Asahi Kasei and Microwave Chemical demonstrates project for chemical recycling of polyamide 66

Asahi Kasei and Microwave Chemical demonstrates project for chemical recycling of polyamide 66

Asahi Kasei and Microwave Chemical launched a joint demonstration project in April 2023 with the objective of commercializing a chemical recycling process for polyamide 66 using microwave technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The process utilizes microwaves to depolymerize PA66 and directly obtain the monomers hexamethylenediamine (HMD) and adipic acid (ADA), which is expected to be accomplished at high yield with low energy consumption. The monomers obtained can then be used to manufacture new PA66. In the demonstration, scraps from manufacturing and post-use waste material of PA66 for airbags and automobile parts are depolymerized.

Asahi Kasei produces fossil fuel–derived hexamethylenediamine (HMD) and adipic acid (ADA) as intermediates to manufacture Leona PA66, an engineering plastic featuring outstanding heat resistance and rigidity. PA66 is used in various applications, including plastic parts for automotive and electronic products, and yarn for airbag fabric, and its demand is expected to increase worldwide.

As the world moves toward carbon neutrality, attention is increasingly focused on manufacturing processes for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from chemical products derived from fossil fuels. Microwave Chemical is promoting technological and business development to achieve carbon neutrality in the industrial sector focused on process development using microwaves, which can directly and selectively heat target substances with high energy efficiency. For chemical recycling, Microwave Chemical is advancing its proprietary PlaWave technology platform for decomposing plastic using microwaves.

Through development combining Asahi Kasei's experience in manufacturing HMD and ADA for more than half a century together with Microwave Chemical's achievements in the industrialization of microwave technology, the two companies aim to commercialize a manufacturing process for PA66 that can reduce GHG emissions compared to the conventional manufacturing process.

Laboratory-scale studies that began in fiscal 2021 have confirmed the high-yield depolymerization of PA66 using microwaves, as well as the principle of the separation and purification process after depolymerization. Bench-scale equipment will now be assembled at Microwave Chemical’s Osaka Factory by the end of fiscal 2023, and a small-scale demonstration trial using this equipment will be performed in fiscal 2024 to collect basic process data for commercialization.

Microwave Chemical’s PlaWave technology platform for decomposing plastic using microwaves can depolymerize PA66 with low energy and obtain HMD and ADA monomers in high yield. The manufacturing process for PA66 using HMD and ADA obtained by depolymerization with this technology is expected to reduce GHG emissions compared to the conventional PA66 manufacturing process, while further reduction of GHG emissions may be achieved by the use of renewable energy for the power required to generate the microwaves.

By verifying the process from depolymerization to separation and purification in an integrated manner, this demonstration project aims to enable resource circulation of PA66 for further reduction of GHG emissions.

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.

Evonik expands plasticizer portfolio with ELATUR

Evonik expands plasticizer portfolio with ELATUR

Evonik is launching another latest-generation innovative plasticizer, a year after the last product launch, said the company.

The new specialty product belongs to the trimellitate group and is characterized by a combination of much sought-after properties: high temperature resistance, low volatility, and low migration behavior.

ELATUR TM makes a significant contribution to the durability, safety and reliability of the products made from it. These include, for example, high-temperature cables, dashboards, car seats and steering wheel trim in vehicle interiors.

The new myFLEXINO customer portal provides, among other things, all relevant technical documents, supplementary information, as well as videos on the new specialty plasticizer. Samples can also be requested via the interactive online platform.

ELATUR TM is delivered to the customer in tank trucks and ISO containers. For the market launch, smaller packaging units are also available on request.

The most recent product launched by Evonik was the plasticizer ELATUR® DINCD, at the beginning of 2022. The product portfolio also includes the products VESTINOL® 9, ELATUR® CH and ELATUR DPT.

We remind, Evonik is doubling its global capacity for VESTAMID E, polyether block amide (PEBA), with a twofold approach including a major expansion of its production plant at the Multi-User-Site (MUSC) in Shanghai and an optimization project at its production facility in Marl, Germany, said the company. Construction at the Shanghai site starts in Fall 2023 and will increase the company’s ability for the polymerization of PEBA, a key step in producing the raw material, which is highly demanded by the global, athletic footwear market.

LANXESS aims to make its entire value chain climate-neutral

LANXESS aims to make its entire value chain climate-neutral

By 2050, specialty chemicals company LANXESS aims to make its entire value chain climate-neutral, said the company.

The Flavors & Fragrances business unit is leading the way: it will offer sustainable product variants for its entire portfolio of flavours and fragrances, preservatives and animal nutrition products by the end of 2023. The business unit’s most important products include the preservatives Kalaguard and Purox as well as flavours and fragrances under the Kalama and Purolan brands.

Holger Hueppeler, Head of the Flavors & Fragrances business unit, says: “With the transformation of our production, we are pioneers in offering sustainable products and are actively shaping the development towards more sustainability in the personal and home care industry. At the same time, we are helping our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals."

The portfolio shift meets a market where sustainably manufactured products are becoming increasingly important. In the past five years, the share of sustainably certified products in all new registrations in the personal care and home care sector has doubled, reaching 22 per cent in 2022.

We remind, Advent and LANXESS announced the envisaged establishment of an Advent controlled, leading global engineering materials joint venture company with sales of around EUR3 billion, combining the DSM Engineering Materials business with LANXESS’ High Performance Materials business.

Sherwin-Williams Q1 sales and profits rise

Sherwin-Williams Q1 sales and profits rise

Sherwin-Williams’ Q1 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 26.7% year on year to USD878m on the back of 8.9% sales growth, to USD5.44bn, said the company.

Net sales from stores in the US and Canada that were open over the past 12 months increased 14.2% in the quarter.

Gross profit rose 17.9% year on year. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales rose to 44.5%, from 41.1% in Q1 2022.

In response to analyst questions during the earnings call on 25 April, Sherwin-Williams management said that declining raw material costs had provided relief in Q1 '23. In particular, Sherwin-Williams mentioned declining costs for solvents and resins, as well as monomers. The company also expected further moderation in Q2.

In its full 2023 guidance, the company expects low-to-mid single digit percentage declines for raw material costs.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) was one product that showed more resilience to downward pricing pressure. This opinion was also shared by multiple market participants who were surprised at how little TiO2 pricing has moved in late 2022 and thus far in 2023.

However, Sherwin-Williams management expected even TiO2 prices to decline in H2 '23.

We remind, AkzoNobel has reached an agreement with US-based Sherwin-Williams to acquire its Chinese decorative paints business for an undisclosed fee. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023 and includes the Huarun brand, it said in a statement.

Huntsman implements mass balance concept at Switzerland site

Huntsman implements mass balance concept at Switzerland site

Huntsman Corporation announced its production site in Monthey, Switzerland has implemented a mass balance concept and achieved REDcert2 certification, said the company.

The certification covers the production of epoxy resins products used in a variety of consumer and industrial markets.

Mass balance refers to the mixing of fossil fuels and renewable or recycled raw materials into existing systems and production processes, while rigorously tracking their quantities and translating them into mass balance units, which are digitally attributed to specific products. A third party then certifies and confirms the recycled or renewable content of final products. Mass balance simultaneously empowers customers to reach their sustainability targets while reducing our own environmental footprint.

“We have chosen to implement the Mass Balance Concept to reduce the environmental impact of the products and solutions we provide to our customers,” said Philippe Christou, Head of Environmental & Technology Intelligence for Huntsman’s Advanced Materials division. “We assist our clients in achieving their goals through the option to intentionally select a product with a carbon footprint that is substantially lower than the average of the global market. This concept enables customers to save a significant proportion of CO2 emissions without compromising on performance, while avoiding costly re-qualifications."

The Monthey site is the first Huntsman production facility to receive REDcert2 certification.

We remind, Huntsman completed the USD593m sale of its Textile Effects division to Archroma, a company owned by the private-equity firm SK Capital Partners. Archroma was set up by SK Capital Partners in 2013 after acquiring the textile chemicals, paper specialties and emulsions businesses from Swiss producer Clariant in 2013. It has about 3,000 employees in 25 facilities globally.