Chevron, Exxon pursue cleaner gasoline as alternative to EVs

Chevron, Exxon pursue cleaner gasoline as alternative to EVs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The two largest U.S. oil companies are road testing renewable gasoline blends that they say could bring down emissions from conventional autos to levels competitive with electric vehicles (EVs), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The fuels being promoted by Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp, if made commercially available, potentially would extend the life of the gasoline market as part of the world's transition to cleaner fuels and electric vehicles.

"We really believe there has to be alternatives for the light duty vehicle," Chevron President of Americas Products Andy Walz said at an event on Wednesday to road test the fuel. "Electrification is not the only answer." Chevron and Exxon disclosed in the past days test results from partnerships with automaker Toyota Motor Corp using renewable gasoline partially made from soybeans or other non-fossil feedstocks. The blends could be used by the existing U.S. car fleet and gas stations, the oil majors have said.

The tests came as U.S. President Joe Biden's administration last week proposed new pollution standards that could result in EVs accounting for up to two-thirds of U.S. light vehicle sales by 2032, according to government calculations.

Bringing the cost of these renewable gasoline blends to affordable levels would depend on supportive government policies, Exxon said. Chevron added it could be years before the renewable fuel could be available in pumps. "We believe it is going to need government help to get up and running, and get scale," Walz said, referring to existing incentives such as those provided for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

The most efficient way to bring scale to renewable gasoline would be through a carbon price, but not all jurisdictions are ready for it, said Balaji Krishnamurthy, Chevron's vice president of strategy and sustainability.

The companies use different metrics to measure emissions. Exxon said its renewable gasoline could reduce emissions by as much as 75% compared to conventional gasoline on a life cycle basis. Chevron said its blend was more than 40% less carbon intensive than traditional gasoline, including the carbon intensity of manufacturing the vehicle.

We remind, Chevron Lummus Global LLC (CLG) announced a recent contract award from Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) for a new 12,580 BPD hydroisodewaxing (HIDW) unit at the GasLub Hub, a lubricant plant in Itaborai, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Chevron Lummus Global's scope includes the technology license, basic design engineering, and research unit testing services.

EPA proposes ban on most uses of methylene chloride, chemical linked to potentially fatal health risks

EPA proposes ban on most uses of methylene chloride, chemical linked to potentially fatal health risks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on most uses of methylene chloride, a chemical they say is known to cause health risks and even death, to protect public health, said Cbsnews.

The proposal would ban methylene chloride's use in all consumer situations, and in most industrial and commercial uses. Methylene chloride is used in aerosol degreasers, brush cleaners for paints and coatings, commercial adhesives and sealants, and to make other chemicals in industrial settings.

The ban is proposed as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which gives the EPA the ability to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, as well as other restrictions. The EPA banned one consumer use of methylene chloride in 2019, taking it out of paint removers.

According to the EPA, at least 85 people have died from exposure to the chemical since 1980. Those cases mostly involve workers engaged in home renovation contracting work, the EPA said. There have also been "many more" cases of people experiencing severe and long-lasting health impacts after exposure to methylene chloride, the agency said. The EPA has also identified adverse health effects including neurotoxicity, liver effects and cancer from inhalation and skin exposure.

The agency determined that methylene chloride poses "unreasonable risk of injury to health under the conditions of use" because of these risks posed to workers in direct and indirect contact with the chemical, consumers who use it and those who are exposed to it.

"The science on methylene chloride is clear, exposure can lead to severe health impacts and even death, a reality for far too many families who have lost loved ones due to acute poisoning," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a news release announcing the proposal. "That's why EPA is taking action, proposing to ban most uses of this chemical and reduce exposures in all other scenarios by implementing more stringent workplace controls to protect worker health."

The goal of the proposed ban, the EPA said, is to protect people from risks and allow methylene chloride to only be used in strictly controlled workplace settings where exposure can be minimized. Manufacturing, processing and distribution of methylene chloride would be wound down within the next 15 months. In situations where the chemical will be prohibited under the proposal, an EPA analysis found that alternative products with "similar costs and efficacy ... are generally available."

We remind, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed increases in the amount of ethanol and other biofuels oil refiners must blend into their fuel over the next three years. The agency is also proposing incorporating electricity made from renewable biomass and used for electric vehicle into the program for the first time. The agency's long-awaited proposal will call for overall blending mandates of 20.82 B gallons in 2023, 21.87 B gallons in 2024 and 22.68 B gallons in 2025.

Lummus starts up double reslurry paraxylene crystallization unit

Lummus starts up double reslurry paraxylene crystallization unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the startup of Shenghong Refining & Chemical (Lianyungang) Co., Ltd.’s 2,800 kMTA paraxylene unit, said the company.

The grassroots unit, which is the world’s largest double reslurry paraxylene crystallization unit, is part of Shenghong’s refining and petrochemical integrated project in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China.

“We are grateful for Shenghong Refining & Chemical Co.’s continued confidence in Lummus and for their close partnership throughout this project, “said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. “Designing and starting up a unit of this size and scale requires innovation, and a commitment to excellence and collaboration. This milestone will allow our customer to produce paraxylene using technology that is energy efficient, offers lower capital and operating costs, and enhances reliability and optimization.”

In 2017, Lummus executed an agreement with Shenghong Refining & Chemical Co. to provide the paraxylene technology license, process design services and operator training and startup services. In addition, Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) has provided multiple hydrocracking technologies, plus hydrotreating and delayed coking technologies for Shenghong at the same complex.

Lummus is the exclusive worldwide licensor of INEOS Aromatics’ paraxylene technology, a unique process employing stage crystallization for paraxylene recovery. The technology uses a novel crystallization step and other features that leads to energy efficiency and low capital and operating costs. Paraxylene is an intermediate in the manufacturing of polyester, a polymer used for a variety of applications, from fibers to engineering plastics.

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.

LEGO, Novo Nordisk agree to buy green methanol for plastic production

LEGO, Novo Nordisk agree to buy green methanol for plastic production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toymaker LEGO said on Thursday it had agreed to buy e-methanol, a lower-carbon alternative to conventional plastic ingredients, for use in its colorful plastic bricks when the world's first large-scale plant starts operations next year, said Reuters.

Privately owned renewable energy firm European Energy, which is developing the plant in Aabenraa, Denmark, said Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk will also buy its e-methanol to substitute fossil-based plastic in insulin pens and other medical devices.

The plant will begin producing 32,000 tons of e-methanol per year from next year, based on energy from wind and solar plants as well as biogenic carbon dioxide.

Shipping company Maersk, which has 19 vessels on order that can sail on methanol, last year agreed to purchase half of capacity at the plant.

LEGO, which will explore using e-methanol in some types of its building bricks and aims to bring new prototype bricks to the market in the future, announced in June 2021 plans to start using recycled materials from plastic bottles for its products.

Around 100 million tons of methanol is currently produced from fossil fuels each year, of which roughly two-thirds are used in the chemical industry, and the rest in transportation, according to European Energy.

Novo and LEGO did not specify the volumes they would purchase from the plant.

We remind, more than 120 European packaging industry associations issued a joint letter urging co-legislators to preserve the internal market legal basis of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation in its entirety, as the best way to achieve the environmental and economic objectives of the proposal. The internal market legal basis addresses the differences among the various national rules on the management of packaging and packaging waste and resulting internal market barriers, while providing a high level of environmental protection.

INEOS Styrolution introduces styrenics based green compounding with ceramic-like appearance

INEOS Styrolution introduces styrenics based green compounding with ceramic-like appearance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, has announced that a range of styrenics based polymers are an effective and sustainable alternative for ceramics, compared to traditional resin-based applications, said the company.

The styrenics based approach allows for recycling and there is no loss of the distinctive appearance of ceramics. In addition, energy consumption during production is significantly lower using a styrenics based solution than firing ceramics.

Together with partner Microfol Compounding, INEOS Styrolution has been evaluating a range of polystyrene and SBC based solutions to act as a substitute for ceramics. The results have been very compelling, delivering excellent properties for appearance, feel and weight. In fact, the results were so convincing that producers of hygienic consumer items, such as bath tubs, sinks or soap dishes, have signaled early interest in reviewing the data and application prototypes.

The SBC material used in this project is INEOS Styrolution’s Styroflex®, a copolymer with the properties of a thermoplastic elastomer (S-TPE), suitable for extrusion (including both blown and cast film) and injection molding. In particular, Styroflex contributes significantly to an increased impact strength of the new material. Today’s announcement comes only weeks after Styroflex has proven to be a superior cost-effective binder for bio based products like cork. Combining the new compounding solution with NAS, a stiff, amorphous styrene methyl methacrylate (SMMA) copolymer also results in a food contact compliant solution.

Peter Hofmann, Managing Director, Microfol Compounding, says: "At Microfol, we love finding innovative solutions to challenges in plastics. We are excited to be part of a development that may change how we work with ceramics, a material that is around for almost 30,000 years."

Stefan Meier, Business Development Manager at INEOS Styrolution, comments: "The versatility of styrenics continues to amaze us. The material – we also refer to "Ceramic White" – is a viable alternative for many uses and its recyclability always comes as a very much appreciated bonus on top."

We remind, INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, today announces the introduction of its new Styrolux® ECO and K-Resin® ECO grades of sustainable polymers. The new grades contain bio-based renewable materials and are available now, across markets in the Americas. The company’s new line of ECO products provides their customers with drop-in solutions to significantly lower their carbon footprint and pave the way for a more sustainable ecosystem.