Teijin Frontier facilitates recycling of discarded polyester apparel

Teijin Frontier facilitates recycling of discarded polyester apparel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fibers and products converting company, announced it has developed a new foreign material removal technology to eliminate polyurethane (PU) elastomer fiber from discarded polyester apparel, said the company.

The technology features a new processing agent used during the pretreatment phase of the chemical recycling process, which helps improve the quality of the recycled polyester fiber that is derived from clothing containing PU elastomer fiber. In addition to removing the PU elastomer fiber, the new technology eliminates foreign materials such as dyes, and helps to omit the decolorization process of polyester fiber. Teijin Frontier has been conducting tests of this new technology since October 2022 for practical use.

Guided by THINK ECO environmental strategy, Teijin Frontier is striving to achieve ambitious sustainability goals by developing advanced technologies that support recycling and enhance the value of environmentally responsible materials. As part of its initiative focused on polyester fiber, the company is working with the supply chain to establish a comprehensive ecosystem spanning apparel collection, sorting and recycling. Teijin Frontier is confident that its new foreign material removal method can help expand the scope of fiber-to-fiber recycling and contribute to a zero-waste society.

The new foreign material removal technology swells the PU elastomer fiber, breaks the chemical bonds and dissolves them with the new processing agent. Simultaneously, the agent eliminates foreign substances including dyes to optimize decolorization of the polyester fiber. For system cost control and environmental load reduction, the processing agent can be collected and reused. Recycled polyester materials generated by this method can be used in the existing chemical recycling process.

Stretchable polyester clothing that contains PU elastomer fiber is becoming popular as the demand in the industry for quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant, and comfortable-to-wear is increasing along with the trend to casual wear. However, as conventional chemical recycling technology for polyester assumes 100% polyester products, the quality of the recycled product deteriorates when PU elastomer fibers are included. Therefore, it is important to remove PU elastomer fiber from discarded polyester clothing.

We remind, Teijin said that it has started producing and marketing biomass-based polycarbonate (PC) resin products at the company's Matsuyama and Mihara production sites. "Beginning on 30 January, Teijin... has started producing and marketing biomass PC resin products containing bisphenol A (BPA) made from biomass naphtha that was tracked with the mass-balance approach as well as the conventional PC resin products using petroleum-derived raw materials," the company said in a statement.


Asahi Kasei establishes framework for investment in startups focused on carbon neutrality

Asahi Kasei establishes framework for investment in startups focused on carbon neutrality

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei established a “Care for Earth” investment framework as a new initiative for carbon neutrality by investing USD100 million worldwide in early-stage startups that aim to solve issues in environmental fields such as hydrogen, energy storage, carbon management, and bio-based chemicals over the 5-year period up to fiscal 2027, said the company.

Since 2008, Asahi Kasei has advanced corporate venture capital (CVC) activity in order to create new businesses by investing in startups and performing joint developments with them. Based in Silicon Valley since 2011, this activity has facilitated investments in over 50 startups in the US, Europe, China, and Japan, resulting in numerous collaborations and two acquisitions* which have sparked innovation.

Asahi Kasei is helping to solve issues in society with all of its businesses providing value from the perspectives of “Care for People” to realize active life in the new normal and “Care for Earth” to realize a carbon neutral and sustainable world.

Until now, Asahi Kasei has focused its CVC investments in the area of “Care for People” such as healthcare, IoT, and homes, which have relatively short timeframes to commercialization. The area of “Care for Earth,” in contrast, tends to have longer-term commercial prospects, while fields such as hydrogen and energy storage lack established value chains, making it difficult to invest under the conventional framework.

“Our CVC team is excited for the opportunity to accelerate investments in early-stage startups hard at work to make a difference for our planet,” said Dr. Takashi Morishita, General Manager of Corporate Venture Capital at Asahi Kasei. “We are seeing a lot of passionate people leading these decarbonization initiatives and it feels good to help them on their way. The ideas and technology being innovated now will be an invaluable asset in actualizing a carbon neutral society."

To achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, Asahi Kasei aims to reduce its own GHG emissions and to contribute to reducing GHG emissions throughout society, while creating new businesses through the newly established “Care for Earth” investment framework whose investment horizons and investment decision criteria are different than before. The new investment framework is also expected to help Asahi Kasei advance the transformation of its Material sector portfolio through participation in business ecosystems for carbon neutrality.

We remind, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America (APNA), global compounder of of advanced engineered polymers and Asahi Kasei Asaclean Americas (AKAC), global supplier of purging compounds and concentrates, are merging effective April 1, 2023, said Canplastics. The combined company will operate as APNA and be headquartered in Fowlerville, Michigan. The merged entity creates a plastics-focused powerhouse with customers spanning the automotive, industrial, and consumer industries. APNA’s broad portfolio now includes Xyron modified PPE, Thermylene chemically coupled PP, Leona nylon 66, 66+6i, Tenac homopolymer and copolymer POM, Thermylon nylons 6 and 66, and Asaclean purging compounds and concentrates.


Novolen technology expands portfolio for enhancing recycled polymers

Novolen technology expands portfolio for enhancing recycled polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the addition of Novolen Enhance performance polypropylene (PP) polymers, a family of products that enhance the properties of recycled polymers, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new products are an expansion of Novolen's PP portfolio and are specially designed to reduce carbon footprints while providing excellent material performance in blends with recycled polymers from post-industrial or post-consumer waste.

"With the new line of Enhance polymers, Lummus can deliver more innovative solutions for a circular economy," said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lummus Technology. "These products enable brand owners to create more sustainable products with reduced carbon emissions and outstanding material properties. From injection molding, thermoforming, to film and textile applications, Enhance polymers significantly expand the range of possible applications of recycled polymers, increasing their commercial value."

Using Enhance performance polymers in combination with recycled polymers, carbon footprint can be reduced by more than 40 percent compared to fully virgin materials, while achieving virgin-like material performance. This enables customers to achieve demanding sustainability targets while maintaining high product quality and customer satisfaction.

Enhance polymers combine tailored molecular weight characteristics with an outstanding physical property profile due to Novolen's catalyst and process technology. When blended with recycled polymers, Enhance polymers significantly boost stiffness while preserving impact resistance. The polymers are suitable for combining with a wide range of recycled polymers, including post-consumer and post-industrial waste, and all types of polypropylenes such as homopolymers, random copolymers or impact copolymers.

Lummus Novolen Technology GmbH licenses the industry leading Novolen polypropylene technology and polymer technologies and provides engineering, technical support and advisory services to the polymer industry. The Novolen portfolio includes NPM advanced process controls system, PPConnect digital data analysis platform and Lummus O3S operator training simulator. The Novolen technology includes Lummus NEONTM equipment and machinery to produce plastics as well as the Novolen ComPPact process reactors, which can be also used in the proprietary VRC reactor system configuration, allowing for maximum product range and capacity flexibility. Our NHP catalysts as well as our Novocene metallocene catalysts are available to licensees to produce the high-performance and special polypropylene grades Novolen CirPPlus, Novolen Enhance and PPure.

We remind, Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced an integrated technology award from SP Chemicals and its subsidiary SP Olefins. SP Chemicals will license Lummus' CATOFIN technology for a new 800 KTA propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit, and SP Olefins will license Lummus' Novolen technology for a new 400 KTA polypropylene (PP) unit. Both units will be located at SP Chemicals' complex in Jiangsu Province, China.


India March fuel demand soars on robust economic activity

India March fuel demand soars on robust economic activity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's fuel consumption jumped to a record high in March, data showed on Monday, fueled by robust economic activity in the world's third biggest oil consumer, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, rose by 5% from a year earlier to 4.83 million barrels per day (20.5 million tons), the highest recorded in data going back to 1998 from the Indian Oil Ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at Kpler, noted that bitumen, used for building roads, was the main source of growth in March, whereas transportation fuels, specifically diesel and gasoline, had been the drivers in previous months. "This is most certainly a reflection of India's robust economic growth and the infrastructure building spree still mirroring that strength."

Sales of bitumen jumped 16.5% from February, while jet fuel sales rose more than 10.4% to 0.69 million tons and diesel sales were up 11.4% to 7.80 million tons. On an annual basis, sales of gasoline, or petrol, rose 6.8% to 3.1 million tons in March, while cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), sales slipped 2.7% to 2.41 million tons.

Independent oil market analyst Sugandha Sachdeva said that the overall jump in consumption could have been driven by the government's increased capital expenditure allocation. "That means huge demand for construction and infra(structure) leading to more demand for oil products, especially in a pre-election year."

Increased oil products exports to Europe amid Western sanctions on Russia and a travel revival boosting jet fuel demand could be additional drivers, Sachdeva added. India outlined plans in March to invest billions of dollars in airports, aircraft and recruitment as the world's fastest-growing economy seeks to meet booming air travel demand.

But Kpler's Katona cautioned that infrastructure spending and construction could slow during the June-September monsoon season.

We remind, BASF will establish compounding capacities for its certified compostable biopolymer ecovio in Shanghai, China. Upon the successful completion of qualification trials, commercial material quantities will be available for customers throughout the region Asia-Pacific from mid-2023.


Evonik sells Lülsdorf site to ICIG

Evonik sells Lülsdorf site to ICIG

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is selling its site in Lulsdorf (Germany) and the associated cyanuric chloride business in Wesseling (Germany) to International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG, Luxembourg), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The agreement was signed on Thursday. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Lulsdorf is a substantial part of the Functional Solutions business line within Evonik’s Performance Materials division. Transfer of ownership is scheduled for mid-2023. The closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and approval by the competent Evonik committees.

ICIG is an established Luxembourg-based chemicals investor. The company has approximately 4,800 employees and generated sales of around €4 B last year. It has extensive expertise in the development of sites and business units that no longer are part of the core business of other enterprises.

ICIG has given contractual assurances that the sale will not alter the rights of the employees at the sites. Thomas Wessel, Chief Human Resources Officer at Evonik: “It’s good that our employees in Lulsdorf and the associated business in Wesseling will find themselves in established and experienced hands. That is, and always has been, our precondition in every divestment process.” For example, the agreement excludes dismissals for operational reasons following the transaction until 2032.

In conjunction with the divestment of this site, Evonik is realigning the three businesses of the Functional Solutions business line. With this sale, Evonik will completely divest the production of potassium derivatives and cyanuric chloride, which takes place exclusively in Lulsdorf and Wesseling. As planned, Evonik is retaining the business with alkoxides for biodiesel, which are produced at two further sites apart from Lulsdorf. This business was integrated into the Catalysts business line in the Smart Materials division effective January 1, 2023. ICIG will produce alkoxides at the Lulsdorf site exclusively for Evonik until 2027. In total, the businesses to be divested generated sales of around €260 MMn in 2022.

Evonik started preparing the sale of the Lulsdorf site in fall 2021. The company is now realizing its preferred solution, selling the entire site to a new owner. Plans by another investor to produce ethylene oxide in Lulsdorf had previously caused public concern. The sale to ICIG marks the definitive end of these plans. Instead, ICIG intends to invest in facilities for renewable energies in addition to strengthening the existing production in Lulsdorf.

We remind, Evonik Catalysts is fully on track to expand its production capacities for activated nickel powder catalysts marketed under the KALCAT and Metalyst brands at its production sites in Hanau, Germany, and Dombivli near Mumbai, India.