W.R. Grace announces PP plant startups and license awards in China

W.R. Grace announces PP plant startups and license awards in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W.R. Grace & Co announced the start-up of a 500,000-tpy polypropylene (PP) reactor line by PetroChina GuangDong PetroChemical Company, a subsidiary of PetroChina Group, the world’s second-largest petroleum company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant will produce homopolymer, random copolymer, and impact copolymer PP resins, catering to the growing demand for high-quality PP resins in the Chinese market.

This marks the fourth UNIPOL PP technology plant start-up for PetroChina, which includes PetroChina Guangxi (200,000 tpy), PetroChina Fushun (300,000 tpy) and PetroChina Sichuan (450,000 tpy).

The combination of Grace’s PP process design with the CONSISTA catalyst system provided a reaction within minutes after the catalyst was injected, a benefit of UNIPOL PP technology. In China, this is the largest UNIPOL PP technology single-extruder reactor line. The successful start-up further underscores UNIPOL PP technology's strong reputation in the country.

"Grace is honored to have been chosen once again by PetroChina for this groundbreaking project," said Laura Schwinn, President of Grace's Specialty Catalysts business. "The successful start-up of the 500,000-tpy reactor line is a testament to Grace's expertise and commitment to delivering innovative solutions that meet the needs of our customers around the world.”

Grace has been at the forefront of PP catalyst technology for more than 50 years, and the company's UNIPOL PP technology is widely recognized as one of the most advanced and reliable processes in the industry. PetroChina GuangDong selected Grace as its partner due to its broad catalyst and product capabilities, advanced PP technology and robust production.

Grace also announced the successful start-up of two additional PP reactor lines in China by Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co., Ltd. This is the second plant for Dongguan Grand Resource using UNIPOL PP technology and will add 600,000-tpy of PP resin capacity and increase its total nameplate capacity to 1.2 MM tpy.

The two reactor lines started up seamlessly within 30 days of each other, which exemplifies the technology’s ease of commissioning. In addition, Dongguan Grand Resource is utilizing Grace's CONSISTA catalysts in both of its UNIPOL PP technology lines. By combining UNIPOL PP process technology with CONSISTA catalyst systems, Dongguan Grand Resource is producing material of high quality, efficiently and consistently.

Grace has also announced a new license with PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical Company to develop a 400,000-tpy single reactor line using its UNIPOL PP technology. The anticipated startup is in 2026.

We remind, W.R. Grace & Co has licensed its Unipol PP process technology to Gail India Ltd for its 60,000 tonnes/y polypropylene (PP) plant at Gail's existing petrochemical complex in Pata, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Nextchem acquires control of Catc, an innovative plastic chemical recycling technology

Nextchem acquires control of Catc, an innovative plastic chemical recycling technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. announces that its subsidiary NextChem has acquired a 51% stake in MyRemono S.r.l., a newly established company to which Biorenova S.p.A. transferred patents, assets, including a demonstration plant, and contracts related to CatC, an innovative plastic catalytic depolymerization technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

CatC is a continuous chemical recycling process to recover monomers (building blocks for the plastic value chain) with ultra-high levels of purity from sorted plastic waste, particularly polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA, known as Plexiglass).

CatC technology’s first demonstration plant, with a processing capacity of approximately 1,600 tons of plastic waste per year, is operating in the Abruzzo region (central Italy) and monomer samples have been fully validated by perspective off-takers. The results achieved show that CatC provides a cost-effective, efficient (approximately 95% conversion rate) and competitive alternative to other existing depolymerization technologies for Plexiglass, also considering that the obtained monomers can be reprocessed within a circular economy model.

MyRemono will build the first industrial plant with a processing capacity of up to approximately 5,000 tons per year, which is expected to start operations in the second half of 2025, when the commercial activities related to licensing, process engineering and critical equipment supply will also be launched.

Additionally, MyRemono intends to expand the application of CatC to other value-added plastics, including the depolymerization of polystyrene, a widely used plastic with numerous industrial applications from food packaging to electronics and automotive, among others. A further optimization of the technology could allow to address the even larger polyolefins market.

This acquisition adds another important piece to the execution of MAIRE’s strategy, which identifies the expansion of the sustainable technological portfolio belonging to NextChem as a key growth driver in the next 10 years.

The purchase price for the 51% stake acquired by NextChem is EUR6.12 MM, of which €4.12 MM paid upfront and EUR2.0 MM payable within 36 months subject to certain conditions. On today’s date, NextChem and Biorenova have also executed a share capital increase of MyRemono for an amount of EUR2.2 MM and have signed a shareholder loan agreement for additional EUR2.0 MM to be funded within 12 months in order to support the expected investments, including the construction of the industrial plant.

MyRemono’s revenues are expected to progressively grow starting from 2025 for a cumulated value of EUR30 MM by 2028. After this ramp-up period, yearly revenues are expected to be in the EUR15-20 MM range, with an EBITDA margin of approximately 40%.

Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. (Milan, Italy) announced completion the methanation advanced basic engineering study in July 2022 for the Salamandre project in the Normandy region.


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

MOSCOW (MRC) -- 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

MOSCOW (MRC) -- 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

MOSCOW (MRC) -- 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.