North American chemical rail traffic rose

North American chemical rail traffic rose

MRC -- North American chemical rail traffic rose for an eighth consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 7 October up 5.1% year on year to 43,987, according to Association of American Railroads.

For the first 40 weeks of 2023 ended 7 October, North American chemical rail traffic was down 1.2% year on year to 1,813,212 - with the US down 2.4% to 1,245,451.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical rail traffic rose for a seventh consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 30 September up 3.6% year on year to 45,804. A 7.3% increase in the US more than offset declines in Canada and Mexico.

BASF supplies Asahi Kasei’s ROICA with biomass balanced tetrahydrofuran

BASF supplies Asahi Kasei’s ROICA with biomass balanced tetrahydrofuran

MRC -- BASF is supplying biomass balanced tetrahydrofuran (THF BMB)2 to the ROICA Division of Asahi Kasei Corporation (Asahi Kasei), a multinational Japanese company, said the company.

Asahi Kasei will use BASF’s THF BMB to produce its mass balance grade premium sustainable stretch fiber under the ROICA™ brand. This collaboration aims to support the launch of a new sustainable apparel collection by Asahi Kasei’s customers.

ROICA™ supplies its mass balance (MB) stretch fiber as an option for most of its portfolio products. The brand is making its debut in the market with MB stretch fibers and has already initiated discussions with several apparel manufacturers.

BASF’s THF BMB is recognized for its significant reduction in product carbon footprint compared to its standard grade of THF products. This is achieved by replacing a certain amount of fossil raw materials in the production with renewable feedstock in its Verbund setup. According to Asahi Kasei, utilizing BASF’s THF BMB can lead to an approximately 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to its existing products.

Additionally, by introducing its own mass balance approach and renewable energy in the production, Asahi Kasei aims to further reduce CO2 emissions of its products by approximately 25%, resulting in a total reduction of CO2 emissions by approximately 50% compared to Asahi Kasei’s existing products.1 Without the need of large investments or changes to the product’s formulation, BASF’s THF BMB drop-in solution3 ensures identical quality and properties as the standard product.

We remind, BASF is to produce cathode active materials (CAM) from recycled metals in Battle Creek, Michigan, for use in lithium-ion batteries produced by Nanotech Energy. The two companies will partner with American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), a lithium-ion battery recycling company, and TODA Advanced Materials, which has experience in producing specialised CAM precursor and metal hydroxide.

European Parliament’s waste directive rapporteur seeks delays on binding food waste targets

European Parliament’s waste directive rapporteur seeks delays on binding food waste targets

MRC -- The European Parliament’s Waste Framework Directive rapporteur has proposed postponing targets for food waste prevention by several years in a move that has frustrated environmental campaigners, said Packagingonline.

The recently released draft report also suggests changing the definition of “recycling” to include energy recovery.

Zero Waste Europe has dismissed the proposal by the rapporteur to label waste-to-fuel as “recycling” as “truly bizarre.” In general, the circular economy organization recommends sorting waste before stabilization (material recovery and biological treatment).

“If the EU is serious about the circular economy, burning waste can never be acceptable, neither in incinerators nor as fuel after conversion,” says Theresa Morsen, waste and resources policy officer at Zero Waste Europe.

The rapporteur’s amendment reads: “By December 31, 2025, the Commission shall analyze technologies for producing alternative fuels, including from waste. Based on this analysis, the Commission shall, where appropriate, adopt a legislative proposal to change the definition of recycling to include the production of fuel products from materials, including waste.”

We remind, Coca-Cola India and Coca-Cola Philippines are taking steps to promote a circular economy for plastic packaging by introducing 100% recycled PET (rPET) beverage bottles. The Coca–Cola Company (TCCC) now offers 100% rPET bottles in over 40 markets, accelerating its “World Without Waste” goal of making bottles with 50% recycled content by 2030.

Vinyl Institute Announces Grant Program to Accelerate PVC Recycling

Vinyl Institute Announces Grant Program to Accelerate PVC Recycling

MRC -- The Vinyl Institute announced the initiation of Viability, the first grant program aimed at promoting recycling of post-consumer PVC, as per Plastics Technology

Up to $1 million in funds will be granted each year over the next three years from four PVC resin manufacturers in the U.S.: Formosa, Oxy, Shintech, and Westlake.

Individual grants issued through the Viability program are available to qualifying industry collaborations such as trade associations, material recovery facilities, construction and demolition waste facilities, recyclers, or colleges and universities in amounts up to $500,000. The funds may be used for the purchase of equipment, process investments, research and development, educational programs, and program management that supports long-lasting and sustainable recycling of vinyl products. A seven-member grant committee of the Vinyl Institute will choose recipients of the grants.

The first round of grant applications is due on March 1, 2023. The Vinyl Institute will announce the awarding of grants no later than 60 days after a grant application deadline.

The Vinyl Institute is a trade organization representing PVC manufacturers. The organization was established in 1982. Last year, the institute published a directory to help consumers find locations that accept PVC materials for recycling.

We remind, Kem One, a chlor-alkali producer, will convert all production at its plant in Fos, France from diaphragm to membrane-based production, said the company. The conversion will occur in the fourth quarter of 2024; the plant will be shut down for two months, according to the source.

Revalyu Resources breaks ground on PET recycling plant in Georgia, US

Revalyu Resources breaks ground on PET recycling plant in Georgia, US

MRC -- Revalyu Resources has broken ground on its $200m polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant in Statesboro, Georgia, the German producer said this week, said Petnology.

The plant is expected to have a recycling capacity of 90,000 tonnes/year (200m lb/year) of post-consumer PET plastic. Construction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2025, said the company.

Once functioning at full capacity, the facility is expected to employ 121 workers. Revalyu recycles PET with its own proprietary technology based on glycolysis.

“Compared to conventional PET, Revalyu’s R-PET [recycled PET] is produced using 75% less water, 91% less energy, and saves around 0.7 barrels of oil and 0.2 cubic metres of landfill space per 2000 pounds of PET recycled,” the company said.

We remind, Neste, a Finnish oil company, has concluded a series of processing runs with liquefied waste plastic at its refinery in Porvoo. The purpose of the runs is to better characterize the behavior of the liquefied waste plastic through the chemical recycling process. The end product, called Neste RE, is a raw material for production of new plastic and a replacement for fossil-based material.