Covestro and partners collaborate for a sustainable photovoltaic industry

Covestro and partners collaborate for a sustainable photovoltaic industry
MRC -- Covestro has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with five partners in China's photovoltaic (PV) value chain, inaugurating a new innovation platform dedicated to advancing sustainability within the industry, said the company.

By capitalizing on Covestro's diversified solutions and robust research and development capabilities, this collaboration aspires to facilitate the integration of circular economy principles in the solar power sector's manufacturing phase, ultimately forging a sustainable path forward for the industry itself. This milestone was inked at Covestro's booth during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), an annual event dedicated to promoting imports into China and fostering international trade and cooperation.

The other partners are Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt Co Ltd, Zhejiang Deyilong Technology Co Ltd, Changzhou Fusion New Material Co Ltd, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and COSCO Kansai Paint & Chemical Co Ltd. In alignment with China's "double carbon" goals, the country continues to advance the reform of its industrial and energy structure, dedicating significant efforts to bolster clean energy, notably solar power. Leveraging its material expertise, Covestro plays a dynamic role in PV module production, elevating their efficiency and introducing alternative raw materials.

This approach enables Covestro and collaborators to tackle technical challenges and advance the green transformation of the PV industry itself, while remaining attuned to evolving industry trends. As a fresh and dynamic entrant in the PV industry, Covestro is poised to offer a wide array of material solutions through the newly launched platform. These solutions aim to enhance power generation efficiency, reduce module weight, and extend the service life of PV modules. Meanwhile, they empower customers to innovate and develop new products, all the while contributing to a reduction in their carbon footprint. For instance: Covestro's coatings raw material solution can ensure that two-sided coated backsheets achieve a light transmittance exceeding 93%, enable bi-facial PV modules to reduce their weight by 20% and increase power generation by 1.29%.

Additionally, these modules exhibit outstanding aging resistance, guaranteeing a service life of over 25 years. Covestro's low-temperature photovoltaic silver paste polymer solution, integrated into next-generation cell technology, excels in enhancing photoelectric conversion efficiency. Furthermore, its capability to cure at temperatures below 200 degC contributes to a notable reduction in energy consumption. Decovery, a bio-based waterborne coating raw material, is a viable choice for coating containerized energy storage systems. By replacing conventional fossil-based solvent-borne materials, it reduces carbon emissions by more than 20% and effectively diminishes emissions of volatile organic compounds. Importantly, its application doesn't require any modifications to the painting process, thus preserving work efficiency.

This represents a step forward as Covestro extends its material applications from photovoltaic modules to encompass related energy storage systems for the first time. Polyurethane composite frames for PV modules, made of Covestro's Baydur resin, boast remarkable mechanical properties, featuring an axial tensile strength over five times that of aluminium alloy frames.

We remind, Covestro is expanding its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Films in the Platilon® range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics. To this end, the company is investing a low double-digit million euro amount in its German center of excellence for the aforementioned films in Bomlitz, Lower Saxony.

AkzoNobel launches first low-temperature cured architectural powder coating

AkzoNobel launches first low-temperature cured architectural powder coating

MRC -- AkzoNobel launches industry’s first architectural powder coating that can be cured at temperatures as low as 150°C while still being Qualicoat class one certified, said Specialchem.

Curing at temperatures 30°C lower than traditional powder coatings means that Interpon D1036 Low-E can help customers cut energy consumption by as much as 20%.

It can also cure up to 25% faster than conventional powders, allowing for more products to be coated in less time. The product’s sustainability credentials are backed up by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), an independently verified assessment of a product's environmental impact across its whole lifespan.

“At a time when every business is looking to play its part in reducing energy and accelerating sustainability, Interpon D1036 Low-E will support our customers in reducing their carbon emissions as well as helping us to achieve our own target of a 50% carbon reduction across the value chain by 2030,” said Jeff Jirak, director of the company’s Powder Coatings business.

“We’re proud to be innovating solutions that are helping to tackle some of the shared issues around sustainability and energy conservation that coaters, applicators and our own business are facing,” continued Jirak.

The new range is suited to many areas of the built environment, inside and out, from building facades and windows to railings and doors or any application where an architectural certified product is typically applied. Its key features include excellent levels of durability to protect color integrity and performance.

“As we progress on the journey towards our net zero carbon ambitions, we’ll continue to work closely with our customers to understand their needs and give them the products they require so we can build a more sustainable future together,” added Jirak.

As well as committing to generating 50% fewer carbon emissions across the value chain by 2030, AkzoNobel also aims to achieve 100% circular use of materials by the end of the decade and deliver 50% of revenues from sustainable solutions.

We remind, AkzoNobel supplies bio-based paint to KIA Motors for the inside of its new EV9 electric SUV. It’s the first time the vehicle manufacturer has specified an interior bio-based coating.

Mitsui Chemicals reported financial results for 2Q FY 2023

Mitsui Chemicals reported financial results for 2Q FY 2023

MRC -- Mitsui Chemicals Inc's Basic & Green Materials sales revenue decreased Yen 126.2 bn compared with 1H 2022 to Yen 322.1 bn and accounted for 39% of total sales, said the company.

Operating income before special items decreased Yen 34.4 bn, resulting in a Yen 7.1 bn loss. This was attributable to a decrease in sales volume due to slowing demand, and decline in inventory valuation gain.

Sales of polyolefin and phenols decreased compared with the corresponding period of fiscal year 2022 due to slowing demand. Naphtha cracker operating rates remained at a low level due to slowing demand for downstream products.

We remind, Mitsui Chemicals recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant to produce the high-performance elastomer Tafmer at its Singapore-based wholly owned subsidiary Mitsui Elastomers Singapore. The ceremony was held on 28 July, 2023. As part of Mitsui Chemicals’ Vision 2030 Long-Term Business Plan, the Mobility Solutions business aims to help solve social challenges and achieve sustainable business growth by providing unique materials, features and services.

Huhtamaki invests for further growth in North America through the expansion of its factory in Paris, Texas

Huhtamaki invests for further growth in North America through the expansion of its factory in Paris, Texas

MRC -- Huhtamaki, a leading global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, is making a significant investment in its Paris, Texas facility in the U.S, said the company.

The investment consists of an expansion of its manufacturing capacity as well as a consolidation of an external warehouse. The investment into production assets is approximately USD 30 million, and the warehouse and manufacturing facility will be leased. This will significantly increase the North America business segment’s capacity in folding cartons to support the growth of the Foodservice business. Production is expected to start ramping up in Q1 2025 and will be key to servicing the growth of existing customers and a growing list of up-and-coming customers throughout the Southern and Midwestern states.

The Paris facility is uniquely positioned to meet the increased demand in the U.S. for more innovative and sustainable folding cartons which provide convenient, safe and hygienic food for busy consumers. The site is expected to employ up to 80 employees within the first three years.

“This expansion scales up our core business to support the continued growth of our U.S. foodservice customers,” said Ann O’Hara, President, Huhtamaki North America. “The Paris plant will be key in helping the company achieve its 2030 strategy for Customer Excellence by meeting the demand for folding cartons across the region.”

Huhtamaki currently employs approximately 4,100 people across 18 manufacturing units in North America – 17 in the United States and 1 in Mexico – and is an industry-leading manufacturer of packaging for consumer-packaged goods, as well as tableware, cups, folding cartons, containers, carriers, trays and service ware for the foodservice industry and retail market.

The decision to further invest in North America is in line with Huhtamaki’s 2030 strategy to deliver profitable growth by scaling its core business through three technologies, paperboard, flexibles and fiber.

We remind, Huhtamaki, the maker of Chinet® tableware, is launching fiber-based egg cartons, made from 100% recycled material, for US egg producers. Huhtamaki is bringing its fiber expertise to the US as an alternative to foam egg packaging.

Clariant inaugurates flame retardants plant in China

Clariant inaugurates flame retardants plant in China

MRC -- Clariant formally launched its state-of-the-art manufacturing site for halogen-free flame retardants in Daya Bay, Huizhou, China, said the company.

The USD67 M investment into the site's first manufacturing line will offer domestic customers with access to new and sustainable Exolit OP flame retardants and associated technical knowhow to back the significant increase of engineering plastics uses in the electrical & electronics and e-mobility segments. A second line is being constructed and predicted to come online in 2024, representing another investment worth USD44 M.

The new facility will manufacture the company's international series of patent-protected organo-phosphorus flame retardants and supports the capacity of the firm's two Exolit OP sites in Knapsack, Germany. The team at the One Clariant Campus in Shanghai will back customers in co-development and in-application evaluation.

The site is run by 100 workers and is situated within the Huizhou Daya Bay Economic and Technological Development Zone (Daya Bay Chem Park) in Guangdong Province. The Daya Bay site of Clariant uses green electricity, allowing a significant decrease in Scope 2 (CO2) emissions.

We remind, Clariant posted a 28% decrease on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the third quarter amid lower prices and volumes. Clariant expects to see an easing inflationary environment, but no economic recovery in the final three months of 2023, with macroeconomic uncertainties and risks remaining. Despite that, Clariant confirms its sales guidance for the full year 2023 of Swfr4.55bn–4.65bn, it said.