Joint study to produce plastics feedstock from CO2 receives NEDO approval

Joint study to produce plastics feedstock from CO2 receives NEDO approval

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tosoh Corporation managed the parties in joint proposal of “development of technology for producing raw materials for plastics using CO2 and/or other sources” selected by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) funded by the Green Innovation Fund, according to SpecialChem.

Tosoh’s proposal collaborators include Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc., the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Catalytic Chemistry at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); Professors Keiichi Tomishige and Yasuhiro Fukushima, of Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering’s Departments of Applied Chemistry and of Chemical Engineering, respectively; Professor Masazumi Tamura, of Osaka City University’s Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis; and Colcoat Co., Ltd.

These parties will now collaborate in aiming to reduce CO2 emissions during the manufacture of polycarbonate and polyurethane by eliminating from the process the need for the conventional raw material phosgene.

They will, moreover, strive to achieve technology to convert CO2 into a raw material for plastic production by 2030. Their hope is to achieve the same plastic manufacturing cost as currently while improving the functionality of the plastic produced. To those ends, they will pilot the production of several hundred to several thousand tons of plastic per year.

The Japanese government’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 looms large in this project’s efforts to develop technology to capture CO2 for use as a raw material for plastic. Using CO2 in place of phosgene as a raw material to produce dialkyl carbonate and isocyanate, the raw materials for polycarbonate and polyurethane, will reduce CO2 emissions well below those generated with phosgene.

This project will also accelerate the development of manufacturing technology for functional chemicals using CO2 as a raw material. To ensure the widespread future use of that technology, the project collaborators will conduct a life cycle assessment of the chemicals it yields.

Project partner Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company will use CO2 as a raw material to develop an intermediate for the polycarbonate manufacturing process that emits fewer GHGs than conventional processes.

By applying this technology to the development of high-performance polycarbonate, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company aims to develop and demonstrate functional chemical manufacturing technology for polycarbonates (PC) on a commercial scale toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

As MRC informed earlier, Tosoh Corporation, a major Japanese petrochemical producer, has announced it will permanently stop producing and selling toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and TDI-related products from its Nanyo complex in Japan, effective April 2023. Despite the continuous implementation of measures to improve profitability, the environment surrounding this business has become increasingly severe in recent years, and there are no prospects for improvement, the company stated. Tosoh currently produce 25,000 t/y of TDI at the site.

Founded in 1935, Japan's Tosoh Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is an international chemicals and specialty materials company. The main activity of the company is the production of chlor-alkali and petrochemical products, which include ethylene, propylene, polypropylene, polyethylene and synthetic rubbers. The Tosoh Group globally includes over 130 companies with manufacturing facilities and offices in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, UK, Greece, Switzerland and the USA.

Ukraine invasion accelerats global energy crisis - Saudi Aramco CEO

Ukraine invasion accelerats global energy crisis - Saudi Aramco CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said the “tragic situation unfolding in Ukraine is making the global energy crisis worse,” according to ArabNews.

Nasser, speaking at CERAWeek in Houston, echoed other energy executives in saying that the crisis exposes the mixed signals delivered by policymakers to the oil-and-gas industry amid the energy transition.

“As oil and gas investments are discouraged, demands are being placed on our industry to increase production,” he said.

The Aramco chief said: “All energy resources will be needed to support a successful transition, and the demonization of our industry is not helping.”

“We need consensus on the essential role of oil and gas with lower emissions, working side-by-side with alternatives to meet the rising global call on energy and deliver on net-zero ambitions.”

Nasser also said the Ukraine crisis has exposed limitations of current energy policies and is a bleak reminder of the impact of geopolitics on the fragile energy transition.

As MRC informed before, in June 2020, Aramco finalized its USD69 billion acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East's biggest petrochemical maker. SABIC reported more than a fivefold year-on-year increase in its Q3 net profit to USD1.49 billion thanks to higher average sales prices.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

Covestro to achieve climate neutrality by 2035

Covestro to achieve climate neutrality by 2035

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro focuses its corporate vision on becoming fully circular. The materials manufacturer wants to completely align its entire production and product range as well as all areas in the long-term to the circular concept, according to SpecialChem.

One concrete measure on this path is climate neutrality. Already in 2021, Covestro cut greenhouse gas emissions by 54% compared to 2005 and thus overachieved its previous sustainability target set for 2025.

Covestro has now defined a further bold target, the group aims to become climate neutral and achieve net zero emissions by 2035 for scope 1 and scope 2.

On the path to achieving this goal, the company plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its own production (scope 1) and from external energy sources (scope 2) by 60% to 2.2 million metric tons by 2030.

In addition, indirect greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream processes in the value chain (scope 3) will be further reduced. Covestro intents to announce a reduction target for this by 2023.

To achieve net zero emissions, Covestro anticipates dedicated investments of an accumulated EUR250 million to EUR600 million by 2030, resulting in lower operating expenses of expected EUR50 million to 100 million annually due to growing energy efficiency.

On its path to achieve net zero emissions, Covestro also expects an increase in operating expenses in the magnitude of a low three-digit million EUR amount annually. These cost assumptions are based on the historic experience that prices for fossil-based energies are lower than prices for renewable energies.

A key aspect of the new 2035 reduction target is meeting the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, under which the world community aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As MRC informed before, in April 2021, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), including EUR1.4 billion in cash.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) totalled about 82,300 tonnes in 2021, down by 8% year on year (89,200 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Dow expands silicone surfactants range for rigid polyurethane foam market

Dow expands silicone surfactants range for rigid polyurethane foam market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow, the world's petrochemical major, has announced new product extension of VORASURF silicone surfactants to support the growing demand for enhanced energy efficiency and sustainable solutions in the rigid polyurethane foam market, with a specific focus on spray and construction applications, according to SpecialChem.

“With the latest additions to our VORASURF portfolio, we continue to deliver innovative technologies addressing key market trends for rigid polyurethane foams, improving energy efficiency and delivering a more sustainable solution to our customers,” said Dylan Delapa, global market segment leader for Dow polyurethane additives.

“By combining our leading manufacturing integration and global presence, with a deep understanding of the industry, Dow silicone polyethers for spray and construction applications provide the key performance benefits our customers desire,” added Delapa.

Dow has collaborated with the polyurethane industry for decades, offering formulators a wide portfolio of solutions, including silicone performance additives, surfactants, and release agents. Formulators around the world also have access to technical support and innovation capabilities to tailor Dow’s advanced, customizable polyurethane additives to address specific performance, sustainability, and profitability objectives.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2021, Dow and Haldor Topsoe partnered to promote the circular economy. About 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced every year on a global scale. The partnership between Dow and Topsoe marks a new initiative to efficiently convert waste plastics to circular plastics, keeping them out of the environment and responsibly reclaiming their value. Plans include Dow to proceed with the design and engineering for a 10,000 ton per year market development unit using Haldor Topsoe’s PureStepTM technology to purify pyrolysis oil feedstock derived from waste plastics for use in circular products.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately USD39 bn in 2020.

PVC production in Russia remained the same YOY in January-February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall production of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) did not exceed 169,700 tonnes in the first two months of 2022, which virtually corresponds to the last year's figure. At the same time, three producers reduced slightly their output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

February production of unmixed PVC in Russia exceeded 82,600 tonnes from 87,100 tonnes a month earlier, all Russian producers kept a high level of capacity utilisation. Total PVC production in Russia reached 169,700 tonnes in January - February 2022 against 169,200 tonnes a year earlier, three producers increased the volume of polymer production, and only one reduced output.

The structure of PVC production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

RusVinyl produced slightly over 28,700 tonnes of PVC in February, with emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) accounting for 2,400 tonnes, compared to 30,700 tonnes a month earlier. Total SPVC production at RusVinyl increased to 59,300 tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared to 57,300 tonnes in the same period in 2021.

SayanskKhimPlast produced slightly less than 25,700 tonnes of suspension PVC (SPVC), compared to 27,700 tonnes in January. Output of SPVC at SayanskKhimPlast reached 53,000 tonnes in the first two months of 2021, up by 1% year on year.

Baskhir Soda Company produced about 21,600 tonnes of SPVC in February, against 21,300 tonnes a month earlier. Total SPVC production at
Baskhir Soda Company reached 42,800 tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared to 45,200 tonnes in the same period in 2021.

Kaustik Volgograd produced slightly less than 6,700 tonnes of suspension PVC (SPVC), compared to 7,500 tonnes in January. Total SPVC production at Kaustik Volgograd increased to 14,200 tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared to 13,700 tonnes in the same period in 2021.