frings, aged 35, assumes the role of Executive Vice President for the Mobility & Specialties business unit. He replaces Martin Etzlstorfer, who remains in his position as Managing Director of Perfoam within the Trèves Group. Jürgen Kleinrath, NEVEON’s CEO, expresses confidence in Frings, recognizing his exceptional management skills and welcoming his appointment from within the company.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Frings, who holds an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at international companies such as Amcor Flexibles, Jindal Films, and Edelmann Group. Having joined NEVEON in 2020 as Director of Corporate Development and later becoming the General Manager for Aviation & Railway in 2022, Frings expresses eagerness to contribute to NEVEON’s success in his new role, overseeing areas like Aviation, Railway, Turnkey Solutions, and Base Materials.

Polymer Process, a prominent authority in the field of polymer technology, has recently unveiled an extensive examination elucidating the revolutionary impact and diverse applications of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs)

This groundbreaking analysis provides in-depth insights into the distinctive properties and chemical composition of SAPs, spotlighting their exceptional capacity to absorb and retain substantial amounts of water.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Key Observations from Polymer Process’s Study

Unprecedented Water Absorption and Retention: SAPs exhibit the remarkable capability to absorb and retain significant quantities of water, distinguishing them across various industries.

Diverse Types with Distinctive Characteristics: The study accentuates various types of superabsorbent polymers, each tailored with unique features catering to specific applications.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Chemical Composition: Predominantly composed of polyacrylate compounds, SAPs contribute to their elevated absorbency and operational efficiency.

Porous Architecture for Liquid Absorption: The review elucidates how the porous structure of SAPs plays a pivotal role in facilitating effective liquid absorption.

Versatile Applications: Superabsorbent polymers find diverse applications in agriculture, personal care, industrial processes, and waste management, showcasing their adaptability across sectors.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Revolutionizing Industries through Advanced Polymer Technology

Polymer Process’s comprehensive review underscores the transformative impact of superabsorbent polymers on contemporary technology and industry. In agriculture, SAPs play a crucial role in water conservation and enhancing crop yields. Within personal care products like diapers and adult incontinence items, SAPs contribute to heightened comfort and absorbency.

In industrial settings, SAPs facilitate fluid control and spill management, while in waste management, they aid in containing and processing liquid waste. The review accentuates the potential of SAPs to revolutionize these sectors through innovative applications and sustainable practices, positioning them as key players in the advancement of modern industries.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Polymer Process, a prominent authority in the field of polymer technology, has recently unveiled an extensive examination elucidating the revolutionary impact and diverse applications of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs)

Prime Minister Edi Rama has elucidated that the textile industry’s crisis cannot be solely attributed to the appreciation of the Lek and the depreciation of the Euro in the currency exchange

He stressed that viewing the predicament through the lens of currency fluctuations is fundamentally flawed. Rama dismissed the notion that the crisis arose solely due to the strengthened Lek and the resultant shift in the Euro’s dynamics, asserting that relying on labor as a competitive advantage is an antiquated strategy.  Polyester BCF-yarns

In urging a paradigm shift, the government leader emphasized that fashion companies must alter their approach, cautioning against expecting governmental intervention in the form of “serums.” Rama emphatically declared that no magical remedy exists, and taxing measures cannot artificially prolong the life of an unsustainable entity. He characterized the industry’s plight as a form of clinical death but underscored that solutions exist for entrepreneurs willing to adapt and change the game.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need for resilience and adaptation, citing examples within the industry where successful transformations have occurred. He highlighted that these changes are not merely theoretical discussions but tangible instances where actors within the textile sector have embraced adaptation, becoming competitive entities in the contemporary market.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Prime Minister Edi Rama has elucidated that the textile industry's crisis cannot be solely attributed to the appreciation of the Lek and the depreciation of the Euro in the currency exchange

Technology allows for fibers to be separated and re-used

Recycling used by still-usable clothing is a great thing – but when textiles are torn, hopelessly dirty or worn, they have to be thrown out. Many types of clothing today can’t be recycled because natural fibers like cotton or wool are mixed with synthetic ones, and they have to be burned or buried.  Polyester BCF-yarns

When you go running in the woods in your running tights, elastane — also known as spandex or Lycra, a synthetic fiber that is exceptionally stretchable – is often used in combination with other fibers. That is why athletic wear fits you so comfortably; is adopts to your body.

But when these synthetic fibers are mixed with cotton, wool, nylon or others, as is the case in many clothes today, the clothes become almost impossible to recycle. It is extremely difficult to separate out the different ones.

This may change, says Assistant Prof. Steffan Kvist Kristensen from the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center at Denmark’s Aarhus University.  Polyester BCF-yarns

Together with a number of colleagues, he is behind a new technology that can separate out fibers in mixed fabrics. They just published their findings in the journal Green Chemistry under the title “Selective chemical disassembly of elastane fibers and polyurethane coatings in textiles.”

“We’ve developed a method to remove elastane completely from nylon. We’re not quite there yet with cotton, because some of the cotton fibers are broken down in the process, but we believe that, with some minor adjustments, we can solve this problem,” he declared. “In other words, we can disassemble the fabric so that we can recycle far more textiles in the future.”  Polyester BCF-yarns

Is it easy to separate fibers?

It is not easy to separate elastane and other fibers once they’ve been woven together. Clothing is made by winding the main fibers such as nylon or cotton around the elastane fibers, which consist of long chains of molecules. The fibers break apart only if we break the long chains of molecules, Kristensen, explained.

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Technology allows for fibers to be separated and re-used

Gasification-of-tires – Lummus Technology has announced a significant investment in Resynergi, a trailblazer in plastic recycling technology 13-01-2024

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Gasification-of-tires – Lummus Technology has announced a significant investment in Resynergi, a trailblazer in plastic recycling technology 13-01-2024

Gasification-of-tires

Lummus Technology has announced a significant investment in Resynergi, a trailblazer in plastic recycling technology

This strategic move aims to amplify the production of Resynergi’s groundbreaking Continuous Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis (CMAP) technology, as reported by Hydrocarbonprocessing.

CMAP sets itself apart by converting plastic waste into reusable materials at a rate 20 times faster than conventional pyrolysis methods. To further strengthen this collaboration, Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus, will assume a position on Resynergi’s board of directors.  Gasification-of-tires

According to Leon de Bruyn, “Lummus is not only injecting funds into Resynergi; we are forging a partnership with genuine innovators to create and expand sustainable solutions that drive progress in the circular economy. By combining our extensive global licensing expertise with Resynergi’s proven CMAP technology, we aim to expedite the transformation of plastic waste into high-quality, reusable materials.”

He expressed anticipation about working closely with Resynergi’s team and board of directors to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of traditional plastics production, meeting the rising demand for recycled plastics. Brian Bauer, Chief Executive Officer of Resynergi, emphasized the positive impact of Lummus’ investment and global licensing expertise, envisioning a collaborative effort to diminish reliance on fossil fuels by addressing plastic waste and advancing plastic circularity.

Given the projected 70% growth in plastic waste by 2050, Resynergi’s modular CMAP technology is well-positioned to scale waste conversion, generating favorable social and environmental outcomes.  Gasification-of-tires

Gasification-of-tires

As the world’s largest licensor of polyolefin technologies, LyondellBasell recently announced a significant licensing agreement with China Coal Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Co., Ltd. (China Coal Shaanxi)

The Chinese company has chosen LyondellBasell’s cutting-edge technologies—Spherizone, Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (Hostalen ACP), and Lupotech T—for their upcoming chemical complex in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, P.R. China.

Under this agreement, LyondellBasell’s Spherizone technology will be employed in a 300 KTA polypropylene plant, while the Hostalen ACP high-density polyethylene plant will have a capacity of 300 KTA. Additionally, a 250 KTA Lupotech T vinyl acetate copolymer plant will be part of the new facility. The selection of these advanced technologies reflects China Coal Shaanxi’s commitment to achieving ambitious growth targets in both production expansion and delivering differentiated resins to the polyolefin market in China and beyond.  Gasification-of-tires

Patrik Schneider, Director of Licensing at LyondellBasell, emphasized the significance of licensing superior and distinctive technology in a highly competitive landscape. Mr. Zhou Yongtao, Vice General Manager and Chief Project Director of China Coal Shaanxi, expressed the value of obtaining a license and related know-how, citing the acceleration of learning and reduction of complexity. He highlighted the importance of the Spherizone process’s differentiated polypropylene grades and the durable infrastructure resins from Hostalen ACP and Lupotech T for their portfolio development.

The Spherizone process, with its multi-zone circulating reactor (MZCR), allows for the production of polypropylene products with novel architecture and enhanced properties. The Hostalen ACP process technology is known for manufacturing high-performance, multi-modal HDPE resins, while the Lupotech T process is preferred for LDPE/EVA production due to its high conversion rates and energy efficiency.

LyondellBasell’s portfolio also includes Spheripol, Avant, and other polyolefin process and catalyst technologies. New licensees can opt to join the LyondellBasell Technical Service Program, benefiting from continuous production improvement, sustainable product development, and catalyst expertise.  Gasification-of-tires

As the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies, LyondellBasell recently announced a significant licensing agreement with China Coal Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Co., Ltd. (China Coal Shaanxi)

American Lithium has tripled the estimated value of its Falchani lithium project, revealing a new valuation of $5.11 billion

This significant increase surpasses the previous forecast and highlights the project’s growing potential. In addition to lithium carbonate, the project may yield potential byproducts such as potash sulfate and cesium sulfate, elevating the after-tax value to an impressive $5.58 billion.  Gasification-of-tires

The remarkable surge in net present value, coupled with a low initial capital expenditure and robust economics outlined in the updated preliminary economic assessment for Falchani, marks the successful outcomes of extensive work programs and flow sheet optimization conducted over the past few years. CEO Simon Clarke expressed this achievement in a statement, attributing it to the culmination of effective efforts at the site.

Situated in southern Peru near the border with Bolivia, the Falchani project holds a unique position as the sole lithium project in the country. It strategically lies between major lithium producers like Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. Currently, the project awaits government approval for an early environmental permit study, underscoring its significance in the regional lithium landscape. Gasification-of-tires

American Lithium has tripled the estimated value of its Falchani lithium project, revealing a new valuation of $5.11 billion

European Market Witnesses Sustained Low Demand for MEG

The European monoethylene glycol (MEG) market finds itself entangled in a web of persistent challenges that stretch across the entire supply chain, presenting formidable obstacles for suppliers. The ongoing predicament is exacerbated by the confluence of high production costs and meager profits, creating a complex and demanding environment for those operating within the industry.  Gasification-of-tires

Traditionally, January heralds an uptick in demand, primarily fuelled by restocking activities in the antifreeze sector. However, the prevailing weak macroeconomic conditions cast a shadow of uncertainty over the trajectory of buying activities. This uncertainty, notably, extends its grip to the sales of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), thereby compounding the intricacies of the market landscape.

The packaging sector, a critical component of the MEG market, undergoes a transformative shift in dynamics, anticipating a reduction in packaging recycling needs. This shift is driven by the impact of reduced disposable income amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. A notable change in consumer buying habits further adds to the evolving narrative, characterized by a discernible trend toward “conscious purchases.” Consumers increasingly opt for bulk purchases of non-perishable essentials, driven by a desire for better deals and, consequently, necessitating less packaging. Meanwhile, the European Union’s (EU) food and beverage production, which includes contributions from the UK, is poised to witness growth of 1.3% in 2024. Gasification-of-tires

The negotiation landscape for MEG contract prices during the fourth quarter of 2023 posed substantial challenges. Reaching a compromise between sellers and consumers proved to be a time-consuming endeavor, exacerbated by varying expectations regarding discounts, volumes, and pricing mechanisms. Contract prices, reflective of these challenging negotiations, have experienced a notable decline, witnessing a drop of approximately 11% since the beginning of January 2023.

European Market Witnesses Sustained Low Demand for MEG

New paper-based packaging solution from SEE® can reduce plastic usage

SEE® has introduced a groundbreaking paper-based bottom web, the CRYOVAC® brand Barrier Formable Paper, as an innovative solution to address the growing need to reduce plastic consumption in packaging. Comprising 90% FSC® certified fibers, this new packaging material offers an impressive 77% reduction in plastic usage in bottom web packaging when replacing traditional PET/PE webs.  Gasification-of-tires

Aldo Galbusera, Senior Marketing Manager, Europe at SEE®, emphasized the industry’s shift towards sustainable packaging to meet circularity goals and consumer preferences for paper-based options. The Barrier Formable Paper is designed for compatibility with Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) and Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) top webs, catering to various packaging needs for fresh and processed meats, fish, seafood, cheese, and alternative proteins.

This innovative solution delivers on the renowned CRYOVAC® brand’s commitment to superior barrier protection, ensuring prolonged freshness, extended shelf life, and reduced environmental impact through minimized spoilage and waste. Aldo at SEE® highlighted the packaging’s appeal to sustainability-conscious consumers, featuring leak-proof seals for improved presentation and maintaining product quality.  Gasification-of-tires

The CRYOVAC® brand Barrier Formable Paper is available in white and kraft colors, compatible with CRYOVAC® brand Darfresh® vacuum skin films, and designed for easy integration with rollstock, thermoforming, and VSP equipment. Boasting a composition of 90% renewable fibers and 10% plastic, this bottom web can be recycled with paper, aligning with environmental responsibility standards such as Aticelca® 501 UNI 11743. The product’s attributes, including ease of opening and enhanced product aesthetics, aim to meet consumer demands for both sustainability and convenience.

Gasification-of-tires

City of Youngstown, Ohio, Adopts Moratorium on Pyrolysis and Gasification of Tires, Plastic, and Electronic Waste

Threats to Environmental Justice and Human Health Should Prevent Construction of SOBE Pyrolysis Facility

The city of Youngstown, Ohio, has adopted a one-year moratorium on pyrolysis or gasification or combustion of tires, chipped tires, plastics, and electronic waste in the city of Youngstown, Ohio. The city council voted unanimously on December 20, 2023; Mayor Jamael Tito Brown signed the bill on December 26, 2023; and it went into effect immediately on December 26, 2023.  Gasification-of-tires

The new local law establishes a moratorium on the construction and operation of any facility that converts — or attempts to convert — plastics, tire derived chips, tire chips, and/or electronic waste into fuel or feedstock through various conversion processes, including pyrolysis or gasification, for one year. The local law declared an emergency measure for the immediate preservation of the public peace, welfare, and safety.

“The moratorium on waste pyrolysis and gasification passed unanimously by the Youngstown City Council sends a strong message, echoing the concerns of Youngstown residents who are opposed to the proposed SOBE project.

The safety and environmental risks of waste pyrolysis are particularly troubling, and the facility’s proposed location adjacent to our downtown and vulnerable neighborhoods is not in alignment with our city’s comprehensive plan,” said Tom Hetrick, president of Youngstown City CouncilGasification-of-tires

“The 12-month moratorium gives the council the necessary time to evaluate safety concerns, analyze zoning issues, gather additional public input, prioritize environmental justice, and fully exercise the City of Youngstown’s local control over land-use decisions within city limits in order to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our residents.”

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New Technology Enables Recycling of Used Clothes

When you go running in the woods in your running tights, elastane is the reason they fit you so comfortably. Elastane is an elastic material that allows the fabric to stretch and adapt to your body.

But when elastane fibres are mixed with cotton, wool, nylon or other fibres, as is the case in many clothes today, the clothes become almost impossible to recycle. It is extremely difficult to separate out the different fibres, and therefore the materials in the clothes cannot be recycled.  Gasification-of-tires

For this reason, clothes and other textiles are among the materials that we are the worst at recycling. Only about six per cent of clothes thrown away by Danish households are recycledIn comparison, 32 per cent of all plastic packaging is recycled in Denmark.

But this may change, says Assistant Professor Steffan Kvist Kristensen from the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center at Aarhus University. Together with a number of colleagues, he is behind a new technology that can separate out fibres in mixed fabrics.

“We’ve developed a method to remove elastane completely from nylon. We’re not quite there yet with cotton, because some of the cotton fibres are broken down in the process.

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Gasification-of-tires

Gasification-of-tires

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

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

Nuclear Battery

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

Nuclear Battery

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

PET bottles

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Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Maschinenbau, a manufacturer of extrusion blow molding machines, has found a buyer following its declaration of insolvency in August of the previous year

The company will now come under the control of the German subsidiary of an unnamed Chinese investor, as disclosed by AndresPartner, a legal and tax firm specializing in industrial restructuring transactions.

The transfer encompasses not only the brand but also the Bonn facility in Germany, where Kautex Maschinenbau is headquartered. This facility is crucial for the development and assembly of the majority of plastic container blow molding machines. However, with 155 employees affected, there is a possibility of job cuts.  PET bottles

Apart from the German base, Kautex Maschinenbau has a second production facility under the independent subsidiary Shunde Kautex Plastics Technology in Shunde, China, which remains unaffected by insolvency. In Germany, the company also has a commercial subsidiary in Berlin. Additionally, independent branches are situated in Shanghai (China), Bangalore (India), Treviso (Italy), Jakarta (Indonesia), Mexico City (Mexico), and Moscow (Russia). The purchaser, being a Chinese investor, marks a strategic shift in ownership and may bring about changes in the company’s operations and global presence.

PET bottles

California market development payments prioritize PET bottles

A long-running post-consumer plastic market development program in California has been modified to further incentivize PET container recycling.

The Plastic Market Development Payment Program uses government funding to make payments to reclaimers and plastic product manufacturers that use recycled content, with the goal of spurring market development in the state.

The program only covers plastic containers that are part of the state’s California Refund Value (CRV) deposit system.  PET bottles

In-state reclaimers who process deposit containers, and in-state manufacturers who purchase the resulting flake, pellet or other output from those processed containers, can be reimbursed at a rate that’s set each program year, up to $150 per ton of material handled.

The market development payment program was created in 2006 and is regularly renewed by state lawmakers. A frequent priority for plastics recycling stakeholders in the state, it was most recently renewed through Senate Bill 1013, passed in 2022, and is set to run until at least July 2025. PET bottles

Lawmakers budgeted $10 million for market development payments during the current program year. Overall, they’ve allocated $47 million for the program to be used through June 30, 2027.

New in 2024, the program has been modified to use a three-tier payment structure, whereas previous years paid one rate for PET and one rate for HDPE. The new system creates a hierarchy within the PET payments to pay more for certain types of manufacturing and processing.  PET bottles

“The payment restructuring will incentivize participants who produce PET #1 or use PET #1 for new beverage containers,” CalRecycle stated in a public notice of the change.

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PET bottles

According to American media, Stellantis and CATL’s LFP batteries may find a home in Spain for electric vehicle production

Following Italy, France, and Germany, Spain could potentially become the birthplace of the next Stellantis electric vehicle batteries. Foreign press rumors suggest the Iberian Peninsula as the chosen location for the Group’s fourth European facility dedicated to accumulator production.

While the American publication Teslarati first reported the speculation, there is currently no mention of official sources or confirmations from the companies. The rumored Spanish plant would be dedicated to manufacturing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in collaboration with the Chinese company CATL.  PET bottles

Stellantis had previously announced an alliance with CATL in November, signing a memorandum of understanding for the supply of cells and modules in Europe without specifying the location for the batteries involved in the agreement.

Now, American media leans towards Spain as the next destination for Stellantis. The Group already owns three vehicle factories in Madrid, Vigo, and Zaragoza, with the latter two being converted for the production of coveted affordable electric cars based on the STLA Small platform.  PET bottles

Among the upcoming models, the Citroen e-C3 may be one of the creations featuring CATL’s LFP batteries, priced at €23,300 and expected to hit the market in 2024. However, it will be built on a different architecture, namely the Smart Platform.

PET bottles

Ocean freight disruptions threaten domestic supply, push US PET import prices higher

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

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Ocean freight disruptions threaten domestic supply, push US PET import prices higher

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 Composition and Evolution of Lithium-Ion Pouch Cell Batteries

Heraeus Precious Metals enters hydrogen business

Heraeus Precious Metals has announced the establishment of a new dedicated Business Line, Hydrogen Systems, effective 1 January 2024.

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.

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Heraeus Precious Metals enters hydrogen business

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

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

Solid-State Batteries – Bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of potentially dangerous plastic fragments 10-01-2024

PET bottles

Solid-State Batteries – Bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of potentially dangerous plastic fragments 10-01-2024

Solid-State Batteries

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Volkswagen – Solid-State Batteries: Half a Million Kilometers Without Degradation

Solid-state batteries, a highly promising technology for the electric cars of the coming years, take a significant step towards mass production. QuantumScape, an American startup in collaboration with Volkswagen for over a decade, has successfully completed endurance tests on its solid-state cells. These tests involved over a thousand recharge cycles, after which the cells retained 95% of their nominal capacity. The trials took place at the laboratories of PowerCo, the battery company within the Volkswagen Group.

Beyond industry standards, QuantumScape’s cells have surpassed the standard objectives for this development phase, which anticipate a maximum loss of 20% after 700 recharge cycles.  Solid-State Batteries

With this technology, an electric car achieving a range of 500-600 km in the Wltp homologation cycle could potentially last at least half a million kilometers without any noticeable decline in autonomy. The American company’s batteries have also excelled in rapid charging, safety, and self-discharge tests.

Ready for mass production, the solid-state cell tested by PowerCo consists of 24 layers and already corresponds to the version intended for serial production. The next steps involve refining large-scale production processes for market introduction. Jagdeep Singh, founder and CEO of the American startup, emphasizes that there is still much work to be done to bring this technology to the market.

Nevertheless, as of now, there is no knowledge of any other lithium-metal battery for automotive use demonstrating such high discharge energy retention over a comparable number of cycles and under similar conditions.  Solid-State Batteries

Solid-State Batteries

Turkey seeks Saudi partnership Cooperation as it plans to be an energy hub to Europe, minister tells Arab News

Turkey is seeking more cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other countries as it plans to be an energy hub to Europe, its finance minister said.

“Turkey from its geographical position is an energy corridor from Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Any kind of natural gas or oil that is going to be transported or shipped, will cost less and will be more safely shipped,” Nureddin Nebati told Arab News in an interview.

Speaking on the sideline of the 6th edition of Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, the minister didn’t elaborate further on how the two countries might cooperate but said that peace in the region will bring energy costs down.  Solid-State Batteries

“Turkey and Saudi Arabia are also assisting each other, which will bring peace in the region. That peace will bring more affordable gas prices, the energy prices, and will allow both countries to look ahead,” he added.

Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world. Its gas reserves amounts to nearly 300 trillion cubic feet, making it the largest fifth gas reserve in the world. However, the Kingdom doesn’t export gas and it intends to expand production to meet local demand and eliminate the use of oil and other liquids in power generation.

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Solid-State Batteries

Bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of potentially dangerous plastic fragments: Study

A new study has found that the average bottle of water contains nearly a quarter million fragments of “nanoplastics” — plastic particles so small they can potentially gum up the machinery of human cells.

The findings published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences open a disturbing window into a largely unmapped corner of plastic pollution — a region marked by plastics the approximate size of viruses or vaccine particles.

“We know microplastics are always in the environment,” coauthor Beizhan Yan of Columbia University told The Hill. “They are high up in the alpine, and down in the Marianas Trench, and quite a lot in New York City water as well.”  Solid-State Batteries

But microplastics are comparatively large and easy to measure, he said — measurable in millionths of a meter, they can be viewed using technology like a scanning electron microscope.

The team was concerned by nanoplastics, which are particles thousands of times smaller – measurable in billionths of a meter. These smaller sizes can translate to greater danger, Yan said, “because the smaller the particle size, they are easy to get into the human bodies and then cross different barriers.”

The tiny compounds, Yan added, “can cross into the blood, and then can cross the different barriers to get into the cells,” interfering with the organelles — cellular organs — “and causing them to malfunction.”  Solid-State Batteries

Both micro- and nanoplastics have been found to have a wide array of dangerous impacts on a staggering array of key systems in the human body, as a December article in The Lancet found.

That survey of recent research found that tiny plastics can interfere with the chemistry of the human body — causing impacts both on and from the communities of microbes in our gut that help us digest food.

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Solid-State Batteries

BYD, the first stone for the production of sodium batteries, cheaper (but less efficient) than NMC and LFP

BYD has initiated the construction of a new production site dedicated to sodium batteries in Xuzhou, a city in the Jiangsu province of China. This move is part of an agreement with Huaihai Group, specializing in motorcycles and tricycles, signed on November 18 in Shenzen for a 10 billion yuan (€1.28 billion) investment and a production capacity of 30 GWh. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on January 4, and this facility joins another nearing completion in the same location, focused on Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries with “blade” cells, initiated in early 2023.  Solid-State Batteries

The sodium batteries are intended for low-end vehicles produced by BYD and its customers, as well as for motorcycles from Huaihai Group. These batteries, utilizing sodium instead of lithium, offer superior sustainability from both an environmental and economic perspective compared to traditional Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and LFP batteries. They boast a lower cost (one-third of NMC), albeit with a 50% lower energy density and power. Noteworthy advantages include safety, recyclability, charge retention, durability, and operability in a broader temperature range (-20°C to +60°C).

This sodium battery technology is gaining traction in the market, targeting low-cost vehicles for emerging markets, motorcycles, tricycles, and stationary systems. The sodium-ion battery market is poised for significant growth, with a projected 600% increase by 2033, reaching a total capacity of 67.7 GWh. BYD’s ambitious plans contribute to this trend, challenging initial projections by industry experts.

Despite previous use in space shuttles, the technology’s success hinges on its adaptation to affordable and sustainable solutions, potentially reshaping the dynamics of the electric vehicle battery market.  Solid-State Batteries

BYD, the first stone for the production of sodium batteries, cheaper (but less efficient) than NMC and LFP

Equinor and Linde have signed an agreement to develop the H2M Eemshaven low carbon hydrogen project

Equinor and Linde have signed a project development agreement to develop the H2M Eemshaven low carbon hydrogen project in the Netherlands as partners.

Equinor will secure access to carbon transport and storage capacity and offer low carbon hydrogen to the market. Linde will build, co-own and operate the hydrogen production and carbon capture and transfer facility.

The aim is to build a facility in the Eemshaven industrial area to reform natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf to low-carbon hydrogen with CO2 capture and storage (CCS). More than 95 percent of the CO2 will be captured and stored safely and permanently under the seabed offshore Norway. The aim is to start production in late 2028 and the hydrogen plant will be connected to onshore hydrogen pipelines planned in both the Netherlands and Germany.  Solid-State Batteries

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Equinor and Linde have signed an agreement to develop the H2M Eemshaven low carbon hydrogen project

Advanced Petrochemical to Temporarily Pause Jubail Polypropylene Production in February

Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Petrochemical, a major player in the Asian petrochemical industry, has announced plans for the temporary shutdown of two polypropylene (PP) production lines in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. This scheduled pause in production is set to commence on February 4, allowing for routine maintenance activities to be carried out. The maintenance work will be conducted on enterprises with a combined annual capacity of 270,000 tons of PP and 210,000 tons of PP. The shutdown period is expected to extend until February 27 of the current year, ensuring a comprehensive and thorough maintenance effort.  Solid-State Batteries

It’s worth noting that the last instance of Advanced Petrochemical closing its PP plant in Jubail for scheduled maintenance occurred from February 28 to March 22, 2022. This periodic shutdown strategy aligns with industry best practices, emphasizing the company’s commitment to maintaining optimal operational efficiency, reliability, and safety standards.

Advanced Petrochemical, formerly known as Advanced Polypropylene, operates as a joint-stock company, established in October 2005. The company embarked on the construction of petrochemical plants in May 2005, with its facilities strategically located in the industrial city of Jubail on the east coast of Saudi Arabia. The production output includes 455,450 tonnes of propylene annually and an additional unspecified tonnage of polypropylene per year.  Solid-State Batteries

The decision to undertake routine maintenance activities on the two PP production lines in Jubail reflects Advanced Petrochemical’s dedication to ensuring the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of its operations. By proactively addressing maintenance needs, the company aims to enhance equipment reliability, prevent potential issues, and align with industry standards and regulations.

As part of its commitment to transparency and industry best practices, Advanced Petrochemical has provided advance notice of the scheduled maintenance period.

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Advanced Petrochemical to Temporarily Pause Jubail Polypropylene Production in February

In the northwestern Galicia region of Spain, sandy beaches have become the focal point for hundreds of volunteers armed with colanders and shovels

Their mission: to tackle the aftermath of an environmental crisis as millions of plastic pellets, also known as mermaid tears or nurdles, inundated the coast.

These tiny pellets, utilized in the production of everyday items like water bottles and shopping bags, contribute to the pervasive issue of plastic pollution in oceans and rivers globally.  Solid-State Batteries

The onslaught of plastic pellets in Spain traced back to at least one container that fell from the Toconao, a Liberia-registered vessel chartered by shipping giant Maersk, off the neighboring Portuguese coast last month, according to a statement from Bedeko Europe, the manufacturer of the pellets.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Jesus Montero expressed the government’s concern about potential “serious repercussions” and admitted uncertainty regarding the exact impact, particularly on the fishing industry. The cleanup efforts evoked memories of Galicia’s 2002 environmental disaster, a fuel oil spill that closed Spain’s lucrative fishing grounds.

An estimated 10 trillion plastic pellets contaminate marine ecosystems annually, as reported by the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2020.  Solid-State Batteries

Environmentalist group Ecologistas en Accion criticized the regional government’s delayed response and announced plans to file an environmental crime complaint against Toucan Maritime, the Dutch owner of the vessel. Political blame games ensued, with Galicia’s regional leader accusing the central government of withholding information for over two weeks, while Madrid’s representative in Galicia countered that the maritime rescue service had alerted regional coast guards about the incident on December 20.

In the northwestern Galicia region of Spain, sandy beaches have become the focal point for hundreds of volunteers armed with colanders and shovels

Recycling Guide – Brics countries shake up world order 09-01-2024

Solid-State Batteries

Recycling Guide – Brics countries shake up world order 09-01-2024

Recycling Guide

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World Packaging Organisation (WPO) launches Recycling Guide

The ‘Packaging Design for Recycling Guide’, a product of WPO (World Packaging Organisation), has recently been translated into Japanese, and is now available through WPO website. This is the 11th translation besides the versions in English, German, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Thai, Latvian, Czech, Hungarian and Georgian. Developed by WPO, Circular Analytics, FH Campus University of Applied Sciences and ECR Community, the Guide is a starting point to understand best practice examples, using state-of-the-art technology that can be applied and tailored to suit the recovery and recyclability capabilities and infrastructure on a regional and local level.

The formal launch of the Japanese version was undertaken during WPO Board Meeting (Nov 23), in South Africa, with the presence of the former President, Pierre Pienaar, the current President, Luciana Pellegrino, the representative of Japan Packaging Institute (JPI), Hiroko Akieda, and Vice President Sustainability & Save Food, Nerida Kelton.

“The ‘Packaging Design for Recycling Guide’ is a very important tool for the global packaging community to ensure that our industry is taking steady steps, based on scientific foundations, to achieve a circular economy model. It contributes to address the challenges that face the world in terms of climate change, environment and preservation of natural resources”, states Luciana Pellegrino, WPO President. She adds: “We highly recommend the industry to explore this Guide in a way of driving efforts based on a common voice of the packaging industry in terms of recycling and circular economy.”

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Recycling Guide

World Packaging Organisation (WPO) launches Recycling Guide

Honda considering $18.4B electric vehicle and battery plant in Canada: media report

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. could invest upwards of $18.4 billion in an electric vehicle plant in Canada, according to a report from a Japanese news outlet.

Nikkei Asia said on Sunday that Honda is considering building both a vehicle and battery plant in the country as part of efforts to catch up in the electric vehicle market.

The report says Honda is looking at several sites, including next to its existing plant in Alliston, Ont., with a potential investment decision expected by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne did not confirm whether any talks were going on between the company and the government.

The minister said in a statement that the report about Honda’s potential investment is a “testament to Canada’s growing reputation as a green supplier of choice and global EV leader.”  Recycling Guide

“Reports about Honda looking to make a significant investment in Canada speaks to the quality of workforce and the strength of our industry,” Champagne said in the statement.

The Nikkei report says the abundance of renewable energy in the country is part of the reason Honda is considering Canada, while in December the federal government mandated that all passenger vehicle sales would be electric by 2035.

Honda is retooling a production plant in Ohio to produce electric vehicles and has an agreement in place to build an electric vehicle battery plant in the state with LG Energy Solution, but the report says the company might go it alone on the battery plant in Canada.  Recycling Guide

LG is already in a partnership with automaker Stellantis to build a $5 billion battery plant in Windsor, Ont., one of numerous major EV investments Canada has secured after offering generous subsidies.

Volkswagen is building a battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont., and Northvolt is building one about 30 kilometres east of Montreal, with the three plants expected to cost tens of billions of dollars in subsidies linked largely to production volumes. Recycling Guide

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Recycling Guide

Antimicrobial Hospital Textiles Market worth $9.4 billion by 2025 | Key players Atlas Milliken & Company (US), Trevira GmbH (Germany), Unitika Trading Co. Ltd. (Japan)

According to recent market research the “Antimicrobial Hospital Textiles Market by Material, Usability (Disposable, Reusable), FDA Class (Class I, Class II, Class III), Application (Attire, Surgical supplies & Wipes, Sheets & Blankets), Hospital Department, Region – Global Forecast to 2025”, size is estimated at USD 7.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 9.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.8%. Increasing population, medical infrastructure development & health promotion by government authorities, and increasing affordability are major key driving factors for the growth of the antimicrobial hospital textiles industry.  Recycling Guide

Cotton was the largest material type in the overall antimicrobial hospital textiles market. This is because cotton is susceptible to microbial attack, as is it a naturally occurring plant fiber. Cotton is very soft in nature and renders comfort when it is in contact with the skin. Due to comfort property, it is used more as compared to other antimicrobial hospital textiles material. This factor is driving the demand for cotton in the antimicrobial hospital textiles market.
Attire is the largest application during the forecast period. The attire worn by the doctors, patients, and staff members in a hospital should be hygienic as it can act as a source of HAIs. Patients with lower immunity are highly susceptible to infections. Attire is used to protect hospital staff and prevent HAIs and is a mandatory practice in hospitals. Hence, the demand for antimicrobial textiles is high in the attire application. Recycling Guide

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Recycling Guide

Western LLDPE Market Confronts a Decline in December Amidst Trade Challenges

In December 2023, the Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) market experienced a depreciation in Western markets, particularly in the US and Europe. The weakening in prices can be primarily attributed to the global weak demand for LLDPE and the abundant availability of stock. The decrease in feedstock Ethylene and upstream Naphtha costs in the region has also played a role in pushing down the prices. Furthermore, various factors such as the holiday season, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, supply chain disruptions caused by low water levels in the Panama Canal, and an attack by Houthi rebels affecting transportation in the Red Sea amid an economic slowdown, have collectively influenced market dynamics and contributed to the pricing fluctuations of LLDPE during this period.  Recycling Guide

Thus, the price of LLDPE Film Butene-based FOB Texas(USA) fell by 2% while the LLDPE Film FD Hamburg(Germany) declined by 5% this month.

The LLDPE market in the United States experienced a plummeting trend due to sluggish demand from downstream packaging and construction industries this month. Despite fluctuations in feedstock Ethylene, influenced by improved market activity before the holidays, and a continued decrease in upstream Naphtha amid easing Crude oil prices, LLDPE prices saw an overall decrease. Initially, the month witnessed steady market activity with a consistent flow of customer orders for LLDPE. Recycling Guide

However, as the year approached its end, some buyers reduced their purchasing efforts, maintaining a positive outlook and anticipating the possibility of December discounts extending into January. Further, export demand from the United States remained steady in Europe and Latin America. Sellers were willing to consider fair offers, leading to reduced prices in exchange for larger quantities, although there were some limitations on the extent of discounts which overall led to a slump in the price of LLDPE.

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Recycling Guide

Revolutionary indigo dye makes denim more ecofriendly

Two Israeli companies team up to bring a new level of sustainability to the highly polluting textile industry.The indigo dye market for the jeans industry is estimated at $1.5 billion a year. However, traditional indigo yarn dyeing processes require an average 60,000 liters of water per process and use polluting chemicals such as hydrosulfite.

Israeli green-tech company Sonovia developed a chemical-free, ultrasonic indigo dyeing technology, D(y)ENIM, which drastically reduces water usage, chemical waste and energy expenditure in the dyeing process, without hydrosulfites. Recycling Guide

Two European denim makers, France’s Kering and Italy’s PureDenim, have already integrated Sonovia’s yarn-dyeing technology into their production lines.

Now, D(y)ENIM will be scaled up significantly thanks to a collaboration with a fellow Israeli company, industrial chemicals company Avco.

The collaborative will focus on producing an industrial quantity of the dye. Avco will leverage its expertise in marketing chemical products internationally to promote and sell the ecofriendly indigo dye and technology to global textile and fashion companies.

According to Sonovia cofounder Shay Herchcovich, “The successful completion of the first phase is contingent upon achieving key criteria, including reaching a production rate of at least one ton of the indigo dye per week, meeting quality requirements defined by Sonovia’s first customer, confirming the sale of 80 tons of the material, and mutual agreement between the parties.”  Recycling Guide

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Revolutionary indigo dye makes denim more ecofriendly

Green Innovation: Progress Report – Third Edition highlights:

  • In 2021 plastic recycling patent filings have reached an all time high.
  • Drop in filings from previous highest filer Eastman, but the rest of the sector show growth.
  • Pyrolysis is still by far the main source of chemical recycling innovation, and continues to grow rapidly, but there is also growth in other emerging technologies such as biodegradation and electrolysis.  Recycling Guide
  • Strong growth is also found in innovation for the downstream processing of the treated polymer waste.

The evolution of innovation and patents in chemical recycling

The variety of plastics and compositions containing plastic have produced a reliance on them in a considerable range of applications. Traditional petrochemical-derived plastics, such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyesters, polyacrylics, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have evolved over decades, offering highly-specialised properties for such applications. They remain highly valuable materials, essential in many areas, and this seems set to continue until greener alternatives can sufficiently replicate their performance.  Recycling Guide

However, continued use will also likely require that such plastics become easier to recycle because the majority of plastic waste takes decades to biodegrade.

Recycling non-biodegradable plastic is one way to partially mitigate its environmental impact.

In 2019, of the approximately 350 million tonnes of plastic waste worldwide, nine percent was recycled, 19 percent incinerated, 49 percent went to landfill, and 22 percent was uncollected litter, with 6.1 million tonnes (Mt) of plastic waste leaking into aquatic environments, such as rivers, and 1.7 Mt flowing into the oceans. Recycling Guide

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Green Innovation: Progress Report - Third Edition highlights:

Brics countries shake up world order

The Brics constellation of countries is growing both in influence and membership. Expansion will require careful handling but is set to further increase the role of the group
Brics is an acronym from the world of investment banking that has become a global movement. Originally just ‘BRIC’, coined by the investment bank Goldman Sachs at the beginning of the century, it stood for Brazil, Russia, India and China, to describe a significant cluster of the world’s emerging economies with considerable potential for investors. The projection was that the four countries would dominate the global economy by the mid-21st Century.  Recycling Guide

The ‘S’ stands for South Africa, which was added soon after. This year will see nations from the Gulf Co-operation Council join the club. There are around 20 countries applying to join, although one member-elect, Argentina, announced late last year that it would not be joining as planned, following Javier Milei’s win in the presidential election.
Since 2009 the five countries have formed themselves into a formal grouping with annual summits aimed at assisting co-operation among non-Western nations, the most recent of which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2023. It was the 15th meeting of the bloc. Recycling Guide
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Brics countries shake up world order

PET-Bottle Nylon – Germany delays plastic tax to 2025 08-01-2024

Recycling Guide

Red-Sea crisis – Amidst prevailing market weakness, Saudi Arabia has announced a reduction in key crude prices for buyers across all regions in February 08-01-2024

Red-Sea crisis

PET-Bottle Nylon – Germany delays plastic tax to 2025 

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Red-Sea crisis

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Amidst prevailing market weakness, Saudi Arabia has announced a reduction in key crude prices for buyers across all regions in February

This decision encompasses the primary Asian market, where oil prices for the flagship Arab Light have been lowered by $2 to $1.50 above the benchmark. This adjustment is more substantial than the estimated $1.25 reduction projected in a Bloomberg survey of refiners and traders. Saudi Aramco, the state producer, has also implemented price cuts for February deliveries to Northwest Europe, the Mediterranean, and North America.

The oil industry traditionally experiences decreased consumption during February and March, as refiners often conduct periodic maintenance by temporarily shutting down some facilities. Concurrently, a surplus in global supply, including contributions from the United States, heightens the risk of an oversupply. Consequently, the OPEC+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, extended output cuts into the current year.  Red-Sea crisis

In 2023, global crude prices registered a decline for the first time since 2020. Despite ongoing geopolitical concerns such as the Israel-Hamas conflict and escalating turmoil in the Middle East, as well as Houthi militant attacks in the Red Sea, the market has not witnessed significant disruptions in supply.

The OPEC+ group’s production cuts aim to prevent an accumulation of oil in storage amid apprehensions of a sluggish global economy affecting demand. Saudi Arabia bears the major responsibility, voluntarily implementing cuts of 2 million barrels per day through the first quarter, potentially extending into subsequent periods.  Red-Sea crisis

Red-Sea crisis

Wendel completes sale of Constantia Flexibles to One Rock affiliate 

The move follows a definitive agreement signed by the parties in August 2023.

An affiliate of private equity investment management company, One Rock Capital Partners, has completed the acquisition of packaging company Constantia Flexibles.

One Rock acquired Constantia from European investment company Wendel, Maxburg Capital Partners, and other shareholders.

Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Constantia supplies flexible packaging solutions to more than 4,000 global customers in the pharmaceutical, food, and consumer goods sectors.

The company operates a network of 28 sites in 15 countries, with more than 7,150 employees.  Red-Sea crisis

One Rock partner Kurt Beyer said: “Constantia’s commitment to product innovation, sustainability and quality underscores its position as a market leader in the flexible packaging industry.

“We look forward to working alongside Constantia’s management team to enhance its operational capabilities and suite of packaging solutions to maximise its potential.”

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Red-Sea crisis

Container shipping rates spike as Red Sea crisis draws first blood

Maersk halts Red Sea transits (again) after US military kills Houthi attackers

Maersk, the world’s second-largest ocean carrier, gambled that a U.S.-led military force, Operation Prosperity Guardian, would allow safe passage through the Red Sea. That gamble has failed.

On Tuesday, Maersk said it will suspend Red Sea transits indefinitely and reroute ships around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. The decision followed attacks on the container ship Maersk Hangzhou, which was struck by a Houthi rebel missile on Saturday and threatened by four Houthi boats on Sunday.  Red-Sea crisis

Armed guards on the Maersk Hangzhou exchanged fire with the Houthis, whose boats approached within 70 feet of the container ship before U.S. military helicopters intervened. After the Houthis fired on U.S. forces, the helicopters took out three of the four boats, killing 10 Houthi rebels.

The attacks in the Red Sea continue. U.S. Central Command confirmed that the Houthis fired two anti-ballistic missiles on Tuesday that landed in the vicinity of passing commercial ships. The Houthi spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the missiles were targeting the container ship CMA CGM Tage.

As supply chain issues mount and missile launches persist, there is an increasing likelihood of ground strikes in Yemen by the U.S.-led coalition.  Red-Sea crisis

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Container shipping rates spike as Red Sea crisis draws first blood

Svensk Plaståtervinning has recently inaugurated “Site Zero,” the world’s largest plastic sorting facility located in Motala, Sweden

Equipped with cutting-edge technology from Sutco and Tomra, this state-of-the-art plant efficiently categorizes all Swedish plastic packaging waste into 12 distinct fractions. WASTE MANAGEMENT WORLD covered the grand opening of this groundbreaking facility.

Motala, with a population of around 30,000, situated on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern, might seem an unlikely choice for the global epicenter of plastic sorting. However, the town’s industrial history, dating back to the 19th century and marked by the construction of the Göta Canal, has paved the way for Site Zero’s establishment. Red-Sea crisis

Housed in a repurposed industrial hall that once manufactured appliances for Elektrolux, the facility spans 60,000 square meters, embodying the principles of a circular economy.

Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Svensk Plaståtervinning, emphasizes the plant’s significance as a pioneer in producing top-tier material quality while minimizing environmental impact. The facility, known as Motala II, is an expansion of the earlier Motala I plant, making it the largest and most advanced plastic sorting plant globally.  Red-Sea crisis

Philipsson envisions a future with “no waste, no downcycling, and no emissions.” Currently recycling 33% of plastic packaging in Sweden, the plant’s advanced technology, including 500 tons of steel, nearly five kilometers of conveyor belts, infrared sensors, screening drums, ballistic separators, and state-of-the-art air purification systems, allows it to process 42 tons of material per hour, recovering 12 different plastic types. Plans for additional washing and pelletizing systems by 2025 aim to further enhance recycling capabilities and contribute to Sweden’s journey towards a closed-loop economy.

Svensk Plaståtervinning has recently inaugurated "Site Zero," the world's largest plastic sorting facility located in Motala, Sweden

SmartFactory – Developement of Smart Factories in textile industry with Industrie 4.0 approaches

Aim of the project SmartFactory is to frame the special demands of Product and Process Quality Management of Indusrtie 4.0 in Textile Industry and derive concrete approaches and possible potentials. To do this the current status in Production of Home Textiles with Jacquard Weaving is analyzed by Institute of Textile Technology (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University. As result the typical processes and structures for a Smart Textile Fabric of Future are expected. Red-Sea crisis

As shown in the picture the project is divided into two main parallel branches on the mend to Smart Textile Fabric. The first goal is to develop the Smart Weaving Factory. In the smart weaving factory the weaving machines are upgraded to so-called Cyber-physical systems and are able to intelligently interact with their environment. The project is focused on automatic Process and Product Quality Control. The second goal is to develop a consistent Communication Strategy to link the Production Chain as a basis for the Smart Textile Fabric.  Red-Sea crisis

To do this an existing strategy from other industrial branches is picked and concretized for a weaving company with an implementation recommendation. It is used as a guideline for further developments and includes vertical and horizontal communication.

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SmartFactory – Developement of Smart Factories in textile industry with Industrie 4.0 approaches

NREL researchers produce first macromolecular model of plant secondary cell wall; more efficient utilization of biomass for fuels, chemicals, and materials

Researchers with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have defined quantitatively the relative positioning and arrangement of the polymers in Populus wood and to create a computer model that details the findings.

The research into solving this macromolecular puzzle, which appears in an open-access paper in the journal Science Advances, may hold the key to disentangle and deconstruct biomass efficiently for conversion to fuels, chemicals, and materials.

Scientists have long known that the secondary cell wall of hardwoods involves three major biopolymers—cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin—but detailed and quantitative understanding of how these polymers are arranged relative to each other has remained elusive.  Red-Sea crisis

The researchers capitalized on advances in the field of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) technology to infer refined details about the structural configuration of the cell wall, the intermolecular interactions, and the relative positions of the biopolymers within the wood. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an atomic-level method to determine the chemical structure, 3D structure and dynamics of solids and semi-solids.

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NREL researchers produce first macromolecular model of plant secondary cell wall; more efficient utilization of biomass for fuels, chemicals, and materials

Bio-nylon fiber – Volkswagen has achieved a significant milestone in the development of solid-state batteries through successful testing with QuantumScape 06-01-2024

Red-Sea crisis

PET-Bottle Nylon – Germany delays plastic tax to 2025 08-01-2024

PET-Bottle Nylon

PET-Bottle Nylon

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

PET-Bottle Nylon

PET-Bottle Nylon

Polyestertime
ITEM 02/01/2024 08/01/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,975 yuan/ton 6,900 yuan/ton -75
Bottle grade PET chips export market 895 $/ton 890 $/ton -5
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,790 yuan/ton 6,760 yuan/ton -30
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,790 yuan/ton 6,760 yuan/ton -30
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,940 yuan/ton 5,780 yuan/ton -160
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 740 $/ton 730 $/ton  

-10

 

Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,385 yuan/ton 4,555 yuan/ton +170
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 520 $/ton 535 $/ton +15
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

PET-Bottle Nylon

1,020 $/ton 1,016 $/ton
-4
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 997 $/ton 994 $/ton -3
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,050 $/ton 1,070 $/ton +20
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,600  yuan/ton 7,580 yuan/ton
-20
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,600 yuan/ton 7,600 yuan/ton +50
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,900 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

PET-Bottle Nylon

8,900 yuan/ton 8,950 yuan/ton +50
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,225 yuan/ton 8,230 yuan/ton +5
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,300 yuan/ton 7,280 yuan/ton -20
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 13,800 yuan/ton 13,800 yuan/ton
+50
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,600 $/ton 1,630 $/ton +30
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,880 $/ton 1,880 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 14,400 yuan/ton 14,425 yuan/ton +25
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

PET-Bottle Nylon

15,000 yuan/ton 15,050 yuan/ton +50
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,500 yuan/ton 19,500 yuan/ton
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 17,050 yuan/ton 17,100 yuan/ton +50
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 19,200 yuan/ton 19,250 yuan/ton- +50
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,850 yuan/ton 17,850 yuan/ton
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

PET-Bottle Nylon

34,500 yuan/ton 34,500 yuan/ton
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 33,000 yuan/ton 33,000 yuan/ton
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  30,000 yuan/ton 30,000 yuan/ton
Adipic Acid domestic market 9,500 yuan/ton 9,550 yuan/ton +50
Benzene domestic market

PET-Bottle Nylon

7,455 yuan/ton 7,410 yuan/ton -45
Benzene overseas  market 882 $/ton 897 $/ton +15
Ethylene South East market 850 $/ton 850 $/ton
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

PET-Bottle Nylon

9,700 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,650 yuan/ton 12,650 yuan/ton
PP Powder domestic market

PET-Bottle Nylon

7,200 yuan/ton 7,150 yuan/ton -50
Naphtha overseas market  672 $/ton 639 $/ton -33
Phenol domestic market 7,475 yuan/ton 7,227 yuan/ton -248

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

PET-Bottle Nylon

Germany delays plastic tax to 2025

The German government has announced the postponement of the new tax on non-recycled plastic packaging, now set to come into effect no earlier than 2025, as opposed to the initially proposed timeline for this year.

The decision was justified by the government’s need for additional time to formulate regulations aimed at minimizing bureaucratic burdens.

The extension is likely influenced by the collective appeal of five associations within the plastic packaging industry, urging federal authorities to permanently withdraw the measure.  PET-Bottle Nylon

These associations argue that the tax could prove ineffective or even counterproductive for the environment, ultimately burdening consumers with increased prices for packaged goods.

Martin Engelmann, the director of IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoff Verpackungen, representing German plastic packaging manufacturers, emphasizes the lack of clarity regarding who should pay, for what, and how much, just three weeks after the initial announcement.

Engelmann suggests that the federal government should recognize the impracticality of a populist plastic tax given the dense existing packaging regulations in Germany.

He notes that the tax announcement has already created uncertainty, leading to the suspension of investment decisions and an acceleration of plans to relocate production abroad within the industry.  PET-Bottle Nylon

The tax originated from the German government’s decision to make companies pay an 800-euro per ton contribution to the EU to cover the budget gap resulting from the UK’s Brexit.

This tax, applicable to non-recycled plastic packaging waste, has not been passed on to packaging producers by the German government, similar to the approach taken by Italy and many other European countries, funding it within the federal budget.

Germany delays plastic tax to 2025

Bio-nylon fiber – Volkswagen has achieved a significant milestone in the development of solid-state batteries through successful testing with QuantumScape 06-01-2024

Bio-nylon fiber

Toray and Porter™ unveil groundbreaking initiative with bio-nylon fiber

Volkswagen has achieved a significant milestone in the development of solid-state batteries through successful testing with QuantumScape

As the major shareholder and primary customer of QuantumScape, Volkswagen has reported promising results from tests conducted on the solid-state batteries supplied by the U.S. startup. The prototype demonstrated performance exceeding expectations, indicating that the technology is theoretically ready for commercialization.

In laboratory tests conducted by PowerCo, Volkswagen’s battery-focused subsidiary, the QuantumScape solid-state battery exhibited only a 5% storage loss after 1,000 charge cycles.  Bio-nylon fiber

This unexpected durability implies that the battery could power an electric vehicle for 500,000 km, losing only 5% of its initial capacity over the entire distance. This result surpasses industry benchmarks, where a solid-state battery is typically considered market-ready if it loses 20% after 700 cycles.

Frank Blome, Head of PowerCo, expressed optimism, stating, “We are facing very encouraging information. This battery is a prelude to energy storage systems with high autonomy, fast charging capabilities, and slow aging.”

QuantumScape’s CEO, Jagdeep Singh, shares the enthusiasm, expressing the company’s commitment to bringing their batteries to market as quickly as possible. Their strategy involves an initial focus on consumer electronics and later expanding into the automotive sector, adapting production capacity accordingly.  Bio-nylon fiber

Bio-nylon fiber

GAIKER has a new pilot plant for the chemical recycling of complex PET waste

This equipment makes it possible to scale up chemical recycling processes to a suitable size between laboratory processes and industrial plants.

The GAIKER Technology Centre, a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance (BRTA), together with the Swiss company POLYMETRIX AG have developed an innovative technology and built a new pilot plant for the chemical recycling of PET waste.

This equipment has a 150 L chemical reactor and a series of batch and continuous post-treatment and purification stages that allow it to produce high purity chemical monomers, valid for the synthesis of new PET, even food grade, and other high added value products such as PU resins, unsaturated polyester resins, paint resins, etc. Thus, it can respond to the needs of different sectors such as plastic waste recycling, petrochemicals and polymer synthesis, while promoting the circular economy.  Bio-nylon fiber

Thanks to this plant, GAIKER can assess the suitability of complex PET waste for the production of high purity chemical monomers and define the design bases for industrial plants for the treatment of this waste. In addition, it can generate samples of the various process flows for the different stages that allow the scaling and quality parameters to be defined in each one of them.

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Bio-nylon fiber

As the world swims in plastic, some offer an answer: Ban the toxic two

China Aims to Create the World’s Largest Decentralized Power Grid with 3,000-Cycle Batteries

China is taking significant strides toward building the world’s largest decentralized power grid, focusing on electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids. With a foresight surpassing other markets transitioning to future mobility, China outlined objectives for bidirectional charging, specifically emphasizing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. The initiative recognizes the need for an integrated ecosystem capable of supporting the increasing volumes of EVs on the road.  Bio-nylon fiber

Key aspects of the plan include:

  1. Durable Batteries: China seeks next-generation batteries capable of enduring 3,000 cycles without cost increases. This durability is crucial for utilizing EVs as distributed energy storage systems during idle periods, contributing to more efficient energy management, particularly from renewable sources.
  2. Intelligent V2G Implementation: By 2025, China aims to launch numerous pilot projects studying the interaction between EVs and the power grid. The goal is for battery-powered vehicles to provide 60% of their own charging power by 2030, potentially reaching 80% in certain cities. This ambitious target could revolutionize China’s energy system, harnessing wind and solar power with millions of kWh available from parked EVs connected to charging stations.
  3. Role of Battery Swap Stations: Thousands of battery swap stations, each with multiple batteries, are expected to play a crucial role. Companies like NIO, focusing on swappable battery technology, envisioned their stations as virtual power plants actively managing the grid’s load. This vision appears to be on the verge of realization.  Bio-nylon fiber

In summary, China’s comprehensive strategy aligns EVs with the power grid, emphasizing durable batteries and intelligent V2G implementation, potentially reshaping the nation’s energy landscape.

China Aims to Create the World's Largest Decentralized Power Grid with 3,000-Cycle Batteries

Wang Chuanfu, 56, founder of Byd, emerges as a formidable challenger to Elon Musk’s dominance in the electric vehicle market

In contrast to Musk’s flamboyance, Chuanfu maintains a reserved demeanor, avoiding social media and embodying understatement. While Musk mocks events like Davos, Chuanfu quietly attends. Both share humble beginnings and a messianic belief in science serving society.  Bio-nylon fiber

Chuanfu, a chemistry-physics graduate with a metallurgy Ph.D. from Central South University of Technology, epitomizes a leader molded by the “people’s policy.” He grew up in rural China, orphaned at an early age, emphasizing a redemptive drive for the underprivileged.

In contrast, Musk represents the American dream, leaving a physics Ph.D. program for entrepreneurial pursuits after an economics degree. Both, however, prioritize disruptive technology. Chuanfu’s Byd, initially a battery factory funded by relatives, thrives on self-reliance, mirroring Musk’s early reliance on family support for his startup.

Their management styles converge in cost control, strict in-house production, and demanding work conditions. Chuanfu’s division of production into “increasingly smaller phases” mirrors Musk’s preference for specialized tasks. Both exhibit a ruthless approach to labor, with Musk eschewing unions and enforcing demanding schedules, while Chuanfu’s workforce specializes in narrowly defined roles.  Bio-nylon fiber

Chuanfu, married to Li Ke, Byd’s early marketing manager, exemplifies resilience and commitment to a shared vision, reflecting in both personal relationships and business strategy. As Byd outpaces Tesla in the last quarter of 2023, the clash of these automotive titans intensifies, contrasting the reserved “zero social” Chuanfu against the flamboyant Musk in the evolving electric vehicle landscape.

Wang Chuanfu, 56, founder of Byd, emerges as a formidable challenger to Elon Musk's dominance in the electric vehicle market

“Groundbreaking Achievement: World’s First Graphene Semiconductor Unveiled by Georgia Tech Researchers”

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has announced a groundbreaking achievement in the realm of electronics – the creation of the world’s first fully functional graphene semiconductor. This development marks a significant leap forward as it presents a tangible alternative to silicon, capable of overcoming its limitations and potentially revitalizing Moore’s Law.  Bio-nylon fiber

The primary challenge in semiconductor production revolves around the extreme miniaturization of transistors, leading to unwanted effects such as electron migration through the isolation barrier between the electrical channel and the gate. This results in current loss, contributing to energy consumption and chip overheating. Additionally, quantum effects become relevant at atomic transistor sizes, introducing unpredictable variations in device behavior.

The use of graphene as a semiconductor offers a promising alternative to silicon due to its unique properties. The epitaxial graphene developed by the Georgia Tech researchers has demonstrated superior electron mobility, enabling increased efficiency and computational speed compared to silicon.  Bio-nylon fiber

Led by Professor Walter de Heer, the research team spent a decade perfecting graphene on silicon carbide wafers, resulting in epitaxial graphene bound to silicon carbide. Tests indicate that this material exhibits ten times higher electron mobility than silicon, translating to significantly faster electronic calculations.

The significance of this achievement is underscored by the material’s superiority to other two-dimensional semiconductors in development. Professor de Heer likened it to the first flight by the Wright brothers in aviation history.  Bio-nylon fiber

Epitaxial graphene production is compatible with conventional microelectronics processing methods and holds potential for future advancements in quantum computing. The breakthrough opens new possibilities for the electronics industry, promising increased speed, efficiency, and compatibility with existing manufacturing processes.

"Groundbreaking Achievement: World's First Graphene Semiconductor Unveiled by Georgia Tech Researchers"

Plastic Waste – Problems at world’s largest existing green hydrogen project will not be solved until late 2025, Sinopec admits 05-01-2024

Bio-nylon fiber

Plastic Waste – Problems at world’s largest existing green hydrogen project will not be solved until late 2025, Sinopec admits 05-01-2024

Plastic Waste

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Hyosung nears full operation as spandex demand recovers

Hyosung TNC’s creora® bio-based spandex [Image source: Hyosung TNC]

South Korea’s Hyosung TNC Co. recently saw its spandex production facility operating at a rate exceeding 90 percent as demand for the functional fiber shows signs of recovery.
According to industry sources on Tuesday, the operating rate at Hyosung TNC’s spandex production facility topped 90 percent as of the end of 2023. The increase in production is attributed to the rising demand for spandex in China, the largest exporter of petrochemical products.
According to NH Investment & Securities Co., spandex demand in China increased by 13.4 percent during the first ten months of 2023 from the same period the previous year, hitting 690,000 tons. Plastic Waste

China’s self-sufficiency rate in spandex products is declining, with spandex imports increasing by 88.1 percent and exports decreasing by 2.7 percent over the same period.
Demand for spandex is expected to remain robust this year. HI Investment & Securities Co. estimates the global increase in spandex demand to be around 100,000 to 110,000 tons in 2024, noting that the increased production capacity in China and India in the second half of 2023 was only around 77,000 tons.

Plastic Waste

Green Bioplastics Can Help Reduce Plastic Waste In Japan

A new study sheds light on the potential of green bioplastics in achieving Japan’s carbon-neutral goals.

In a new study, researchers from Kyushu University and a Yokohama-based startup called Sotas Co., Ltd. presented a novel approach to help meet Japan’s ambitious goals of carbon neutrality by 2050. Japan ranks second in producing plastic waste per capita, globally. The study, published in Sustainability, highlighted the importance of environment friendly bioplastics and called for a major change in the country’s policies.

The main way Japan currently gets rid of plastic waste is by thermal recycling or incineration, leading to release of carbon dioxide, a gas that contributes to climate change, into the atmosphere. Plastic Waste

This has prompted the government to seek out greener, less conventional means of reaching carbon neutrality.

“We have examined whether switching to more sustainable recycled plastics and bioplastics is a competitive and effective alternative to current carbon reduction policies,” said Andrew Chapman, professor at the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy and Research, Kyushu University, in an article published by the university. Chapman is the corresponding author of the study.

The researchers looked at six common plastic types. Four key criteria—global warming potential, cost, recyclability, and perceived quality for manufacturers—formed the basis of their analysis.  Plastic Waste

Plastic Waste

Problems at world’s largest existing green hydrogen project will not be solved until late 2025, Sinopec admits

Chinese oil giant suggests that the electrolysers at the 260MW Kuqa facility in northwest China are only operating at about 20% of capacity

Sinopec has admitted that the problems at its existing 260MW Kuqa green hydrogen project in northwest China — first revealed publicly by Hydrogen Insight last month — will not be fully resolved until late 2025.

The Chinese oil giant has also inadvertently pointed out that the facility in the Xinjiang region — the world’s largest — is only operating at about 20% of its planned capacity.

As Hydrogen Insight exclusively revealed, the alkaline electrolysers at the plant, which have been supplied by three different Chinese manufacturers (Cockerill Jingli, Longi and Peric), all have their own technical problems, but share the same problem — they cannot safely produce hydrogen when receiving electricity that results in the production of less than about 50% of its maximum output, according to research house BloombergNEF (BNEF). Plastic Waste

This is a major problem when the 260MW of electrolysers are directly powered by 361MW of solar power (and wind energy bought from the grid at added cost), and has resulted in far lower production levels than the 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen expected annually.

In what has widely been reported in China as a response to BNEF’s findings, Sinopec issued two statements on Christmas Day on the Chinese social network website Weibo, which attempted to change the narrative on the project. Plastic Waste

“As of December 21, the project has been operating smoothly for 4,200 hours, with a cumulative 22.36 million cubic metres of green hydrogen transported to the end-user Tahe Refining and Chemical [a Sinopec subsidiary],” the company posted.

More…

Plastic Waste

Trioworld to acquire Wentus

On December 30, Trioworld Group signed an agreement to acquire the German company Wentus GmbH (Wentus), a leading player in solutions for high-performance food-, consumer- and hygiene packaging, from Egeria Group.

“We are very pleased and excited to welcome Wentus into the Trioworld group. The acquisition will give us the opportunity to grow an even stronger position in the market for advanced food-, consumer- and hygiene packaging, in Europe and in North America. Wentus has a proven track record of supplying the market with premium products and superior support, to maximize value for customers.  Plastic Waste

“We have great confidence in the capabilities of the Wentus organization and management and look forward to joining forces and continuing the successful journey” says Andreas Malmberg, CEO of the Trioworld Group.

“We are very pleased to have found a partner in Trioworld that is a perfect fit for us and whose product portfolio is ideally complemented by Wentus. We are looking forward to working with a professional and ambitious team that we have already had the opportunity to get to know intensively during the sales process and whose management culture suits us well” says Mr. Christof Renz, Managing Director of Wentus. Plastic Waste

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Trioworld to acquire WentusTrioworld to acquire WentusTrioworld to acquire Wentus

Egypt’s parliament approves law for green hydrogen incentives

Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday gave the green light to a law introducing incentives for the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives as the country seeks to become a major producer and exporter of the clean fuel.

The law seeks to endorse incentives, exemptions, and guarantees to retain existing investors who have committed to green hydrogen production and its derivatives through memorandums of understanding and framework agreements. Plastic Waste

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The nation has secured 29 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for green hydrogen. Among these, following the hosting of COP27 in 2022, nine framework agreements have been signed for green hydrogen projects within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), totalling investments amounting to USD 85 billion (EUR 77.58bn).

The goal is to establish an appealing investment environment that empowers these investors to accelerate the execution of their projects within Egypt, with the goal of positioning the country as a global hub for green hydrogen. Plastic Waste

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Egypt's parliament approves law for green hydrogen incentives

Following weak downstream demand in 2023, European Ethylene prices may continue to fall in Q1 2024

The European Ethylene market is poised to conclude 2023 with a stronger sentiment, driven by increasing upstream values. However, market players report limited demand for Ethylene from the downstream polyEthylene and Ethylene oxide industry across the regional market due to a weak buying appetite among consumers. This limitation, however, has not been sufficient to drive Ethylene price realizations lower.

Throughout 2023, EU countries faced substantial challenges, including firm inflation, rising interest rates by the central bank, economic slowdown, elevated natural gas, and electricity prices against the backdrop of the energy crisis resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war.  Plastic Waste

This crisis has impacted the prices of several commodities, including Ethylene. Moreover, it is expected that European chemical makers may face a challenging market again in 2024 as weak economic growth and oversupply weigh on the Ethylene market.

According to the latest ChemAnalyst database, Ethylene prices in the German market increased by USD 10/MT in the last week of December 2023.

The rise in feedstock naphtha prices in the prior week has resulted in higher manufacturing costs of Ethylene across the domestic market, leading to bullish market sentiments among manufacturers.  Plastic Waste

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Following weak downstream demand in 2023, European Ethylene prices may continue to fall in Q1 2024

SÜDPACK expands its involvement in CARBOLIQ

With effect from January 2, 2024, SÜDPACK has acquired additional shares of CARBOLIQ GmbH and appointed Dirk Hardow as Managing Director. By doing so, SÜDPACK is demonstrating its commitment to a closed-loop system for plastics and to chemical recycling as a complementary recycling technology. Dirk Hardow, who as Manager of the BU FF&C is responsible for matters such as the development and implementation of closed-loop models, will lead the company as its managing director in the future.  Plastic Waste

The acquisition of a majority stake in CARBOLIQ was signed on December 15. For Erik Bouts, CEO of SÜDPACK, this is “the logical next step. We regard CARBOLIQ technology as an indispensable building block in our industry’s process of transformation towards a circular economy.”

With the acquisition, the film manufacturer is simultaneously substantiating its leading position in terms of a circular economy in the industry for flexible packaging. Because so far, SÜDPACK is the only manufacturer of flexible films with direct access to capacities for chemical recycling.  Plastic Waste

“We believe quite profoundly in the benefits of this advanced technology compared to other oiling processes,” highlighted Dirk Hardow. “In terms of energy consumption and the processing window for a broad range of recyclables, CARBOLIQ technology offers significant advantages in comparison to other processes from our point of view,” elaborated Hardow.

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SÜDPACK expands its involvement in CARBOLIQ

Plastic Waste

Enzymatic recycling – Scientists developed a new family of polymers that can kill bacteria 04-01-2024

Enzymatic recycling

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Onset of 2024 Sees Asia’s Naphtha Prices Falling Below $100 per Tonne

The naphtha markets in Asia commenced 2024 on a downtrend, responding to the surge in crude oil benchmarks fueled by geopolitical tensions in the Gulf of Aden. The crack experienced a significant dip, plummeting by approximately $19 to $88.85 per metric ton relative to Brent crude.

On the Singapore trade window, naphtha witnessed no trading activity. However, the cracks found support from a series of transactions involving the benchmark-grade of gasoline. Enzymatic recycling

Unipec, a prominent trader, acquired 200,000 barrels of the 92-octane grade of transportation fuel. Simultaneously, Vitol secured 300,000 barrels of the same grade.

In the realm of refined fuel export quotas, China took a notable step by issuing its initial quotas for 2024, totaling 19 million metric tons. This volume remained unchanged from the previous year and aligned closely with market expectations. The stability in export quotas indicates a consistent approach from China in navigating the refined fuel landscape.

Oil prices experienced a surge in the first trading session of the New Year, propelled by several factors. Enzymatic recycling

The possibility of disruptions in Middle East supply chains following a naval clash in the Red Sea contributed to the upward momentum. Additionally, optimistic sentiments arose from expectations of robust holiday demand and economic stimulus in China, the world’s leading importer of crude oil.

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Onset of 2024 Sees Asia's Naphtha Prices Falling Below $100 per Tonne

Scientists developed a new family of polymers that can kill bacteria

A major step in the fight against superbugs like E. coli and MRSA.

The World Health Organization has recognized the swift emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a global threat, urging the urgent development of new antibiotics. Cationic polymers, a promising class of bioactive agents, induce bacterial cell death by physically disrupting their membranes. However, the polymerization processes must be carefully designed to optimize the therapeutic potential of cationic polymers.

Scientists, led by Texas A&M University, have made progress in addressing the threat of antibiotic resistance by developing a new family of polymers. These polymers can kill bacteria without disrupting the microorganisms’ membranes without inducing antibiotic resistanceEnzymatic recycling

The recently synthesized polymers hold potential in combating antibiotic resistance by offering antibacterial molecules that operate through a mechanism resistant to development by bacteria.

The Michaudel Laboratory, operating at the intersection of organic chemistry and polymer science, synthesized the new polymer. This involved designing a positively charged molecule that could be repetitively stitched to create a large molecule with the same repeating set motif using a catalyst named AquaMet. The catalyst’s unique capability to tolerate high concentrations of charges while being water-soluble proved crucial for this process.  Enzymatic recycling

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Enzymatic recycling

Bizente project evaluates enzymatic recycling for resins, composites

Among the latest advances are toxicity tests, used to evaluate the effect of different resins and plastic degrading on aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and thus determine the technology’s long-term sustainability.

The EU project Bizente, coordinated by the Aitiip Technology Centre (Zaragoza, Spain), is facing its last months of work. The 3-year research, aided by an international consortium made up of a dozen partners, has announced the development of an enzymatic technology for recycling thermoset composites, to give them a second life. Through protein engineering, Bizente has successfully molecularly modified enzymes and resins, making them suitable for controlled biodegradation in a bioreactor. Sectors such as aviation and construction could benefit.  Enzymatic recycling

Among the latest advances are the toxicity tests being carried out by a group of scientists from the University of Cadiz (Spain), in collaboration with the rest of the project consortium, with the aim of evaluating the effect of different resins and plastic degrading products developed within the framework of the project on aquatic and terrestrial organisms, such as earthworms. The laboratory is studying these invertebrates as model organisms of great importance in the terrestrial ecosystem and as indicators of soil health. They are also beginning to work with artemia (brine shrimp), as they are considered the base of the trophic chain in aquatic systems.

In this way, the environments in which these materials could biodegrade are being recreated, and their degree of toxicity measured, taking into account possible anomalies in the different organisms. In the case of the worms, the observation examines whether external alterations occur, such as changes in weight, swelling, lesions, spasms, coiling, attempts to escape, lethargy and a host of strange behaviors, in addition to whether mortality is reached. Enzymatic recycling

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Enzymatic recycling

World’s largest economy US holds strong despite challenges: CEBR

  • In 2023, the world’s largest economy showcased resilience with a PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of $80,412, and growth rates of 2.1 per cent in 2022 and 2.2 per cent in 2023, despite aggressive rate hikes.
  • Consumer spending, bolstered by employment, fuelled this growth, but cooling is expected due to fiscal reductions and interest rate effects.

In a year filled with economic hurdles, the world’s largest economy stood resilient, boasting an estimated Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)-adjusted GDP per capita of $80,412 in 2023. Despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes totalling a full percentage point, the nation’s economy surpassed expectations with a growth rate of 2.1 per cent in 2022, accelerating slightly to 2.2 per cent in 2023, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said in a recent report. Enzymatic recycling

Consumer spending, buoyed by employment strength, played a pivotal role in the year’s economic narrative. However, as 2024 approaches, the economic landscape appears more subdued. The delayed effects of interest rate hikes and reductions in fiscal spending are expected to cool consumer expenditure and overall economic momentum, as per the CEBR report titled ‘World Economic League Table 2024’.

Inflation, which moderated to an estimated 4.1 per cent in 2023, remains a focal point. Despite a downward trend, prices are projected to stay above the Federal Reserve’s 2 per cent target into 2024, keeping policymakers and consumers watchful.

Enzymatic recycling

“Electric Cars and Environmental Impact: A Detailed Study Reveals the True Picture”

In the ever-expanding landscape of European and global transportation, electric cars have become a well-established reality. However, a recent study by the VDI, the Association of German Engineers, has shed light on the environmental impact of electric cars compared to conventional ones, examining various parameters. Enzymatic recycling

The study reveals that currently, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) face a disadvantage due to the substantial carbon dioxide emissions associated with battery production. The “break-even point” for CO2 emissions between an electric car and a conventional one is shifted over the years and mileage. While electric cars compensate for emissions during operation by producing no exhaust emissions, this only partially offsets the environmental impact linked to vehicle production.

The VDI’s expert group conducted a detailed study comparing the ecological balance of electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and conventionally fueled diesel and gasoline vehicles in the German market. Results show that electric cars in this category reach an emissions equilibrium after approximately 90,000 km. Looking further, up to a mileage of 200,000 km, electric and hybrid cars outperform diesel and gasoline cars in terms of carbon footprint. Enzymatic recycling

However, it’s crucial to note that electric cars, like hybrids, carry a significant CO2 burden from their inception. This is primarily attributed to production in Asia, where most battery cells originate, causing substantial greenhouse gas emissions during transport. To address this, the VDI President, Joachim Damasky, suggests a solution: a substantial and rapid expansion of renewable energy production, green battery development, and sustainable fuel for existing vehicles.

For electric cars to truly become environmentally friendly, Damasky proposes producing them as close to the factories as possible, minimizing transportation emissions and utilizing cutting-edge fuel technologies. This approach could potentially lower the emissions break-even point, currently set at 90,000 km, encouraging more motorists to embrace the environmentally friendly aspects of electric vehicles. Enzymatic recycling

"Electric Cars and Environmental Impact: A Detailed Study Reveals the True Picture"

Breakthrough in Solid-State Batteries: A More Powerful and Affordable Future

Researchers at MIT and German engineers have developed innovative solid-state batteries with crystallized electrolytes. The pursuit of innovation in batteries is driven by two key priorities: performance and cost. The market demands increasingly powerful products while also seeking affordable energy storage solutions for the anticipated rise of economical electric vehicles. Enzymatic recycling

While lithium-ion batteries continue to improve in energy density and production cost reduction, the U.S. Department of Energy believes additional technologies are crucial for a definitive leap into the future. This is where MIT and the University of Munich researchers come into play.

Led by Jennifer Rupp from MIT, the team collaborated with German engineers from the Faculty of Engineering in Munich.  Enzymatic recycling

They created a new battery type utilizing solid-state electrolyte cells and lithium metal anodes instead of conventional graphite.

The groundbreaking aspect of this new battery lies in its solid electrolyte, derived not from traditional ceramic type but from a liquid containing lithium oxide, crystallized through a novel synthesis process.

Advantages of the New Production Method:

As reported in Angewandte Chemie, the solid electrolyte, produced through lithium ion crystallization, enables the creation of high-performance batteries at lower costs, ensuring safer energy storage without the formation of dendrites and without containing flammable elements.  Enzymatic recycling

These results have attracted the interest and funding support of the U.S. National Science Foundation, highlighting the potential of these innovative production methods. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of MIT and the University of Munich, solid-state batteries might be a step closer to reality.

Breakthrough in Solid-State Batteries: A More Powerful and Affordable Future

China Launches Trials for World’s Largest Plant Converting Coal-to-Ethanol

In a groundbreaking development, southeastern China has witnessed the initiation of test operations at the world’s largest coal-based ethanol production facility. With an impressive annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes, this pioneering plant marks a departure from conventional practices by harnessing coal, rather than crops, as the primary raw material for ethanol production.

Ethanol, valued as both a basic chemical and a petrol additive, stands out as a renewable energy source with properties akin to petrol. This move represents a significant stride in China’s endeavor to alleviate pressure on food sources while concurrently reducing dependence on fuel ethanol imports. Enzymatic recycling

The strategic choice of coal, specifically low-grade coal abundantly available in China, breaks away from traditional ethanol production methods that often involve corn or sugar cane. This shift addresses the critical concern of potential competition between ethanol production and the global food supply, a concern amplified by China’s escalating grain prices. In response to these challenges, China, endowed with vast coal reserves, seeks to carve out a sustainable and secure pathway by diverting from traditional raw materials, potentially saving millions of tonnes of grain annually.

The ramifications of this new production pathway extend beyond the realm of food security, encompassing broader implications for China’s energy security and the chemical industry supply chain. Enzymatic recycling

More…

China Launches Trials for World's Largest Plant Converting Coal-to-Ethanol

Postponement of Italian Plastics Tax to July 2024

Italy has once again delayed the implementation of the Single-Use Plastics Consumption Tax (MACSI), marking the sixth extension. The Italian Parliament, in its year-end Budget Law, granted another postponement for the tax on single-use plastic products, originally scheduled to take effect on January 1, but now rescheduled to commence on July 1, 2024, along with the ‘sugar tax’.  Enzymatic recycling

Initially approved in the 2020 Budget Law, the Italian plastics tax imposes a levy of 450 euros per ton (0.45 euros per kg) on single-use plastic packaging made from virgin plastic, including films and preforms. The scope of the tax excludes compostable plastics compliant with UNI EN 13432, recycled plastics, and all medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.

Despite six consecutive delays, the enforcement of the regulation is still pending the issuance of guidelines by the Director of the Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) to define the application rules.

The continual postponements raise questions about the readiness and consensus on the implementation of the plastics tax in Italy.  Enzymatic recycling

Postponement of Italian Plastics Tax to July 2024

Pyrolysis Plastic – BRICS to double membership on January 1 as UAE, others join 03-01-2024

Enzymatic recycling

Pyrolysis Plastic – BRICS to double membership on January 1 as UAE, others join 03-01-2024

Pyrolysis Plastic

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Pyrolysis Plastic Recycling: A Sustainable Solution for Plastic Waste

In the face of the escalating global plastic waste crisis, pyrolysis has emerged as a promising solution to tackle the environmental impact of plastic pollution. Pyrolysis is a chemical process that involves breaking down plastic materials into their constituent elements at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. This innovative recycling method offers a sustainable alternative to traditional disposal methods, such as landfilling or incineration.

Pyrolysis not only mitigates the environmental impact of plastic waste but also has the potential to generate valuable products.  Pyrolysis Plastic

The process yields liquid fuels, gases, and solid residues, which can be further refined or used in various industries. This circular approach to plastic recycling aligns with the principles of a circular economy, minimizing resource consumption and environmental harm.

One key advantage of pyrolysis is its ability to handle various types of plastic, including mixed and contaminated plastics that are challenging to recycle through conventional methods. This versatility makes pyrolysis a comprehensive solution for the diverse range of plastic waste generated globally.  Pyrolysis Plastic

Despite its potential, challenges such as scalability, cost-effectiveness, and regulatory frameworks need to be addressed for widespread adoption of pyrolysis plastic recycling. As research and development continue, pyrolysis stands as a beacon of hope in the quest for sustainable and efficient plastic waste management.

Pyrolysis Plastic

“2023: The Year China Hit the Brakes”

“China’s economy, once the envy of the world, has slowed down dramatically in 2023, facing multiple challenges at home and abroad. What went wrong and what lies ahead for the world’s second-largest economy?”
• China’s growth in 2023 falls short of expectations, as COVID-19 restrictions, real estate crisis, and foreign pressure weigh on the economy.
• China faces structural problems, such as debt, ageing, and low productivity, that require market reforms and social changes.
• China’s economic performance has global implications, as it affects trade, investment, and geopolitics.  Pyrolysis Plastic
• China’s zero-COVID policy has led to the closure of several cities, affecting millions of people and disrupting supply chains. For instance, the lockdown of Xi’an, a major industrial hub, in December 2023 has caused severe shortages of coal, steel, and other materials.
• China’s real estate sector, which accounts for about 25% of GDP, has been hit by a wave of defaults and bankruptcies, as property developers struggle to repay their debts. The most prominent case is Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer, which has failed to meet several interest payments and faces legal actions from creditors and protesters.
• China’s relations with the West have deteriorated in 2023, as the US and its allies have imposed sanctions, tariffs, and bans on Chinese companies and officials over human rights, cybersecurity, and territorial disputes.  Pyrolysis Plastic
The most controversial issue is the use of frozen Russian assets, worth over 200 billion euros, to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction after the Russian invasion, which China has strongly opposed and threatened to retaliate.
Pyrolysis Plastic

BRICS to double membership on January 1 as UAE, others join

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia have all confirmed joining the bloc, says official

The BRICS group will double its membership on January 1, as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Ethiopia join the alliance, South Africa’s envoy to the bloc has confirmed, according to a Bloomberg report.

The five existing members of the alliance, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, had invited six new countries to join the group last August. Out of the six states, only Argentina declined. Pyrolysis Plastic

This month, representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Ethiopia attended a BRICS sherpa gathering in Durban, South Africa, indicating that the five states “have accepted the invitation” to join the bloc, Anil Sooklal, Pretoria’s ambassador to the group, told Bloomberg.

The five countries are also expected to send their representatives to another sherpa meeting in Moscow on January 30.

Last August, the UAE announced it is joining the group after a successful application, citing that its decision to become a member reflects the country’s keenness to “champion the value of multilateralism”.  Pyrolysis Plastic

“This development forms part of the UAE’s commitment to promoting constructive dialogue through active platforms that represent developing and emerging economies,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, had said.

“The UAE has consistently championed the value of multilateralism in supporting peace, security and development globally.”

Pyrolysis Plastic

The introduction of a new reversible glue will bring about changes in recycling methods

A reversible glue has been developed by engineers that promises to revolutionize recycling processes. This water-based adhesive can eliminate bottle labels and help recycle materials while decreasing landfill waste.

A new type of adhesive has been developed by engineers at Newcastle University, which has the potential to revolutionize recycling practices.  Pyrolysis Plastic

The reversible feature makes it suitable for multiple purposes, such as removing the labels on bottles to streamline recycling.

Newcastle University’s School of Engineering experts developed a water-based emulsion that acts as a paint and can be separated by acidic or alkaline water.

The adhesive uses polymers with electrical charges to ensure stability and adhesion to different surfaces. If a positively charged emulsion is applied to a negatively charged emulsion, the resulting adhesive will stick together, but the bond may break if it is submerged in water with moderate pH (about lemon juice or lemon) or alkaline, opening up possibilities for recycling, as components that have already reached their expiration date can be separated on demand.  Pyrolysis Plastic

The School of Engineering’s Research Associate, Dr. Adriana Sierra-Romero, reported that Biffa’s recycling plant can remove a propylene label stuck to a PET bottle using our glue, as demonstrated by the first author.

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The introduction of a new reversible glue will bring about changes in recycling methods

Upcycling plastic into textiles offers two-in-one solutions

With billions of plastic bottles in production, making clothing from recycled PET provides a sustainable means to manage plastic, while mitigating the negative effects of the textile industry on the environment.  Pyrolysis Plastic

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As the world struggles to cope with plastic waste, we continue to rely on virgin resources for most textile production. With billions of plastic bottles in production, making clothing from recycled PET provides a sustainable means to manage plastic, while mitigating the negative effects of the textile industry on the environment.

DGrade has been supplying sustainably made Greenspun™ clothing produced from recycled plastic bottles since 2010. Sustainability has become a much higher priority in the Middle East since the company started, but more action is still needed especially in sustainable sourcing.  Pyrolysis Plastic

Environmental impact of textile industry

Traditional means of textile production are not sustainable. The textile industry accounts for 10% of carbon emissions produced annually, contributes to pollution, and relies heavily on resources for production.

Cotton, for example, requires a large amount of land for crop cultivation, vast quantities of water and pesticides and fertilisers to grow. This contributes to the pollution of waterways and the utilisation of land better used for growing food crops. At the same time virgin polyester is also in high demand with more than 60 million metric tonnes produced annually, yet it also drains resources including oil, water, and energy.

Producing yarn from recycled plastic bottles diverts plastic from landfills and saves 55% carbon emissions, 50% energy, 20% water, and uses no oil, compared to making conventional polyester yarn.  Pyrolysis Plastic

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Upcycling plastic into textiles offers two-in-one solutions

In the realm of electric vehicles, a transformative shift is underway, fueled by the emergence of nearly limitless batteries

Electric vehicles, heralded as the future of global transportation, symbolize a joint effort by manufacturers to reshape energy and environmental landscapes. While Europe faces challenges in adopting electric mobility due to complex electricity markets, the United States and the Far East embrace electric vehicles as best-sellers.
Despite Italy’s wealth of electric cars, its automotive industry lags in development. However, a groundbreaking battery named “Ciic” from China’s Catl promises unprecedented autonomy, potentially reaching 1000 kilometers with a mere 10.5 kWh per 100 km.  Pyrolysis Plastic
Revealed at the Dishui Lake Summit, the Ciic battery not only extends autonomy but also offers rapid charging, providing a 300 km range in just 5 minutes.
Catl envisions the Ciic platform reducing production costs, vehicle weight, and energy consumption. Hozon Auto, in collaboration with Catl, plans to integrate Ciic into models by the end of 2024.
Simultaneously, Gotion is transforming its cell production with the “Astroinno L600” battery. This battery, enriched with manganese, achieves remarkable energy density, boasting 240 Wh/kg and 525 Wh/L.
The Astroinno battery excels with over 4,000 charging cycles, an 18-minute full recharge time, and a 1,000 km autonomy.  Pyrolysis Plastic
Qian Cheng, executive chairman of Gotion Global, emphasizes the Astroinno battery’s high energy density, eliminating the need for NCM material. As these innovations unfold, electric vehicles are set for a greener and more efficient future in the global automotive industry.
In the realm of electric vehicles, a transformative shift is underway, fueled by the emergence of nearly limitless batteries

Advancements in Carbon Fiber Recycling: A Sustainable Solution

Carbon fiber, a lightweight and high-strength material, has become a staple in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive. However, as the use of carbon fiber continues to grow, so does the need for sustainable practices in its production and disposal. Carbon fiber recycling has emerged as a promising solution to address environmental concerns associated with its manufacturing and end-of-life management.  Pyrolysis Plastic

Traditional methods of carbon fiber production involve energy-intensive processes, contributing to a significant carbon footprint. Recycling offers a way to mitigate these environmental impacts by repurposing used or scrap carbon fiber materials. Unlike some materials that degrade in quality during recycling, carbon fiber can maintain its structural integrity through various recycling techniques.

Advanced technologies in carbon fiber recycling involve breaking down composite structures to recover high-quality carbon fibers. This process not only reduces the demand for new raw materials but also decreases energy consumption compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

Additionally, recycling carbon fiber helps divert significant amounts of waste from landfills, contributing to a circular economy.  Pyrolysis Plastic

As industries strive to meet sustainability goals, the adoption of carbon fiber recycling is a crucial step forward. Researchers and manufacturers are actively exploring innovative techniques to improve the efficiency of recycling processes, making carbon fiber an even more environmentally friendly choice for a wide range of applications. Embracing these advancements in carbon fiber recycling will undoubtedly contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

Advancements in Carbon Fiber Recycling: A Sustainable Solution

Plastics Production – Russia Witnesses 11.3% Surge in Plastics Production Over Four Months 02-01-2024

Pyrolysis Plastic

Bright-chip rPET – Reliance Industries pioneers chemical recycling of plastic waste into certified circular polymers 02-01-2024

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Bright-chip rPET

Bright-chip rPET

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

Bright-chip rPET

Bright-chip rPET

 

Polyestertime
ITEM 26/12/2023 02/01/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,925 yuan/ton 6,975 yuan/ton +50
Bottle grade PET chips export market 885 $/ton 895 $/ton +10
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,730 yuan/ton 6,790 yuan/ton +60
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,730 yuan/ton 6,790 yuan/ton +60
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,850 yuan/ton 5,940 yuan/ton +90
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 730 $/ton 740 $/ton  

+10

 

Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,380 yuan/ton 4,385 yuan/ton +5
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 517 $/ton 520 $/ton +3
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

Bright-chip rPET

1,024 $/ton 1,020 $/ton
-4
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 1,001 $/ton 997 $/ton -4
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,050 $/ton 1,050 $/ton
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,600  yuan/ton 7,600 yuan/ton
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,550 yuan/ton 7,600 yuan/ton +50
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,900 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

Bright-chip rPET

8,900 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,225 yuan/ton 8,225 yuan/ton
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,300 yuan/ton 7,300 yuan/ton
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 13,750 yuan/ton 13,800 yuan/ton
+50
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,600 $/ton 1,600 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,850 $/ton 1,880 $/ton +30
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 14,350 yuan/ton 14,400 yuan/ton +50
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

Bright-chip rPET

14,600 yuan/ton 15,000 yuan/ton +400
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,600 yuan/ton 19,500 yuan/ton -100
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 16,600 yuan/ton 17,050 yuan/ton +450
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 18,850 yuan/ton 19,200 yuan/ton- +350
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,450 yuan/ton 17,850 yuan/ton +400
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

Bright-chip rPET

34,500 yuan/ton 34,500 yuan/ton
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 33,000 yuan/ton 33,000 yuan/ton
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  30,000 yuan/ton 30,000 yuan/ton
Adipic Acid domestic market 9,100 yuan/ton 9,500 yuan/ton +400
Benzene domestic market

Bright-chip rPET

7,280 yuan/ton 7,455 yuan/ton +175
Benzene overseas  market 882 $/ton 882 $/ton
Ethylene South East market 850 $/ton 850 $/ton
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

Bright-chip rPET

9,700 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,650 yuan/ton 12,650 yuan/ton
PP Powder domestic market

Bright-chip rPET

7,330 yuan/ton 7,200 yuan/ton -130
Naphtha overseas market  674 $/ton 672 $/ton -2
Phenol domestic market 7,725 yuan/ton 7,475 yuan/ton -300

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

Bright-chip rPET

Reliance Industries pioneers chemical recycling of plastic waste into certified circular polymers

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Indian company to engage in the chemical recycling of plastic waste-derived pyrolysis oil, transforming it into International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC)-Plus certified circular polymers. This groundbreaking initiative, showcased through the innovative product line named CircuRepol™ (polypropylene) and CircuRelene™ (polyethylene), reflects RIL’s steadfast commitment to addressing plastic waste challenges and promoting a circular economy in India.  Bright-chip rPET

RIL, a diversified conglomerate spanning from oil to telecommunications, recently dispatched its inaugural shipment of ISCC-Plus-certified circular polymers, bearing the names CircuRepol™ and CircuRelene™. This accomplishment aligns seamlessly with RIL’s overarching vision of leveraging technology to revolutionize plastic recycling. By converting various types of plastic waste, including single-use and multi-layered plastics, into pyrolysis oil, RIL is actively collaborating with trusted partners to upscale oil production and translate the output into specialized circular polymers.

Notably, RIL’s Jamnagar refinery has earned the distinction of being the first refinery to secure the crucial ISCC-Plus certification, validating its capability to manufacture circular polymers through chemical recycling. This certification ensures rigorous adherence to traceability and manufacturing protocols, thereby establishing new benchmarks for circular economy practices.  Bright-chip rPET

RIL’s breakthrough technology not only contributes positively to environmental conservation but also offers the potential to produce high-quality materials for new plastics, particularly for food-contact packaging.

Reliance Industries pioneers chemical recycling of plastic waste into certified circular polymers

Plastics Production – Russia Witnesses 11.3% Surge in Plastics Production Over Four Months 02-01-2024

Plastics Production

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Bright-chip rPET – Reliance Industries pioneers chemical recycling of plastic waste into certified circular polymers

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Plastics Production

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

MadeRight, an innovative Israeli startup established in 2022 by Yotam David and Rotem Cahanovitc, is revolutionizing plastic packaging by harnessing the power of fungi

By cultivating fungi on industrial organic waste, typically considered challenging to manage, MadeRight transforms these waste streams into valuable biomaterials. This groundbreaking approach offers a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic production, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.  Plastics Production

The material developed by MadeRight seamlessly integrates into existing supply chains and packaging machinery, minimizing the need for significant manufacturing workflow adjustments. In a world grappling with the escalating plastic waste crisis, where 400 million tons of plastic packaging is generated annually, constituting 40% of global plastic production, MadeRight’s solution addresses the urgent need for more sustainable practices.

Plastic packaging, often laden with chemical additives for extending shelf life, poses challenges for recycling and composting. MadeRight addresses this predicament by replacing these additives with its fermented material.  Plastics Production

The startup grows fungi on diverse organic waste sources, such as food, agriculture, and wood chips, creating biomass that, when combined with fossil plastics, substitutes functional plastic additives.

Founded by individuals with a shared passion for fungi, MadeRight not only offers an environmentally friendly solution but also taps into a substantial market. With the global food packaging sector estimated at $363 billion and projected to reach $512 billion by 2028, the startup’s impact extends beyond ecological considerations.

Despite facing challenges, including relocating due to regional conflicts, MadeRight perseveres. Cahanovitc, the CEO, emphasizes the resilience of the company and its commitment to delivering sustainable solutions even in the face of adversity.

The potential of MadeRight’s approach lies in bridging gaps hindering the transition to eco-friendly packaging materials while leveraging the inherent qualities of fungi in the production process.  Plastics Production

Beyond Conventional Degradation: Catalytic Solutions for Polyolefin Upcycling

Polyolefins (POs, i.e., polyethylenes, ethylene/α-olefin copolymers, and polypropylenes) are the most ubiquitous synthetic macromolecular materials in modern life. Their widespread use and low recovery rate after extensive usage have caused significant resource waste and environmental concerns. Chemical recycling of POs provides an efficient approach to unravelling the polymer chain to various chemicals. However, conventional chemical recycling methods, including pyrolysis, hydrocracking, and oxidation, require high-energy input (typically >500 °C) and/or the use of environmentally unfriendly chemicals, leading to complex product distribution. Plastics Production 

In this minireview, based on recent representative works, we summarize and highlight catalytic strategies addressing these issues in PO recycling from two perspectives: (1) employing advanced catalysts or technique designs to overcome the challenges in conventional chemical deconstruction approaches; and (2) developing novel tandem/cascade catalytic systems for highly selective PO upcycling under relatively mild conditions. We hope that this minireview will help researchers better understand the state of the art of PO chemical recycling and inspire more innovative and efficient ideas for this fast-developing field.

Introduction

Due to its durability and relatively low production cost, plastic has become one of the most ubiquitous synthetic materials in our modern world.  Plastics Production

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Plastics Production

Russia Witnesses 11.3% Surge in Plastics Production Over Four Months

Over the course of 11 months in 2023, Russia has witnessed a noteworthy uptick in the production of plastics in primary forms, marking a 3.4% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This positive trajectory is primarily fueled by heightened production levels of polyethylene (PE) and formaldehyde resins, although the recent months have seen a somewhat less substantial increase in PE, standing at 1.8%. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of PE produced, surpassing other polymers, has contributed to an overall favorable trend in the broader plastics category.

The surge in the production of formaldehyde resins has been more pronounced, exhibiting a robust 9.6% increase over the 11-month period.  Plastics Production

Notably, this escalation in output began in September, with figures for the preceding eight months trailing behind the results recorded in the same period of the previous year.

On the flip side, the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has shown signs of improvement. While the volume of PVC production at the end of nine months was 2022.6% lower than the figures from the previous year’s six-month results, by the conclusion of the 11-month period, they essentially equalled the levels recorded in the corresponding period of the prior year.

In contrast, polyamides remain on the lower end of the spectrum, experiencing a substantial decline of 20.2% over the 11-month period compared to the same period in the previous year.  Plastics Production

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Plastics Production

Secondary supplies and importance of recycling

PGMs are valuable due to their unique properties and rarity. Because of this, recycling (also known as secondary supplies) is critical to conserve these precious resources and meet market demand.

Depending on the application, most PGMs are recoverable through the product lifecycle. Once recycled, secondary PGM has exactly the same properties as primary PGM, so ost of the PGM mined to date is still either in use or in a useable form. Plastics Production

PGMs are reused in two ways:

Open-loop recycling

The original purchaser of the metal does not retain control of the PGM, so the metal is available to the market once recovered. It contributes to market supply and helps bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Closed-loop recycling

Metal is retained within the same application by the same owner. For example, PGM recycled from spent chemical catalyst used make fresh catalyst to replace it. Because the net amount of metal in use has not changed, the ‘returned’ metal does not count as market supply, but it reduces the need for fresh metal to be purchased and therefore makes demand more sustainable. Plastics Production

Secondary supplies and importance of recycling

Recycled Polyolefins Close Year Up From Fall Lows

Pledges to incorporate recycled polymer materials did not translate into increased prices for the commodity in 2023, with prices generally falling for all grades and types of reclaimed and reprocessed materials. According to weekly reports from Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), many prices peaked in May/June and fell sharply in August. Prices for polyolefin materials rose somewhat from September through December.

PE scrap prices rose early in the year, fell and then recovered somewhat. Reprocessed PE grades and PP exhibited similar pricing trends. Photo Credits: Adapted from OPIS weekly reports.  Plastics Production

Recycled PP also found higher prices toward the end of the year.

Prices of Polyester Bales and Reprocessed Materials Fall

Bottle grade PET fell most dramatically, from 88 cents/lb in January to 56 cents/lb in December. Reprocessed FDA clear PET also declined significantly, while other grades of bales and regrind remained relatively flat.

Price movement in scrap and reprocessed polyethylene terepthalate (PET) varied by grade, but were generally flat or down for the year.  Plastics Production

More…

Recycled Polyolefins Close Year Up From Fall Lows

Battery Recycling: Understanding Core Charges

What is a Core Charge?

A core charge is a deposit that is levied when purchasing certain automotive parts, including batteries, with the intention of encouraging the return of the old or used part for recycling. In the context of battery recycling, when a consumer purchases a new battery, they are often required to pay a core charge, which acts as a deposit or incentive to ensure the return of the old battery for proper recycling. This practice is prevalent in the automotive industry and is aimed at promoting environmental responsibility by facilitating the collection and recycling of used batteries.  Plastics Production

The core charge is essentially a refundable deposit that serves as an incentive for consumers to return their old batteries for recycling rather than disposing of them improperly. It is important to note that the core charge is typically included in the initial purchase price of the new battery, and the amount varies based on the type and model of the battery. Once the old battery is returned, the core charge is refunded to the consumer, provided that the returned battery meets the required criteria for recycling.

When purchasing a new battery, consumers should expect to see the core charge listed as a separate line item on their invoice or receipt. This transparent approach ensures that consumers are aware of the deposit and its purpose, thereby promoting accountability and environmental stewardship.  Plastics Production

The concept of core charges aligns with the principles of a circular economy, where products and materials are reused, recycled, or repurposed to minimize waste and reduce environmental impact. By incorporating core charges into the purchase of automotive batteries, manufacturers and retailers actively participate in promoting sustainable practices and encouraging the responsible disposal and recycling of used batteries.

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Battery Recycling: Understanding Core Charges

Biomass-derived PET – Garware Technical Fibres has introduced an innovative coatable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) braided knotted net, marking a significant milestone in the industry 30-12-2023

Plastics Production

Biomass-derived PET – Garware Technical Fibres has introduced an innovative coatable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) braided knotted net, marking a significant milestone in the industry 30-12-2023

Biomass-derived PET

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

The forthcoming edition of the Milanese biennial dedicated to machine tools, robots, and automation, known as BI-MU, will spotlight Composites as one of its prominent themes. Slated for October 9 to 12, 2024, at Fieramilano Rho, this international exhibition encompasses machine tools, robots, automation, digital and additive manufacturing, as well as auxiliary and enabling technologies

The introduction of a thematic area exclusively devoted to composite materials marks a significant development, with the Composites theme being one of the eight integral components of the event.  Biomass-derived PET

In collaboration with Assocompositi, a notable association in the Italian composite materials sector, BI-MU organizers are actively engaged in crafting conferences focused on technological innovations and applications within the realm of composite materials. The decision to highlight Composites stems from BI-MU’s historic role as a magnet for key players in the automotive, aerospace, and energy sectors. These industries, along with others, widely employ composite materials, metals, and additive solutions.

Alfredo Mariotti, the General Director of Ucimu, the association promoting the exhibition, underscores the resilience and adaptability of BI-MU, which, with a history spanning over 60 years, has evolved into a pivotal international showcase for production systems, automation, robotics, and digital manufacturing. Biomass-derived PET

The success of the 2022 edition, drawing in 50,000 participants, underscores the enduring relevance and appeal of BI-MU in the rapidly evolving landscape of manufacturing and technology exhibitions.

Biomass-derived PET

Dwindling Demand Casts a Pall Over the US HDPE Market in December 2023

In the initial half of December 2023, the HDPE market experienced a decline in Western markets, especially in the US. This drop in prices can be mainly attributed to the weak demand for HDPE globally and sufficient stock availability. The decrease in the costs of feedstock Ethylene and upstream Crude oil in the region has also contributed to the downward trend in HDPE prices. Further, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, disruptions in the supply chain due to low water levels in the Panama Canal, and an attack by Houthi rebels, affecting transportation in the Red Sea amidst an economic slowdown, have collectively influenced market dynamics during this period and influenced pricing of HDPE. Biomass-derived PET

The US HDPE market showed a downshift as the demand from the downstream packaging and construction industries remained sluggish during the first half of this month. However, the feedstock Ethylene has been fluctuating as the market activity improved before the holidays, and upstream Naphtha continued to decline amid easing Crude oil prices. Further, the first week witnessed healthy market activity, characterized by the usual continuous customer order flow for HDPE. On the other side, some purchasers remained resolute in minimizing their buying activities towards the year-end, optimistic that December deals might extend into January while the export demand exhibited stability in Europe and Latin America. Biomass-derived PET

Sellers were receptive to reasonable bids, leading to lower prices in exchange for larger volumes, though within certain limits on the extent of discounting, which overall led to the price decline of HDPE in the USA. Moreover, the energy sector sustained a decline, with Crude Oil’s continuous drop which has overall impacted the production costs for the HDPE. Furthermore, the United States, being a significant exporter of HDPE to Asia, has experienced shipment delays due to restrictions in the Panama Canal caused by low water levels. While there hasn’t been any mention of the Suez Canal affecting US shipments at present, the situation could evolve if congestion at the Panama Canal intensifies, leading to additional delays in HDPE shipments. Biomass-derived PET

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Biomass-derived PET

Marubeni, Idemitsu, Oriental Petrochemical Taiwan to create biomass PTA supply chain

Marubeni Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., and Oriental Petrochemical Taiwan Co., Ltd. have collaboratively embarked on the creation of a groundbreaking supply chain for biomass Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), derived from biomass naphtha, marking a significant stride towards sustainability in the plastics industry. The consortium is delighted to announce their agreement to establish this innovative supply chain, with plans for the commencement of biomass PTA production in Taiwan in 2024, marking the first-ever production of its kind in the region. Biomass-derived PET

Idemitsu Kosan is set to play a pivotal role by producing biomass Paraxylene (PX) from biomass naphtha utilizing the mass balance method. Subsequen100% biomass-derived PETtly, Oriental Petrochemical Taiwan, operating as a PTA manufacturer within the Far Eastern New Century Group, will convert the biomass PX into biomass PTA. Marubeni will oversee the coordination of the supply chain’s establishment and manage the marketing aspects of the biomass products.

The significance of this endeavor lies in the potential to create  resin, a key component in PET bottles, by utilizing biomass PTA and biomass ethylene glycol. Overcoming the challenge of replacing petroleum-derived PTA with biomass-derived PTA marks a pivotal moment in the quest for sustainable materials in the plastics industry.

The raw material for biomass products, biomass naphtha, is derived from renewable sources such as plants, presenting a noteworthy reduction in CO2 emissions compared to naphtha derived from petroleum. Biomass-derived PET

Idemitsu Kosan’s biomass PX has already secured the esteemed “ISCC PLUS Certification,” ensuring the sustainable supply chain of products made from biomass. OPTC is slated to attain the same certification in 2024, further solidifying the environmental credentials of the entire supply chain.

This collaborative effort by Marubeni, Idemitsu Kosan, and Oriental Petrochemical Taiwan signifies a tangible contribution to CO2 reduction in the plastics industry, aligning with the broader goal of expediting the realization of a low-carbon society. Through the establishment of this forward-thinking supply chain, the trio aims to pioneer a sustainable paradigm for the production of PET resin, playing a transformative role in the global shift towards eco-friendly practices. Biomass-derived PET

Biomass-derived PET

India Remains on Top in Asia for Demand of Polyolefins Chemicals

India is expected to remain on top in Asia for demand of petrochemical in 2024 given its strong economic growth and resilient industrial production, said Exportgenius.
However, the greater demand is unlikely ro bring much relief to domestic producers struggling with pressure on margins as prices of key chemicals in bulk are expected to remain suppressed due to ample supplies and new capacities coming on stream. According to a report, India’s market for chemical commodities is predicted to grow at around 7% in 2023 and 8% in 2024. Biomass-derived PET
The robust demand of India’s chemical products is being driven by a sharp flow of economic activities after the country emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns. While India’s domestic chemicals demand is expected to stay strong in 2024, price expectations will not be very robust as the market struggles to find the right balance. This is due to new production capacities on stream in the country and in the rest of Asia, weak global demand, changing trade flows and volatile upstream prices.
India’s import of polyolefins – the largest chunk of its petrochemical import market surged significantly in 2023, crossed USD 200 million mark in first half of the year itself. This led by higher demand and increased imports from China, where downstream demand scenario stood weak. India’s imports of polyolefins from the world totalled USD 159 million in 2020, that increased to USD 360 million in 2022. Biomass-derived PET

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India Remains on Top in Asia for Demand of Polyolefins Chemicals

Photocatalytic recycling: University of Adelaide researchers use light to upcycle PE into ethylene

An international team of researchers, led by Professor Shizhang Qiao from the University of Adelaide, Australia, has developed a way to convert PE waste into ethylene (C2H4) and propionic acid, which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, using a light-driven photocatalysis method. Biomass-derived PET

The study outlines a method involving the atomic engineering of a titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst with reversible palladium (Pd) species. This modification enables the selective conversion of PE under mild conditions.

“We have upcycled polyethylene plastic waste into ethylene and propionic acid with high selectivity using atomically dispersed metal catalysts,” shares Qiao, chair of Nanotechnology and director of the Centre for Materials in Energy and Catalysis at the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Adelaide. Biomass-derived PET

“Plastic waste is an untapped resource that can be recycled and processed into new plastics and other commercial products. Catalytic recycling of PE waste is still in early development. It is practically challenging because of the chemical inertness of polymers and side reactions arising from structural complexities of reactant molecules.”

The process involves room-temperature, oxidation-coupled photocatalysis. The team achieved a 98.8% selectivity in propionic acid, which can be used as preservatives to extend the shelf life in food packaging or as plasticizers in producing certain packaging materials. Biomass-derived PET

itled “Photocatalytic Production of Ethylene and Propionic Acid from Plastic Waste by Titania-Supported Atomically Dispersed Pd Species,” the research was published in the journal Science Advances.

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Photocatalytic recycling: University of Adelaide researchers use light to upcycle PE into ethylene

Garware Technical Fibres has introduced an innovative coatable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) braided knotted net, marking a significant milestone in the industry

This pioneering product allows the application of traditional water-based antifouling paints, overcoming the challenge posed by HDPE fibers’ inherent low surface energy, which impedes paint adhesion. Unlike nylon nets with higher surface energy, HDPE nets typically resist water-based antifouling paints.

The breakthrough lies in Garware’s V4 technology, which selectively modifies the surface properties of polyolefin material without altering its bulk properties. By increasing the surface energy of the polyolefin fibers, the V4 Technology facilitates the spreading and adhesion of water-based antifouling paints on the net surface. Biomass-derived PET

Extensive trials in Scotland demonstrated comparable antifouling performance over a 100-day period in peak summer for both V4-treated CBN-CFR nets (braided knotted net) and nylon knotless nets. Pål Korneliussen, Country Manager for Norway, hailed this as a significant achievement.

While Garware’s Sapphire CFR nets have proven effective against dogfish attacks in Norway, a notable limitation for fish farmers has been the inability to antifoul the nets. The introduction of Garware’s polyethylene nets with antifouling properties addresses this challenge, offering fish farmers greater flexibility to alternate between antifouling painting and in-situ cleaning strategies based on site and regulatory conditions. With over 100 Coatable Braided HDPE Nets sold to the salmon farming industry, Garware continues to deliver exceptional performance in terms of antifouling paint efficacy and protection against predator attacks.  Biomass-derived PET

Garware Technical Fibres has introduced an innovative coatable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) braided knotted net, marking a significant milestone in the industry

Baxter Expands PVC Intravenous Bag Recycling Program

Baxter International has successfully completed the initial phase of its groundbreaking intravenous (IV) bag recycling pilot program, conducted in collaboration with Northwestern Medicine. This pioneering initiative has diverted over six tons of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) IV bag waste away from landfills, demonstrating a significant stride towards sustainable healthcare practices.  100% biomass-derived PET

Cecilia Soriano, President of Baxter’s Infusion Therapies and Technologies division, underscores the importance of IV bags in healthcare, emphasizing their widespread use in hospitals for administering clinically essential solutions such as fluids, nutrition, and medicines. The conventional disposal method for non-hazardous IV bags involves draining residual fluids and discarding them as waste, contributing to landfill accumulation. Baxter’s pilot program, however, introduces a novel approach by integrating material separation for recycling into the nursing workflow. This innovative process addresses common space constraints in hospital settings and engages stakeholders from various Northwestern Memorial Hospital departments.  100% biomass-derived PET

Partnering with dedicated third-party logistics and recycling firms, the collected PVC IV bags undergo transportation and inspection before being recycled into diverse products, including industrial floor mats and protective edging for docks and landscaping. The success of this pilot phase is attributed to the collaboration with Northwestern Medicine and the active involvement of hospital departments in developing and implementing an efficient recycling process. All IV bags involved in the pilot were composed of PVC.

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Baxter Expands PVC Intravenous Bag Recycling Program

Sustainability Benefits – “Navigating the Future: The Evolution of Eco-Friendly Propulsion Technologies” 29-12-2023

100% biomass-derived PET

Sustainability Benefits – “Navigating the Future: The Evolution of Eco-Friendly Propulsion Technologies” 29-12-2023

Sustainability Benefits

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

“Navigating the Future: The Evolution of Eco-Friendly Propulsion Technologies”

In recent years, the automotive industry has undergone a transformative shift with the advent of electric cars. However, a new wave of innovation is emerging, challenging the dominance of electric vehicles (EVs) and bringing attention to the potential of eco-friendly petrol engines.

The push for zero-emission vehicles has been reinforced by the European Union’s commitment to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2035. While this ambitious goal aims to pave the way for a greener future, it recognizes the reality that internal combustion engine cars will persist on the roads until at least 2050, driven by those who made purchases before the 2035 deadline.  Sustainability Benefits

To address the challenge of reducing emissions from existing vehicles, Europe is exploring alternatives such as synthetic fuels derived from water and CO2, effectively removing the largest climate pollutant from the atmosphere. Additionally, biofuels sourced from plant residues and waste materials present another eco-friendly option.

While the EU envisions a future dominated by electric cars and environmentally friendly fuels by 2030, not all member states are in unanimous agreement. Italy, for instance, challenges the exclusive focus on electric vehicles and calls for a more technologically neutral approach. Giorgia Meloni, the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, expresses support for the electrification of light vehicles but emphasizes the need for a diversified approach to achieve zero emissions. Sustainability Benefits

Amidst the discussions, Adolfo Urso, the Minister of Business and Made in Italy, emphasizes the importance of reason and pragmatism in the pursuit of ecological and industrial transition. Italy’s stance reflects a broader call for revisiting regulatory approaches and embracing a vision aligned with the evolving landscape of sustainable transportation. As the automotive industry navigates this complex terrain, it remains to be seen how the interplay between electric and eco-friendly petrol engines will shape the future of transportation.

Sustainability Benefits

R-LLDPE Market Faces Downturn Amid Oversupply and sluggish downstream Demand

Ex-Riyadh: In the Arabian Recycled Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (R-LLDPE) market, an ongoing trend of declining prices persists, driven by challenges related to the diminishing price support for scrap LLDPE materials and the increasing rates of post-consumer product collection.  Sustainability Benefits

These factors pose obstacles to the sustainable growth of R-LLDPE recyclers. The market landscape is further complicated by a marginal weakening in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). On the supply side, an oversupply situation of R-LLDPE, coupled with ample inventories, and subdued procurement activities from overseas markets during the current seasonal phase, contribute to weakened export dynamics. Suppliers are responding with consistent discount offerings to incentivize larger volume purchases. However, the downstream industry is grappling with heightened freight rates with increased shipping cost, prompted by security concerns following attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Consequently, the European R-LLDPE market remains stable, reflecting the impact of elevated import costs for the product.  Sustainability Benefits

The Arabian market is grappling with an oversupply scenario, sustained by an unaltered production capacity of R-LLDPE material, which has established a bearish sentiment. This situation poses a challenge for suppliers in effectively managing excess inventory. The R-LLDPE market faces downward price pressure attributed to weakened product procurement activities during the Christmas holidays, influenced by reduced downstream industrial production and manufacturing activities for the final finished product with fewer staff members available during the holiday season.

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Sustainability Benefits

Kao Thailand Partners with SCGC and Dow to Develop Packaging with Key Sustainability Benefits

Kao Industrial (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (Kao) has partnered with two leading global packaging experts, SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd. (SCGC) and Dow Thailand Group (Dow), to develop packaging designed for recyclability.  Sustainability Benefits

The partnership aims to provide consumers with more sustainable packaging options, with a focus on high-quality packaging that has a lower carbon footprint and is recyclable. Today, the three companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Dow Thailand’s headquarters in True Digital Park West.

Kao, a leading manufacturer of consumer products from Japan including AttackBioreHaiterLaurier and Magiclean, plan to use the new, sustainable packaging across a wide range of its product portfolio in Thailand in the near future. The MoU signing ceremony was attended by Kao Thailand President, Yuji Shimizu; SCGC Executive Director, Pisan Uawithya; and Dow Thailand President, Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai.  Sustainability Benefits

“Kao is delighted to partner with leading chemical companies such as SCGC and Dow to joint develop innovations for sustainable packaging based on the 4R principles: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Replace, which align with our ESG strategy or what we call the ‘Kirei Lifestyle Plan,'” said Yuji Shimizu, Kao Thailand President “Kao is committed to achieving Zero Carbon Emission by 2040 in an effort to help mitigating global warming and climate change issues. This is why our business is seriously focused on energy conservation within our production plants and products design and development throughout product lifecycle to reduce carbon emissions.  Sustainability Benefits

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Sustainability Benefits

Mitsubishi Chemical sells Indonesian PTA business to Lintas Citra Pratama

In a strategic move to enhance its business portfolio and reinforce its commitment to sustainable growth, Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation has recently announced the decision to transfer shares of its subsidiary, PT Mitsubishi Chemical Indonesia (MCCI). The shares will be transferred to PT Lintas Citra Pratama, a company with plans to commercialize paraxylene, a key raw material for pure terephthalic acid (PTA) in South East Asia.

Reasons for Share Transfer: MCCI, a company established in 1991, has been a major player in the Indonesian PTA market, contributing significantly to the production of polyester products such as fibers, PET bottles, and films. Sustainability Benefits

Despite the stability and strength of Indonesia’s PTA market, Mitsubishi Chemical Group has continuously evaluated its business direction, aligning with its management policy of “Forging the future” through portfolio management focused on market growth, competitiveness, and sustainability.

Affiliates of PT Lintas Citra Pratama presented a compelling proposition to Mitsubishi Chemical Group, expressing their intention to operate the PTA business through vertical integration from raw material paraxylene to PTA. Sustainability Benefits

This integration is anticipated to strengthen MCCI’s competitiveness, and the company is expected to continue its development and growth under the new ownership structure.

Mitsubishi Chemical sells Indonesian PTA business to Lintas Citra PratamaMitsubishi Chemical sells Indonesian PTA business to Lintas Citra Pratama

CIP and Mexican authorities to collaborate on green hydrogen and maritime fuels project

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), the world’s largest fund manager within greenfield renewable energy, has agreed with Mexican authorities to collaborate on Helax Istmo, a green hydrogen and green maritime fuels project in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Oaxaca, Mexico.

CIP will develop the Helax Istmo project in Mexico through its Growth Markets Funds II and Energy Transition Fund I.  Sustainability Benefits

To this end, CIP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT) and Mexico’s national Ministry of Navy, the Secretaría de Marina (Semar), on December 22, 2023.

Under the MoU, the parties will collaborate to support the development of the large-scale, integrated renewable energy project in Oaxaca which aims to produce green hydrogen and green maritime fuels, contributing materially to Mexico’s sustainable development goals, as well as to the decarbonization of the shipping industry globally.

CIP noted that the MoU acknowledges that Helax will undergo formal indigenous and social consultations under Mexican law. The consultations are expected to take place in early 2024.  Sustainability Benefits

Ole Kjems Sørensen, partner at CIP and co-head of Growth Markets Funds, said: “This MoU showcases our long-term commitment to Mexico through the development of a pioneering project that offers green maritime fuels at scale — a first for the region. We would like to thank the Mexican authorities for their continued interest and support, and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with national and local stakeholders and further develop Helax.”

CIP and Mexican authorities to collaborate on green hydrogen and maritime fuels project

SK On cooperates with domestic and foreign companies to advance the intelligence of battery production equipment

■ SK On collaborates with Beckhoff, Cisco, IFM Electronic, Yaskawa Electric, and Woowon Technology to enhance battery production efficiency

■ This initiative will establish the groundwork for a “smart factory” by improving productivity and minimizing downtime  Sustainability Benefits

SK On is advancing the intellectualization of battery production equipment through collaboration with domestic and international companies that possess global-level core technologies. This strategy aims to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to maximize equipment efficiency and enhance productivity.

On December 26 (KST), SK On formalized a six-party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Beckhoff Automation, Cisco, IFM Electronic, Yaskawa Electric Korea, and Woowon Technology at the SK Green Campus in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. This MOU is aimed at enhancing the control and communication systems for battery production equipment.  Sustainability Benefits

SK On intends to verify the performance, quality, and stability of the technologies and services offered by these companies and discuss strategic cooperation for the intellectualization of battery production equipment. These efforts are expected to strengthen SK On’s manufacturing competitiveness by reducing costs and improving yield, without the need for extensive equipment remodeling.

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SK On cooperates with domestic and foreign companies to advance the intelligence of battery production equipment

The prevalence of “Hot V” engines, a term coined for a specific architectural configuration, has become increasingly widespread in the automotive industry

Typically associated with V-shaped engines, the conventional layout positions intake ducts inside the V between the two banks, with exhaust directed outward. This design, optimized for naturally aspirated engines, facilitates the connection of intake manifolds and allows for convenient placement of throttle bodies and injection systems. Sustainability Benefits

However, when transitioning to turbocharged engines, the dynamics change. The complexity arises as intake and exhaust, previously distinct, converge in the double scroll of turbocharged engines. Ferrari engineers confronted this challenge in the early 1980s during the development of the turbocharged 126 CK, leading to the evolution of a novel architecture known as the “hot internal V” or Hot V. In this configuration, contrary to tradition, exhaust is positioned between the cylinder banks, while intake faces outward.

This innovative design, initially applied to high-performance racing engines, has gained traction in the road sector.  Sustainability Benefits

Prominent examples include the Ferrari V6 in the 296 GTB, the Mercedes-Benz 4.0 V8 featured in various AMG and Aston Martin models, as well as similar engines from Audi and BMW. The advantages of the Hot V layout are multifaceted. The integration of turbines within the V results in a more compact architecture with reduced lateral bulk. Improved thermal management concentrates the hottest components in the center and upper areas of the engine, enhancing heat dissipation and minimizing the impact on other regions. Additionally, the shortened intake and exhaust ducts optimize gas flow, leading to improved accelerator response and mitigating turbo lag—a coveted achievement in engine performance.

The prevalence of "Hot V" engines, a term coined for a specific architectural configuration, has become increasingly widespread in the automotive industry

Recycling Nylon – UBE now supplying nylon 6 resin for high-pressure hydrogen tanks in new crown FCEV 28-12-2023

Sustainability Benefits

Recycling Nylon – UBE now supplying nylon 6 resin for high-pressure hydrogen tanks in new crown FCEV 28-12-2023

Recycling Nylon

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Recycling Nylon with New Catalyst from Northwestern University

Northwestern University chemists have developed a new catalyst that quickly, cleanly and completely breaks down Nylon-6 in a matter of minutes — without generating harmful byproducts. Even better: The process does not require toxic solvents, expensive materials or extreme conditions, making it practical for everyday applications.

Not only could this new catalyst play an important role in environmental remediation, it also could perform the first step in upcycling Nylon-6 wastes into higher-value products.

The research was published in the journal Chem.

Marks is the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.Recycling Nylon

He also is a faculty affiliate at the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy. Northwestern co-authors include Linda J. Broadbelt, the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and senior associate dean of McCormick, and Yosi Kratish, a research assistant professor in Marks’ group.

Recovering building blocks for upcycling
To bypass these issues, the researchers looked to a novel catalyst already developed in Marks’ laboratory. The catalyst harnesses yttrium (an inexpensive Earth-abundant metal) and lanthanide ions. When the team heated Nylon-6 samples to melting temperatures and applied the catalyst without a solvent, the plastic fell apart — reverting to its original building blocks without leaving byproducts behind. Recycling Nylon

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Recycling Nylon

Changan and Ganfeng Collaborate for Solid-State Battery Development

Changan Automobile and Ganfeng Lithium have announced their collaboration to manufacture solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) 1

Solid-state batteries are considered a next-generation energy storage device because of their superior performance and safety compared with the current batch of liquid-state electrolyte lithium-ion batteries 1.

 The two companies are among several international automakers that have bet on solid-state batteries, with leading promoter Toyota reportedly projecting adoption by 2027 1.

Ganfeng Lithium has already begun construction of a solid-state battery production facility in Chongqing, which will be the largest of its kind in China to date 2

The factory will offer annual capacities of 10 GWh each for the production of battery cells as well as battery packs 2Recycling Nylon

The company is also working on solid-state battery technology, and its first-generation solid-state battery has an energy density of 260Wh/kg 3.

This collaboration between Changan Automobile and Ganfeng Lithium is a significant step towards the commercialization of solid-state batteries and the electrification of transportation 1.

  Recycling Nylon

Polyester is not stain resistant

Recently, we attended a webinar about how to keep your home free of toxins.  In the conversation about which fabrics to choose for your furniture, one of the panelists suggested using a synthetic (polyester) fabric to avoid stains.

People often think synthetic fiber fabrics are naturally stain resistant. They are not. They are stain resistant because of the addition of chemicals which you do NOT want to bring into your home.   Recycling Nylon

Now, the situation is a little more complicated than: They are NOT.  Synthetic fibers are both hydrophobic, meaning that they resist absorbing liquids; and oilophilic, meaning that they more readily absorb oils and grease. There is a continuum of these states, hydrophilic – hydrophobic and oilophilic – oilophobic; but it is true that natural fiber fabrics are both hydrophilic and oilophobic.  This means that natural fiber fabrics absorb water well, but oil poorly.   Synthetic fiber fabrics are the opposite:  They are hydrophobic and oilophilic, meaning that they resist absorbing water but more readily absorb oils and grease.

The fact that natural fibers are hydrophilic also means that they clean much better than hydrophilic synthetics.  Washing machines (all washing action, with a machine, or by hand) depends on water absorption to clean.  The more absorbent the fibers, the better they will clean.   Recycling Nylon

So what do these hydro/oil phobic/philic characteristics mean for the staining and stain removal behavior of natural fibers versus synthetic fibers? It means that, lacking the addition of chemicals that we would all prefer to avoid, or that we should avoid AT ALL COSTS, a natural fiber fabric will absorb water-based stains more easily than a synthetic, but you will have an easier time removing that stain.  Natural fibers will resist oil-based stains better than synthetics. And should you get an oil-based stain, you will have an easier time removing it than from a synthetic fabric.  Synthetics will not clean in your washer nearly as well.   Recycling Nylon

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Polyester is not stain resistant

UBE now supplying nylon 6 resin for high-pressure hydrogen tanks in new crown FCEV

UBE Corporation has revealed its role as a supplier of polyamide (nylon) 6 resin, specifically UBE NYLON™ 1218IU, for Toyota Motor Corporation’s newly launched Crown FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle). Developed collaboratively by Toyota Motor and UBE, this nylon 6 resin serves as a plastic liner material for high-pressure hydrogen tanks in fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Notably, the Crown FCEV becomes the second Toyota Motor fuel cell passenger vehicle, following the MIRAI, to incorporate UBE’s nylon 6 resin.

The UBE NYLON™ 1218IU meets rigorous standards as an approved plastic liner material for the high-pressure hydrogen tank in the Crown FCEV.   Recycling Nylon

Positioned as the innermost component of the tank, the plastic liner plays a crucial role in preventing hydrogen leakage. This nylon 6 resin exhibits exceptional performance in preventing hydrogen permeation, displaying robust mechanical characteristics for enduring rapid temperature changes during hydrogen filling and discharging, as well as providing impact resistance in low-temperature environments.

Since initiating the production and marketing of nylon 6 resin in 1959, UBE has evolved into a prominent global producer, boasting an annual manufacturing capacity of 198,000 tonnes.    Recycling Nylon

The company has extended its influence as a composite materials manufacturer, emphasizing various engineering plastics to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the market. With a production capacity of 53,000 tonnes for engineering plastics composite materials, UBE maintains a global presence with operations in Japan, Asia, Europe, and North America. The company’s commitment to enhancing production capacity for engineering plastics composites aligns with its focus on developing products that cater to the diverse performance requirements of evolving automotive applications.

In related news, Manchester United plc has announced a significant agreement involving the acquisition of 25% of Class B shares and up to 25% of Class A shares by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS.

Additionally, a substantial investment of $300 million is earmarked to facilitate future developments at Old Trafford.    Recycling Nylon

UBE now supplying nylon 6 resin for high-pressure hydrogen tanks in new crown FCEV

EQUATE announces Jan MEG India Contract Price at USD520/tonne

EQUATE, the global monoethylene glycol (MEG) producer, has declared a Contract Price (ICP) of $520 per tonne CFR for its January 2024 MEG shipments to India, as stated by the company. This figure marks a $43 per tonne increase from the December pricing.

It’s worth noting that EQUATE’s India Contract Price (ICP) for Monoethylene Glycol (MEG) in December 2023 was set at $477 per metric ton CFR for arrivals at India Main Ports. This pricing strategy is influenced by the current regional supply and demand dynamics, offering a glimpse into short-term market conditions.    Recycling Nylon

The specified Contract Price applies to the cost and freight (CFR) at India Main Ports, emphasizing the comprehensive financial aspects involved in the transaction. EQUATE’s regular updates on ICP play a crucial role in informing stakeholders about pricing fluctuations and market trends in the MEG sector. The January 2024 ICP of $520 per tonne reflects EQUATE’s response to evolving market conditions and its commitment to transparent communication in the industry.

EQUATE announces Jan MEG India Contract Price at USD520/tonne

Vietnam’s textiles and garments yet to fully unlock FTA’s advantages and potential

Vietnam textile and garment industry has not been able to fully capitalise on the advantages and potential of FTAs, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

To address this issue, the MoIT, as the leading agency for FTA negotiation and enforcement, has been enhancing connections with ministries, localities, associations, and stakeholders to establish a collaborative ecosystem to help the textile industry effectively leverage FTAs.    Recycling Nylon

According to Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy head of the multilateral trade policy department under the MoIT, the Vietnamese government has signed various FTAs with many markets around the world, with a key focus on reducing tariffs to the lowest and quickest levels and simpler rules of origin for Vietnamese goods, especially in the textile and garment sector.

In a recent survey by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), while most enterprises had some understanding of the FTAs, only about 8 per cent possessed a clear understanding.    Recycling Nylon

According to the ministry, Vietnam’s trade balance has been significantly in deficit in the East Asian markets, amounting to nearly US$129 billion in 2022, with $60.5 billion in trade with China, $37.9 billion with South Korea, and $13.42 billion with Asean.

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Vietnam's textiles and garments yet to fully unlock FTA's advantages and potential

AI shows how microplastics are harming global soil and agriculture

In recent years, the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment has emerged as a pressing concern.

While the pollution of oceans by plastics is widely recognized, the presence of microplastics in soils across the globe is equally alarming.    Recycling Nylon

These plastics, breaking down into microplastics (MPs), significantly impact soil properties and, alarmingly, find their way into the human food chain, raising health concerns.

Microplastics, soil, and corporate sustainability

The effects of microplastics on soil are crucial in the realm of corporate sustainability, particularly under the ‘Environmental’ pillar of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

Companies worldwide are increasingly expected to adopt eco-friendly approaches, with a strong focus on addressing plastic pollution.    Recycling Nylon

However, the complex interaction between soil and microplastics, influenced by the diversity of both soil types and microplastics, complicates understanding and managing their environmental impact.

Innovative research using AI machine learning

To bridge the research gap in this area, a team led by Prof. Yong Sik Ok, a Korean University Professor and a prominent figure in environmental governance, applied AI machine learning (ML) techniques to study microplastics in soil.    Recycling Nylon

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AI shows how microplastics are harming global soil and agriculture

Plastic packaging – Pressolysis: is the Pressolysis a Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites? 27-12-2023

  Recycling Nylon

Plastic packaging – Pressolysis: is the Pressolysis a Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites? 27-12-2023

Plastic packaging

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Germany’s producer prices decline 7.9% YoY in November 2023

INSIGHTS

  • In November 2023, Germany’s industrial product prices fell 7.9 per cent YoY, an improvement from October’s 11 per cent drop, as per Destatis.
  • The decline is mainly due to lower energy costs, with a significant 21.4 per cent decrease in energy prices.
  • Excluding energy, prices slightly rose by 0.3 per cent YoY but fell 0.1 per cent from October.

The producer prices of industrial products in Germany experienced a 7.9 per cent decrease in November 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, according to a recent update from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This change, albeit significant, marks an improvement from the 11 per cent year-on-year (YoY) drop seen in October 2023. The fluctuation is largely attributed to a base effect resulting from the high price levels in the previous year.  Plastic packaging

The decrease in November 2023, compared to October 2023, was more modest at 0.5 per cent. This downward movement in prices is primarily driven by a notable decrease in energy costs, which have been the primary factor behind the YoY decline in producer prices.

Energy prices in November 2023 were significantly lower than the previous year, down 21.4 per cent.  Plastic packaging

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Plastic packaging

BYD has officially chosen Hungary as the location for its inaugural European factory, marking a historic move as the first Chinese automaker to directly produce cars on the continent

The longstanding speculations surrounding BYD’s intentions have been confirmed, with Szeged in Hungary selected as the site for the groundbreaking facility. This strategic decision reflects a shift in pace for the Shenzen-based group.

The implementation of this pivotal plan will unfold through several phases, commencing with the establishment of a robust supply chain involving numerous suppliers, many of which are affiliated with BYD.  Plastic packaging

The overarching goal is the creation of a “local green ecosystem.” BYD envisions the generation of thousands of new jobs in Hungary, citing the country’s favorable geographical position, well-connected infrastructures, and established industrial base, underscored by the presence of renowned car manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes Opel, and Suzuki, along with key suppliers like Bosch, Continental, Delphi, Denso, Michelin, Hankook, Lear, and Luk. Germany and France were also contenders for the factory, especially given BYD’s existing European research and development center in Germany.

While specific dates for the construction of the BYD plant and details about the models to be produced remain uncertain, it is confirmed that the focus will be on plug-in hybrid and electric cars.  Plastic packaging

The assembly process will take place on cutting-edge production lines equipped with the latest technologies. Currently, BYD is engaged in productive operations in Hungary, specifically for electric buses and trucks in Kamarom, near the northern border with Slovakia. The automotive plant, however, is slated for construction in Szeged, situated on the northern border of Hungary, neighboring Serbia and Romania.

Despite BYD’s global threat to Tesla in the electric car sales arena, its European footprint is still burgeoning, with only 13 thousand units sold in the region. Nevertheless, BYD boasts a presence in 19 countries through 230 dealers, showcasing the company’s commitment to expanding its influence in the European automotive market. Plastic packaging

Plastic packaging

Coca-Cola Philippines accelerates efforts to achieve circular economy on plastic packaging, water security

Coca-Cola Philippines concludes 2023 with significant progress in its commitment to environmental sustainability and enters 2024 with an increased resolve to accelerate its efforts. This year, the company continued to strengthen its initiatives to meet its World Without Waste targets and launched “May Ikabobote Pa”, a brand-led initiative aiming to inspire behavior change among consumers regarding recycling.

This includes expanding partnerships with organizations sharing a commitment to advancing a circular economy for plastic packaging.  Plastic packaging

The Coca-Cola Company also unveiled its 2030 Water Security Strategy, which aims to achieve 100% circular water use across 175 facilities globally. Additionally, the company plans to partner with like-minded organizations to enhance the health of 60 critical watersheds and return a cumulative total of 2 trillion liters of water to nature and communities between 2021 and 2030.

“We are grateful for all our projects this year, which demonstrate our dedication to conducting our business more sustainably and empowering the communities where we operate and serve,” said Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines.

“We recognize our responsibility to continue making a positive impact in communities and the environment and acknowledge that we still have a long way to go and that we cannot do this alone.  Plastic packaging

We encourage everyone to join us in these efforts.”

More…

Plastic packaging

Introduction to Biodegradable and Compostable Plastics

Biodegradable and compostable plastics have gained significant attention in recent years as the world grapples with the environmental impact of traditional plastics. These innovative materials offer a potential solution to the problem of plastic waste, but many people are still confused about the differences between biodegradable and compostable plastics. In this article, we will explore the various types of bioplastics and shed light on the distinctions between biodegradable and compostable plastics.

Bioplastics are derived from renewable sources such as plants, vegetable oils, and starches. They are designed to break down naturally over time, reducing their impact on the environment. Plastic packaging

However, not all bioplastics are created equal. There are different types of bioplastics, each with its own unique properties and characteristics.

One type of bioplastic is biodegradable plastic. Biodegradable plastics are made from organic materials that can be broken down by microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi. These plastics break down into natural elements like water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. Biodegradable plastics can be a suitable alternative to traditional plastics, as they do not accumulate in landfills or oceans, reducing the overall environmental impact.

Compostable plastics, on the other hand, are a specific subset of biodegradable plastics. Compostable plastics are designed to break down in a composting environment, where they can decompose alongside other organic matter. Composting is a natural process that turns organic waste into nutrient-rich soil.  Plastic packaging

Compostable plastics break down into non-toxic components, leaving behind no harmful residues. They are an excellent choice for products that are likely to end up in composting facilities, such as food packaging or disposable cutlery.

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Introduction to Biodegradable and Compostable Plastics

Pressolysis: A Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites

Plastics and composites are widely used materials in various industries, such as packaging, automotive, aerospace, construction, and electronics. However, they also pose significant environmental challenges, as they are often difficult to recycle and end up in landfills or oceans, causing pollution and harming wildlife. According to a 2017 study, only 9% of the global plastic waste was recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment1Plastic packaging

To address this problem, researchers and innovators have been developing various recycling methods that can recover valuable materials from plastic and composite waste, and reduce their environmental impact. One of these methods is pressolysis, a pressure-based technology that uses only steam to separate and recover organic materials from waste streams2Pressolysis is also known as thermo-cyclic pressolysis, as it involves cyclic heating and cooling of the waste materials under high pressure3.

How does pressolysis work?

Pressolysis is a chemical recycling method that breaks down the molecular bonds of plastic and composite materials, and converts them into reusable monomers or oligomers. The process consists of four main steps3:

  1. Preparation: The waste materials are shredded and mixed with water in a reactor vessel.  Plastic packaging
  2. Heating: The reactor is heated to a high temperature (around 300°C) and pressurized to a high pressure (around 200 bar) using steam. This causes the water to become supercritical, meaning it has both liquid and gas properties, and can act as a solvent and a catalyst for the depolymerization reaction.
  3. Cooling: The reactor is rapidly cooled to a low temperature (around 100°C) and depressurized to a low pressure (around 1 bar) using cold water. This causes the depolymerized products to separate from the water and form two phases: an organic phase and an aqueous phase.  Plastic packaging
  4. Recovery: The organic phase, which contains the monomers or oligomers, is collected and purified for further use. The aqueous phase, which contains water and some dissolved salts, is recycled back to the reactor.

More…

Pressolysis: A Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites

Taiwan’s Paraxylene Industry Faces Uncertainties with Tariff Adjustment

On December 20th, 2023, the Tariff Commission of China’s State Council announced a suspension of tariff concessions on specific products covered by the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. Beginning January 1, 2024, tariff rates for 12 imported products, including Paraxylene (PX) from Taiwan, will no longer receive concessions. The current 0% tariff on Paraxylene will be adjusted to 2%. This new 2% tariff will be applicable on Paraxylene imports from Taiwan, same as that from other countries expect for the ASEAN market.  Plastic packaging

Taiwan’s sole Paraxylene producer, FCFC (Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp.), mainly supplies its Paraxylene exports to the PTA plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in China and sells some Paraxylene to other PTA plants.

In the period of January-November 2023 alone, Paraxylene imports from Taiwan represented 14% of the total, with an average monthly volume of 106kt. With the introduction of a 2% tariff, it is estimated that the cost of importing Paraxylene from Taiwan will likely increase and the competitiveness of Taiwan’s Paraxylene will decline. Presently, Paraxylene imports from Taiwan benefit from a favorable 0% tariff policy, resulting in relatively low import costs.  Plastic packaging

Although, in practical transactions, both buyers and sellers often share the tariff reduction benefits, buyers still enjoy an advantage of approximately 1% tariff reduction compared to imports from Japan and South Korea. Therefore, with the implementation of 2% tariff, Paraxylene imports from Taiwan will no longer be able to enjoy this 1% reduction advantage, leading to an increase in the cost of importing from Taiwan. This may prompt buyers to turn to Paraxylene from ASEAN countries or imports from Japan and South Korea.  Plastic packaging

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Taiwan's Paraxylene Industry Faces Uncertainties with Tariff Adjustment

Freight on the Red Sea route soars, and China’s polyester exports to North Africa stagnate

Recent developments in the Red Sea have gained global attention, with many shipping companies announcing suspensions of service or a halt in offering new slots. Previously, the four major container shipping giants in Europe had all suspended services that required passing through the Red Sea route. As a result, shipping costs between Asia and Europe, as well as between Asia and Africa, have significantly increased in the short term. The current freight cost for a 20-feet standard container from China to North Africa has risen to around $3,500, an increase of several hundred dollars compared to before. However, shipping companies are actually unable to provide available slots, and their pricing adjustments are mainly opportunistic. Plastic packaging

Even if factories are willing to accept the higher rates, it does not necessarily guarantee the availability of slots.

Historically, disruptions in the Suez Canal have led to longer shipping distances and higher prices. In March 2021, the grounding of the MV Ever Given in the Suez Canal caused a six-day blockage, resulting in significant losses. Therefore, it is important to assess the potential impact of the “Red Sea Crisis.”

The Red Sea-Suez Canal route is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, with approximately 12% of global cargo transportation passing through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.Plastic packaging

The recent suspensions of Red Sea navigation by the four international shipping companies (Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Denmark’s Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, and France’s CMA CGM) account for 53% of global container trade volume.

More…

Freight on the Red Sea route soars, and China's polyester exports to North Africa stagnate

Plastics technology – Chinese scientists have successfully developed a revolutionary knittable fiber, drawing inspiration from the insulating properties of polar bear fur 26-12-2023

Plastic packaging

Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling – Pressolysis: A Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites – Every year, around 380 million tons of plastic are produced, with only 9% being recycled 27-12-2023

Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

Pressolysis: A Sustainable Recycling Method for Plastics and Composites

Plastics and composites are widely used materials in various industries, such as packaging, automotive, aerospace, construction, and electronics. However, they also pose significant environmental challenges, as they are often difficult to recycle and end up in landfills or oceans, causing pollution and harming wildlife. According to a 2017 study, only 9% of the global plastic waste was recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment1Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

To address this problem, researchers and innovators have been developing various recycling methods that can recover valuable materials from plastic and composite waste, and reduce their environmental impact. One of these methods is pressolysis, a pressure-based technology that uses only steam to separate and recover organic materials from waste streams2Pressolysis is also known as thermo-cyclic pressolysis, as it involves cyclic heating and cooling of the waste materials under high pressure3.

How does pressolysis work?

Pressolysis is a chemical recycling method that breaks down the molecular bonds of plastic and composite materials, and converts them into reusable monomers or oligomers. The process consists of four main steps3:

  1. Preparation: The waste materials are shredded and mixed with water in a reactor vessel.  Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling
  2. Heating: The reactor is heated to a high temperature (around 300°C) and pressurized to a high pressure (around 200 bar) using steam. This causes the water to become supercritical, meaning it has both liquid and gas properties, and can act as a solvent and a catalyst for the depolymerization reaction.
  3. Cooling: The reactor is rapidly cooled to a low temperature (around 100°C) and depressurized to a low pressure (around 1 bar) using cold water. This causes the depolymerized products to separate from the water and form two phases: an organic phase and an aqueous phase.
  4. Recovery: The organic phase, which contains the monomers or oligomers, is collected and purified for further use.
  5. The aqueous phase, which contains water and some dissolved salts, is recycled back to the reactor. Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

The heating and cooling cycles are repeated until the desired degree of depolymerization is achieved. The number of cycles depends on the type and composition of the waste materials, and the quality and quantity of the recovered products.

Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

What are the advantages of pressolysis?

Pressolysis has several advantages over other recycling methods, such as pyrolysis, solvolysis, and mechanical recycling. Some of these advantages are23:

  • It is a clean and green process, as it uses only water and steam, and does not produce any harmful emissions or residues.  Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling
  • It is a versatile and flexible process, as it can handle various types of plastic and composite materials, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide, polyurethane, epoxy, and carbon fiber reinforced polymer.
  • It is a high-yield and high-quality process, as it can recover up to 90% of the original mass of the waste materials, and produce monomers or oligomers that are free from impurities and have similar properties to virgin materials.
  • It is a cost-effective and energy-efficient process, as it uses low amounts of water and electricity, and can generate heat and water as by-products that can be reused or sold.  Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

What are the challenges and opportunities of pressolysis?

Pressolysis is a promising recycling method that has the potential to revolutionize the plastic and composite industry, and contribute to a circular economy. However, it also faces some challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed. Some of these are3:

  • The process needs to be optimized and standardized for different types of waste materials, and the optimal parameters and protocols need to be established and validated.  Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling
  • The process needs to be scaled up and commercialized, and the economic and environmental benefits need to be demonstrated and quantified.
  • The process needs to be integrated and coordinated with other recycling methods and waste management systems, and the regulatory and policy frameworks need to be updated and harmonized.
  • The process needs to be supported and promoted by various stakeholders, such as manufacturers, recyclers, consumers, governments, and NGOs, and the awareness and acceptance of the process need to be increased and enhanced.

Conclusion

Pressolysis is a novel and innovative recycling method that uses steam to depolymerize plastic and composite materials, and recover reusable monomers or oligomers. It is a clean, versatile, high-yield, and cost-effective process that can reduce the environmental impact of plastic and composite waste, and create new value and opportunities for the industry and society. Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

Pressolysis is still in its early stages of development, and requires further research and development, as well as collaboration and communication, to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

Plastics technology – Chinese scientists have successfully developed a revolutionary knittable fiber, drawing inspiration from the insulating properties of polar bear fur 26-12-2023

Pressolysis Sustainable Recycling

PET-Resin rPET – Feedstock increase – Global Oil Prices Dip Following Angola’s OPEC Exit Announcement : Will other countries follow Nigeria? 26-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

PET-Resin rPET

PET-Resin rPET

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

PET-Resin rPET

PET-Resin rPET

Yuan vs US$

Polyestertime
ITEM 18/12/2023 26/12/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,800 yuan/ton 6,925 yuan/ton +125
Bottle grade PET chips export market 875 $/ton 885 $/ton +10
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,620 yuan/ton 6,730 yuan/ton +110
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,640 yuan/ton 6,730 yuan/ton +90
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,655 yuan/ton 5,850 yuan/ton +195
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 700 $/ton 730 $/ton  

+30

 

Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,160 yuan/ton 4,380 yuan/ton +220
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 492 $/ton 517 $/ton +25
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

PET-Resin rPET

982 $/ton 1,024 $/ton
+42
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 959 $/ton 1,001 $/ton +42
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,005 $/ton 1,050 $/ton +45
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,400  yuan/ton 7,600 yuan/ton
+200
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,500 yuan/ton 7,550 yuan/ton +50
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,820 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton +80
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

PPET-Resin rPET

8,800 yuan/ton 8,900 yuan/ton +100
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,100 yuan/ton 8,225 yuan/ton +125
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,180 yuan/ton 7,300 yuan/ton +120
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 13,000 yuan/ton 13,750 yuan/ton
+750
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,600 $/ton 1,600 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,850 $/ton 1,850 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 13,950 yuan/ton 14,350 yuan/ton +400
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

PET-Resin rPET

14,250 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton +350
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,600 yuan/ton 19,600 yuan/ton
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 16,350 yuan/ton 16,600 yuan/ton +250
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 18,500 yuan/ton 18,850 yuan/ton- +350
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,050 yuan/ton 17,450 yuan/ton +400
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

PET-Resin rPET

35,000 yuan/ton 34,500 yuan/ton -500
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 33,500 yuan/ton 33,000 yuan/ton -500
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  30,500 yuan/ton 30,000 yuan/ton -500
Adipic Acid domestic market 8,650 yuan/ton 9,100 yuan/ton +450
Benzene domestic market

PET-Resin rPET

7,000 yuan/ton 7,280 yuan/ton +280
Benzene overseas  market 866 $/ton 882 $/ton +16
Ethylene South East market 850 $/ton 850 $/ton
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

PET-Resin rPET

9,700 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,800 yuan/ton 12,650 yuan/ton -150
PP Powder domestic market

PET-Resin rPET

7,300 yuan/ton 7,330 yuan/ton +30
Naphtha overseas market  683 $/ton 674 $/ton -9
Phenol domestic market 7,862 yuan/ton 7,725 yuan/ton -87

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

PET-Resin rPET

Global Oil Prices Dip Following Angola’s OPEC Exit Announcement

Global oil prices took a hit on Thursday as news emerged of Angola’s decision to withdraw its membership from the OPEC. The country’s move has raised concerns about OPEC’s ongoing efforts to support oil prices by controlling the supply in the global market.

The announcement of Angola’s impending exit from OPEC sent shockwaves through the industry, resulting in a $1 decrease in oil benchmarks. The country’s oil minister, Diamantino Azevedo, asserted that remaining part of OPEC was not in Angola’s best interests. Over the past few months, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, has been rallying support for reducing output and driving up oil prices.  PET-Resin rPET

Shipping tracking firm Kpler’s Matt Smith suggested that OPEC appears to be losing its battle to keep prices high, especially as non-OPEC producers like the U.S. increase production to fill the emerging supply gap. Angola’s daily oil production, which is around 1.1 million barrels, is a small percentage of OPEC’s total daily output of 28 million barrels.

Angola might be one of the smaller contributors to OPEC’s output, but its decision to leave the group has prompted questions about OPEC’s unity and future strategy. However, Smith also pointed out that the impact of Angola’s departure on global supplies could be relatively minor.  PET-Resin rPET

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PET-Resin rPET

Plastics technology – Chinese scientists have successfully developed a revolutionary knittable fiber, drawing inspiration from the insulating properties of polar bear fur 26-12-2023

Plastics technology

PET-Resin rPET – Feedstock increase – Global Oil Prices Dip Following Angola’s OPEC Exit Announcement : Will other countries follow Nigeria?

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Plastics technology

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

NEXTCHEM (MAIRE) awarded licensing, process design and catalyst supply for biodegradable plastics intermediates in China

  • NEXTCHEM’s subsidiary CONSER, biodegradable plastics technology licensor, will provide the licensing, the process design and technical assistance expertise for its proprietary Duetto technology to produce added value products from maleic anhydride
  • This is the first award reflecting CONSER’s extended technology package, including hydrogenation catalyst supply

MAIRE (MAIRE.MI) announces that NEXTCHEM (Sustainable Technology Solutions BU), through its biodegradable plastics technology licensor CONSER, has been awarded technology licensing and catalyst supply by a prominent client, as part of a larger project located in Northwestern China.  Plastics technology

The scope of work entails licensing, process design package for CONSER proprietary Duetto technology and technical assistance during project execution, up to commissioning and start-up. As part of the agreement, CONSER will also supply the hydrogenation catalyst[1]. The Duetto technology offers a valuable solution in terms of CapEx, OpEx and energy efficiency to produce, with the same process, both butanediol[2] and dimethyl-succinate, the two intermediates needed to obtain biodegradable polymers.

Alessandro Bernini, MAIRE CEO, commented: “Since the acquisition of CONSER in April 2023, we have been working to further strengthen our technology package for the production of biodegradable polymers, which now spans from technology licensing and high-value process design services to the supply of catalysts. This award is a further demonstration of our top-class and broad portfolio of leading technologies that support our clients in the energy transition process.”  Plastics technology

[1] Hydrogenation Catalyst is a catalyst that activates a chemical reaction between hydrogen and another compound or element.

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Plastics technology

KAIST Unveils Eco-Friendly Strategies for Polyamides Production

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

– Provides current research trends in bio-based polyamide production

– Research on bio-based polyamides production gains importance for achieving a carbon-neutral society

Global industries focused on carbon neutrality, under the slogan “Net-Zero,” are gaining increasing attention. In particular, research on microbial production of polymers, replacing traditional chemical methods with biological approaches, is actively progressing.

Polyamides, represented by nylon, are linear polymers widely used in various industries such as automotive, electronics, textiles, and medical fields. They possess beneficial properties such as high tensile strength, electrical insulation, heat resistance, wear resistance, and biocompatibility.  Plastics technology

Since the commercialization of nylon in 1938, approximately 7 million tons of polyamides are produced worldwide annually. Considering their broad applications and significance, producing polyamides through bio-based methods holds considerable environmental and industrial importance.

KAIST (President Kwang-Hyung Lee) announced that a research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee, including Dr. Jong An Lee and doctoral candidate Ji Yeon Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, published a paper titled “Current Advancements in Bio-Based Production of Polyamides”.

The paper was featured on the cover of the monthly issue of “Trends in Chemistry” by Cell Press.  Plastics technology

As part of climate change response technologies, bio-refineries involve using biotechnological and chemical methods to produce industrially important chemicals and biofuels from renewable biomass without relying on fossil resources.

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Plastics technology

In the ever-evolving landscape of automotive choices, safety has become a paramount consideration for discerning consumers

Beyond the usual factors like design, power, and comfort, the reliability and safety of a vehicle are now in the spotlight. Recent crash tests in 2023 have brought forth surprising revelations, positioning China at the forefront of car safety rankings.

While Chinese cars traditionally target the domestic market, their global influence is rapidly expanding. Notably, Chinese electric cars, navigating the delicate equilibrium between technological innovation and cost-effectiveness, are making a substantial impact. Despite lingering perceptions of affordability and high-tech features, there’s a newfound recognition of the safety prowess exhibited by Chinese vehicles.

In the latest crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP, a prominent independent safety assessment body, Chinese BYD emerged among the safest cars on the road. Traditionally lauded European brands such as Volkswagen and BMW still maintain their reliability status, but the inclusion of Chinese BYD Tang in the upper echelons of safety rankings signals a significant shift.  Plastics technology

As the automotive landscape continues to transform, the importance of feeling secure behind the wheel is escalating. The 2023 crash tests underscore that safety considerations are no longer confined to renowned European brands, with Chinese electric cars demonstrating commendable performance in protecting occupants during collisions.

This paradigm shift signifies the maturation of the Chinese automotive market, positioning it as a formidable contender on a global scale. Beyond mere aesthetics and speed, consumers are increasingly prioritizing safety, especially those with families or those who have experienced past accidents.  Plastics technology

The resilience exhibited by Chinese electric cars in crash tests is a testament to the industry’s maturity and its readiness to engage on equal terms in Western markets. In an era where safety is non-negotiable, China has overtaken its competitors and claimed its spot at the pinnacle of car safety rankings.

In the ever-evolving landscape of automotive choices, safety has become a paramount consideration for discerning consumers

EU economy emissions in 2022: down 22% since 2008

In 2022, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by economic activities of EU resident units stood at 3.6 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq), indicating a 22% decrease compared with 2008.

The activities with the highest GHG emissions in 2022 were the manufacturing industry and the supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning, both with 745 million tonnes of CO2-eq, representing 21% of total greenhouse gases emitted. These were followed by households (718 million tonnes of CO2-eq; 20%), which are emitters of greenhouse gases related to transportation, heating and other purposes.  Plastics technology

Looking back, between 2008 (the first available year of data) and 2022, the largest relative decrease in GHG emissions was recorded in mining and quarrying (-40%), followed by the supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (-37%) and manufacturing (-28%).

These are estimates for the EU economy according to the air emissions accounts, which show the environmental impact of the whole economy, including international transport.

Source: Eurostat
EU economy emissions in 2022: down 22% since 2008

LyondellBasell and Pigeon Singapore Collaborate to Incorporate CirculenRenew Polymers in Nursing Bottles

LyondellBasell  and Pigeon Singapore – a market leader producing high quality mother and baby care products for Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceania regions – announced today their collaboration on advancing the sustainable research and development efforts in baby nursing bottles.  Plastics technology

The renewed series of the Pigeon nursing bottles will use the LyondellBasell bio-based CirculenRenew polypropylene polymers, as part of Pigeon’s transitioning away from using 100% virgin polypropylene resins

LyondellBasell bio-based CirculenRenew polypropylene polymers (PP) are used in the cap and hood of the renewed Pigeon SofTouch™ T-Ester, PPSU and Glass nursing bottle (first three bottles from the left), and in the cap, hood and bottle of the PP nursing bottle and PP straw bottle (last two bottles). They are also used in the bottle handle of the PP straw bottle.  Plastics technology

The LyondellBasell CirculenRenew polymers are made from renewable feedstocks derived from bio-based wastes and residual oils, such as used cooking oils. These feedstocks are used in our conventional production processes along with conventional feedstocks, and are allocated to CirculenRenew products using an ISCC PLUS-certified mass balance approach. The use of renewable feedstocks offers a lower carbon footprint compared to fossil-based feedstocks.

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LyondellBasell and Pigeon Singapore Collaborate to Incorporate CirculenRenew Polymers in Nursing Bottles

Chinese scientists have successfully developed a revolutionary knittable fiber, drawing inspiration from the insulating properties of polar bear fur

The breakthrough, detailed in a study published in the journal Science on Friday, introduces an encapsulated aerogel fiber that possesses remarkable thermal insulation capabilities. Unlike traditional aerogel fibers, this innovative creation is washable, dyeable, and durable, making it ideal for incorporation into advanced textiles.

Inspired by the unique structure of polar bear fur, the researchers from Zhejiang University replicated a core-shell design featuring a porous core enveloped by a dense shell structure.  Plastics technology

This design effectively mimics the bear’s ability to stay warm and dry in harsh conditions. The resulting aerogel fiber, with lamellar pores, not only exhibits strength and stretchability but also retains its insulating properties even in wet or humid environments.

Remarkably, the fiber maintained its thermal insulation performance after undergoing 10,000 repeated stretching cycles at a 100 percent strain. In practical application, the researchers tested the fiber in a thin sweater, which, despite being only one-fifth as thick as a traditional down jacket, delivered comparable thermal insulation.

The successful development of this knittable fiber opens up exciting possibilities for the creation of multifunctional aerogel fibers and textiles, paving the way for innovative advancements in the field.  Plastics technology

Chinese scientists have successfully developed a revolutionary knittable fiber, drawing inspiration from the insulating properties of polar bear fur

Engineering plastics – Compostable fishing nets: An end to Ghost Nets in the oceans? 23-12-2023

Plastics technology

Engineering plastics – Compostable fishing nets: An end to Ghost Nets in the oceans? 23-12-2023

Engineering plastics

Japanese refining and petrochemical company Idemitsu has initiated the operational phase of its polystyrene (PS)-based engineering plastics plant in Johor state, Malaysia, boasting an annual production capacity of 9,000 tons

This successful launch in Malaysia has effectively doubled Idemitsu’s overall output capacity for its syndiotactic PS, a type of PS-based engineering plastic. The company already operates a similar 9,000-ton plant in Chiba prefecture, east Japan.

Syndiotactic PS plastics, known for their lightweight properties and resilience to heat and chemicals, find applications in electric vehicle (EV) components, home appliances, and kitchen utilities. Anticipating a surge in demand, particularly in Southeast Asia for EVs and kitchen utilities, Idemitsu strategically expanded its production capabilities in Malaysia to ensure stable output.  Engineering plastics

The decision to choose Malaysia as the new production site was facilitated by the proximity to Idemitsu SM Malaysia, a subsidiary providing the necessary feedstock styrene monomer (SM). The latter operates a 240,000-ton-per-year SM plant located adjacent to the syndiotactic PS project. However, specific details regarding the quantity of SM required for the annual production of 9,000 tons of syndiotactic PS were not disclosed.

In a move to streamline its petrochemical business, Idemitsu has opted to discontinue bisphenol-A production by October 2024. This decision stems from increased competition with Asian producers and oversupply in the market.  Engineering plastics

Engineering plastics

STF America announces the sale of a PET Bottle Washing Plant to Malama One Recycling LLC, Waiakea Volcanic Water

STF Group of Germany and Zimmer America Recycling Solutions announce the sale of a complete STF PET Bottle Recycling Plant in Hilo, Hawaii. The equipment will be installed at Malama One Recycling LLC, Waiakea Water, a supplier of sustainably sourced and packaged premium volcanic water.

The line has an initial capacity of 1.5 metric tons/hour output of flakes. It incorporates a modular design where the output can be increased to 2.5 metric tons/hour in the future.

In addition to PET, HDPE and PP are also recovered to be sold into the recycled material markets.  Engineering plastics

The line consists of machinery and equipment manufactured by STF Group in Germany. The sorting line includes Material Feeding and Conveying Systems, Bale Braker, Dosing Screws, Magnetic Over-Belt Metal Separator, Manual Sorting Station, Label Scraper, and Star Screen. The line also features wide Tomra AutoSort optical bottle sorters with two parallel streams.

The washing equipment includes STF Wet Grinder with Friction Cleaner and Circulation System, Air Stream Separation, Hot-Washers, Sink/Float Separation Stage with Stirring and Separating Containers, Post-Washers, Tomra Flake Sorting, Filling Stations for PET, PO and Labels as well as a Water Treatment System with Decanter, Neutralization Tank and Dosing Station.  Engineering plastics

 

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Engineering plastics

Emerging industries attract foreign investment

Volkswagen Anhui’s MEB plant in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province, is buzzing with activity as more than 1,000 robots engage in the production of new energy vehicles.

Next to the production plant, two supplier parks have been set up, with 18 partners already moving in.

In just two and a half years, Volkswagen has built a new hub in Hefei, covering the complete value chain from research and development to manufacturing, sales and service of NEVs.  Engineering plastics

“We are specifically utilizing new technologies and the outstanding infrastructure of Anhui,” said Erwin Gabardi, CEO of Volkswagen Anhui. “We will also benefit from this innovative strength.”

Volkswagen is among several global companies that have consistently increased investments in China’s emerging industries.

As China promotes industrial innovation with technological innovation, more high-quality, high-end, and technologically innovative industries are becoming the new magnet for foreign investment.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that the actual use of foreign investment in manufacturing rose 1.9 percent year-on-year to 283.44 billion yuan ($39.84 billion) during the first 10 months, with that in high-tech manufacturing logging an increase of 9.5 percent.  Engineering plastics

 

ngineering plastics

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Engineering plastics

Compostable fishing nets: An end to Ghost Nets in the oceans?

Ghost nets lost from fishing boats become deadly traps for marine wildlife, persisting for centuries. Now a South African/Swedish joint venture aims at ending the problem with compostable fishing nets.

Fishing nets lost at sea are a major source of plastic pollution in the ocean. These so-called “ghost nets” drift globally, ensnaring and killing fish, dolphins, seals, birds, and sea turtles. They can last up to 600 years, releasing microplastics as they slowly degrade.

Now South African initiative Catchgreen, is developing a solution. By creating nets and other gear from compostable Biodolomer, a net lost at sea would degrade into biomass within a few years. They also have a higher density so they will sink to the bottom of the ocean where they cause less harm and are subject to microbes that speed up decomposing.  Engineering plastics

– Biodolomer nets will not only reduce ghost fishing,” says Emma Algotsson, project lead at Catchgreen and CEO of Kompost-It. “It will reduce the amount of micro plastics in the ocean. And old nets can be disposed of at industrial composting facilities and turned into biomass.

Biodolomer was invented by packaging material legend Åke Rosén who has been instrumental in developing many materials for Tetra Pak and has over 65 patents to his name.  Engineering plastics

 

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Compostable fishing nets: An end to Ghost Nets in the oceans?

Plastic waste – whose responsibility?

India has opted for the EPR route

Over the past 100 years, the world has produced more than 8.8 billion tonnes of plastic, 460 million tonnes (or 5%) of which were produced in 2019 alone. As a result, plastic waste has proliferated, and plastic pollution has become one of today’s most pressing environmental challenges around the globe.

In India, the problem of plastic waste is being tackled by an Extended Producer Responsibility system. Under the present EPR system, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has mandated recyclers to report their plastic packaging recycling data and generate EPR credits for the same.  Engineering plastics
It is a policy approach under the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016, which makes producers responsible for the end-of-life disposal of their products. This means that manufacturers, brand owners, and importers are legally obligated to manage the collection and disposal of their products in an environmentally sound manner. The goal of EPR is to encourage producers to design products that are more environmentally friendly and to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products, including their disposal.

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Plastic waste - whose responsibility?

OQ’s latest polymer innovations

Headquartered in Oman, OQ stands out for its diverse expertise as an energy transition enabler across various markets. Excelling in polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), catering to both flexible and rigid packaging solutions, OQ has announced two major product launches designed to solve industry challenges and provide key sustainability benefits.

First is the OQ Luban polypropylene impact copolymer portfolio, introducing Luban EP 2340L, EP 2340P, and EP 2348R, which underwent initial proving in 2022 and are set for a full launch in Q4 2023. These grades, along with the upcoming Luban EP 2348S and EP 2348T are scheduled for launch in the same quarter. These products provide solutions covering a broad range of applications, including thin-walled packaging, appliances, automotive parts, and consumer goods, industrial, containers, crates, batteries, and beyond.  Engineering plastics

Alongside this, OQ is also launching Luban LL8446.21 – a new LLDPE Rotomoulding solution. Designed to enable safe, clean, and reliable storage and transportation of water and other liquids, it has multiple applications, including water tanks, chemical containers, pallets, traffic barriers, air conditioning enclosures and refuse bins.

OQ will showcase all its latest polymer portfolio innovations at Arabplast 2023 in Hall 4/C110

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OQ’s latest polymer innovations

Taking Pressure from Supply Shift, The US and Mexico Propylene Prices Surge in December

In the second week of December 2023, the U.S. Propylene market experienced a significant price surge of 8.5%, driven by pivotal shifts in commercial crude oil inventories, a crucial feedstock for Propylene production. The latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly petroleum status report revealed a notable 4.3-million-barrel decrease in inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), between December 1 and December 8.  Engineering plastics

This decline directly influenced Propylene prices, reaching the week-ending December 15. U.S. crude oil stocks, excluding the SPR, declined to 440.8 million barrels on December 8, down from 445.0 million barrels on December 1, significantly lower than the December 9, 2022, figure of 424.1 million barrels. SPR crude oil remained steady at 351.9 million barrels on both December 8 and December 1, compared to 382.3 million barrels on December 9, 2022. The broader U.S. petroleum market experienced a 10.0-million-barrel week-on-week decrease and a 2.2% downturn, with total petroleum stocks reported at 1.611 billion barrels on December 8.

Meanwhile, in the Mexican market, Propylene prices observed an 8.4% increase, influenced by expensive Propylene imports from overseas, particularly the USA, where prices rose by 8.5%. Despite this, the Propylene Refinery Grade price remained stable at USD 281 per metric ton.  Engineering plastics

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Taking Pressure from Supply Shift, The US and Mexico Propylene Prices Surge in December

Plastics circularity -Environment could be in for a break after enzyme found that can devour plastic 22-12-2023

Engineering plastics

Plastics circularity -Environment could be in for a break after enzyme found that can devour plastic 22-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Plastics circularity

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Batteries that charge twice as much: the invention of a start-up from the Polytechnic University of Milan

Exciting developments are emerging from the Polytechnic University of Milan, where a dynamic startup, Lyft Energy, founded by two visionary researchers, Eugenio Gibertini and Maurizio Sansotera, is revolutionizing the landscape of electric vehicle technology. The groundbreaking innovation lies in their ability to transform lithium metal batteries, renowned for their superior storage capacity yet traditionally considered disposable, into rechargeable powerhouses, effectively doubling their charging potential.

Lithium anode batteries, distinguished by a capacity ten times greater than those utilizing graphite or other metals, have long been hindered by their single-use nature. Gibertini and Sansotera, experts in applied physical chemistry and chemical foundations of technologies, respectively, have successfully devised an insulating film to impede lithium movement between the anode and cathode.  Plastics circularity

This innovative film ensures that the battery remains functional even after multiple uses, addressing the disposability challenge.

The researchers entrusted the construction of the prototype to materials engineer Piergiorgio Marziani, whose initial results demonstrated remarkable promise. To expedite the industrialization of their invention, the trio welcomed Ground Control Holding as a strategic partner, acquiring a 10% stake in Lyft Energy.

The remaining ownership of this groundbreaking startup firmly rests in the hands of the visionary researchers, signifying a promising journey toward reshaping the future of electric vehicle technology.  Plastics circularity

Plastics circularity

Environment could be in for a break after enzyme found that can devour plastic

Plastic pollution is a huge environmental challenge, contributing to the proliferation of extensive landfill sites across the world. Plastic does not degrade naturally in the same way wood rots or even metal rusts, meaning that once the material is discarded into the environment, its impact is felt for years. Less than 10 percent of plastic around the world is recycled.

To address this issue, scientists have discovered an enzyme which is capable of rapidly breaking down the polymer bonds within plastics. By breaking down plastics to a molecular level, landfill sites will significantly enhance their recycling capacity for these materials.

Polyethylene terephthalate or PET, is the plastic commonly used in consumer packaging such as water bottles, food packaging and many other types of containers, making it account for more than 10 percent of all global waste. Plastics circularity

Scientists in the United States, South Korea and the European Union are using machine learning to develop enzymes which can break down PET into smaller parts and then reform them. The enzyme is so efficient that some plastics could be broken down in as little as 24 hours.  Plastics circularity

First discovered over 20 years ago in a pile of rotting leaves, naturally occurring bacteria use such enzymes to break down the cuticle wax on fallen tree leaves.

Usually plastics in landfill sites are simply burned to remove them. This process takes up a lot of energy and significantly pollutes the atmosphere with toxic waste. The alternative recycling process is also far from ideal, taking huge amounts of energy to break plastics down chemically in order to reform them in the recycling process.

Plastics circularity

INEOS Inovyn expands PVC portfolio; new products include NEOVYN range with reduced CO2 footprint, RECOVYN made from 100% recycled carbon feedstock, and the bio-attributed PVC BIOVYN

  • INEOS Inovyn introduces NEOVYN, the new PVC range with a reduced carbon footprint meeting 2030 market targets on GHG reductions;
  • BIOVYNTM, our current bio-attributed PVC, is optimised to progressively reach a carbon neutral footprint, becoming the net zero option;
  • For circularity, RECOVYNTM completes the new Sustainable PVC Portfolio, for customers aiming to increase recycled content with PVC.
  • “The new products we bring to the market will help our customers’ and business to jointly achieve our sustainability goals” says Arnaud Valenduc, Business Director of INEOS Inovyn.  Plastics circularity

INEOS Inovyn has today announced the expansion of its PVC portfolio – to offer new products that meet society’s everyday needs, with a significantly reduced carbon footprint and increased recycled content.

In the area of carbon neutrality, BIOVYNTM, the bio-attributed PVC launched by INEOS Inovyn in 2019, is designed to become carbon neutral and the net zero option. BIOVYNTM has been used increasingly across various sectors from automotive, building and construction, to medical and fashion applications, where fossil-free solutions with a reduced carbon footprint are needed.  Plastics circularity

To support customer targets for 2030 GHG reductions, INEOS Inovyn offers NEOVYN, which is a new PVC range with a significantly reduced carbon footprint that is 37% lower than the European industry average for suspension PVC (reduced to 1.3 kg CO2 per kg PVC).

NEOVYN will be produced from the many sustainable initiatives that INEOS Inovyn is pursuing, such as an increased access to renewable energy, process electrification and the production and use of renewable hydrogen. NEOVYN will become the new low carbon footprint standard enabling converters to progress on their carbon roadmap by reducing their Scope 3 emissions and offer low carbon footprint products to their customers.

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Plastics circularity

In the closing months of 2023, Italian industries are embracing a hydrogen-powered future with vigor, marking a significant stride towards cleaner processes

The impending three years will see pivotal utilization of public funds earmarked for territorial centers, primarily situated in derelict industrial zones. Notably, four projects have been unveiled in a single week, spanning from the north to the south of the country.

In Abruzzo’s Goriano Sicoli, an accord was inked between the municipal administration and Infinite Green Energy – IGE Italia, signaling the initiation of large-scale green hydrogen production in the Peligna Valley. Meanwhile, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region has allocated 14 million euros for renewable hydrogen production in abandoned industrial areas. In Basilicata, the region boasts the highest renewable energy production and has received 12 requests for the production of renewable hydrogen.  Plastics circularity

Looking southward to Lazio, the Frosinone industrial district is set for reconversion by 2026. The “HELIOS” project in Patrica, a collaboration involving ENGIE, Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI), and the Lazio Industrial Consortium, aims to become Central Italy’s largest electrolysis production center, with an investment of 20 million euros, partially financed by the PNRR “Hydrogen Valleys” tender.

This surge in interest aligns with European decarbonization goals, as articulated by President Ursula von der Leyen, who recently revealed authorizing over €17 billion in state aid for 80 hydrogen projects across the EU. The Lazio valley project, occupying a 10-hectare disused industrial area, is poised to rejuvenate the pharmaceutical sector, producing approximately 400 tonnes of green hydrogen annually through electrolysis of water using renewable energy.  Plastics circularity

This initiative, developed in collaboration with the University of Cassino, signifies a modern power-to-gas plant, indicative of Italy’s commitment to hasten the transition to cleaner energy and enhance competitiveness for small and medium-sized businesses in 2023.

In the closing months of 2023, Italian industries are embracing a hydrogen-powered future with vigor, marking a significant stride towards cleaner processes

H2 Tank – First Cevotec system destined for Japan

FPP unit will be primarily dedicated to the production of H2 composite tanks with dome reinforcements.
Cevotec, the leading provider of automation equipment based on fibre patch placement (FPP) technology, is introducing the first FPP production system to the Japanese market.Fuji Industries, a specialised Japanese trading company in industries such as aerospace and high-tech equipment, has ordered Cevotec’s Samba Pro PV system which will be primarily dedicated to advancing H2 tank production with dome reinforcements which reduce the weight, cost and environmental footprint of composite tanks significantlyThe order follows a preview of Cevotec’s new Samba Pro PV FPP system dedicated to the production of reinforcements for hydrogen pressure vessels at the 2023 JEC in Paris.  Plastics circularity
Fuji  is committed to advancing Japan’s composites production capabilities and support the local industry with advanced technology solutions.“With FPP it is possible to reinforce the dome areas of type 4 hydrogen tanks which leads to significant material savings,” said Junji Yamada, president and CEO of Fuji Industries.
“This technology has the potential to establish a new standard in composite tank production – it enables us to support our customers with new automation options that they need to stay competitive.”In order to enable broad industrial and scientific engagement with the first FPP system in Japan, Fuji is planning to situate the system at a strategic R&D location accessible to relevant industry companies in aerospace and H2 and is well integrated in the Japanese composite research ecosystem.  Plastics circularity
More…H2 Tank - First Cevotec system destined for Japan

ICIS: Cautiously optimistic future for plastics circularity

The circular economy has been one of the most powerful megatrends affecting the plastics industry over the last few years and is widely anticipated to keep building momentum in the future.

However, in 2023, global macroeconomic headwinds including recessionary fears became a real test for companies’ sustainability commitments.  Plastics circularity

Overall low polymer demand across the key end-use industries with subsequent drops in virgin prices over 2023 made some companies (particularly those less exposed to consumer or regulation pressure) switch to low-cost feedstock alternatives. In the first half of 2023, this was virgin material. As a result, the existing record high prices for recycled polymers began to decline as well. While this may seem like a positive development as more brand owners might access more cost competitive recycled polymers, the long-term affect is likely to be adverse – disincentivising much-needed investments into building sorting and recycling capacity.

The current global mechanical recycling penetration rates (recycled polymer production divided by total polymer consumption) across the major commodities, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), sits within 5-15%, according to the ICIS Supply & Demand Database and ICIS Recycling Supply Tracker – Mechanical. Despite a challenging 2023, production of mechanically recycled polymers is forecast to witness relatively strong growth supported by continuing consumer pressure, voluntary pledges and new legislation across the globe.  Plastics circularity

However, if the current market trends continue and no major acceleration happens, ICIS does not expect those global mechanical recycling penetration rates to exceed 20% by 2050. The main reasons include not only the overall growth of polymer consumption, but also the existence of certain plastic applications, which are intrinsically challenging to be recycled mechanically (for example, flexibles or textiles) as well as stringent requirements for contact-sensitive applications (for example, food-grade recycled polyolefins).

ICIS: Cautiously optimistic future for plastics circularity

Boosting hemp fibre production in Texas

 Panda Biotech has completed the construction and commissioning of the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin in Texas with the capacity to process ten metric tons of industrial hemp for textiles and nonwovens every hour.

In addition it will produce hurd, short-fibre hurd mix and a nutrient-rich co-product that will be pelletized. The facility is expected to be the largest hemp decortication centre in the Western Hemisphere and among the largest in the world.  Plastics circularity

“Each piece of the Panda Hemp Gin production line, including the three miles of overhead pneumatic duct lines, refining, blending, mechanical cottonization, hurd bagging and baling must be individually started, checked, balanced, and commissioned,” says Panda Biotech executive vice president Scott Evans. “Currently, all equipment is individually being brought online to be officially placed in service.”

Using only renewable energy sources, the engineering and production process at the Panda Hemp Gin has been certified green by Mid-South Engineering Company, in accordance with the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles. Panda Biotech has also partnered with Oritain, a scientific traceability company, to bring the most traceable hemp grown 100% in the United States to market.  Plastics circularity

Boosting hemp fibre production in Texas

Green Hydrogen – APK is gearing up for the establishment of its expansive Newcycling® plant, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s strategic evolution 21-12-2023

Plastics circularity

Green Hydrogen – APK is gearing up for the establishment of its expansive Newcycling® plant, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s strategic evolution 21-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

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Economic Decline: Ecosystems’ Impact on Global Well-being

In a sobering study conducted by scientists at the University of California, Davis, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the future economic landscape is predicted to bear the brunt of ongoing ecosystem degradation. Published on December 19, 2023, the research forewarns that by 2100, economic benefits derived from ecosystem services may plummet by up to 9%, exacerbating global inequalities.

The analysis, employing global vegetation and climate models alongside World Bank estimates, posits an average 1.3% reduction in gross domestic product worldwide due to climate change-induced alterations in vegetation, rainfall patterns, and elevated CO2 levels.  Green Hydrogen

This grim outlook is compounded by the unequal distribution of impacts, as the world’s poorest 50% of countries are projected to shoulder a staggering 90% of GDP damages. In contrast, the wealthiest 10% may experience more limited losses at just 2%. The study emphasizes the critical role natural capital plays in less developed countries’ economies, underscoring the need for robust climate mitigation measures to safeguard these ecosystems.

Bernardo Bastien-Olvera, a doctoral student at UC Davis, poses a crucial question: What is lost when an ecosystem is degraded? The study contends that the losses extend beyond economic impacts, encompassing clean air, water, healthy forests, and biodiversity—collectively constituting “natural capital” that directly influences human well-being and economic prosperity. The researchers stress the urgency of recognizing and addressing these often overlooked damages to mitigate economic losses and foster global well-being in the coming decades.  Green Hydrogen

Green Hydrogen

MEGlobal rolls over January MEG ACP

MEGlobal has maintained the monoethylene glycol (MEG) Asian Contract Price (ACP) for January 2024 at $840 per tonne, according to a company insider. This marks a stability compared to the December ACP. The pricing structure is established on a CFR (cost and freight) basis in the Asian market.

It’s noteworthy that MEGlobal had previously set the ACP for December 2023 at $840 per tonne, reflecting a $10 per tonne increase from the November ACP, as communicated by a company source. Again, the pricing for December was based on CFR terms in the Asian market.  Green Hydrogen

The decision to rollover the MEG ACP for January suggests a strategic approach to maintaining pricing consistency in the market. This move comes after a modest increment in the previous month, indicating stability in MEGlobal’s pricing strategy amidst market dynamics. The ACP not only serves as a benchmark for industry players but also reflects MEGlobal’s response to prevailing economic factors influencing the monoethylene glycol market in the Asian region.

Green Hydrogen

Aquafil Ranked First Among Global Companies in the “textiles” Subindustry …

Aquafil S.p.A. [ECNL:IM] [ECNLF:OTCQX] ranked as the top company globally in the “Textiles” subindustry according to the Morningstar Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating1.

The excellent rating of 10.7 improved by 4.7 points2 from the rating received in 2022.

Today, the Group is ranked in the “low” ESG risk level, slightly above the “negligible” one.

The score is measured on a scale consisting of 5 levels (Negligible, Low, Medium, High, Severe) and a rating from 1 (lowest risk) to 100 (highest risk).

Moreover, with this result, Aquafil is in the third percentile of the companies rated globally by Morningstar Sustainalytics, a leading company in ESG analysis and evaluation. An abstract of the report is posted on the website at: https://www.sustainalytics.com/esg-rating/aquafil-spa/2005614095   Green Hydrogen

“The result obtained confirms our commitment and the effectiveness of the improvement process already initiated, which aims to achieve, by 2025, a negligible assessment of the ESG risk level”, stated Giulio Bonazzi, Chief Executive Officer of Aquafil.

For more information on Aquafil’s ESG commitment and specific initiatives, please see the Sustainability section on the website https://www.aquafil.com/esg-agenda-2030/

Aquafil is a pioneer in the circular economy also thanks to the ECONYL® regeneration system, an innovative and sustainable process able to create new products from waste and give life to an endless cycle. The nylon waste is collected in locations all over the world and includes industrial waste but also products – such as fishing nets and rugs – that have reached the end of their useful life. Such waste is processed to obtain a raw material – caprolactam – with the same chemical and performance characteristics as those from fossil sources. The polymers produced from ECONYL® caprolactam are distributed to the Group’s production plants, where they are transformed into yarn for rugs carpet flooring and for clothing.  Green Hydrogen

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Aquafil Ranked First Among Global Companies in the "textiles" Subindustry ...

APK is gearing up for the establishment of its expansive Newcycling® plant, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s strategic evolution

Hailing from Merseburg/Leuna, Germany, APK AG is poised to enter the new year with robust momentum, having meticulously laid the groundwork for its ambitious expansion in 2023. The company has not only secured the backing of formidable investors such as LyondellBasell and KIRKBI A/S but has also attained noteworthy ISO certifications. The inking of initial product supply agreements further fortifies APK AG’s foundation, setting the stage for the commencement of construction in 2024.

Dr. Robert Marx, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of APK AG, underscores the propitious environment for expansion, attributing it to the European Commission’s initiative mandating the use of plastic recyclates in packaging and, subsequently, in the automotive sector.  Green Hydrogen

The groundwork laid in early 2023, with LyondellBasell and KIRKBI A/S committing a substantial investment of 130 million euros, positions APK AG to utilize mixed waste from flexible plastic packaging for producing high-quality LDPE recyclates.

APK AG achieved a significant milestone in the summer of 2023 when TÜV Rheinland certified the company in accordance with ISO Standard 9001-Quality Management Systems. These certifications, encompassing quality management, environmental management, and energy management systems, play a pivotal role in attracting and assuring investors.

Looking ahead to 2024, APK AG anticipates an exciting journey with the full-scale planning and construction of the Newcycling® plant. CTO Dr. Robert Marx hints at forthcoming details about the plant’s location and capacity, signaling a promising and dynamic year for APK AG and its groundbreaking Newcycling® technology.  Green Hydrogen

Green Hydrogen

As a forward-thinking automotive industry leader, Toyota remains committed to diversification in its pursuit of sustainable mobility

Recognizing that one-size-fits-all solutions don’t apply to the future of electric vehicles (EVs), Toyota is strategically investing in various battery technologies to address different needs.

The company’s dedication to innovation is evident in its exploration of solid-state batteries, a technology poised to redefine zero-emission transport. While progress is incremental, Toyota aims to enhance its existing batteries, projecting a 1,000 km range for its EVs by 2027, ensuring that traditional lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes remain relevant.  Green Hydrogen

In tandem with these developments, Toyota is actively researching solid-state batteries, foreseeing a potential 1,200 km range on a single charge. Although the market release date remains undisclosed, Toyota’s pioneering work since 2020 suggests a commitment to staying ahead of competitors, hinting at a potential surprise announcement.

A notable addition to Toyota’s future lineup is the introduction of bipolar batteries, anticipated by 2026 or 2027. Green Hydrogen

Leveraging a distinct internal structure, these batteries promise increased autonomy and faster charging. For instance, the bZ4X electric car equipped with bipolar batteries is projected to achieve a range of 480 to 800 km, with an impressive 20-minute charge time from 10% to 80%, outperforming current standards.

Derived from the technology developed for nickel-metal hydride batteries in Toyota’s hybrid cars, bipolar technology will be implemented in both traditional lithium-ion batteries and lithium iron phosphate accumulators. This forward-looking approach underscores Toyota’s commitment to providing diverse and efficient solutions, reinforcing its position as an industry leader in the electric vehicle revolution.  Green Hydrogen

As a forward-thinking automotive industry leader, Toyota remains committed to diversification in its pursuit of sustainable mobility

APEAL regrets lack of support for recyclability shown by European Council

APEAL regrets a lack of ambition regarding recyclability measures in the European Council’s General Approach to Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

“Initiatives such as the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) serve as a global model. The General Approach of the Member States in Council missed the opportunity to signal the importance of delivering an ambitious packaging and packaging waste plan for Europe,” said Steve Claus, Secretary General of APEAL.

APEAL acknowledges the Council’s efforts to define high-quality recycling. However, we believe that incorporating the concept of multiple recycling into the definition of high-quality recycling within the legislative articles would convey an even more robust message to industry.  Green Hydrogen

An ambitious definition of high-quality recycling could act as a driving force for packaging manufacturers to enhance the recyclability of their products, thereby fostering to a more effective and efficient recycling process.

APEAL particularly regrets that ‘recyclability performance grades’ based on design for recycling criteria, will not realise their full potential.  Green Hydrogen

“Ambitious recyclability performance grades, including strong qualitative recyclability criteria, would have been a great step forward to a truly EU Circular Economy, ensuring that packaging that can be recycled multiple times and can feed a closed material loop scheme is duly recognised at the top of the recycling hierarchy”.

APEAL regrets lack of support for recyclability shown by European Council

SIBUR to register climate project with Global Carbon Council

SIBUR, a Russian petrochemical company, will issue carbon credits following the registration of a solar power projects at one of its facilities, said the company.
The project will be registered with the Global Carbon Council (GCC), an international carbon offsetting programme.
During COP28, the Qatar-registered GCC announced the launch of its own carbon credit registry, which, among other things, will enable Russian businesses to register projects and issue carbon credits, something they are currently prevented from doing by IHS Markit, an international carbon credit market operator.  Green Hydrogen
SIBUR has applied to the GCC to register a solar power project at its POLIEF facility. Once the project is registered, SIBUR will become the first Russian company to issue carbon credits under an international programme since Russia established its own system for emissions trading. SIBUR plans to issue around 18,000 carbon credits.
The solar power plant, which has a capacity of 4.9 MW (10,080 solar panels) and takes up an area of more than 8 hectares, supplies power for the production of Vivilen PET pellets using recycled plastics.
Elena Myakotnikova, Head of SIBUR’s Climate Initiatives and Carbon Regulation, said: “We have been upgrading our production facilities and reducing our environmental footprint thanks to consistent investment over a period of many years. The registration of our carbon credits with the Global Carbon Council will be a milestone in terms of recognition of our climate-related projects, laying the foundation for our carbon credits to be traded on the international market.”  Green Hydrogen

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SIBUR to register climate project with Global Carbon Council

Ionomr Innovations raises $26.7 million cad to boost Green Hydrogen sector

Simon Fraser University spinout has raised $55.4 million CAD to date.

Vancouver and Rochester, NY-based electrochemical engineering startup Ionomr Innovations has closed a $26.7-million CAD ($20-million USD) Series A extension.

The financing was led by returning investors NGIF Cleantech Ventures and Pallasite Ventures, and saw participation from Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Finindus, Samsung Ventures, SAIC Capital, N.V. Bekaert, and Asahi Kasei.

According to a spokesperson from Ionomr, the round is an extension raised at a higher valuation. The startup’s last funding round totalling $18.7 million CAD was announced in early 2022. This funding brings its total Series A financing to $46.6 million CAD, and its total funding to $55.4 million CAD.  Green Hydrogen

“The participation of leaders across our industry underscores that Ionomr is delivering proven competitive advantages to our customers and their system users.”

Bill Haberlin

Founded in 2018 and spun out of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, Ionomr Innovations develops ion-exchange membranes and polymers, which are designed to be more efficient, cost-competitive solutions for the hydrogen economy that eliminate the need for expensive precious metal requirements for hydrogen production and CO2 electrolysis.

Ionomr’s materials, Pemion and Aemion, are designed for use in fuel cells, hydrogen production, and carbon capture and conversion processes.  Green Hydrogen

Last year, the startup was one of the 13 Canadian companies named to the Global Cleantech 100.

“We are delighted to receive the financial support of industry players that represent the full spectrum of the hydrogen ecosystem,” said Bill Haberlin, CEO of Ionomr Innovations. “The participation of leaders across our industry underscores that Ionomr is delivering proven competitive advantages to our customers and their system users.”

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PET Bottles – Focus on circular and sustainable packaging  20-12-2023

Green Hydrogen

PET Bottles – Focus on circular and sustainable packaging  20-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

PET Bottles

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Tomra and Sutco Collaborate to Enhance Sorting Capabilities at Svensk Plaståtervinning’s Expanded Facility in Sweden

Svensk Plaståtervinning’s Site Zero, a Swedish plastics recycling facility, has undergone a significant expansion with the support of technology providers Tomra and Sutco.

The facility, located in Motala, Sweden, now boasts over 60 Tomra Autosort units as part of its sorting process for discarded packaging, resulting in 12 marketable polymer fractions. The expansion, completed in late 2022, positions the facility to process up to 42 metric tons of material per hour, contributing to the CEO’s vision of achieving zero waste and closing the loop on plastics in Sweden.  PET Bottles

Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Svensk Plaståtervinning, emphasized the importance of the project in increasing plastic recycling rates in Sweden, aiming to tap into the substantial potential of recyclable materials.

The collaboration with Tomra and Sutco has allowed the facility to adopt state-of-the-art sorting technology, facilitating material recovery and achieving purity levels of up to 98 percent.  PET Bottles

The project reflects a successful partnership, with Tomra providing cutting-edge sorting technology, Sutco leading in plant construction, and Svensk Plaståtervinning driving the initiative.

The resulting Site Zero serves as a model for sorting facilities across Europe, demonstrating the commitment to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. The facility’s owner has plans to further enhance reprocessing capacities nearby, solidifying the project’s impact on the circular economy and promoting a greener future for plastic recycling. PET Bottles

PET Bottles

Victoria’s largest PET plastic bottle recycling plant opens

A new $50 million PET plastic bottle recycling plant has opened in Melbourne, coinciding with the start of Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme.

The Circular Plastics Australia (PET) plant has the capability to recycle the equivalent of up to one billion 600ml PET plastic beverage bottles a year into high-quality, food-grade resin, which is then used to make new recycled PET beverage bottles and food packaging such as meat trays and fruit punnets.

PET is a joint venture between Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management, Asahi Beverages, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) and was formed to accelerate the local plastic circular economy.  PET Bottles

Amanda Sellers, CEO of Asahi Beverages, said it is a big step towards creating a truly circular economy in Victoria.

“This plant helps ensure soft drink bottles collected via the Victorian CDS and recycling bins get another life as beverage bottles or food packaging.”

The facility is the biggest of its kind in Victoria and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment capable of producing 2.5 tonnes of recycled PET resin per hour, and at full production, the facility will employ about 45 people for its 24/7 operations and supported around 60 full-time jobs during its construction.  PET Bottles

Orlando Rodriguez, Managing Director at CCEP, said CCEP is determined to be a leader in Australia’s circular economy.

“Through this investment, alongside the introduction of Victoria’s CDS, we have made great strides in closing the loop on beverage packaging locally. Seven out of 10 of our PET bottles are now made from 100 per cent recycled plastic (excluding caps and labels).”

This is the second PET recycling facility now operational in Australia, with the first, in Albury NSW, commencing operations in March 2022.  PET Bottles

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PET Bottles

Focus on circular and sustainable packaging 

The emerging significance of recycling technologies

The increased focus on the environment and climate has pushed companies harder to consider the sustainability of packaging and at the same time maintain its quality. Recycling technologies are critical components of the continuously improving process of transforming discarded plastic into new products.

Advanced and mechanical recycling each have an important role in creating more efficient processes.  PET Bottles

Speaking on the importance of the topic, Bambang Candra, Asia-Pacific commercial vice-president, of Dow packaging & specialty plastics told Packaging South Asia, “At Dow, we recognize that the world simultaneously needs more sustainable packaging options and less waste.

Plastic waste is in large supply – but it is not being accessed.

The gap between the downstream demand for circular plastics and the available supply is significant. The recycling of packaging waste, however, presents considerable logistical and operational challenges – with materials often ending up incinerated or buried along with general household waste.”  PET Bottles

According to Candra, though about 54% of recycled waste comprises rigid plastics, there is significant room for flexible packaging to become more recyclable. “The industry must realize that plastics are simply too valuable to be thrown away.

The 18 million metric tons of recycled plastic waste in 2022 alone generated a total gross product equivalent to CNY (Chinese Yuan) 105 billion (US$14.8 billion) in value. There is value in waste, and we are working to transform waste into circular and renewable solutions that contribute to sustainable packaging.”  PET Bottles

PET Bottles

US Paraxylene Contracts Exhibit a Decline in December

In December, contract prices for U.S. paraxylene (PX) witnessed a decline, dropping by one cent to reach 54 cents per pound (equivalent to USD 1,190.5 per tonne). This dip in prices can be attributed to the persistent downward trend in mixed xylene (MX) prices, coupled with subdued demand in the market. The ongoing decrease in xylene prices follows the culmination of the summer driving season, a period marked by heightened demand for MX due to increased gasoline consumption.

However, the outlook for MX demand suggests a continuing decline throughout the remainder of the year.  PET Bottles

The surplus in paraxylene supply remains a significant factor influencing pricing dynamics. The subdued demand for paraxylene stems from the sluggish market conditions for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), primarily driven by factors such as elevated mortgage rates and interest rates. These economic factors have rendered home purchases, renovations, and automobile acquisitions less affordable for consumers. Consequently, the demand for PET, a major application of paraxylene, has remained low.

Paraxylene plays a pivotal role in the production of polyester, as well as in the manufacturing of terephthalic acid (TPA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). These materials serve as key components in various industries, with approximately 98% of paraxylene utilized for polyester and TPA or DMT production. Moreover, DMT is also employed in the synthesis of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin.  PET Bottles

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US Paraxylene Contracts Exhibit a Decline in December

Teijin Frontier Announces Development Of Microft™ MX, A New Material For Sports And Outdoor Wear That Evenly Combines The Texture And Functionality Of Polyester And Nylon

Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fibers and products converting company, today announced the development of Microft™ MX, a next-generation, high-quality, high-performance material. This product is made from highly-deformed cross-section multifilament yarn*, which is a uniform mixture of single filaments of polyester and nylon, using a unique spinning technology, as the optimal woven or knitted structure. The evenly mixed polyester and nylon filaments produce deep colors.  PET Bottles

And Microft™ MX has the appearance of a finely woven chambray due to difference in dyeing effect of both materials.

*Multifilament yarn: A filament yarn made by pulling together dozens of single yarns (single fibers) into a single yarn.

The raw yarn has a gently V-shaped highly-deformed cross-section, which provides bulkiness and a spun-like, soft texture. Uniformly mixing polyester and nylon on the surface and in the structure of the woven fabric produces a combination of desirable features from both materials, such as the abrasion resistance and color development capabilities of nylon, and the water absorption, quick-drying properties and shape stability of polyester.  PET Bottles

In recent years, fashions that combine the practicality of sports and outdoor apparel with lifestyle have been expanding in popularity. There is a growing need for fabrics with superior functionality, plus new looks and textures, that differ from conventional products.

Polyester and nylon are often used in sports and outdoor clothing. Advances in product development are being made to take advantage of polyester’s stretch properties, dimensional stability, water absorption and quick-drying properties, and nylon’s abrasion resistance and vivid colors. However, no progress has been made in developing materials that combine the texture and functionality of polyester and nylon. PET Bottles

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Teijin Frontier Announces Development Of Microft™ MX, A New Material For Sports And Outdoor Wear That Evenly Combines The Texture And Functionality Of Polyester And Nylon

Proposed Bill Aims to Transform Plastic Bottle Recycling reducing dependence on virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Spearheaded by the Environmental Protection Authority and collaboratively crafted by experts from the Ministry of Industry and the Food and Beverage Industry Research and Development Center, the bill is positioned to legalize the incorporation of recycled PET (R-PET), particularly in the reuse of plastic bottles for food packaging.

Bekele Mekuria, the director of the Food and Beverage Industry Research and Development Center, underscores the necessity of standardized regulations for R-PET in food packaging. Aligning with the ‘Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal Control Decree Proclamation’ established in 2018, the proposed regulation aims to meticulously outline procedures for integrating R-PET into food packaging.  PET Bottles

The potential impact is immense—projected cost savings of up to USD 50 million annually in PET imports, job creation, and a substantial contribution to environmental preservation. The bill, currently under review by the Ministry of Justice, spans nine sections and over two dozen articles. It delineates roles, responsibilities, and standards for the entire process, encompassing PET material technology, control systems, compliance, and quality standards.

Once approved, the regulation is poised to attract investors to the packaging industry, fostering a sustainable future. It mandates transparent labeling by recycling companies and obligates food producers to inform consumers about packaging specifics, promoting responsible practices.  PET Bottles

This regulatory framework marks a pivotal step towards mitigating the adverse effects of plastic waste, emphasizing the intersection of human health, economic development, and environmental sustainability.

Proposed Bill Aims to Transform Plastic Bottle Recycling reducing dependence on virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Coca-Cola introduces 100% recycled PET bottles for the first time in Malaysia

The new 100% recycled plastic PET bottles prominently feature the slogan Dari Botol Jadi Botol – signifying the transformative journey each bottle takes to re-enter the supply chain.

Coca-Cola Malaysia is making significant strides towards circularity in plastic packaging. On Dec 14, their nationwide launch featured CocaCola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 500ml bottles made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, excluding the caps and labels.  PET Bottles

Coca-Cola currently offers at least one brand made from 100% recycled plastic bottles in over 40 countries worldwide, including Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and now Malaysia.

The launch follows the company’s efforts to address the urgent issue of plastic waste and to promote sustainability in Malaysia. These efforts involve various strategic partnerships aimed at enhancing closed loop circular packaging.

Earlier on Oct 11, Coca-Cola Malaysia, in collaboration with the American Malaysian Chamber Of Commerce (Amcham Malaysia), hosted the Our Future, Our Choice sustainability forum where key stakeholders, including the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as well as the Malaysian Recycling Alliance (MAREA) were in attendance.  PET Bottles

The panel discussed the role of post-consumer packaging in advancing the circular economy, stressing the importance of creating the right ecosystem for collecting and recycling plastics, while ensuring consumers understand the recycling process.

The Coca-Cola Company (Asean and South Pacific) sustainability and partnerships director Kirsten van Zandwijk stated: “Recognising the urgency and complexity of the plastic waste challenge in Malaysia, we acknowledge the collaborative efforts needed to address this issue.

“In line with our commitment to building a circular economy in the country, we are introducing innovative packaging designs like our new 100% recycled plastic bottles. These bottles align with our brand philosophy of Dari Botol Jadi Botol, emphasising that every bottle has a second life. PET Bottles

We are also expanding collection and recycling programmes and deepening stakeholder and industry partnerships.

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Coca-Cola introduces 100% recycled PET bottles for the first time in Malaysia

Textile Industry – Before drinking tea or coffee in a paper cup, know its disadvantages, you will be surprised! 19-12-2023

PET Bottles

Textile Industry – Before drinking tea or coffee in a paper cup, know its disadvantages, you will be surprised! 19-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Textile Industry

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Flame Retardant Could Be Made From Discarded Cocoa Husks

On cocoa farms around the world, cocoa beans are pulled from their pods, and the hard husks are discarded, leaving 20 million tons of plant waste to biodegrade and potentially harm future crops. These husks are a source of lignin, a substance that gives plants their rigidity. It’s extremely abundant—but often wasted.

A new study published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering found that the lignin processed from leftover cocoa pod husks could have a new use as an ingredient in flame retardantTextile Industry

“Lignin is pretty special, as it is very soluble in organic solvents,” said study co-author Dr. Nicholas Westwood, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at St. Andrews University in Scotland, in an email. This means lignin can be chemically manipulated to create a number of useful substances relatively easily.

Because of lignin’s malleability, Westwood and his coauthors were able to add a flame-retardant molecule to the processed substance, and found that the modification increased its already naturally high ability to smother flames.

That’s just one possible application. While lignin hasn’t found widespread industrial use yet, scientists hold hope for it to become a greener alternative for fuel and a biodegradable plastic instead of just being leftovers. Processing biomass for food or fuel also produces a massive amount of lignin as a byproduct, which has been converted to materials like activated charcoal or carbon foam. “There are endless possibilities,” Westwood said.  Textile Industry

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Textile Industry

Sales of electric cars with Chinese batteries blocked in the United States

In response to the growing influence of Chinese electric car manufacturers and concerns about national security, the Biden administration has taken steps to impede the sale of electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with Chinese batteries and components in the United States. Despite the inevitable shift towards electric mobility, the government aims to curb the proliferation of EVs with ties to China. China has emerged as a major global player in electric vehicle battery production, prompting the U.S. to safeguard its market against potential vulnerabilities.

To deter the adoption of EVs with Chinese connections, the American government has implemented new eligibility criteria for incentives under the “Inflation Reduction Act” plan. Prospective buyers can now qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 only if the electric car they purchase does not contain batteries manufactured in the “foreign entity of concern” or components from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Textile Industry

Another stipulation requires that no critical minerals used in the electric car’s components are sourced from China.

This move not only impacts Chinese automakers but also affects global manufacturers like Stellantis and Ford, as it restricts the sale of vehicles with Chinese batteries. While the initial provision faced criticism due to the U.S. automotive sector’s inability to produce electric car batteries independently, adjustments have been made to exclude specific materials from the restriction, as outlined by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Textile Industry

Euro area Dec biz activity falls steeper; manufacturing leads downturn

INSIGHTS

  • Business activity in the euro area fell at a steeper rate in December, according to provisional purchasing manager’s index survey data, according to S&P Global Ratings and Hamburg Commercial Bank.  Textile Industry
  • Manufacturing led the downturn, with output falling for a ninth month running, the rate of decline re-accelerating after the moderation seen in November.

Business activity in the euro area fell at a steeper rate in December, according to provisional purchasing manager’s index (PMI) survey data, closing off a fourth quarter that has seen output fall at its fastest rate for 11 years barring only the early-2020 pandemic months, according to S&P Global Ratings and Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB).

Downturns were again recorded across the manufacturing sector, which reported a further steep fall in inflows of new business, leading to a further depletion of backlogs of work.

Jobs were cut for a second month running as firms scaled back operating capacity in line with the worsening order book situation and persistent gloomy prospects for the year ahead, with future sentiment remaining well below its long-run average despite lifting slightly higher.  Textile Industry

Factories also cut inventories of inputs at a rate not seen since 2009.

Inflation signals in the euro area were mixed: input cost inflation cooled but selling price inflation accelerated, the latter notably remaining elevated by historical standards, S&P Global said in a release.

The seasonally adjusted HCOB Flash eurozone composite PMI output index registered 47 in December, down from 47.6 in November to signal a seventh consecutive monthly reduction in business activity across the euro area.  Textile Industry

The weak reading rounds off the sharpest average quarterly decline in activity recorded by the survey since the fourth quarter of 2012, if early pandemic lockdown months are excluded.

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Textile Industry

Before drinking tea or coffee in a paper cup, know its disadvantages, you will be surprised!

  1. The Deceptive Allure of Convenience

The allure of convenience is undeniable, especially in a society that values efficiency and time-saving solutions. Paper cups, celebrated for their disposability, seem to offer a quick and easy fix for those constantly on the move. However, does the convenience of a paper cup overshadow potential health and environmental concerns?

1.1 Environmental Fallout

While the disposable nature of paper cups may seem convenient, it comes at a considerable environmental cost.  Textile Industry

The seemingly innocent act of using a paper cup contributes to the already escalating problem of single-use plastic alternatives. The environmental fallout demands a closer look at the true impact of our convenience-driven choices.

  1. The Plastic Predicament

Contrary to popular belief, paper cups are not entirely made of paper. They often feature a hidden plastic lining, a design choice aimed at preventing leakage. This raises questions about the environmental friendliness of these seemingly innocent vessels.

2.1 The Recycling Quandary

The blend of paper and plastic in these cups creates a recycling challenge.

The intricate separation process required for recycling diminishes the eco-friendly image of paper cups. This underscores the need for a more sustainable approach to our daily choices.  Textile Industry

  1. The Temperature Tango

One may not consider the interaction between hot beverages and paper cups, but this delicate dance can impact both taste and safety.

3.1 Heat and Chemical Interaction

When hot liquids come into contact with paper cups, chemical interactions can occur. This phenomenon raises concerns about the potential transfer of harmful substances from the cup to your drink. Textile Industry

The unsuspecting consumer may be unknowingly exposed to these substances, highlighting a previously overlooked aspect of the paper cup experience.

More…

Before drinking tea or coffee in a paper cup, know its disadvantages, you will be surprised!

Shale production in the United States restarts, threat to OPEC

Shale oil production is experiencing a resurgence in the United States, posing a significant challenge to OPEC+’s efforts to constrain production for price control. The current surge indicates an estimated daily output of 13.3 million barrels, surpassing the previous US federal government prediction of 12.5 million barrels, and even surpassing the entire production of Venezuela.  Textile Industry

This revival in shale production is attributed to advancements in technology, which have streamlined and accelerated the extraction process. In the aftermath of the 2014 market bubble that impacted the sector, American companies redirected their focus towards process enhancement and ensuring the profitability of investments, resulting in a notable rebound in shale oil production.

As reported by Bloomberg, the resurgence of shale in the United States threatens to disrupt OPEC+’s strategic approach, which relies on limiting production to influence and stabilize oil prices. The scale of the production increase underscores the resilience and adaptability of the US shale industry, underscoring its potential to reshape the global oil market landscape.  Textile Industry

Shale production in the United States restarts, threat to OPEC

Bangalore Hosts The Lenzing Conclave: Spearheading Sustainable Solutions for the Textile Industry

The Lenzing Group, a global leader in wood-based specialty fibers, organized ‘The Lenzing Conclave’ in Bengaluru. This event served as a platform for brands, retailers, and selected garment manufacturers to gather and exchange insights on current consumption trends and the future trajectory of textile fibers and fabrics leading up to 2030. The discussions delved into the crucial factors driving dynamic transformations within the industry.

The showcase featured a comprehensive display of end-products utilizing Lenzing fibers across various segments such as denim, home textiles, intimate and loungewear, general outerwear, and traditional wear. Participants had the opportunity to directly experience Lenzing’s latest products and innovations.  Textile Industry

Notably, the exhibition highlighted the impressive variety of LENZING™ ECOVERO™ black fibers, renowned for delivering exceptional depth of black color in fabrics, and LENZING™ ECOVERO™ with REFIBRA™ technology, a step closer to a circular economy. This innovative offering reflects Lenzing’s commitment to sustainability and the pursuit of groundbreaking products. Recently, Lenzing transformed its Indonesian manufacturing site to produce LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers, certified with the internationally recognized EU Ecolabel for environmental excellence[1]. The site will also provide LENZING™ ECOVERO™ black fibers for Asian customers.  Textile Industry

As a trailblazer in the evolving textile industry, Lenzing continues to introduce pioneering and environmentally conscious solutions that align with the evolving demands of the Indian market. The conclave witnessed enthusiastic participation from essential stakeholders, fostering valuable networking opportunities and collaborative dialogues, further solidifying Lenzing’s position as a frontrunner in the ever-changing textile landscape.

Bangalore Hosts The Lenzing Conclave: Spearheading Sustainable Solutions for the Textile Industry

With over two decades of experience in the Italian packaging machinery industry, I have played a pivotal role in contributing to the sector’s unprecedented success

As of 2023, the industry has achieved a groundbreaking milestone, surpassing €9 billion in total sales revenues, marking a remarkable 6% increase from the previous year and securing its third consecutive record.

My leadership as the Ucima Chairman has witnessed the industry’s robust growth primarily driven by exports, constituting an impressive 81.3% of revenues and expected to reach €7.36 billion by year-end—an outstanding 12% surge from 2022. Notably, export sales have seen substantial increases across diverse geographical regions, with North America, the European Union, Asia, and South America experiencing year-on-year growth ranging from 17% to 31%.  Textile Industry

Despite the positive outlook for 2024, challenges loom on the horizon, notably the impact of evolving geopolitical scenarios and pending EU directives on packaging usage. Nevertheless, the industry remains resilient, having secured a record 8.2 months’ worth of orders.

While celebrating these achievements, there is a need for cautious optimism, as domestic sales have experienced a concerning 14% decline, attributed to the inflationary crisis and uncertainties surrounding Industry 4.0. As the industry navigates through these challenges, the RePowerEU initiative’s allocation of €6.3 billion for the Industry 5.0 plan is seen as a positive development, though more clarity is sought on fund distribution and criteria.  Textile Industry

In terms of global leadership, the Italian packaging industry continues to shine, with Italian-made technologies enjoying sustained demand worldwide. I have championed innovation within the industry, emphasizing the integration of artificial intelligence solutions into machinery—a key focus for future development and international expansion.

Ucima’s active involvement in advocating for the Italian waste recycling model is evident in our collaboration with other supply chain associations. The recent positive outcome in the European Parliament’s packaging directive vote is applauded, but our commitment to defending our unique waste recycling system remains unwavering. Textile Industry

With over two decades of experience in the Italian packaging machinery industry, I have played a pivotal role in contributing to the sector's unprecedented success

Plastic loop – Eurecat Develops New Ultra-Thin Smart Interface for New Generation of Cars 18-12-2023

Textile Industry

Plastic loop – Eurecat Develops New Ultra-Thin Smart Interface for New Generation of Cars 18-12-2023

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Plastic loop

yuan vs usd

Bright-PET chips – EXCLUSIVE-Eni exploring sale of stake in bioplastic maker Novamont 

More…

Plastic loop

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

These Chinese LFP batteries boast ultrafast charging

In a groundbreaking development, Zeekr, a brand under the Geely group, has unveiled a cutting-edge lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery during the Zeekr Power Day event. Known as the Golden Brick Battery, this innovation promises an astonishing 500 km of autonomy in just 15 minutes, leveraging an 800 Volt architecture. Presented as a game-changer in the field of LFP batteries, known for their cost-effectiveness and ease of production compared to NMC lithium-ion counterparts, the Golden Brick Battery is set to hit the market in 2027, featuring an unprecedented 80% plus active material percentage.

What sets the Golden Brick apart is its remarkable resilience – proven to function flawlessly after enduring extreme conditions, including an 8-hour exposure to -45 degrees and exposure to flames at 1,000 degrees.  Plastic loop

This remarkable achievement was showcased during Zeekr Power Day, where the company illustrated its progress and future plans.

Notably, Svolt, a Chinese company under Great Wall ownership, also announced a revolutionary product during its Battery Day event. The Svolt Short Blade, featuring LFP chemistry and an 800 Volt architecture, can achieve a rapid 5C charging speed, translating to a remarkable 350 km of autonomy in just 10 minutes. Excitingly, the Short Blade is expected to hit the market in 2024, further advancing the landscape of fast-charging LFP batteries.  Plastic loop

Plastic loop

From Japan, a system for producing cheaper batteries

A breakthrough in battery technology has emerged from Japan, promising to revolutionize the production of lithium cobalt oxide, a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries. Researchers from Hokkaido University and Kobe University have developed a groundbreaking method that synthesizes lithium cobalt oxide at a significantly lower temperature of 300 degrees Celsius, in contrast to the current 800 degrees Celsius requirement, and achieves a remarkable tenfold increase in speed.

Traditionally, manufacturing lithium cobalt oxide involves lengthy industrial processes spanning 10 to 20 hours, necessitating exposure to high temperatures.

The Japanese researchers, however, have streamlined the process to a mere 30 minutes at a lower temperature, resulting in substantial time and energy savings.

The innovative approach employs cobalt hydroxide and lithium hydroxide as base materials, with sodium and potassium hydroxide as additives. Through systematic experimentation, the team perfected a hydroflow process for synthesizing layered crystals of lithium cobalt oxide.  Plastic loop

While the newly produced compound exhibits slightly lower technical characteristics and electrochemical properties compared to its high-temperature counterpart, it still delivers comparable performance.

Professor Masaki Matsui, leading the research project, highlighted the crucial role of water molecules in enhancing the crystallinity of the final product, underscoring a deep understanding of the chemical reactions driving the production process.

This groundbreaking method holds promise for accelerating battery production at reduced costs, contributing to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and fostering a more sustainable future.  Plastic loop

Plastic loop

Closing the plastic loop

Plastic products bring important benefits to society – they help improve living standards and deliver health, safety and sustainability benefits. Plastic waste, however, is a global issue and where waste is not managed appropriately, it ends up polluting the environment. Estimates suggest that of the 353 million tonnes of plastic waste generated globally, only 9% is recycled, and the remainder goes to landfill or incineration – or is unmanaged after use.

Shell, alongside many others, is committed to finding lasting solutions to plastic waste. We want to play our part in the transformation of the plastics value chain from linear to circular, reducing the need for raw materials and introducing more recycled products into everyday life.  Plastic loop

Chemical recycling: key to tackling plastic waste

In recent decades, plastic recycling has mostly been limited to plastic waste streams which are relatively easy to collect and mechanically recycle like drink bottles or milk containers. However, alternative techniques are needed for plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled and are currently incinerated or go to landfill. These are hard to recycle plastics like snack bags, plastic film, garden furniture and others.

Chemical or advanced recycling uses different technologies to expand the types of plastics that can be recycled. Shell is working on several technologies to utilise waste and is focusing particularly on chemical recycling through pyrolysis: a special heating process that turns hard-to-recycle plastics into a liquid.  Plastic loop

This liquid, referred to as pyrolysis oil, replaces virgin hydrocarbons in the production of chemicals which are the building blocks of a wide range of products we use every day, including new plastic products.

More…

Closing the plastic loop

Eurecat Develops New Ultra-Thin Smart Interface for New Generation of Cars

The technology center presents the Púlsar project, which has developed a smart plastic surface just 3 millimeters thick.

The Eurecat technology center has developed a smart plastic surface just 3 millimeters thick, which has an interface that allows users to communicate with a machine, software or intuitive system with built-in LED lighting and capacitive sensors which is expected to be embedded in the central electronic system of the new generation of cars.

“The need for digital transformation and the growing importance of design, integration, personalisation and standing out from the competition means the industry is constantly evolving and developing highly innovative products and services,” says David Pardos, head of business development in Eurecat’s Mobility team.  Plastic loop

“By way of example, functional surfaces with haptic response activation featuring tactile sensations are gaining ground.”

The innovation has been created as part of the Púlsar project which has been run at Eurecat’s plastronics pilot plant. The facility specializes in functional printing and embedded devices and “has a track record spanning over 10 years of experience in electronics whether printed, hybrid or injected in plastic parts and functional fabrics,” notes Cristina Casellas, head of technology transfer at Eurecat. “This enables the technology centre to deliver solutions to complex and specific challenges across a wide range of sectors such as the automotive industry.”  Plastic loop

The Púlsar project can be seen at the Automotive Interiors fair in Stuttgart, Germany, where Eurecat is also showcasing plastic parts which imitate various textures such as marble, wood and fabric along with plastronics parts simulating push buttons with printed contact sensors and embedded optoelectronic devices.

Eurecat Develops New Ultra-Thin Smart Interface for New Generation of Cars

New standard for circular plastics ensures higher quality and cost reduction

Cirplus has developed a new standard for the use of recycled plastics together with the IKK — Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy and the Kunststoff-Institut Luedenscheid.

DIN SPEC 91481 improves the quality assurance of polyamide-based recyclates through the correction of previously insufficient data quality. It provides clear guidelines for the classification and description of waste and recyclates, thus simplifying trade in recycled plastics. In addition, the cooperation partners have developed a concept for a digital product passport for recycled plastics and waste along the entire value chain, which can also be implemented at European level.  Plastic loop

The digital product passport in accordance with DIN SPEC 91481 ensures comprehensive data collection and processing from raw material to compound. The aim is to ensure the data quality of the material over its entire life cycle, and to create and legally pass on the often-missing information at raw material level.

“Quality variations and price differences between virgin and recycled plastics currently make it difficult to expand the recyclate market. Standards facilitate the use and procurement of recycled plastics.  Plastic loop

They are therefore a prerequisite for the scaling of the recycling industry. DIN SPEC 91481 creates more clarity for polyamide-based waste and recyclates and provides an important step towards a deeper digitalisation of the plastics and waste industry,” remarks Christian Schiller, founder and CEO of Cirplus.

More…

New standard for circular plastics ensures higher quality and cost reduction

Copyright: Cirplu

US import prices fall 0.4%, export prices by 0.9% in Nov 2023

The price index for imported fuel declined by 5.6 per cent in November following a 3.7-per cent drop in October. The November decrease was the largest monthly decline since the index fell by 5.6 per cent in February this year.

Prices for non-fuel imports in the United States rose by 0.2 per cent in the month, after declining by 0.2 per cent in each of the three previous months. The November increase was the first one-month advance since a 0.4-per cent rise in February 2023.

Despite the November increase, non-fuel import prices declined by 0.4 per cent over the past year.  Plastic loop

The price index for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials rose by 0.2 per cent in November following a 0.6-per cent decline the previous month.

Prices for major finished goods import categories remained mostly unchanged in November.

Lower prices for non-agricultural exports in November more than offset higher agricultural prices.

Non-agricultural export prices decreased by 1 per cent for the second consecutive month in November. The declines followed a 2.7-per cent increase for the third quarter this year, a BLS release said.  Plastic loop

The price index for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials fell by 2.2 per cent in November, after decreasing by 2.4 per cent the previous month. Lower fuel prices drove the declines for both months, decreasing by 5.1 per cent in November and by 4.3 per cent in October.

More…

US import prices fall 0.4%, export prices by 0.9% in Nov 2023

Plastic tax – The APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Program, formerly known as Meets Preferred Guidance (MPG), is undergoing a notable expansion, introducing six additional packaging components 16-12-2023

Plastic loop

Bright-PET chips – EXCLUSIVE-Eni exploring sale of stake in bioplastic maker Novamont 18-12-2023

 

“The right choice for your production”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Bright-PET chips

 Bright-PET chips

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

 Bright-PET chips

 Bright-PET chips

Polyestertime
ITEM 11/12/2023 18/12/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,800 yuan/ton 6,800 yuan/ton
Bottle grade PET chips export market 875 $/ton 875 $/ton
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,620 yuan/ton 6,620 yuan/ton
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,650 yuan/ton 6,640 yuan/ton -10
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,715 yuan/ton 5,655 yuan/ton -60
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 700 $/ton 700 $/ton

 

Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,065 yuan/ton 4,160 yuan/ton +95
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 480 $/ton 492 $/ton +12
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

 Bright-PET chips

974 $/ton 982 $/ton
+8
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 951 $/ton 959 $/ton +8
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,030 $/ton 1,005 $/ton -25
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,425  yuan/ton 7,400 yuan/ton
-25
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,500 yuan/ton 7,500 yuan/ton
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,850 yuan/ton 8,820 yuan/ton -30
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

 Bright-PET chips

8,800 yuan/ton 8,800 yuan/ton
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,050 yuan/ton 8,100 yuan/ton +50
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,200 yuan/ton 7,180 yuan/ton -20
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 12,850 yuan/ton 13,000 yuan/ton
+150
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,600 $/ton 1,600 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,850 $/ton 1,850 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 13,750 yuan/ton 13,950 yuan/ton +200
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

 Bright-PET chips

14,150 yuan/ton 14,250 yuan/ton +100
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,800 yuan/ton 19,600 yuan/ton -200
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 16,250 yuan/ton 16,350 yuan/ton +100
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 18,400 yuan/ton 18,500 yuan/ton- +100
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,100 yuan/ton 17,050 yuan/ton -50
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

 Bright-PET chips

35,000 yuan/ton 35,000 yuan/ton
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 33,500 yuan/ton 33,500 yuan/ton
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  30,500 yuan/ton 30,500 yuan/ton
Adipic Acid domestic market 8,700 yuan/ton 8,650 yuan/ton -50
Benzene domestic market

 Bright-PET chips

6,970 yuan/ton 7,000 yuan/ton +30
Benzene overseas  market 842 $/ton 866 $/ton +24
Ethylene South East market 890 $/ton 850 $/ton -40
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

 Bright-PET chips

9,700 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,900 yuan/ton 12,800 yuan/ton -100
PP Powder domestic market

 Bright-PET chips

7,300 yuan/ton 7,300 yuan/ton
Naphtha overseas market  641 $/ton 683 $/ton +42
Phenol domestic market 7,742 yuan/ton 7,862 yuan/ton +120

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

 Bright-PET chips

EXCLUSIVE-Eni exploring sale of stake in bioplastic maker Novamont

Eni is reportedly exploring the possibility of selling a minority stake in its bioplastic subsidiary, Novamont, engaging in discussions with potential investors, in a move that could value the bioplastic giant at approximately €1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Earlier this year, Eni expanded its chemical portfolio by acquiring the remaining 64% of Novamont, previously held by private equity funds Investitori Associati II and NB Renaissance. Bright-PET chips

Eni now aims to expedite Novamont’s growth by seeking partnerships with investors, potentially enhancing the sustainability of its overall chemical business and increasing exposure to the circular economy sector.

Novamont, located in Piedmont and owned through Eni’s chemical unit, Versalis, stands as the global leader in bioplastic production. Noteworthy investors expressing interest in the prospective deal include Norway’s private equity fund HitecVision and U.S. fund Blackstone. Discussions remain in their early stages, and Eni has not yet determined the exact stake size for potential sale.

In contrast to traditional plastics, predominantly derived from fossil fuels and posing environmental challenges, bioplastics such as Novamont’s MATER-BI are made from natural or renewable sources and boast biodegradable properties. Novamont’s extensive patent portfolio, with over 1,400 patents and applications, underscores its commitment to advancing sustainable alternatives in the bioplastic industry. Bright-PET chips

EXCLUSIVE-Eni exploring sale of stake in bioplastic maker Novamont

EPA Begins Process to Prioritize Five Chemicals for Risk Evaluation Under Toxic Substances Control Act

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is beginning the process to prioritize five additional toxic chemicals for risk evaluation under the nation’s premier chemical safety law. If, during the 12-month long statutory process, EPA designates these five chemicals as High Priority Substances, EPA will then begin risk evaluations for these chemicals. Bright-PET chips

EPA plans to prioritize the following chemicals for risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

  • Acetaldehyde (CASRN 75-07-0),
  • Acrylonitrile (CASRN 107-13-1),
  • Benzenamine (CASRN 62-53-3),
  • 4,4’-Methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) (MBOCA) (CASRN 101-14-4), and
  • Vinyl Chloride (CASRN 75-01-4).

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, EPA has made significant progress implementing the 2016 amendments to strengthen our nation’s chemical safety laws after years of mismanagement and delay. Today marks an important step forward,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff.  Bright-PET chips

“Moving forward to comprehensively study the safety these five chemicals that have been in use for decades is key to better protecting people from toxic exposure.”

“Most vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which poses significant health and environmental problems that have been known for over 50 years. This is one of the most important chemical review processes ever undertaken by the EPA. I applaud the EPA for launching this review,” said Judith Enck, President of Beyond Plastics and former EPA Regional Administrator.

This step is consistent with a commitment from the Biden-Harris Administration to understand and address environmental and toxic exposures as part of the Cancer Moonshot’s mission to end cancer as we know it, and as progress on delivering environmental justice. Bright-PET chips

More…

EPA Begins Process to Prioritize Five Chemicals for Risk Evaluation Under Toxic Substances Control Act

Plastic tax – The APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Program, formerly known as Meets Preferred Guidance (MPG), is undergoing a notable expansion, introducing six additional packaging components 16-12-2023

“Plastic that makes the difference”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Plastic tax

The German government is reportedly in the process of devising a plastic packaging tax, as disclosed by sources in German media

Steffen Hebestreit, a government spokesperson, has confirmed that the federal administration aims to levy charges on companies responsible for introducing plastic into the market. The anticipated consequence is that these companies will likely transfer the incurred costs to consumers. This initiative mirrors the EU’s plastic levy implemented in 2021, wherein 80 Euro cents per kilogram of non-recyclable packaging waste are charged. Presently, the German government, alongside several other EU counterparts, covers the 1.4 billion Euro levy from the state treasury.  Plastic tax

Since the commencement of 2023, manufacturers and importers of plastic in Spain have been subjected to a charge of 45 Euro cents per kilogram of plastic. Meanwhile, Italy is set to implement a tax on single-use packaging starting in 2024. According to reports from Germany, the projected impact on the average consumer would amount to an annual payment of €30 for the plastic tax. This move aligns with broader European efforts to address environmental concerns and promote sustainable practices in packaging and waste management.

Plastic tax

Werner & Mertz in cooperation with Alpla has increased the share of rPET from the Yellow Bag to 75% in their bottles

Werner & Mertz, in collaboration with Alpla, has significantly elevated the proportion of recycled PET (rPET) sourced from the Yellow Bag to 75% in their PET bottles. This accomplishment is part of Germany’s innovative dual-system plastic packaging collection, a pioneering initiative for the circular economy. The system serves as an optimal reservoir for the creation of new packaging through resource-efficient mechanical recycling, aligning with the principles of a climate-friendly circular economy.

The partnership between Werner & Mertz and Alpla within the Recyclate Initiative has yielded success in establishing a genuine circular economy. The Frosch PET bottles, manufactured by the German cleaning products company, now boast a composition of 75% rPET from the Yellow Bag, with the remaining 25% sourced from European deposit bottle collections, all subject to mechanical recycling.  Recycled PET

This achievement was facilitated by cutting-edge sorting facilities and insights gained from continuous monitoring of delivered PET bales in the recycling plant. Alpla’s advancements in sorting efficiency through software and computer technology have played a crucial role in enhancing the precision and speed of sorting.

It is crucial to note the origin of plastic packaging, as demonstrated by the success of recycling plastic from the Yellow Bag. The study by ETH Zürich emphasizes that the combustion of fossil carbon for plastics production far exceeds the carbon contained as feedstock in plastics. This revelation underscores the environmental significance of mechanical recycling over incineration, which not only reduces plastic waste but also minimizes greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production. The commitment to using recycled plastic from reliable sources contributes significantly to a more sustainable and climate-friendly circular economy. C

Visit Werner & Mertz

Visit Alpla

Plastic tax

North American PET recycling rate drops to 37.8% in 2022: NAPCOR

In its 2022 PET Recycling Report, the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), representing the PET industry in the US, Canada, and Mexico, disclosed a dip in the North American PET recycling rate to 37.8%, down from 38.4% in 2021. Notably, the US experienced a decrease from 30.3% to 29% during the same period. Despite this, the report highlighted a milestone as the market consumption of recycled PET (rPET) bottles surpassed 50% in the US and Canada. Plastic tax

Moreover, the report indicated a 15% rise in recycled content usage in US bottles. NAPCOR projected a substantial increase in PET collection—1.75 billion pounds, an 85% boost compared to 2022—to meet the target of 25% rPET content in all bottles by 2025, with a subsequent goal of reaching 50% by 2030.

To address this challenge, the association urged the implementation of new policies and enhancements in recycling infrastructure to meet the escalating demand for post-consumer recycled content in North American markets. NAPCOR’s executive director, Laura Stewart, emphasized the imperative need for collaborative efforts among manufacturers, consumers, and packagers to effect significant changes for achieving full circularity in the PET industry.  Plastic tax

The report also underscored an 88% increase in the use of recyclate from post-consumer PET thermoforms in 2022, with an average post-consumer rPET content of 12%.

Plastic tax

Sulzer launches new biodegradable polymer for bioplastics

Sulzer, the Swiss technology giant, is broadening its bioplastics repertoire with the introduction of CAPSUL™, a cutting-edge licensed technology designed for the continuous manufacturing of polycaprolactone (PCL). PCL, a biodegradable polyester widely utilized in packaging, textiles, agriculture, and horticulture, is at the forefront of Sulzer’s sustainable plastic solutions.

CAPSUL™ stands out for its seamless end-to-end process, ensuring optimal performance in producing high-quality PCL grades at competitive rates.

This addition to Sulzer’s suite of renewable and circular plastic technologies, which includes polylactic acid (PLA) process technology, consolidates the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.  Plastic tax

The CAPSUL™ PCL technology, developed by Sulzer Chemtech, integrates purification and polymerization steps into a fully streamlined, highly efficient, and continuous process.

This innovative biopolymer technology is versatile, adapting seamlessly to a wide range of industrial scales, and is poised to accelerate the adoption of biodegradable and compostable PCL. Key applications for premium PCL grades include consumer packaging, 3D printing, footwear, agricultural films, textiles, and medical devices.

Uwe Boltersdorf, President of the Chemtech Division at Sulzer, expressed enthusiasm about the role of PCL in curbing plastic waste, stating, “We are thrilled to facilitate the large-scale production of PCL from both conventional and renewable resources.

This aligns with our ongoing support for industry stakeholders in their journey towards sustainability.”  Plastic tax

Plastic tax

Tesla: ok to build the largest Gigafactory in the world

Tesla has secured the necessary permits to initiate the construction of its colossal Gigafactory in Mexico, as confirmed by documents obtained by the Milenio news agency from local and federal authorities. The Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) has announced that all required documents for final authorization from the Mexican federal government are ready, signaling a swift realization of the Gigafactory.

With the recent acquisition of the designated land by Tesla, the project appears to be progressing in the right direction. The actual commencement of construction, however, remains uncertain, though local media speculates that it could kick off within the next few weeks.  Plastic tax

Simultaneously, the state of Nuevo Leon is actively developing an industrial district to support the Gigafactory. Investments exceeding $130 million are earmarked for infrastructure, including roads, to facilitate Tesla’s operations in the region. Mayor Jesus Nava of Santa Catarina hopes for construction to commence by the first half of 2024.

In a departure from his usual approach, Elon Musk has expressed a desire for caution regarding the Mexican factory. While groundwork is being laid, he stated, “we want to get a good idea of what the global economy is like before we go full speed.”

The Gigafactory, announced in March as the world’s largest electric vehicle plant, is anticipated to require an investment of approximately 5 billion euros and will produce models based on Tesla’s next-generation platform, supporting both the Model 2 and the company’s robotaxi. Plastic tax

Tesla: ok to build the largest Gigafactory in the world

The APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Program, formerly known as Meets Preferred Guidance (MPG), is undergoing a notable expansion, introducing six additional packaging components

This initiative, a cornerstone for third-party validation, assures adherence to North American recycling system standards and attaining the esteemed Preferred status. The forthcoming program expansions include PET and Colored HDPE containers, packaging constructions, Natural HDPE packaging, and PE films.

With an impressive two-decade track record, APR Design® Recognition has meticulously assessed packaging from over 120 companies, fostering widespread adoption of impactful innovations. This has significantly improved the recyclability of plastic packaging and contributed to reducing plastic waste. Ruben Nance, APR’s Preferred Design Recognition Program Director, emphasizes the positive implications of the program’s expansion, noting it will save time, effort, and resources for brands and retailers in identifying recyclable packaging solutions.  Plastic tax

The APR Design® Recognition program encompasses three distinct paths: Preferred Design, Critical Guidance, and Responsible Innovation. Despite differing approaches, all paths lead to the same recognition level, affirming a product’s adherence to the highest criteria for recyclability. This framework not only acknowledges but rewards component and packaging manufacturers, serving as a catalyst for addressing recycling challenges.

A notable aspect of the program is its contribution to enhancing high-quality Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCR) in the market.

By setting stringent standards and recognizing products meeting these criteria, the program actively promotes the use of recycled materials in packaging, fostering a more sustainable and circular approach.  Plastic tax

The program’s expansion, incorporating PET and Colored HDPE containers, packaging constructions, Natural HDPE packaging, and PE films, reflects a proactive response to the evolving landscape of sustainable packaging.

This underscores APR’s commitment to staying abreast of industry developments and addressing emerging challenges associated with various plastic materials.

Ruben Nance’s emphasis on saving time, effort, and resources for brands and retailers aligns with the broader industry shift towards sustainability.

By providing a standardized recognition system, APR’s program streamlines the identification of recyclable packaging solutions, facilitating decision-making for businesses and aligning with sustainability goals. Plastic tax

The program’s acknowledgment of Responsible Innovation is noteworthy, incentivizing companies to explore new avenues for sustainable packaging beyond standard recyclability. This forward-thinking approach positions APR as a driver of positive change within the industry, encouraging continuous improvement and innovation.

In conclusion, the APR Design® Recognition program’s expansion marks a significant milestone in the journey towards more sustainable plastic packaging. With its multifaceted approach and anticipation of further expansions, APR demonstrates its commitment to driving positive change and guiding the industry towards sustainable practices. Initiatives like APR’s play a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of sustainable packaging, incentivizing positive practices within the industry. Plastic tax

The APR Design® for Plastics Recyclability Program, formerly known as Meets Preferred Guidance (MPG), is undergoing a notable expansion, introducing six additional packaging components. This initiative, a cornerstone for third-party validation, assures adherence to North American recycling system standards and attaining the esteemed Preferred status. The forthcoming program expansions include PET and Colored HDPE containers, packaging constructions, Natural HDPE packaging, and PE films. With an impressive two-decade track record, APR Design® Recognition has meticulously assessed packaging from over 120 companies, fostering widespread adoption of impactful innovations. This has significantly improved the recyclability of plastic packaging and contributed to reducing plastic waste. Ruben Nance, APR's Preferred Design Recognition Program Director, emphasizes the positive implications of the program's expansion, noting it will save time, effort, and resources for brands and retailers in identifying recyclable packaging solutions. The APR Design® Recognition program encompasses three distinct paths: Preferred Design, Critical Guidance, and Responsible Innovation. Despite differing approaches, all paths lead to the same recognition level, affirming a product's adherence to the highest criteria for recyclability. This framework not only acknowledges but rewards component and packaging manufacturers, serving as a catalyst for addressing recycling challenges. A notable aspect of the program is its contribution to enhancing high-quality Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCR) in the market. By setting stringent standards and recognizing products meeting these criteria, the program actively promotes the use of recycled materials in packaging, fostering a more sustainable and circular approach. The program's expansion, incorporating PET and Colored HDPE containers, packaging constructions, Natural HDPE packaging, and PE films, reflects a proactive response to the evolving landscape of sustainable packaging. This underscores APR's commitment to staying abreast of industry developments and addressing emerging challenges associated with various plastic materials. Ruben Nance's emphasis on saving time, effort, and resources for brands and retailers aligns with the broader industry shift towards sustainability. By providing a standardized recognition system, APR's program streamlines the identification of recyclable packaging solutions, facilitating decision-making for businesses and aligning with sustainability goals. The program's acknowledgment of Responsible Innovation is noteworthy, incentivizing companies to explore new avenues for sustainable packaging beyond standard recyclability. This forward-thinking approach positions APR as a driver of positive change within the industry, encouraging continuous improvement and innovation. In conclusion, the APR Design® Recognition program's expansion marks a significant milestone in the journey towards more sustainable plastic packaging. With its multifaceted approach and anticipation of further expansions, APR demonstrates its commitment to driving positive change and guiding the industry towards sustainable practices. Initiatives like APR's play a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of sustainable packaging, incentivizing positive practices within the industry.

Minnesota Welcomes State-of-the-Art Flexible Film Recycling Facility

Myplas USA, a global subsidiary of MRI Investments and the proud owner of Myplas Pty Ltd, a renowned recycling business based in South Africa, has recently inaugurated a cutting-edge 170,000-square-foot flexible film recycling facility in Rogers, Minnesota.

This facility is dedicated to the recycling of various materials, including pallet wrap, shrink wrap, single-use shopping bags, and select food packaging.

Andrew Pieterse, CEO of Myplas USA, expressed his enthusiasm on this momentous occasion, stating, “This marks a significant milestone for Myplas as we establish our U.S. headquarters and unveil our inaugural U.S. recycling facility in Minnesota. The realization of this vision has been an extraordinary journey, and we take pride in contributing our expertise to this groundbreaking initiative. The unwavering commitment of our partners has played a pivotal role in bringing us to this juncture, and we eagerly anticipate the promising future that awaits us.”  Plastic tax

Upon reaching maximum operational capacity, the facility is poised to recycle nearly 90 million pounds of plastic waste annually, providing employment opportunities for close to 200 individuals.

Despite the annual consumption of 12 to 15 billion pounds of flexible packaging and films in the United States, a mere 5 percent is estimated to be recycled.

The establishment of this facility was made possible through a $13 million equity investment, with additional financial backing from prominent entities such as Closed Loop Partners, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.  Plastic tax

Minnesota Welcomes State-of-the-Art Flexible Film Recycling Facility

Recycled PET – The European Bioplastics Conference 2023 commenced today in Berlin, Germany, with Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics, providing a comprehensive overview of the bioplastics market, unveiling key statistics 15-12-2023

Plastic tax

Recycled PET – The European Bioplastics Conference 2023 commenced today in Berlin, Germany, with Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics, providing a comprehensive overview of the bioplastics market, unveiling key statistics 15-12-2023

“Plastic that makes the difference”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Recycled PET

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Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

The European Bioplastics Conference 2023 commenced today in Berlin, Germany, with Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics, providing a comprehensive overview of the bioplastics market, unveiling key statistics

Following a stagnation period in 2020, the global bioplastics production experienced substantial growth, reaching 1.79 million tonnes in 2023, up from 1.51 million tonnes in 2022. Among the various types, PLA constituted 27%, PA 20%, PE 14%, PTT 13%, and APC 7%.

The installed production capacity escalated to 2.18 million tonnes in 2023, with projections indicating a rise to 7.43 million tonnes by 2028, as per EUBP figures collaborated with the Nova Institute. Analysis of 2023 data revealed that the bioplastics industry operated at nearly full capacity, boasting an average utilization rate of 82%, although individual polymers varied from 60% to 100%.  Recycled PET

Despite challenges such as the climate crisis, soaring energy costs, and disrupted value chains, von Pogrell emphasized the industry’s resilience and significance, attributing the growth in production capacity to global circumstances.

Packaging retained its dominance in bioplastics applications, comprising 43% of the market in 2023 and projected to grow to 48% in 2028. Notably, the fiber market is anticipated to decline from 21% in 2023 to 13% in 2028.

Examining materials, PLA is expected to constitute 43.6% of production capacity by 2028, followed by PA (18.5%), PHA (13.5%), PP (5.9%), and PTT (5.3%).

Geographically, the focus shifted eastward, with Europe’s share decreasing from 12.8% to 7.3% by 2028, while Asia’s share is predicted to rise from 55.3% to 71.5%.

Conversely, the Americas are expected to see a decline, with North America dropping from 18.7% to 17.0% and South America significantly decreasing from 13.0% to 3.9% by 2028.  Recycled PET

Von Pogrell stressed the importance of transparent and consistent data for informed decision-making and called for supportive legislative frameworks. Throughout the conference, speakers praised Europe’s bioplastics research and development efforts but criticized the lack of political support, hindering competitiveness.

Recycled PET

Nestlé’s Pure Life Bottles now include 50% recycled PET

Nestlé Nigeria has reached a significant milestone in its commitment to environmental sustainability by introducing new bottles for Nestlé Pure Life, incorporating 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). This move effectively halves the use of virgin plastics in the company’s packaging, marking a pivotal step towards achieving 100% plastics neutrality.  Recycled PET

Nestlé Nigeria has been actively engaged in initiatives to recover and recycle plastics, adhering to a “one tonne in, one tonne out” principle since 2018.

Wassim Elhusseini, MD/CEO of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, emphasized the collaborative efforts with partners, particularly ALEF, in achieving this milestone.

The company’s commitment to reducing virgin plastic use by a third by 2025 has materialized with the successful inclusion of 50% rPET in water bottles. Nestlé Nigeria has played a leading role in establishing functional collection, sorting, and recycling systems for PET in the country, working closely with regulatory agencies like NESREA, SON, and NAFDAC to ensure compliance with the highest standards.  Recycled PET

Joy Abdulahi-Johnson, Category and Marketing Manager at Nestlé Waters, highlighted the brand’s dedication to rigorous safety processes and minimizing environmental impact. The introduction of the new rPET bottle coincides with Nestlé Pure Life’s global identity revamp, reinforcing the brand’s evolution for the better. The Minister for Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, commended Nestlé’s strategies supporting environmental sustainability and local economies. As Nestlé continues its global commitment to increasing rPET usage across brands, its achievement in Nigeria marks a pioneering step in incorporating recycled materials into bottled water packaging.  Recycled PET

Recycled PET

Because OPEC matters less and less

With OPEC’s diminishing role in the global oil market, evident by its share falling to 51%, the lowest since 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the challenges faced by the hydrocarbon industry in its December report. Despite a substantial increase in global oil demand this year, reaching 101.7 million barrels daily, concerns arise as estimates for 2023 consumption have been reduced by 400 thousand barrels a day. Projections for 2024 indicate a halved pace of consumption growth at 1.1 million barrels per day.

The OPEC+ cartel, grappling with falling prices despite extending production cuts into Q1 2024, is particularly affected by the strength of U.S. oil production exceeding 20 million barrels per day.  Plastic tax

The surge in American, Brazilian, and Guyanese oil production, coupled with a demand slowdown, has led to an oversupply, pushing oil prices $25 per barrel below September levels. The United States has emerged as a key player, contributing to a historic shift in the global oil supply hub from the Middle East to the Americas.

As OPEC’s influence wanes, the IEA notes a weakening bond between OPEC and Europe, while the transatlantic energy axis gains prominence. Amidst a global transition, China stands out as a dominant consumer, accounting for 78% of the consumption increase in 2023. Plastic tax

These dynamics mark a transformative period for the global energy landscape.

Because OPEC matters less and less

Revolutionizing Packaging: The Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Hemp Jar

Present the idea of the naturally degradable hemp container and its significance in the context of lasting product packaging. Highlight the growing requirement for environmentally friendly choices and set the stage for the thorough expedition of the product.  Recycled PET

The Surge of Lasting Packaging:

Review the increasing understanding of ecological issues and the international shift in the direction of lasting product packaging remedies. Mention the downsides of traditional packaging and how biodegradable options click here are acquiring popularity.

Attributes and Specifications

Provide an in-depth summary of the eco-friendly hemp jar, stressing its crucial features such as recyclability, biodegradability, and being made in the U.S.A..

Discuss exactly how the air-tight layout makes certain item freshness and talk about the measurements (2.87 x 1.55) to give viewers a clear understanding of the product.

Benefits of Hemp-Based Packaging

Discover the benefits of using hemp as a product for product packaging. Highlight its sustainable nature, rapid development, and marginal environmental impact compared to typical packaging materials. Go over how picking hemp adds to a more sustainable supply chain.  Recycled PET

More…

Revolutionizing Packaging: The Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Hemp Jar

Focus on recycling: Alpla sustainability report 2021-2022

The international ALPLA Group is presenting its fifth sustainability report under the motto ‘What we do matters’.

In it, the packaging and recycling specialist analyses the financial years 2021 and 2022 and focuses on the three pillars of ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Profitability’.

ALPLA is on track in spite of growth and global expansion thanks to energy efficiency measures and investments in the circular economy.  Recycled PET

The proportion of recycled material was increased from 16 per cent to 18 per cent between 2021 and 2022 and is expected to reach at least 25 per cent by 2025.

With its fifth sustainability report, the ALPLA Group offers insights into the environmental, social and economic developments of the financial years 2021 and 2022.

The report focuses on business-relevant issues such as climate protection, resource efficiency, equal opportunity, and legal and regulatory changes.

Data, charts and examples document the progress made and show where there is potential.  Recycled PET

‘Every day, we champion solutions that promote safe, affordable and sustainable life around the world.

With more than three billion people coming into contact with our products every day, we are assuming the great responsibility that comes with our mission,’ emphasises ALPLA CEO Philipp Lehner.

‘Every day, we champion solutions that promote safe, affordable and sustainable life around the world.

With more than three billion people coming into contact with our products every day, we are assuming the great responsibility that comes with our mission.’

More…

Focus on recycling: Alpla sustainability report 2021-2022

Choosing the right blow molding machine supplier: a comprehensive guide

In the world of manufacturing, selecting the right machinery is crucial to ensure the efficiency and quality of your production process. When it comes to blow molding, the choice of a reliable and competent supplier can make a significant difference in your business’s success. This article will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect Blow Molding Machine Supplier to meet your specific needs.  Recycled PET

Understanding Blow Molding Machines

Before diving into the process of selecting a supplier, it’s essential to understand blow molding machines and their types. Blow molding is a manufacturing process used to produce hollow plastic parts by inflating a heated plastic tube (referred to as a parison) inside a mold. The key types of blow molding machines include extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, and stretch blow molding.

Key Factors to Consider

When choosing a blow molding machine supplier, several critical factors should be taken into account:

Quality and Durability

Quality should be a non-negotiable criterion when evaluating suppliers. Look for suppliers with a reputation for delivering robust and durable machines that can withstand the rigors of long-term industrial use.  Recycled PET

Capacity and Production Speed

The capacity of the machine must align with your production requirements. Consider the volume of plastic products you plan to manufacture and ensure the machine can meet your demands efficiently.

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Choosing the right blow molding machine supplier: a comprehensive guide

Hydrogen in internal combustion engines: after many years,there is Marelli’s solution

Marelli’s groundbreaking fully active electromechanical suspension system has earned the prestigious “Commendable” recognition in the “Engineering Product of the Year” category at the 2023 Digital Engineering Awards.  Recycled PET

This technological marvel signifies a significant leap forward in the automotive industry, garnering accolades for its remarkable impact on driving experiences by enhancing both safety and comfort.

The system, a brainchild of Marelli’s innovative engineering, boasts four electromechanical actuators, each housing a state-of-the-art “brushless” motor and a high-ratio gearbox seamlessly connected to the suspension arm.

This configuration enables real-time dynamic control of the suspension, ushering in a new era of automotive efficiency.  Recycled PET

Piero Monchiero, the Innovation Director of Marelli’s Ride Dynamics division, highlighted its efficacy not only in bolstering road safety but also in mitigating motion sickness, a common concern during activities such as reading or using a laptop—a feature crucial in the context of the rising prevalence of autonomous driving.

Antonio Ferrara, President of Marelli’s Ride Dynamics division, expressed pride in achieving this accolade, emphasizing the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation geared towards enhancing driving comfort and safety.  Recycled PET

The electronically controlled system, operating autonomously and processing information within milliseconds, adapts suspension behavior based on driving conditions, effectively neutralizing vibrations and body movements.

This results in a ride that is not only more stable but also remarkably comfortable, marking Marelli’s dedication to staying at the forefront of technological advancements to meet the evolving needs of customers and vehicle owners.  Recycled PET

Hydrogen in internal combustion engines: after many years,there is Marelli's solution

Biodegradable Plastic – Revelation Unveils Mystery of Peculiar Behavior in Strange Superconducting Materials14-12-2023

Recycled PET

Biodegradable Plastic – Revelation Unveils Mystery of Peculiar Behavior in Strange Superconducting Materials 14-12-2023

“Plastic that makes the difference”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Biodegradable Plastic

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Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Polymateria Secures £20M in Series B Funding to Expand Biodegradable Plastic Technology

VDMA Circular Economy Conference in Mumbai provides technological impetus for plastics recycling

On 6th December 2023, the first Circular Economy Conference of VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery and VDMA India took place in Mumbai, one day prior to the opening of Plastivision, one of the major trade fairs for the plastics industry in India.

India aims to promote the circular economy. The need for action is great. India already has to deal with over 60’000’000t of waste every year. Plastic consumption is expected to increase by 7.4% annually to 26’400’000t by 2026. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) estimates that 40% of plastic waste is not recycled. Therefore, waste recycling has become a government issue.

Regulations are being introduced and political initiatives have been launched, such as the Clean India Programme, which is expected to lead to greater investment in recycling technology. The waste management industry in India is on a growth trajectory, especially in the plastics sector.  Biodegradable Plastic

The VDMA conference picks up on this trend. European machine manufacturers, member companies of the VDMA, presented their technology highlights along the process chain. From waste preparation and regranulation to the processing of regranulates in injection moulding or film extrusion. The aim is to use the right technology to produce regranulates of higher quality and thus high-quality plastic products. Over one hundred plastics processors, mainly from the packaging sector, but also recyclers, took part in the interactive discussion and B2B formats.  Biodegradable Plastic

More…

VDMA Circular Economy Conference in Mumbai provides technological impetus for plastics recycling

BASF launches Irgastab® PUR 71, a cutting-edge antioxidant improving regulatory compliance and performance for polyols and polyurethane foams

 

  • Formulated without aromatic amine to promote a better environmental, health and safety profile
  • Premium anti-scorch solution offers reduced emission levels and exceptional performance
  • Sustainable alternative offers polyol and foam producers a competitive advantage

BASF presents Irgastab® PUR 71, an innovative and advanced anti-scorch solution that not only ensures adherence to regulations but also offers exceptional performance. This premium solution has been formulated without aromatic amine, effectively addressing the limitations of conventional anti-scorch additives.  With its superior environmental, health, and safety profile, this solution meets the increasing regulatory pressure on substance classification and sustainability in the industry.  Biodegradable Plastic

“Irgastab PUR 71 reaffirms BASF’s commitment to innovation and partnership with the industry: We offer our customers a sustainable alternative to conventional solutions, empowering them to gain a significant advantage in the everchanging global market,” said Dr. Bettina Sobotka, Head of Global Marketing and Development, Plastic Additives, BASF.  “With a proven track record in additives, backed by our global team of experts dedicated to the development of the automotive and comfort industry, we strive to pioneer cutting-edge technologies and solutions that not only enhance performance, but also promote sustainability.”  Biodegradable Plastic

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BASF launches Irgastab® PUR 71, a cutting-edge antioxidant improving regulatory compliance and performance for polyols and polyurethane foams

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Market Resins Revolution: Market Dynamics 2023-2029

In the realm of thermoplastic polymers, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) reigns supreme, boasting a market size valued at US$ 31.16 Bn in 2022. Brace yourselves for a fascinating journey through the PET landscape as it anticipates a growth spurt of 5.4%, reaching a staggering US$ 45.03 Bn by 2029.
Unraveling the PET Tapestry
Versatility at its Core:
PET, a darling of the polyester family, takes center stage in garment fibers, fluid and meal vessels, thermoforming, and specialty resins. Whether transparent or semi-crystalline, PET’s chameleon-like nature adapts to processing and heating, making it a go-to choice in textiles and packaging.  Biodegradable Plastic

Global Polymer Powerhouse:
Accounting for 20% of global polymer output, PET sits proudly as the fourth most abundant polymer globally, following polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride. Its widespread use speaks volumes about its versatility and adaptability.

Recyclability Revival:
PET’s recyclability takes center stage as a major growth driver. Recycled PET (rPET) finds its way into various applications, from carpet fiber to clothing, furnishings, and even vehicle components.

Global giants committing to using 50% recycled material in plastic packaging fuel the demand for food-grade-certified recycled materials.  Biodegradable Plastic

More…

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Market Resins Revolution: Market Dynamics 2023-2029

Polypropylene Makes Its Case for EV Lightweighting, Circularity

ExxonMobil says a reduction in filler levels, superior paint-free aesthetics, and advanced recycling are the keys to enhanced electric vehicle range and recyclability.

At a Glance

  • Increased use of PP in EV-specific components
  • Color-at-press consolidates materials usage
  • Advanced recycling optimal for safety critical components

Electric vehicle (EV) OEMs need to convince consumers of the driving range credentials of their cars.  Biodegradable Plastic

While the obvious solution is to throw in bigger batteries with higher energy storage, increased use of plastics remains one key to solving the issue of range anxiety.

One way to achieve this is to optimize material design to fit the technical needs of particular interior and exterior parts, according to ExxonMobil.

Speaking to PlasticsToday in an exclusive interview, Olivier Lorge, global marketing manager for polypropylene, Vistamaxx, and Exact (PVE) at ExxonMobil, noted additional trends have emerged in the EV plastics space. He cited the increased use of polypropylene (PP) in EV-specific components such as frunks and battery cases, materials consolidation throughout the vehicle, and greater content of recycled material in automotive compounds.  Biodegradable Plastic

Coloring at the press

“Color-at-press, or mold-in-color, injection molding using masterbatches has been around for some time in North America but that’s not the case in Europe and Asia,” notes Lorge. “[Using this process] you get thinner and lighter parts. 

More…

Polypropylene Makes Its Case for EV Lightweighting, Circularity

Smart textile – Toyota is working on a truly sustainable battery chain 13-12-2023

Biodegradable Plastic

Smart textile – Toyota is working on a truly sustainable battery chain 13-12-2023

“Plastic that makes the difference”

 “Plastic that makes the difference”

Smart textile

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Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Cyclyx to build its first plastic feedstock production facility

The Cyclyx Circularity Centre will have a capacity to produce around 136,000 tonnes of plastic feedstock for chemical and mechanical recycling, with ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell holding offtake rights

Cyclyx International, a joint venture between Agilyx, ExxonMobil, and more recently LyondellBasell, has made the final investment decision to build its first Cyclyx Circularity Centre (CCC) in Houston, United States. Smart textile

The facility will have a capacity to produce around 136,000 tonnes (300 million pounds) of plastic feedstock for chemical and mechanical recycling, with ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell holding offtake rights. Together, the two companies are investing $135 million into Cyclyx to fund operating activities and construction costs for the new facility, which is expected to start operations in mid-2025.

Cyclyx draws on a database of over 1500 post-use plastic chemical characterisations to assesses each source of waste plastic to understand its chemical profile. It then uses artificial intelligence and big data to sort those profiles into the various mechanical and chemical recycling pathways that the plastics can be used for. Smart textile

The CCC will focus on sorting and custom blending collected material to ensure feedstock specifications and classifications meet expectations for ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell.

More…

Smart textile

Toyota is working on a truly sustainable battery chain

Toyota is actively advancing its commitment to sustainable battery practices through a strategic collaboration with Cirba Solutions in the United States. The agreement focuses on the recycling of electric car batteries, a crucial step in Toyota’s efforts to create a truly sustainable battery chain. In the Lancaster plant in Ohio, batteries from Toyota’s vehicles, including the widely distributed Prius and other electrified cars, undergo a meticulous dismantling process by Cirba Solutions, achieving an impressive 95% material recovery rate.  Smart textile

While Toyota may have entered the zero-emission vehicle market later than some competitors, it has a significant presence with over 6.2 million hybrid vehicles sold in North America. The collaboration with Cirba holds particular significance as it addresses the need to recycle batteries from Toyota’s existing fleet. Annually, approximately 25,000 batteries from end-of-life vehicles are collected by Toyota’s dealer network, emphasizing the importance of establishing sustainable practices.

Toyota’s partnership with Cirba aligns with its broader commitment to battery recycling, complementing existing agreements, such as the one with Redwood Materials on the West Coast. Christopher Yang, Vice President of Toyota Motor North America, underscores the significance of this collaboration, stating that Cirba Solutions’ network enhances Toyota’s ability to collect and recover batteries nationwide, contributing to cost reduction and a lowered operational carbon footprint.

The ultimate aim is to establish a closed-loop ecosystem, ensuring sustainability across the entire battery life cycle.  Smart textile

Smart textile

Stellantis tests electric car battery swapping

Stellantis and Ample have recently solidified a strategic partnership through a binding agreement, signaling a significant step in the realm of electric vehicle (EV) technology. The collaboration is centered around Ample’s Modular Battery Swapping solution, a groundbreaking battery swapping technology that enables Stellantis electric vehicle owners to replace depleted batteries with fully charged ones within minutes at dedicated swapping stations.  Smart textile

This innovative approach deviates from traditional recharging methods, promising a rapid turnaround of less than five minutes for a fully charged battery. Stellantis, the automotive giant, and Ample are not only committing to the integration of this technology into electric vehicles but are also contemplating its expansion to cater to the broader needs of the Stellantis fleet. Geographical diversity is also on the agenda, extending beyond Europe.

The pilot program, scheduled for a 2024 launch in Madrid, Spain, will initially involve 100 FIAT 500e vehicles, a flagship model for Stellantis in the electric vehicle market. This initiative aligns with the Free2move car-sharing service offered by Stellantis. Ricardo Stamatti, Senior Vice President of the Charging & Energy Business Unit at Stellantis, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing the exploration of solutions that facilitate mobility freedom for electric vehicle customers.

Khaled Hassounah, CEO of Ample, proudly highlighted the commitment to making electric vehicles universally accessible without compromises to make a substantial impact on emission reduction. Smart textile

Smart textile

Germany in provisional exercise, the Scholz government is in chaos over the budget and the economy is doing badly

In the midst of a provisional exercise, Germany finds itself ensnared in a tumultuous scenario under Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s leadership. Promising no cuts to the welfare state amidst plummeting poll numbers, over half of Germans contemplate early elections alongside European ones, as the current legislature, scheduled until autumn 2025, navigates a deep crisis, particularly with the budget.  Smart textile

Historically, Germany’s budget prowess, a stronghold during the Merkel era, now teeters, turning Berlin into the subject of European mockery. The Constitutional Court’s rejection of a 60-billion-euro expedient in November escalated the chaos, revealing 29 special vehicles with 869 billion against the Charter, leading to a freeze on spending by Finance Minister Christian Lindner, except for defense and parliament.

The looming specter of starting 2024 in provisional operation, where only essential expenses are permitted, underscores the critical impasse. With 17 billion yet to be covered, the “traffic light” majority, comprising the Social Democratic Party, the Greens, and the Liberals, grapples to reach a consensus on where to make cuts.

As the economic indicators reflect a dire situation—with manufacturing PMI below 50 points for over a year and a half and negative GDP growth—the political disarray is exacerbated by the rising popularity of the AfD, a conservative right-wing party accused of being “neo-Nazi.”  Smart textile

The potential influence of the AfD adds a layer of complexity to an already precarious political landscape, raising questions about the endurance of Germany’s established order. The nation, once an economic and political stalwart, now grapples with uncertainties that reverberate beyond its borders.

Germany in provisional exercise, the Scholz government is in chaos over the budget and the economy is doing badly

Puma expands fibre-to-fibre recycling

Puma is intensifying its commitment to sustainable practices by expanding its Re:Fibre polyester recycling technology. The sports brand aims to derive 100% of its polyester from textile waste, shifting away from PET fibers sourced from bottles. Starting in 2024, the majority of Puma’s replica football jerseys will feature fibers crafted from old garments and factory waste instead of recycled PET bottles.  Smart textile

The Re:Fibre pilot, initiated in 2022, has already been employed to produce replica kits for the Women’s World Cup and Girona’s 2023/24 season third kit. In 2024, the official Puma football replica jerseys, including those for the Euro and Copa América tournaments, will adopt the Re:Fibre technology. The program involves collecting, sorting, and processing textile waste through a chemical recycling process, ultimately producing new Re:Fibre fabrics.

Anne-Laure Descours, Chief Sourcing Officer at Puma, emphasizes the brand’s ambition for a complete transition to polyester sourced from textile waste, addressing the environmental risk posed by textile waste accumulation in landfills. Puma recognizes the need to rethink production methods, embracing a circular business model as a key element of its sustainability strategy.  Smart textile

To make the technical process more accessible, Puma has employed computer-generated imagery in an explanatory video showcasing the Re:Fibre journey, from waste collection to molecular chemistry. This effort aligns with Puma’s response to research revealing that 71% of young people desire brands to make stronger environmental commitments, communicate goals more effectively, and enhance transparency.

www.puma.com

Puma expands fibre-to-fibre recycling

Smart textile fiber places conductivity and flexibility side-by-side

Electrically conductive “smart fabrics” have many potential applications, but their specialized fibers typically aren’t as soft and flexible as those made of regular materials. An experimental new two-faced fiber, however, is both flexible and conductive.

Developed by a team of scientists at Washington State University, the fiber is made of two substances: cotton cellulose obtained from recycled T-shirts, and an existing conductive synthetic polymer known as polyaniline.  Smart textile

The polyaniline is combined with the cotton cellulose because it’s too brittle to be formed into usable fibers on its own. That said, the two materials aren’t simply blended into one homogenous mixture. If they were, the polyaniline would be diluted to the point that it would lose its conductivity.

Instead, liquid solutions of the two substances are extruded from two separate (but closely spaced) nozzles, merging and bonding to form a single fiber which is cotton cellulose on one side and polyaniline on the other. Smart textile

In lab tests, such fibers have exhibited excellent electrical conductivity while also offering the strength and flexibility of cotton. They have also been successfully used in textile systems that delivered power to an LED light, and that sensed ammonia gas.

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Smart textile fiber places conductivity and flexibility side-by-side

The objective is to comprehend the processes of degradation and biodegradation for the purpose of devising technical solutions to environmental challenges

Michelin, the renowned French tire manufacturer, joined forces with Clermont Auvergne University and the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) to delve into the wear degradation of tires. This involves the consequential formation of microparticles and the subsequent study of the biodegradation mechanisms associated with these microparticles.  Smart textile

Establishing the BioDLab, a dedicated laboratory, is a pivotal step in this collaborative venture. The primary mission of BioDLab is to scrutinize the underlying causes of tire wear degradation and develop technical interventions for environmental predicaments. One of the focal points is exploring methods to render wear particles biodegradable in the environment.

Tire erosion, an inevitable consequence of contact with road surfaces, is essential for ensuring vehicle safety and traction. Tires, alongside fabrics, are identified as primary contributors to the creation and dissemination of microplastics in the environment, with rubber being the specific material of concern.  Smart textile

Over the span of four years, the project will systematically investigate the chemical phenomena associated with microparticle degradation under the influence of solar energy and water. This interdisciplinary approach combines material science, chemistry, and microbiology to unravel the intricate regulatory mechanisms of this process.

The research specifically targets the degradation of rubber used in tires, employing photochemical and thermochemical processes, as well as exploring biodegradation facilitated by microorganisms and enzymes. Approximately twenty researchers from the Clermont-Ferrand Chemistry Institute (University of Clermont Auvergne/CNRS) and ten technicians from Michelin’s Operational Research and Development Department will be actively engaged in this collaborative effort.

Michelin’s ongoing commitment to reducing tire abrasion has resulted in a 5% decrease in microparticle emissions from wear between 2015 and 2020, a testament to their expertise in materials science.  Smart textile

The objective is to comprehend the processes of degradation and biodegradation for the purpose of devising technical solutions to environmental challenges

AI in Packaging – Global PBT Resin Market 2024-2030 is Booming Around the world with Upcoming years 12-12-2023

Smart textile

AI in Packaging – Global PBT Resin Market 2024-2030 is Booming Around the world with Upcoming years 12-12-2023

AI in Packaging

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Artificial Intelligence in the Packaging Industry: A Revolution from 2023 to 2032

The packaging industry stands at the forefront of a revolution, driven by the incredible potential of artificial intelligence (AI). In this transformative journey from 2023 to 2032, AI is set to redefine packaging design, manufacturing, sustainability, and even recycling. This article explores the dynamic landscape of AI in packaging, shedding light on its profound impacts and future prospects.

AI-Powered Packaging Design

Traditionally reliant on human imagination, packaging design now embraces AI algorithms for unparalleled creativity and precision. AI analyzes vast data sets, including consumer preferences, market trends, and brand guidelines, enabling designers to craft unique and captivating packaging. AI in Packaging

Simulations help visualize the packaging’s appearance in different environments, saving time and resources while ensuring it resonates with the target audience.

Manufacturing Excellence with AI

AI’s influence extends to manufacturing, where intelligent systems equipped with computer vision swiftly detect flaws in packaging materials, minimizing waste and product recalls. Furthermore, AI optimizes packaging arrangements, maximizing material usage and reducing excess, resulting in cost savings and enhanced sustainability.

Sustainable Packaging through AI

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AI in Packaging

LyondellBasell announced its acquisition of a 25% equity stake in the Cyclyx joint venture, a partnership between Agilyx and ExxonMobil

Cyclyx, formed in December 2020, focuses on advancing plastic waste recycling with the ambitious goal of increasing the recyclability of plastics from 10% to 90%.

The addition of LyondellBasell to this collaboration is poised to significantly accelerate innovation and the development of essential infrastructure for a nationwide circular economy for plastics.  AI in Packaging

Cyclyx International aims to create an innovative supply chain through its mission brand, working in tandem with industry partners to drive advancements in plastic recyclability. The joint venture’s strategic vision aligns with LyondellBasell’s commitment to sustainable practices, emphasizing the importance of robust supply chains to enhance access to circular and renewable feedstocks.

Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell’s Executive Vice President of Circular and Low Carbon Solutions, expressed the significance of investing in plastic waste value chain experts like Cyclyx. This collaboration is instrumental in establishing the necessary scale of recycled material and infrastructure, particularly for LyondellBasell’s planned integrated Circular and Low Carbon Solutions Hub in the Houston area.  AI in Packaging

Joseph Vaillancourt, CEO of Cyclyx, welcomed LyondellBasell to the ownership structure, emphasizing their shared vision for a more sustainable future. The inclusion of LyondellBasell is seen as a strategic move, given their global leadership and commitment to advancing sustainability goals in plastic circularity. The joint efforts of Agilyx, ExxonMobil, and LyondellBasell are expected to contribute significantly to the realization of a circular economy, addressing the challenges posed by plastic waste.

AI in Packaging

Non-toxic plasticisers for use in elastomers and thermoplastics

Bio-based plasticizers from Central Germany

The Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS is working with partners to develop a marketable, completely bio-based and non-toxic plasticizer for use in elastomers and thermoplastics. Using rapeseed oil as a starting product, more sustainable solutions for tires and packaging should become possible. The project partners also want to design a corresponding pilot plant in central Germany as part of the “Biocerine” project. AI in Packaging

Plasticizers are used to make plastics more flexible and pliable during the manufacturing process and/or during subsequent use. However, common industrially produced plasticizers such as phthalates are viewed critically because some of them can be potentially harmful to health and/or pollute the environment.

“Such plasticizers are not only frequently used in traditional plastics, but also in biopolymers, whose environmental compatibility they then impair. For this reason, alternatives are being sought worldwide that offer at least comparable quality at affordable prices and can ideally be produced from renewable raw materials,” says Dr. Patrick Hirsch, Group Leader “Sustainable Materials and Processes”, who is leading the project at the Fraunhofer IMWS.  AI in Packaging

This is precisely the solution the partners want to find within the project, which is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “WIR! – Change through Innovation in the Region” program. The consortium is relying on the expertise and opportunities already available in Central Germany. In addition to the Fraunhofer IMWS, GLACONCHEMIE GmbH and Polymer Service GmbH from Merseburg are also involved, while Folienwerk Wolfen, Expinos GmbH and Reifenwerk Heidenau GmbH will test the product samples created in the research project as associated partners.

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AI in Packaging

Global PBT Resin Market 2024-2030 is Booming Around the world with Upcoming years

PBT Resin Market [2024-2030] research report is a comprehensive information that consolidates data and analysis gathered from diverse sources. Its primary purpose is to provide industry with a comprehensive understanding of the present market dynamics, including trends specific to their industry and insights into competitors’ activities within different applications like (Electrical & Electronics, Automobile Industry, Mechanical Equipment, Other Products) and Type (Injection Grade PBT, Extrusion Grade PBT). Armed with these valuable insights, organizations can make well-informed decisions and formulate successful growth strategies.  AI in Packaging

Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) is semi-crystalline, white or off-white polyester similar in both composition and properties to polyethyleneterephthalate (PET). It is a thermoplastic engineering polymer that is used as an insulator in the electrical, electronics, automobile, Mechanical Equipment and precision instruments industries. Compared to PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PBT has slightly lower strength and rigidity, slightly better impact resistance, and a slightly lower glass transition temperature.

In this report, the volume of PBT is calculated by PBT neat resin, excluding PBT modified resin and PBT Compounds.  AI in Packaging

The global PBT Resin market was valued at USD 4162.7 million in 2022 and is anticipated to reach USD 5382 million by 2029, witnessing a CAGR of 3.7 percent during the forecast period 2023-2029. The influence of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War were considered while estimating market sizes.

PBT is present in everyday life and is common in electrical, electronic and automotive components. PBT resin and PBT compound are the two types of products that are used in various applications.

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Global PBT Resin Market 2024-2030 is Booming Around the world with Upcoming years

China to Achieve Circular Economy in EV Batteries Before Europe and the US, According to Researchers

The University of Münster researchers project that China will outpace Europe and the US in achieving a circular economy for electric vehicle (EV) batteries  AI in Packaging

Their analysis, detailed in Resources Conservation and Recycling, envisions China meeting its primary lithium demand for EVs through recycling by 2059, well ahead of Europe and the US, expected to achieve this milestone after 2070.

Examining crucial battery materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, the study predicts China reaching cobalt recycling by 2045, Europe by 2052, and the US by 2056. For nickel, China is expected to achieve recycling by 2046, with Europe and the US following suit in 2058 and 2064, respectively.  AI in Packaging

Utilizing dynamic material flow analysis and considering factors like market forecasts, battery production, and sales, the researchers emphasize the uncertain timeline for achieving “complete circularity” – a balance between material supply and demand.

They also suggest that a faster pace of electrification, coupled with reduced battery sizes and decreased use of second-life batteries, could expedite circularity realization.

However, the predictions underscore the importance of monitoring industry trends to adapt to evolving circumstances in the electric vehicle battery and recycling sectors.

China to Achieve Circular Economy in EV Batteries Before Europe and the US, According to Researchers

From useless plastic waste to valuable oil

Researchers and business people have developed a new technology that can make oil from plastic waste that cannot be recycled. This oil can be used to make new plastic and other oil-based products. The technology was recently used in a new commercial facility in West Zealand, Denmark.  AI in Packaging

Do you ever wonder how much (or how little) of the plastic waste (packaging, containers, and milk cartons) you put in your recycling bin is actually recycled? The garbage truck transports it to a waste management facility for sorting and recycling. The ‘good’ plastic is recycled, and the rest—which is either too dirty, mixed, or damaged for recycling—is incinerated.

In Denmark alone, around 370,000 tons of plastic waste is incinerated every year. According to the Danish Ministry of the Environment, plastic waste incineration makes up a significant portion of Denmark’s fossil-fuel carbon emissions. In other words, there is a huge green potential in developing new methods for recycling even more plastic waste than we do now.  AI in Packaging

If we can also reduce the amount of non-renewable plastic waste, we can reduce the need for the non-renewable raw materials needed for plastic production—oil and natural gas.

A group of DTU researchers have therefore investigated new possibilities for recycling our plastic waste in collaboration with Roskilde University and a number of industry partners. Their research project, RePlastic, has shown that valuable oil can be produced from otherwise useless plastic waste through pyrolysis.  AI in Packaging

“I’m surprised at the great potential of pyrolysis technology for the most impure and mixed plastic fractions. This process can handle the plastic we have no other uses for. This enables us to bring end-of-life plastic back into the cycle and make it useful again,” says Anders Egede Daugaard, Associate Professor at DTU Chemical Engineering and head of the RePlastic project.  AI in Packaging

Plastic is not just plastic

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From useless plastic waste to valuable oil

Polyethylene waste could be a thing of the past

undamental research has developed a way of using polyethylene waste (PE) as a feedstock and converted it into valuable chemicals, via light-driven photocatalysis.

The University of Adelaide’s Professor Shizhang Qiao, Chair of Nanotechnology, and Director, Centre for Materials in Energy and Catalysis, at the School of Chemical Engineering, led the team which published their findings in the journal Science Advances.

“We have upcycled polyethylene plastic waste into ethylene and propionic acid with high selectivity using atomically dispersed metal catalysts,” said Professor Qiao.

“An oxidation-coupled room-temperature photocatalysis method was used to convert the waste into valuable products with high selectivity.  AI in Packaging

“Nearly 99 per cent of the liquid product is propionic acid, alleviating the problems associated with complex products that then require separation.

“Renewable solar energy was used rather than industrial processes that consume fossil fuel and emit greenhouse gases.

“This waste-to-value strategy is primarily implemented with four components, including plastic waste, water, sunlight and non-toxic photocatalysts that harness solar energy and boost the reaction. A typical photocatalyst is titanium dioxide with isolated palladium atoms on its surface.”

Most of the plastics used today end up being discarded and accumulated in landfills. PE is the most widely used plastic in the world. Daily food packaging, shopping bags and reagent bottles are all made from PE.  AI in Packaging

It is also the largest proportion of all plastic waste and primarily ends up in landfills, posing a threat to global environment and ecology.

“Plastic waste is an untapped resource that can be recycled and processed into new plastics and other commercial products,” said Professor Qiao.

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Polyethylene waste could be a thing of the past

PET Bottles -Goodbye to oil? OPEC puts the veto : greenhouse gas emissions isn’t so important! – In contrast to the global trend of phasing out petrol cars, Australia appears to be an outlier, exhibiting a persistent dependence on fossil fuel vehicles, according to recent data 11-12-2023

AI in Packaging

Polyester Feedstocks – ‘Biodegradable’ plastic bags failing in Beijing – Nylon filament and its feedstock isn’t strong 11-12-2023

Polyester Feedstocks

Polyester Feedstocks

  • Polymers : PET – r-PET – Filament grade semidull chips -Filament grade bright chips – Ny6 – Ny66 – PP
  • Feedstocks  PX – PTA – MEG – CPL – Adipic Acid – Benzene – ACN – Ethylene – Phenol – Naphtha
  • Textile : Polyester POY – DTY – FDY – PSF – Recycled Polyester POY – Nylon POY – DTY – FDY Spandex 20-30-40 -Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  Acrylic Staple Fiber 

Polyester Feedstocks

Polyester Feedstocks

Polyestertime
ITEM 04/12/2023 11/12/2023 +/-
Bottle grade PET chips domestic market 6,800 yuan/ton 6,800 yuan/ton
Bottle grade PET chips export market 875 $/ton 875 $/ton
Filament grade Semidull chips domestic market 6,640 yuan/ton 6,620 yuan/ton -20
Filament grade Bright chips domestic market 6,680 yuan/ton 6,650 yuan/ton -30
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA domestic market 5,675 yuan/ton 5,715 yuan/ton +40
Pure Terephthalic Acid PTA export market 720 $/ton 700 $/ton -20
Monoethyleneglycol MEG domestic market 4,040 yuan/ton 4,065 yuan/ton +25
Monoethyleneglycol MEG export market 480 $/ton 480 $/ton
Paraxylene PX FOB  Taiwan market

Polyester Feedstocks

1,001 $/ton 974 $/ton
-27
Paraxylene PX FOB  Korea market 978 $/ton 951 $/ton -27
Paraxylene PX FOB EU market 1,045 $/ton 1,030 $/ton -15
Polyester filament POY 150D/48F domestic market 7,500  yuan/ton 7,425 yuan/ton
-75
Recycled Polyester filament POY  domestic market 7,500 yuan/ton 7,500 yuan/ton
Polyester filament DTY 150D/48 F domestic market 8,850 yuan/ton 8,850 yuan/ton
Polyester filament FDY 68D24F

Polyester Feedstocks

8,825 yuan/ton 8,800 yuan/ton -25
Polyester filament FDY 150D/96F domestic market 8,125 yuan/ton 8,050 yuan/ton -75
Polyester staple fiber 1.4D 38mm domestic market 7,300yuan/ton 7,200 yuan/ton -100
Caprolactam CPL domestic market 13,000 yuan/ton 12,850 yuan/ton
-150
Caprolactam CPL overseas  market 1,600 $/ton 1,600 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips overseas  market 1,850 $/ton 1,850 $/ton
Nylon 6 chips conventional spinning domestic  market 13,950 yuan/ton 13,750 yuan/ton -200
Nylon 6 chips  high speed spinning domestic  market

Polyester Feedstocks

14,300 yuan/ton 14,150 yuan/ton -150
Nylon 6.6 chips domestic  market 19,900 yuan/ton 19,800 yuan/ton -100
Nylon6 Filament POY 86D/24F domestic  market 16,400 yuan/ton 16,250 yuan/ton -150
Nylon6 Filament DTY 70D/24F domestic  market 18,550 yuan/ton 18,400 yuan/ton- -150
Nylon6 Filament FDY  70D/24F  17,150 yuan/ton 17,100 yuan/ton -50
Spandex 20D  domestic  market

Polyester Feedstocks

35,500 yuan/ton 35,000 yuan/ton -500
Spandex 30D  domestic  market 34,000 yuan/ton 33,500 yuan/ton -500
Spandex 40D  domestic  market  31,000 yuan/ton 30,500 yuan/ton -500
Adipic Acid domestic market 8,775 yuan/ton 8,700 yuan/ton -75
Benzene domestic market

Polyester Feedstocks

6,850 yuan/ton 6,970 yuan/ton +120
Benzene overseas  market 862 $/ton 849 $/ton -13
Ethylene South East market 940 $/ton 890 $/ton -50
Ethylene NWE market 744 $/ton 744 $/ton
Acrylonitrile ACN  domestic market

Polyester Feedstocks

9,900 yuan/ton 9,700 yuan/ton -200
Acrylonitrile ACN  overseas market 1,200 $/ton 1,200 $/ton
Acrylic staple fiber ASF  domestic market 14,600 yuan/ton 14,600 yuan/ton
Viscose Staple Fiber VSF  domestic market 12,900 yuan/ton 12,900 yuan/ton
PP Powder domestic market

Polyester Feedstocks

7,300 yuan/ton 7,300 yuan/ton
Naphtha overseas market  667 $/ton 641 $/ton -26
Phenol domestic market 8,072 yuan/ton 7,742 yuan/ton -330

r-PET high end eco-friendly chips =7,900 yuan/ton 7,900 yuan/ton   –

Polyester Feedstocks

‘Biodegradable’ plastic bags failing in Beijing

Beijing’s market regulator has assessed 29 types of “biodegradable” plastic bag and found that 19 (or 65.5%) fail to meet industry and national standards.

The standards concern labelling, biodegradation rate, volatile organic compound emissions, and carrying capacity by weight. The regulator emphasised that producers and sellers falling short of these standards face legal consequences.

Humanity produces more than 430 million tonnes of plastic annually, two-thirds of which comprise short-lived products that soon become waste, according to the UN Environment Programme. In 2019, China accounted for one-fifth of global single-use plastic waste, more than any other nation, though the per capita figure is a fraction of that in Australia and the US, reports the SCMPPolyester Feedstocks

To tackle China’s plastic pollution during 2021-2025, the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued a five-year plan in September 2021.

summary of the plan states: “By 2025, key sectors such as retail, e-commerce, and express delivery, are expected to drastically cut the unreasonable use of single-use plastics.” The plan also promotes use of alternatives to ​​non-biodegradable plastic “such as bamboo, wood, paper, and degradable plastics“.

“Biodegradable plastic substitution was previously a popular solution, but the [five-year] plan proposed that its true value in solving plastic pollution needs to be scientifically evaluated to avoid unreasonable capacity expansion,” Dr Tan Yiki of Tsinghua Circular Economy Research Centre, recently told the mediaPolyester Feedstocks

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‘Biodegradable’ plastic bags failing in Beijing

Hybrid Solar Sheets for Perpetually Clean Drinking Water and Hydrogen

In a world grappling with environmental challenges, innovative technologies are emerging to address pressing issues like clean water scarcity and sustainable energy production. One such breakthrough is the development of hybrid solar sheets that not only harness solar energy efficiently but also contribute to the production of perpetually clean drinking water and hydrogen.  Polyester Feedstocks

These hybrid solar sheets integrate photovoltaic cells with advanced water purification and electrolysis systems, creating a multifunctional solution for two critical global needs. The photovoltaic cells capture sunlight and convert it into electricity, powering the water purification process and electrolysis simultaneously.

The water purification system utilizes advanced filtration techniques, ensuring that the collected water is free from contaminants and safe for consumption. This innovative approach allows communities in water-scarce regions to access a sustainable source of clean drinking water, mitigating the impact of waterborne diseases and improving overall public health.  Polyester Feedstocks

Simultaneously, the electrolysis component of the hybrid solar sheets splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This process yields hydrogen gas, a clean and versatile energy carrier with various applications, including fuel for vehicles and power generation. By harnessing the power of the sun to produce hydrogen, these hybrid systems contribute to the advancement of green and sustainable energy solutions.

One of the key advantages of this technology lies in its scalability and adaptability. Hybrid solar sheets can be deployed in both urban and remote areas, providing a decentralized and reliable source of clean water and hydrogen. This makes them particularly valuable for regions with limited access to centralized infrastructure.

As the world seeks innovative solutions to combat climate change and ensure access to essential resources, hybrid solar sheets represent a significant step forward.

By integrating solar energy, water purification, and hydrogen production into a single, efficient system, this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we address environmental challenges and create a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come. Polyester Feedstocks

Hybrid Solar Sheets for Perpetually Clean Drinking Water and Hydrogen

Polyester Feedstocks

PET Bottles -Goodbye to oil? OPEC puts the veto : greenhouse gas emissions isn’t so important! – In contrast to the global trend of phasing out petrol cars, Australia appears to be an outlier, exhibiting a persistent dependence on fossil fuel vehicles, according to recent data 11-12-2023

PET Bottles

This week commenced with a surge in crude oil prices, building on the momentum from the previous Friday’s upswing

The catalyst for this uptick was the revelation that the U.S. federal government is in the process of acquiring up to 3 million barrels for the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). In a series of transactions, the government has already secured 9 million barrels, initiating the SPR’s replenishment following the drawdown of over 180 million barrels last year to stabilize fuel prices.

Presently, prices are positioned favorably within the Department of Energy’s (DoE) parameters. However, the expectation of price escalation upon the DoE’s procurement announcement has materialized. Nevertheless, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) remains comfortably below the DoE’s self-imposed upper limit of $79 per barrel.

Analysts, such as Tony Sycamore from IG, acknowledge the Biden Administration’s endeavor to replenish the SPR as a supportive factor. However, concerns persist regarding the extent of price gains, with another IG analyst, Yeap Jun Rong, pointing to lingering apprehensions about China’s demand.

The backdrop to these developments is a seven-week decline in crude oil prices, despite OPEC+ implementing additional, more substantial production cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day from January through at least the end of March. The failure of this intervention is attributed to trader perceptions of oversupply and the anticipation of a slowdown in China’s oil demand growth in the upcoming year. Concurrently, reports of record-breaking U.S. production further intensified concerns about oversupply, particularly in light of rather pessimistic demand projections for the coming year according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This week commenced with a surge in crude oil prices, building on the momentum from the previous Friday's upswing

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Yuan to United States Dollar

Yuan to United States Dollar

1 Chinese Yuan = 0,14 United States Dollar

Polyester Feedstocks – ‘Biodegradable’ plastic bags failing in Beijing – Nylon filament and its feedstock isn’t strong

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PET Bottles

INEOS Aromatics to propose mothballing one of its PTA plants in Geel, Belgium

INEOS Aromatics has unveiled its proposal to mothball the smaller and older Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) unit at its integrated PX and PTA production facility in Geel, Belgium. The decision stems from the unit being offline since 2022, prompting a comprehensive evaluation of its long-term viability. Despite concerted efforts to enhance its competitiveness, challenging market conditions have reached a tipping point. Escalating energy, raw material, and labor costs have eroded the unit’s competitiveness in the European market compared to newer PTA and derivative capacity in Asia.

PTA, a crucial component for manufacturing polyester PET, finds widespread use in textiles, fabrics, food and beverage packaging, and various household and commercial items. The decision to mothball the unit underscores the difficulties faced by European production in the face of fierce competition from Asia. PET Bottles

The company will initiate a consultation process with employee representatives to address the impact on affected staff, exploring redeployment opportunities within other activities at the Geel site whenever feasible. Importantly, the larger and more efficient second PTA unit, along with the PX unit, will remain operational, ensuring no disruption for customers.

Steve Dossett, CEO of INEOS Aromatics, expressed gratitude for the dedicated efforts of the Geel site personnel and acknowledged the challenging circumstances leading to the decision.PET Bottles

He highlighted the substantial disadvantage faced by European PTA production due to high energy and operating costs, emphasizing the competitive advantage enjoyed by Asian exporters with access to discounted Russian hydrocarbons.

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PET Bottles

Turkey moves to counter rising tide of Chinese EV imports

In response to the escalating influx of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, Turkey has initiated stringent measures, aligning with the European Union’s investigation into China’s EV subsidies, according to a report by Bloomberg. Recently, Turkey’s Trade Ministry issued a decree stipulating that companies engaged in EV imports must establish a network of at least 140 authorized service stations across the country, accompanied by the opening of a dedicated call center for each brand. PET Bottles

This move, perceived as targeting Chinese vehicles specifically, excludes imports from the European Union and nations with existing free-trade agreements with Turkey. Importers face an imminent deadline, until the end of the month, to comply with these demanding requirements, a daunting task for many.

This unexpected regulatory shift poses a setback for businesses involved in the sale of Chinese cars in Turkey, the sixth-largest auto market in Europe. Industry insiders, including Erol Şahin, CEO of automotive consultancy EBS, highlight the challenges, emphasizing that not a single brand is currently in compliance with the rigorous regulations. PET Bottles

The primary hurdle arises from the mandate that importers establish their own service stations, complicating relationships with authorized third-party services.

Turkey’s electric vehicle market has been on the rise, fueled by the affordability of Chinese brands, the success of the domestic car Togg, and the entrance of Tesla Inc. EV sales have surged nearly tenfold from the previous year, constituting 7.1% of all passenger car sales.

The new regulations aim to bring order to the rapidly growing EV industry in Turkey, creating a controlled environment. Despite concerns raised by industry players, an anonymous official in Ankara stated that there are no plans to revise the rules or delay their implementation. PET Bottles

China, as Turkey’s largest importer, has contributed significantly to the country’s trade deficit, reaching almost $100 billion by November. Passenger car imports, particularly EVs, have been a major contributor to this deficit. China sold $184 million worth of EVs to Turkey in the first ten months of the current year, nearly double the figure for the entire 2022. Earlier in the year, Turkey imposed an additional 40% customs duty on EV imports from China, bringing the total customs tax rate to 50%.

PET Bottles

Goodbye to oil? OPEC puts the veto

Controversy following the latest document from the COP28 presidency released yesterday afternoon with a list of all the topics to be submitted to the ministers of the 197 countries participating in the Conference in the hope of finding convergence on a final agreement. In recent days, the head of OPEC in a letter had urged members of the oil cartel to reject any agreement in the climate negotiations underway in Dubai that would include the gradual elimination of fossil fuels. A veto that saw a firm reaction from environmentalists and other countries. PET Bottles
The Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto defined the letter as “a move of pure party interest” and reiterated that “the COP must give a path which is that of decarbonisation which means overcoming the coal phase and subsequently the oil phase “. The French Energy Minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, said she was “stunned” and “angry” while the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, called the operation “disgusting”. ”
Meanwhile, vulnerable countries in particular are aiming for an ambitious agreement that leads to the abandonment of coal, oil and gas which according to science are at the origin of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity and which are responsible for global warming. PET Bottles
Emissions from major oil and gas projects in Gulf OPEC member countries will cause more than 43 million premature deaths in the region by the end of the century, according to researchers from the environmental network Lingo (Leave it in the ground).

OPEC against saying goodbye to fossils. Anger of EU countries

In contrast to the global trend of phasing out petrol cars, Australia appears to be an outlier, exhibiting a persistent dependence on fossil fuel vehicles, according to recent data

As other countries commit to banning new petrol car sales, concerns are mounting about Australia’s ability to achieve its climate targets. A report from the federal department of climate change and energy unveils troubling projections, indicating that petrol and diesel vehicles are expected to constitute nearly half of all new car sales in the country by 2035.

This forecast poses a significant threat to Australia’s emission reduction goals, especially considering that transport pollution already accounts for 21% of the nation’s total emissions. PET Bottles

Cars and light commercial vehicles are identified as major contributors, highlighting the urgent need for transformative changes in the automotive industry. The adoption of electric cars is deemed crucial, with experts advocating for a doubling of current projections to align with emission reduction targets.

However, the report paints a grim picture, forecasting that electric vehicles will represent only 13% of new car sales by 2026, 26% by 2030, and 51% by 2035. Even more disheartening is the outlook for electric utes and vans, projected to comprise a mere 9% of new vehicle sales by 2030 and 29% in 2035. Lindsay Soutar from Greenpeace Australia Pacific emphasizes the need for policymakers to prioritize making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible, while Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, expresses deep concern over the sluggish transition, urging the swift implementation of a fuel-efficiency standard promised in the National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Despite assurances from government officials, the timeline for implementing this crucial standard remains uncertain. PET Bottles

Jafari insists that without an emissions cap on new cars, Australians are missing out on overseas models and sufficient electric vehicles to meet demand. The pressure intensifies on the government to take decisive action to align with global trends and secure a sustainable, low-emission future for the nation.

In contrast to the global trend of phasing out petrol cars, Australia appears to be an outlier, exhibiting a persistent dependence on fossil fuel vehicles, according to recent data

Andritz has successfully initiated operations of a novel textile recycling line at the facility of Italian recycling specialist Sfilacciatura Negro in Biella, Italy

This state-of-the-art line is specifically engineered for processing post-consumer textile waste with an automatic removal system for rigid components, bolstering Sfilacciatura Negro’s foray into expanding recycling sectors. PET Bottles

Driven by the escalating demand for sustainable fibers within re-spinning and nonwoven industries, Sfilacciatura Negro Biella opted to enhance its recycling capabilities. Renowned for its expertise in recycling industrial textile waste, the company already manages two tearing lines. Capitalizing on its longstanding partnership with ANDRITZ, it now ventures into recycling post-consumer clothing waste.

Sfilacciatura Negro’s CEO, Tiziano Negro, underscores their circular approach, emphasizing the conversion of textile waste into new fibers that would otherwise contribute to landfills. Negro expresses confidence in ANDRITZ as the ideal collaborator, citing the company’s extensive experience in both textile recycling and nonwovens. PET Bottles

The cutting-edge recycling line supplied by Andritz is the culmination of a decade-long collaboration, involving trials, technical center assessments, and on-site visits to customer facilities in Spain and Portugal. The comprehensive line, from sorted waste bale feeding to recycled fiber baling, is designed for optimal efficiency, energy conservation, and automated removal of rigid elements. With a streamlined process requiring only one operator, the recycling line culminates in the production of film-wrapped and tied bales weighing up to 350 kg.

Andritz has successfully initiated operations of a novel textile recycling line at the facility of Italian recycling specialist Sfilacciatura Negro in Biella, Italy

Australian-led study makes breakthrough in plastic recycling

A groundbreaking discovery in plastic recycling has been achieved by an Australian-led international research team, offering a promising solution to address the pervasive issue of plastic waste. The breakthrough, detailed in a recent publication led by the University of Adelaide with support from the Australian Research Council, focuses on the utilization of polyethylene (PE) waste as a crucial feedstock. PE plastics constitute a significant portion of global plastic waste, predominantly ending up in landfills.PET Bottles

The researchers harnessed the power of photocatalysis to convert PE waste into both a valuable feedstock and essential chemicals. Photocatalysis involves substances that expedite chemical reactions when exposed to light. The team successfully transformed PE waste into ethylene, a pivotal chemical feedstock applicable in the production of industrial and everyday items. Additionally, the process generated propionic acid, a versatile colorless liquid serving as an antimicrobial agent, preservative, and fungicide.

Shizhang Qiao, the study’s lead author and Director of the Centre for Materials in Energy and Catalysis at the University of Adelaide, emphasized the transformative potential of catalytic recycling for PE waste. The research not only highlights the viability of converting plastic waste into valuable resources but also underscores the importance of developing sustainable solutions for a circular economy. The collaborative effort involved experts from institutions such as the Wuhan Institute of Technology, University of Kent, and Heilongjiang University. PET Bottles

Australian-led study makes breakthrough in plastic recycling

Recycled Marine-Waste – India generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every dayIndia generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every dayIndia generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day 09-12-2023

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Recycled Marine-Waste – India generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every dayIndia generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every dayIndia generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day 09-12-2023