Article | March 24, 2020
The Refining and petrochemical industries have a projection to keep growing in the next two decades and companies that are investing in new technology today will be ahead of your competition in about 2 years. The digitalization of the value chain, also known as value chain optimization, is a complex task. Part of this complexity comes from the diversity of challenges that occurs in different areas of the value chain within each operation, as we addressed in the article Understanding the Refining and Petrochemical Value Chains to Drive Optimization. Many companies still fail to obtain economic return from their investment in digitalization and we presented the most common challenges in the article Challenges of Achieving Value Chain Optimization in the Refining and Petrochemical Industries. With so many challenges, how can businesses ensure they have a strategic digital transformation program that will successfully result in the optimization of your value chain?
Article | May 19, 2021
The market size for polymeric and resin binders in the global printing ink marketwas estimated to be over 1,200,000 MT in 2020, with a CAGR of about five percent. A major driver of this growth comes from the packaging industry, due to increases in consumer spending and online shopping, as well as demand for processed and packaged foods and beverages.
In addition, increased use of water-based inks is promoting market growth, off-setting environmental and health concerns regarding solvent-based inks in addition to strict environmental protection policies. Water-based inks are projected to overtake solvent-based inks due to environmental regulations, the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the pressroom, and improvements in overall print quality.
Ink formulations are complex mixtures, consisting of four basic component classes: pigments, polymeric binder resins, solvents or an aqueous dispersant media, and additives, such as surfactants, waxes, and rheology modifiers that enhance print quality. The purpose of the resin binder is to disperse and carry the ink pigment to the substrate, stabilize the pigment and additives dispersion to prevent settling, and provide print properties such as ink transfer behavior, setting, and drying characteristics. The binder also contributes surface appearance and gloss, strength and flexibility, chemical and solvent resistance, and also rub resistance. Ink binders can be categorized into the following polymer and resin types: acrylics, polyurethanes, polyamides, modified resins, hydrocarbon resins, and modified cellulosics.
Article | May 27, 2021
IN 2015, a global agreement was reached that 8m tonnes a year of plastic waste entering the oceans was unacceptable, according to this September 2020 article in The Conversation. This was the amount of plastic that was estimated to have ended up in the oceans in 2010.
“Several international platforms emerged to address the crisis, including Our Ocean, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the G7 Ocean Plastic Charter, among others,” continued the article.
But in 2020, an estimated 24m-34m tonnes of plastic waste was forecast to enter our lakes, rivers and oceans. This could reach as much as 90m tonnes in 2030 if the current trajectory continued, said The Conversation.
This is the type of information out there, free to view on the internet and accessible via a very quick Google search, representing a major challenges for our industry. I cannot of course verify the numbers. But they are out there.
Also out there is a May 2019 article by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which provided a good summary of research into what experts believed was the scale of the waste problem in the developing world.
Article | February 13, 2020
The modern world is built on chemicals, be it the medicines we use, or cleaning fluids, crop protection products, or the raw materials for everything from laptops and mobile phones to clothes and furniture. Across all, we have created an entire modern society with chemicals, and, as a result, constantly stretched the size of the world population we can feed, clothe and shelter. Yet, balancing all the gains from the modern chemistry around us against any negative environmental and human impact has been a rising concern, making for ever greater focus on testing and on risk assessment.