Interface Polymers, Flexipol win GDP850K grant to develop recycled barrier films

Interface Polymers, Flexipol win GDP850K grant to develop recycled barrier films

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Interface Polymers Ltd. and Flexipol Ltd. have jointly won funding through a competition run by UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge, said Sustainableplastics.

The GDP850K grant is to finance a 24-month collaborative project entitled ‘Recycle Ready’ multi-layer barrier plastic packaging films, aimed at the development of fully recyclable LDPE multi-layer packaging suitable for upcycling into high-value applications.

The project brings together Interface Polymers’ internationally patented surface functionality Polarfin additive technology that overcomes inherent molecular level non-compatibility between polyolefins to enable them to be recycled, and Flexipol’s film technology expertise and flexible packaging manufacturing capabilities.

Using Interface Polymers’ compatibility enabling di-block copolymer additive, the project is looking to build in recyclability as an integral part of originally manufactured multi-layer domestic and commercial packaging product formulations that can be viably scaled up. The aim is to provide a new range of Recycle Ready multi-layer packaging with a recyclability classification that will allow the waste to be collected and 100% reclaimed via existing pure stream reprocessing centres instead of being incinerated or sent to a landfill. The project team is also looking to provide multi-layer barrier packaging options with a minimum of 30% recycled material that will not incur the ?200 per tonne plastic packaging tax introduced in the UK in April 2022.

The vast majority of existing multi-layer barrier plastic packaging cannot be recycled as it is classified according to ASTM D7611 RIC (resin identification code) as RIC “7” - indicating that the resin does not belong to the other types of resin defined from categories 1 to 6 (PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS). It therefore mostly ends up being incinerated or disposed of in landfills, creating a waste problem that is subject to increasing socioeconomic and legislative pressures.

While consumer demand for more sustainable product alternatives such as mono-layer plastic packaging is rising, mono-layer flexible packaging has for the most part not been able to deliver the same level of functionality, performance and product benefits provided by multi-layer barrier plastic packaging. The key aim of the Recycle Ready project is the development of fully scalable alternative LDPE multi-layer barrier films for the commercial production of food approved multi-layer flexible packaging that can be repeatedly recycled using existing pure plastic waste streams sorting and separation processing plants.

In addition to the film qualification and production scale-up of the new range of Ready Recycle multi-layer packaging products, Flexipol will be working with established bulk food processors. This ensures that the entire value chain is included in the project, from packaging production, food product packaging and packaged food processing, to post-use waste packaging collection and washing for recycling. The longer term objective is to leverage solutions coming out of this project into other multi-layer barrier film packaging sectors using alternative polymers, including PE, PET, EVOH and PA.

As per MRC, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) with its facility Wellman France Recycling in Verdun, has been working on the PET trays recycling for 6 years and through an ongoing project with VALORPLAST and supported by CITEO.

We remind, Axens and Toray Films Europe have plans to establish a new Pet chemical recycling facility in Saint-Maurice-de-Beynost, France. The new units will make use of Axens’ Rewind Pet technology along with Toray Films Europe’s existing polymerization plant to recycle 80,000 tons of Pet plastic waste every year.

Tetra Pak tests aluminium-free barrier layer in new cartons

Tetra Pak tests aluminium-free barrier layer in new cartons

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Can the aluminium traditionally used as a barrier layer in food carton packages be safely replaced by a more environmentally friendly barrier? According to Tetra Pak, it looks as if that may well be the case, said Sustainableplastics.

The company first spent 15 months on the commercial technology validation of the use of a polymer-based barrier to replace the aluminium layer, and is now moving forward with tests using a fibre-based barrier - a first within food carton packages distributed under ambient conditions, said Tetra Pak.

The development of the fibre-based barrier is a response to the expectations of the end market, said Tetra Pak. Consumer research from around the world revealed that approximately 40% of consumers would be more motivated to sort for recycling if packages were made entirely from paperboard and had no plastic or aluminium.

The aluminium layer that is currently used in food carton packages is important for ensuring food safety. However, although thinner than a human hair, it contributes to a third of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to base materials used by Tetra Pak.

Seeking to reduce the climate impact of this type of packaging, Tetra Pak initiated in late 2020 the commercial technology validation in Japan of the use of a polymer-based barrier layer, which helped to provide insight into the value chain implications of the change and to quantify the carbon footprint reduction. It also confirmed adequate oxygen protection for vegetable juice, while enabling increased recycling rates in a country where recyclers favour aluminium-free cartons.

Incorporating these learnings, the company is now testing a new fibre-based barrier, in close collaboration with some of its customers. A first pilot batch of single serve packs featuring this industry-first material are currently on shelf for a commercial consumer test, with further technology validation scheduled later in 2022.

“Early results suggest that the package with a fibre-based barrier will offer substantial CO2 reduction when compared to traditional aseptic cartons, together with comparable shelf life and food protection properties,” said Gilles Tisserand, Vice President Climate & Biodiversity, Tetra Pak, “We believe this development will therefore act as a breakthrough in reducing climate impact. In addition, cartons with higher paper content are also more attractive for paper mills; thus, this concept presents clear potential for realising a low carbon circular economy for packaging."

Tetra Pak is investing EUR100 million per year over the next 5 to 10 years to further enhance the environmental profile of food cartons, including the research and development of packages that are made with a simplified material structure and increased renewable content, added Eva Gustavsson, Vice President Materials & Package, Tetra Pak. To that end, the company will be collaborating not just with customers and suppliers, but also with an ecosystem of start-ups, universities and tech companies, she said, ‘providing us access to cutting edge competences, technologies and manufacturing facilities’.

"There is a long journey ahead of us, but with the support of our partners and a strong determination to achieve our sustainability and food safety ambitions, we are well on our way."

As per MRC, Tetra Pak and Saudi paper manufacturer Obeikan Paper Industries have entered into a joint venture to recycle used beverage cartons. Tetra Pak's Sustainability Director for Greater Middle East & Africa Rodney Reynders told a media round table in Cairo that the company will invest about USD1 million in the recycling unit, which will convert beverage cartons into value-added products.

We remind, In 2010, Tetra Pak had set a goal to double its recycling rate to 40 percent by 2020.

Wood awarded EPCm contract for a new PVDF facility for Solvay in France

Wood awarded EPCm contract for a new PVDF facility for Solvay in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wood has secured a new multi-million-dollar contract to deliver engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) for Solvay new polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) site to be built in Tavaux, France, said the company.

PVDF is a high-performance polymer and is produced to meet the growing demand of lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, creating safer and longer-range performance. The site will increase Solvay France’s PVDF capacity to 35,000 tons per year – making it the largest PVDF production site in Europe.

Giuseppe Zuccaro, President, Process and Chemicals at Wood said: “We will leverage our in-depth knowledge and experience of delivering EPCm on specialty chemical projects, enabling Solvay France to achieve high-performance polymers used in sustainable mobility. We are committed to the reliable, safe and successful delivery of this major project."

The project will be delivered by Wood’s teams across Milan, Italy and Chennai in India and is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.

We also remind that in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

As per MRC, Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers, announces the production of the new generation solvent Rhodiasolv IRIS, with eco-friendly properties. Previously manufactured in China, this solvent will now be produced from 2023 onwards at Solvay's Melle site, France.

Ashland board authorizes a 12% increase in quarterly dividend

Ashland board authorizes a 12% increase in quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ashland says it has raised the quarterly dividend on its common stock by 12%, to 33.5 cents/share. The dividend will be payable on 15 June to shareholders of record as of 1 June, said the company.

The company has also established a new share buyback program worth USD500 million, replacing a previous USD1-billion buyback authorization from 2018. Shares will be repurchased in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.

As of 30 April, Ashland had about 54.1 million shares outstanding.

As MRC informed previously, in late February 2022, Arkema closed its previously announced acquisition of Ashland’s Performance Adhesives business for around USD1.65bn in an all-cash transaction. The company signed an agreement to acquire Ashland’s business in August last year. Ashland’s Performance Adhesives business supplies a wide range of adhesives for flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive adhesives for various markets, including decorative labels, protection and signage films for automotives and buildings. The business operates a network of six production plants, most of which are located in North America, and has around 330 employees.

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH) is a global additives and specialty ingredients company with a conscious and proactive mindset for sustainability. The company serves customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, personal care and pharmaceuticals. Approximately 3,800 passionate, tenacious solvers – from renowned scientists and research chemists to talented engineers and plant operators – thrive on developing practical, innovative and elegant solutions to complex problems for customers in more than 100 countries.

CVR Energy subsidiary selects Honeywell for a lower-carbon hydrogen study at Coffeyville site

CVR Energy subsidiary selects Honeywell for a lower-carbon hydrogen study at Coffeyville site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced today that Coffeyville Resources & Marketing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of CVR Energy, Inc., has selected Honeywell for a feasibility study for lower-carbon hydrogen production in Coffeyville, Kansas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The study will evaluate the application of carbon capture and hydrogen purification as an emission reduction solution. The Coffeyville site is evaluating utilizing Honeywell UOP Ecofining technology to convert seed oils, tallow and white/yellow greases into renewable diesel fuel1. CVR and Honeywell will now evaluate further reduction of the carbon footprint at the Coffeyville site with lower-carbon hydrogen.

Depending on the inlet gas composition and product requirements, Honeywell UOP carbon capture technologies can recover greater than 99 percent2 of the CO2 in the existing hydrogen plant syngas while increasing high-purity hydrogen recovery. The amount of net CO2 captured and sequestered by renewable fuel producers can be used to adjust the carbon intensities of the associated fuel pathways.

“We are pleased to take another step in our exploration of reduced emissions,” said Dave Lamp, Chief Executive Officer of CVR Energy. “We are excited to evaluate further reducing the carbon intensity of this important product through the potential conversion to lower-carbon hydrogen production at Coffeyville."

“Refiners and companies producing and/or using hydrogen are looking for ways to decarbonize. Honeywell has a suite of carbon capture and hydrogen purification solutions to reduce CO2,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “A feasibility study, similar to the one we are conducting for CVR, is one path to help refiners and other companies determine which solution addresses their specific requirements."

As per MRC, Honeywell announced an Emissions Control & Reduction Initiative designed to help customers achieve carbon neutrality in a wide range of areas. The initiative will initially focus on helping oil and gas customers with upstream, midstream and downstream operations to monitor and reduce fugitive methane emissions, which are more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere according to the Environmental Protection Agency.