Brenntag opens R&D centre in Germany

Brenntag opens R&D centre in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brenntag, a global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, has opened a new Innovation Center at its site in Duisburg, according to Coatings World.

It is the first application center for the Coatings, Adhesives and Construction industries in Germany and the seventh in Brenntag's entire EMEA region.

The new Innovation Center will be used jointly by Brenntag and BCD Chemie, a Brenntag Group company, for projects in Coatings, Adhesives and Construction applications.

Customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can now benefit from formulation of new products and evaluation of new materials in a wide range of applications.

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, Brenntag expanded its distribution agreement with UK-based Elementis Specialties in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. This distribution agreement will be effective starting 1 April, 2022. Brenntag will distribute Elementis Specialties’ specialty chemicals and additives for the coatings, adhesive and sealant industries.

BCD Chemie, a Brenntag Group company, is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. It focuses on the pan-European marketing of industrial and performance chemicals. As a link between manufacturers of high-quality chemical raw materials and users from many industries, BCD Chemie provides B2B sales solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. Profound market knowledge, competent product and application consulting as well as comprehensive expertise in chemical-technical and market-analytical contexts form the basis of its philosophy of modern chemical distribution.

Sasol to expand biosurfactants business

Sasol to expand biosurfactants business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sasol has agreed a partnership with UK company Holiferm to develop new biosurfactants, said the company.

Under the partnership, Sasol will purchase the majority of sophorolipids produced at a new Holiferm manufacturing facility that is due to start up in early 2023 in the UK. Sophorolipids are biosurfactants made through fermentation, using yeast to convert vegetable oils and glucose.

"The Holiferm expertise in the area of fermentation technology and production is a perfect fit with Sasol’s position as a global leader in the supply of surfactants and surfactant intermediates into the fabric and home care, personal care as well as industrial and institutional cleaning markets,” Silke Hoppe, vice president, Essential Care Chemicals, at Sasol Chemicals, said in a statement.

Financial or other terms were not disclosed. Holiferm is described as a developer of fermentation technology to make biosurfactants.

It has research and development facilities in Manchester and a commercial plant and a pilot project in the Liverpool area, according to information on its website.

As it was written before, Sasol invites all interested parties to participate in a biogas utilisation Request for Information (RFI) process. The purpose of this RFI process is to provide those who are interested in, or involved in biogas handling technologies, an opportunity to partner with Sasol on biogas beneficiation. Safety, sustainability and compliance is of the utmost importance to Sasol as a company. Therefore, interested parties will be required to demonstrate a high level of expertise and experience in biogas utilisation technologies.

We remind, Sasol Limited (Sasol) today announced its updated strategy that commits it to be at net zero emissions by 2050. This is in line with Sasol’s commitment to accelerate its transition to a low carbon world in support of the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In aligning with its 2050 ambition, Sasol has stepped up its 2030 scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target, from an initial 10% for its South African operations, announced last year, to 30% for its Energy and Chemicals businesses, off a 2017 baseline. The company is also introducing a scope 3 reduction target, for its Energy Business, off a 2019 baseline. This is consistent with what its peers have committed to.

Sasol is a global chemicals and energy company. We harness our knowledge and expertise to integrate sophisticated technologies and processes into world-scale operating facilities.

Strike action unlikely to affect operations at ExxonMobil refinery at Fawley in the UK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Upcoming strike action at ExxonMobil's refinery at Fawley in the UK is unlikely to affect production at the site, according to the producer, said Bunkerspot.

Unite union members employed by Trant Engineering Limited, Veolia Services and Altrad Services - who work as contractors at Fawley - have scheduled strike action over a pay dispute. Strike action has been set for 8 April, 25 April and 6 May, with more strikes to be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved, according to Unite.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson said: “We do not anticipate that the proposed action will impact on operations at Fawley, or on supplies to customers."

ExxonMobil produces a range of petrochemicals at Fawley including propylene, base oils, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and raffinate-2, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand database.

As per MRC, ExxonMobil announced that construction of the new linear alpha olefins (LAO) manufacturing unit at its Baytown, Texas, integrated petrochemical complex is progressing and targeting commercial start up in mid-2023. When fully operational, the new facility will have the capacity to produce approximately 350,000 metric tons of LAO annually.

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.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Covestro expands its range of circular raw materials and now offers renewable TDI for flexible PU foam

Covestro expands its range of circular raw materials and now offers renewable TDI for flexible PU foam

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro is again expanding its range of more circular raw materials and now offers customers in various regions renewable toluene diisocyanate (TDI) which provides a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint from cradle to factory gate, with the same high quality as fossil-based products, according to SpecialChem.

Covestro manufactures the renewable TDI both in Dormagen, Germany, and in Caojing, China, using the mass balance method. Both sites are certified according to the ISCC PLUS standard.

For Covestro, offering renewable TDI via mass balance is only a logical next step of making this important chemical raw material even more sustainable, as Dr. Klaus Schafer, chief technology officer of Covestro, explains, "Already years ago, our unique gas phase technology was a milestone towards more energy efficiency in the production of TDI.”

"With our shift to mass-balanced products, we are helping customers in various industries achieve their climate targets and drive the transition to a circular economy," says Sucheta Govil, chief commercial officer of Covestro.

Flexible PU foams made with TDI and long-chain polyols are important materials in the manufacture of seat cushions and mattresses. Renewable TDI meets demands for more sustainable production while ensuring the good quality, optimal comfort and high breathability known from fossil-based TDI.

It also meets the expectations of the automotive industry, which is looking for alternative raw materials for car seat cushions with a lower carbon footprint.

Last year, Covestro signed its first commercial supply contract with Sinomax, a global manufacturer and distributor of polyurethane comfort products based in China. Both companies share a clear commitment toward the circular economy, and Sinomax wants to be the first customer to use the new TDI to reduce its CO2 emissions.

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).

Hexion recognized for waste minimization, energy efficiency and facility safety

Hexion recognized for waste minimization, energy efficiency and facility safety

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Two projects and 12 facilities at Hexion Inc. were named Responsible Care® award winners by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and honored for excellence in waste reduction, energy efficiency, and overall safety performance, said the company.

"The latest recognition from the ACC reflects how our associates are leveraging our strategic sustainability initiatives to steadily guide our business and serve our global customers,” said Craig Rogerson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We remain committed to operating our sites safely and in a sustainable manner."

Hexion was recognized in the following categories for its achievements: Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling – Hexion’s Sheboygan, WI site received an ACC Award with Exceptional Merit. By utilizing Six Sigma planning, the manufacturing facility reduced distillate water disposal volumes by 90 percent and eliminated nearly 90 truck shipments of wastewater annually from the roadways. Process piping and filtration modifications were made in the plant, and testing proved that reuse of the distillate stream was possible without negative process or product quality impacts.

Energy Efficiency – Hexion’s Geismar, LA facility significantly reduced the electricity consumed by its continuously operating production units by strategically revamping its cooling processes and making strategic investments in its infrastructure. This included installing variable frequency drives and automated controls logic on the cooling pumps to improve its cooling water tower electric efficiency.

As per MRC, Hexion is strategically strengthening its manufacturing footprint in support of its ArmorBuilt Fire Protection product through an expansion of its Missoula, Montana site. To meet the continued strong demand, Hexion previously announced two capacity expansions at its Portland, Oregon manufacturing site in 2021. The Missoula site expansion will enable Hexion to significantly increase its capacity to serve customers more easily in the Western United States and beyond, which are areas prone to wildfires. The new capacity is expected to come online in fourth quarter of 2022.

As previously announced, Hexion is working closely with one of the largest wood pole producers in North America to make ArmorBuilt wrap the specified solution for Pacific Gas & Electric Company to protect their utility pole infrastructure in wildfire prone areas. Hexion also continues to strategically expand its manufacturing capabilities for other adhesive applications around the globe, such as the expansion of its Brimbank, Australia, site.

We remind, Hexion Holdings Corporation announced that it has completed the sale of its epoxy-based Coatings and Composite businesses, which includes the epoxy specialty resins and base epoxy resins and intermediates product lines for approximately USD1.2 billion to Westlake Chemical Corporation.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Hexion Inc. is a global leader in thermoset resins. Hexion Inc. serves the global adhesive, coatings, and industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries.