Syclus selects Axens for Europe's first ethanol-based renewable ethylene plant with Atol technology

Syclus selects Axens for Europe's first ethanol-based renewable ethylene plant with Atol technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Syclus intends to build and operate a plant for the production of renewable ethylene from sustainable ethanol in Chemelot Industrial Park, Geleen, The Netherlands, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

With an annual production capacity in the range of 100,000 tonnes, this renewable ethanol-to-ethylene production plant would be a first in Europe, paving the way for a more sustainable way of producing plastics.

The facility will rely on Atol technology from French company Axens. Among many other benefits, Atol features very high, cost-effective, ethylene yields thanks to a best-in-class catalyst, and allows for an optimized use of process energy, which minimizes emissions. The technology can produce ethylene widely regarded as having the highest quality on the market, fulfilling the specifications required by Chemelot and also by the ARG, the extensive ethylene pipeline network in Northwest Europe.

Basic engineering is scheduled to start in late 2023, and production in 2026. Ethanol will be regionally produced by CropEnergies, who operates a plant for the production of renewable ethanol nearby and who has aquired a major share in Syclus in 2022. The investment required is estimated to be more than EUR 130 million.

Igor Hensing, General Director of Syclus B.V. said: ”Syclus has selected Axens as licensor for the ethanol to ethylene project. Axens’ Atol technology provides a high efficiency combined with a low energy consumption process next to high product quality and safety performance. This supports Syclus’ ambition to set a new benchmark in renewable ethylene. Based on our cooperation Axens has shown to share Syclus’ ambition and we are convinced to have selected the right partner to make the design, construction and operation of our plant a success."

Stephan Meeder, CEO/CFO of CropEnergies AG, said: “Having a 50 percent stake in Syclus, we are very happy that they have taken the next step for the realization of the ethanol to ethylene project with the selection of Axens as a partner. Renewable ethylene is an important step in defossilizing the production of plastics, making it more sustainable. Depending on the results of the feasibility study which is currently being carried out, CropEnergies expects to make a decision for the next phase, which will be the basic engineering, by the end of this year."

Jacques Rault, Executive Vice President Technology & Technical Support of Axens, said: “Atol is a mature technology that already counts 5 references around the world. We couldn’t be happier to work on Atol’s first reference in Europe and are honored to have been selected by Syclus. Atol is a safe, reliable, low-carbon solution and we have all the reasons to believe that it is the future of renewable ethylene."

We remind, CropEnergies AG, Mannheim, Germany, has acquired a stake in the Dutch start-up for biobased
chemicals Syclus BV, Maastricht. CropEnergies purchases 50 percent of the company's share capital. The investment volume amounts to EUR 1.8 million. The goal is to build an industrial scale plant for the production of renewable ethylene from renewable ethanol. Ethylene is a basic chemical usually made from fossil oil and gas and is widely used in the chemical industry in particular for plastics and polymers used in everyday products. Historically, European demand for ethylene was approximately 20 million tonnes per year.

Henkel launches UV curable adhesive

Henkel launches UV curable adhesive
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Henkel launches Loctite Ablestik NCA 01UV, an active alignment adhesive that can be cured in a single step with just three seconds of UV LED light exposure, circumventing the need for oven curing to save time, energy and CO2 emissions, said the company.

The adhesive is a latest innovation that is bringing unprecedented speed, efficiency, and sustainability to the assembly of high-resolution advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) camera and lidar modules. By reaching excellent performance after only few seconds of UV LED cure Loctite Ablestik NCA 01UV 1-step cure adhesive meets all requirements for high resolution cameras for automotive applications, while matching its dual-cure predecessors. With low and consistent dimensional change of 0.4% during cure, this new adhesive is a reliable candidate for high resolution camera modules for automotive as no change in focus from an excessive shrinkage is to be expected. In order to meet the requirements for automotive grade for camera module adhesives, Loctite Ablestik NCA 01UV shows high reliability and dimensional stability, as well as no outgassing from volatile compounds, ensuring a high image quality and no fogging on the optical system.

In line with Henkel's commitment to developing safer and more sustainable solutions, it is free of CMT, SVHC, or any toxic substances and fully EU REACH-compliant. Loctite Ablestik NCA 01UV reaches its full performance and final bond strength with seconds of UV LED irradiation during the fixing step. Hence, time- and energy-intensive post-curing by oven is no longer required. By avoiding the high capital expenditure of heat cure ovens and the associated operating and maintenance costs as well as manufacturing space demands, this simpler process also makes a compelling commercial case. Additionally, the innovative actively curing 1-step adhesive Loctite Ablestik NCA 01UV facilitates manufacturers' contribution to greater sustainability while enabling higher overall production efficiency. Eliminating the oven curing significantly decreases the duration of the entire active alignment process. This results in a more sustainable process that reduces the CO2 footprint of assembly compared to a regular active alignment process. The annual energy consumption of a medium-sized oven curing an adhesive at 80 degC for 70 minutes is equivalent to nearly 2.5 tons of CO2. For this amount of carbon, about 42 tree seedlings would have to grow for 10 years. However, the long-term cumulative effect of eliminating the curing step in a typical production site with multiple ovens will result in a significant positive contribution to sustainability.

We remind, Henkel and Shell Chemical LP have agreed to a five-year collaboration to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of surfactants with feedstocks that are based on renewable raw materials. The renewable-based surfactants will be used in Henkel’s laundry product brands, including many varieties of Persil®, Purex® and all® brands. Surfactants are an ingredient in cleaning products that help lather and lift dirt.

Borealis to acquire Italian R-PP compounder Rialti

Borealis to acquire Italian R-PP compounder Rialti

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis will acquire Italian mechanical recycled polypropylene (R-PP) compounder Rialti, the company announced in a press release.

Rialti has a nameplate output capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year of compounded R-PP. The announcement comes amid tough trading conditions for flake and pellet producers and compounders in the R-PP chain. As a result of tough trading conditions, players across recycled polymers have been predicting consolidation would occur in the chain since Q4 - either through mergers and acquisitions or through bankruptcy.

Throughout Q2 non-packaging demand has been estimated at around 50% lower year on year. Several players said that demand continues to decline on a weekly basis. Coupled with this, ongoing downward pressure on the virgin and off-spec markets continues to result in substitution away from recycled material for non-packaging grades.

With virgin prices comparatively low, the start of the traditionally low demand summer season, and ongoing bearish trading environment, the majority of players do not expect consumption to recover until at least Q4 2023.

Nevertheless, there remain underlying structural shortages - particularly of packaging suitable material - and sustainability pressure from regulators and consumers shows little sign of abating.

We remind, Borealis announces that it is using the occasion of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe (PRSE) in May to highlight a new monomaterial pouch containing over 95% PP and designed for recycling.

Plug Power to design and deliver 10MW PEM electrolyzer to HOPE project

Plug Power to design and deliver 10MW PEM electrolyzer to HOPE project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plug Power Inc, a global leader in comprehensive hydrogen solutions for the green hydrogen economy, is part of a consortium of companies that received a USD21.8 M dollar grant from the European Commission to build an offshore hydrogen production plant, said the company.

As a member of the nine-company consortium HOPE (Hydrogen Offshore Production Europe), Plug will design and deliver a 10-megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system to the site in the North Sea, off the port of Ostend, Belgium. This 10 MW offshore hydrogen project aims to prove the commercial sustainability of renewable offshore hydrogen production, with the end goal to enable the deployment of commercial large-scale solutions. The HOPE project will produce up to 4 tonnes/d of green hydrogen at sea, which will be transported to shore by pipeline, compressed and delivered to customers for mobility needs and small industries in Belgium, northern France, and southern Netherlands, within less than a 200-mile radius.

HOPE is the first offshore project of this size in the world to begin actual implementation, with the production unit and export and distribution infrastructure due to come online in mid-2026. The HOPE project will benefit from an ideal location, less than a mile from the coast, in the offshore testing area near the port of Ostend, Belgium, which aims to be a key link in the hydrogen supply chain in Belgium.

The production site will be powered by electricity supplied under power purchase agreement (PPA) contracts that guarantee its renewable origin. The water used for electrolysis will be pumped from the North Sea, desalinated, and purified. The consortium aims to pave the way for the deployment of large-scale offshore production of renewable hydrogen. The HOPE project will develop, build, and operate this production unit to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of a large-scale offshore hydrogen project with pipeline transport for supplying onshore customers. The grant, covering a period of five years, will be used to finance the design phases, the supply of equipment and the construction work, as well as research, development and innovation work focusing on optimizing technological solutions and the operation of this type of infrastructure.

The techno-economic analysis of large-scale offshore renewable hydrogen production solutions will be part of the grant. In 2022, Plug and Lhyfe pioneered the proof-of-concept for the world's first floating offshore hydrogen production plant, Sealhyfe.

We remind, Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, will supply Blue EnerFreeze, the energy subsidiary of STEF, the European market leader in the transportation and logistics of food products, with a complete green hydrogen ecosystem across two distribution centers, before potentially expanding further into their network of over 100 sites. One of the distribution centers is close to Paris, France and the other is close to Madrid, Spain.

Cepsa invests EUR13 mln to digitalize its energy parks

Cepsa invests EUR13 mln to digitalize its energy parks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cepsa is committed to the digitalization of industrial workplaces in its energy parks in order to move towards Industry 4.0 and maximize the efficiency, safety and sustainability of its activity, said the company.

Technological innovation is one of the levers for accelerating the objectives of Cepsa's Positive Motion strategic plan. Therefore, through an investment of EUR 13 M, Cepsa is deploying a private 5G network in its energy parks and providing electronic devices to all its operators, placing itself at the forefront of the European energy sector in the digitalization of industrial operations. By providing mobile devices and tablets for individual use to all operators of its energy parks, the company is able to improve information exchange times and user experience.

These devices, prepared for use inside industrial facilities, enable the use of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR), to improve performance, both at hardware and software level, and to take advantage of the full potential of the private 5G network that the company has deployed in its centres. Through this project, the company provides an infrastructure that guarantees the full participation of its operators in the company's day-to-day operations.

To this end, industrial employees will be able to carry out their daily work from any process area through mobile devices that are connected to the 5G network, as well as improve the reception of internal communications and their access to all the services that Cepsa makes available to them.

Operators at Cepsa's industrial centres will be able to report information in video, photo or audio format at the touch of a button, through cloud solutions, which will enable massive machine-to-machine interactions and work in real time, boosting collaboration between teams and reducing response times. This project monitors the assets and infrastructure of the energy parks in real time, reducing CO2 emissions and water consumption, while preventing possible incidents and facilitating the identification of unscheduled unit shutdowns.

Cepsa is transforming its refineries into diversified and sustainable energy parks, where the company will produce green hydrogen and second-generation biofuels, with the aim of decarbonizing industry and transportation.

We remind, Cepsa plans to nearly double its investments over the next three years to a total of 3.6 B euros (USD3.82 B), with more than half of that amount going to sustainable energy and mobility. It also posted a full-year net profit at current cost of supplies (CCS) of 790 MM euros for 2022, up sharply from the 310 MM euros reported in 2021. The planned investment increase of 93% for 2023-25 is from the previous three years, Cepsa said.