Sumitomo to construct chemical recycling pilot plant for acrylic-resin waste in Japan

Sumitomo to construct chemical recycling pilot plant for acrylic-resin waste in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical Co. (Tokyo, Japan) has decided to construct a pilot facility for chemical recycling of acrylic resin (PMMA, poly-methyl-methacrylate) at its Ehime Works in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, according to Chemical Engineering.

The new facility is scheduled to begin pilot tests in the fall of 2022 and to start providing samples in 2023. In parallel with this project, the Company will work to develop a recycling system for PMMA, from collection of used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing into products, aiming for early commercialization of chemically recycled PMMA.

Acrylic resins, which possess the highest level of transparency among synthetic resins as well as superior weatherability and processability, are used in a wide range of applications, such as automotive tail lamp covers, electrical appliances, aquariums, outdoor signboards, liquid crystal displays, building materials, and protective partition panels to reduce the spread of droplets. Global demand for acrylic resins exceeded 1.3 million tons in 2020, and is expected to continue to grow steadily in the future.

In response to ever-growing environmental awareness, Sumitomo Chemical is working on the development of various chemical recycling technologies in-house as well as in collaboration with other companies and academic institutions. For acrylic resin chemical recycling, the Company has been pursuing development in collaboration with The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. (“JSW,” headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo), combining JSW’s continuous plastic decomposition technology using twin-screw extruders with Sumitomo Chemical’s expertise on MMA (methyl methacrylate) monomers and acrylic resins that it has cultivated over the years.

With its own basic technology to pyrolyze acrylic resin and regenerate it as MMA monomer, which is used as a raw material, now successfully established, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to construct a pilot facility. The acrylic resin produced by re-polymerizing MMA monomer obtained by this technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the entire product life cycle by more than 60% compared to virgin materials produced from fossil resources, while maintaining the same level of basic properties, such as transparency and strength.

As MRC informed previously, Sumitomo Chemical and Sekisui Chemical are moving forward with a project to convert plastic waste into polyolefin, targeting to start up a pilot plant to produce ethylene as a first step. Sumitomo Chemical has recently established a cooperative relationship with Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. for the social implementation of the technology to manufacture polyolefin using waste as raw material.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 580,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. At the same time, one producer reduced its output.

The main sector consuming approximately 75% of MMA is the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Sika expands with acquisition in China

Sika expands with acquisition in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss specialty and construction chemicals company Sika has acquired Shenzhen Landun Holding, a manufacturer of waterproofing systems in China, for an undisclosed sum, said the producer in its press release.

Shenzhen Landun has a range of waterproofing products and technologies that "perfectly" complement Sika’s portfolio, Sika said.

The acquisition provides a platform for Sika to further grow and strengthen its position in the fast-growing Chinese waterproofing market. The product portfolios of the two companies are highly complementary and offer large cross-selling potential through their respective channels. With the two acquired manufacturing facilities, Sika will be able to strengthen its local supply chain and bring its products and services closer to the market.

Shenzhen Landun employs 200 people and has two plants where it manufactures membranes and coatings for various waterproofing applications, mainly supplying infrastructure and commercial projects.

As MRC informed earlier, Sika commissioned a manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which produces epoxy resins aimed at flooring solutions. Sika has decided to invest in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities at the Dubai site in order to increase flexibility in production, shorten delivery times, optimize cost structures, and reduce inventories.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in June 2021 by 10.2% year on year. However, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 8.2% in the first six months of 2021, according to Rosstat's data. June production of polymers in primary form was 937,000 tonnes versus 956,000 tonnes in May. Russia's overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 4,460,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 12.8% year on year.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories. Its more than 20,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 7.09 billion in 2018.

BASF building new pilot plant in Ludwigshafern in a move to strengthen its global catalyst development

BASF building new pilot plant in Ludwigshafern in a move to strengthen its global catalyst development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is strengthening its global catalyst development and helping customers to bring new products faster to the market. As part of this strategy, BASF is building a new pilot plant center at its Ludwigshafen site, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Center will serve as a global hub for pilot-scale production and process innovations of chemical catalysts. The construction of the new pilot plant center in Ludwigshafen also emphasizes the importance of the site for global research. The new building is scheduled for completion by mid-2024.

"The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Center strengthens our focus on innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit our customers and the environment. It is a strong sign of our continuous commitment to innovation in our chemical catalysts portfolio. It allows us to more quickly respond to market needs and contribute to a more sustainable chemical industry," said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President, Catalysts at BASF.

Specifically, the new pilot plant helps chemical catalysts experts transfer laboratory recipes to production scale more quickly and manufacture sample quantities of new catalysts on a technical scale with short lead times. Customers thus gain faster access to new catalyst technologies - a factor that is critical to the successful introduction of new products to the market.

As MRC wrote before, BASF will build a battery recycling prototype plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, at the site of its cathode active materials (CAM) plant.

We also remind that n June, 2021, Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and BASF announced the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene monomer (SM) based on circular feedstock. Trinseo has procured first supplies of SM based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tyre manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers have already processed the material, said the company.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Kazanorgsintez resumed work after power failure

Kazanorgsintez resumed work after power failure

MOSCOW (MRC) - Kazanorgsintez (KOS, part of the TAIF group) has restored its work after a large-scale power failure of the Kazan power center, BUSINESS-Online reports.

Last Saturday, August 21, there was a failure in the unified power supply system of the Republic of Tatarstan. This led to an unscheduled shutdown of production at Kazanorgsintez.

The automated industrial safety systems of the enterprise worked in normal mode, and the product immediately went to the torch at the time of production interruption. Residents of neighboring houses observed burning and smoking of KOS torches.

A large-scale power disruption occurred due to forest fires in the Volga region. Due to the burning of the ground under the high-voltage lines, an accident occurred at the Pomary substation. The failure affected the entire power system of the Kazan hub.

The regular work of most of Kazanorgsintez's production facilities was resumed on 21 August. On the morning of 22 August, Sunday, the intense burning of torches stopped. The regular work of all productions was resumed the same day.

Earlier it was reported that the subsidiaries of the Italian engineering company Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. received a contract for the construction of a new Kazanorgsintez plant (KOS, part of TAIF) for the production of high-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) / ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) at the existing KOS complex in Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia). The capacity of the new enterprise will be 100,000 tonnes of LDPE / EVA per year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, in June the estimated consumption of LDPE fell to 45,190 tonnes against 47,780 tonnes a month earlier. Russian manufacturers have increased export sales of polyethylene (PE). In the first six months of the year, the estimated consumption of LDPE in Russia amounted to 280,850 tonnes, which is 2% less than a year earlier. PE output decreased, while export volumes increased.

Kazanorgsintez PJSC is one of the largest enterprises in the Russian Federation (TAIF Group of Companies). It produces 40% of all Russian polyethylene and is its largest exporter. Currently, PE, polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene pipes, phenol, acetone, bisphenol A are produced. KOS is the only Russian PC manufacturer. There are 170 types of products in total. The annual production volume is 1.6 million tons. The enterprise is the largest Russian manufacturer of low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE) pipes. The annual capacity of HDPE production is 540,000 tonnes, and LDPE - 225,000 tonnes.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 24.08.2021

1. U.S. energy companies are moving to require that employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. energy companies are moving to require that employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations as infection rates rise across the United States and energy workers, according to health surveys, remain among those most reluctant to get inoculations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Calls to require vaccinations for employees who work closely together in oilfield and refinery operations come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. The second-largest U.S. oil producer, Chevron Corp, and refiner Valero Energy Corp will require jabs for certain field workers or new workers. Top oilfield services firm Schlumberger said last week some customers are requesting that its staff be vaccinated or tested before arriving on job sites.