Chemicals in a circular economy

This short animation explains how chemicals make up an essential part of a circular economy, how we need to make sure hazardous chemicals are properly dealt with and how the EU is promoting safer material cycles. All materials around us, our furniture, computer screens, and the clothes we wear, are a mixture of different chemicals. A circular economy is about material cycles – how we use, re-use and dispose of materials, how we minimise waste and how we make the most of the resources generated by waste. Risks to our health or the environment should be avoided, so the use of hazardous chemicals in products should be reduced throughout their entire life cycle.

Spotlight

Sigma Lithium Corp.

Sigma is advancing into commissioning an environmentally and socially sustainable lithium project in Minas Gerais, Brazil to produce technologically purified battery grade lithium concentrate for the Batteries that power the EV industry. Sigma corporate purpose is to execute its strategy while embracing environmental, social, and governance ("ESG"​) principles.

OTHER ARTICLES
Chemical Technology

Guyana-Suriname basin: Rise from obscurity to super potential

Article | July 14, 2022

Recent discoveries in the Guyana-Suriname basin attest to estimates of 10+ Bbbl of oil resources and more than 30 Tcf of gas.1 Like many oil & gas successes, this is a story that begins with early exploration success onshore, followed by a long period of exploration disappointment in coastal to shelf regions offshore, eventually culminating in deepwater success.

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Chemical Management

Organic Catalyst Boasts Big Benefits

Article | July 8, 2022

An enzyme-mimicking catalyst opens a new route to important organic molecules such as glycolic acid and amino acids from pyruvate, report researchers in Japan. Moreover, the new catalyst is cheaper, more stable, safer and more environmentally friendly than conventional metal catalysts used in industry, they note, adding that it also displays the high enantioselectivity required by the pharmaceutical industry. “On top of these advantages, our newly developed organic catalyst system also promotes reactions using pyruvate that aren’t easily achievable using metal catalysts,” says Santanu Mondal, a PhD candidate in the chemistry and chemical bioengineering unit at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University, Okinawa, Japan, and lead author of a study recently published in Organic Letters. “Organic catalysts, in particular, are set to revolutionize the industry and make chemistry more sustainable,” he stresses. The researchers use an acid and an amine mixture to force the pyruvate to act as an electron donor rather than its usual role as an electron receiver (Figure 1). Effectively mimicking how enzymes work, the amine binds to the pyruvate to make an intermediate molecule. The organic acid then covers up part of the intermediate molecule while leaving another part that can donate electrons free to react to form a new product. Currently, the organic catalyst system only works when reacting pyruvate with a specific class of organic molecule called cyclic imines. So, the researchers now are looking to develop a more-universal catalyst, i.e., one that can speed up reactions between pyruvate and a broad range of organic molecules. The challenge here is to try to make the electron-donating intermediate stage of pyruvate react with other functional groups such as aldehydes and ketones. However, different catalysts create different intermediates, all with different properties. For example, the enamine intermediate created by the researchers’ new reaction only reacts with cyclic imines. Their hypothesis, currently being investigated, is that creation of other intermediates such as an enolate, if possible, would achieve a broader pyruvate reactivity. In terms of cost, the researchers note that a palladium catalyst used in similar reactions is 25 times more expensive than their organic acid — which also is made from eco-friendly quinine. In addition, they believe scale-up of the process for industrial use definitely is possible. However, the researchers caution that the current amine-to-acid-catalyst loading ratio of 1:2 probably would need to be optimized for better results at a larger scale.

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Chemical Technology

Organic Oil Recovery improves productivity of existing reservoirs

Article | August 8, 2022

MAY 2021 ///Vol 242 No. 5 FEATURES Organic Oil Recovery improves productivity of existing reservoirs A transitional technology producing excellent results in extracting hard-to-reach oil is attracting the attention of many large operators. Ancient, resident microbes are used to liberate large oil deposits in depleted reservoirs, thanks to science uncovered by studying the humble Australian koala. Roger Findlay, Organic Oil Recovery It began in almost outlandish fashion, with a scientist’s fascination with the complex digestive system of an Australian marsupial, the koala. Today, it has evolved into a green technology that is helping major producers around the world potentially reach billions of dollars of oil that they feared they could never access or bring to the surface. As the pressure on the oil and gas industry continues to grow, to find new ways to operate with less impact on the environment, Organic Oil Recovery (OOR) is reducing the need for further exploration. Instead, it is helping producers focus on the reservoirs already in situ to extract even more precious resource—at very low cost—from deep below the ground or seas, across a myriad of jurisdictions and geographies.

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Chemical Management

Global polyethylene demand boom likely, increasing the sustainability challenge

Article | June 15, 2021

IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) margins turned negative because of the increase in US capacity. Then in January the following year, deep Asian and Middle East operating rate cuts returned some order to the market. Then, bang, as we all know, the pandemic arrived and turned everything on its head. The pandemic has, in my view, accentuated trends that were already well underway. I believe this means that the supply-driven downturn that started in late 2019 will not return.Long before coronavirus upended everyone’s lives, PE demand was becoming increasingly divorced from GDP growth because of the shifting nature of end-use demand. Booming internet sales was, I believe, a major factor behind the split between the growth of the overall economies in the developed world plus China and PE demand.The average product bought online is dropped 17 times because of the large number of people involved in the logistics chain, according to Forbes. This had led to a surge in demand for protective packaging made not from PE and other polymers such as polypropylene, expandable polystyrene and PET films (I will look at their demand growth prospects in later posts).Despite sustainability pressures, the scale of demand for stuff bought online translated to a lot more consumption of virgin polymers.

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Spotlight

Sigma Lithium Corp.

Sigma is advancing into commissioning an environmentally and socially sustainable lithium project in Minas Gerais, Brazil to produce technologically purified battery grade lithium concentrate for the Batteries that power the EV industry. Sigma corporate purpose is to execute its strategy while embracing environmental, social, and governance ("ESG"​) principles.

Related News

Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

Engineering News | June 06, 2019

As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco sink billions into plastic and chemicals assets. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total and Exxon Mobil are all ramping up investments in the sector. Renewed emphasis on recycling and the spread of local bans on some kinds of plastic products could cut petrochemical demand growth to one-third of its historical pace, to about 1.5% a year, said Paul Bjacek, a principal director at consulting firm Accenture.

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Nanoscale Chemicals Market Historical Development and Analysis for Huge Growth by 2025 with Evolved Players

Thetactical Marketing | June 06, 2019

Global Nanoscale Chemicals Market research report covers the analysis about business overview, market size, share, trends, gross margin, opportunities, challenges and risks factors concerning the market up to 2025. This research report categorizes the Nanoscale Chemicals industry analysis data by top players, key region, product type, and application for Chemicals and Materials industry. The report also analyzes the growth rate, future trends, sales channels, distributors with market historical development and Analysis for Huge Growth by 2025. Global Nanoscale Chemicals market research report offers high-quality insights and in-depth information of Nanoscale Chemicals Industry.

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Storage Tank Explosion Rocks Arkansas Chemical Facility

Powder & Bulk Solids | June 03, 2019

A 6000-gal storage tank exploded at the Org Chem Group chemical processing plant in Hot Springs, AR in the early hours of Friday morning, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported. The blast at the Blacksnake Road site was reported at about 2 a.m., drawing a response from area firefighters and a HAZMAT team, Bo Robertson, the director of Garland County Department of Emergency Management, told the newspaper. A lawyer for the chemical company said in the Sentinel-Record’s coverage that the storage tank was holding about 3000 gal of a liquid composed of 80% water and 20% sodium hydroxide when the explosion occurred. No chemicals were released into the air or the area surrounding the plant and no injuries were logged. The newspaper said operations at the Org Chem Group facility were uninterrupted.

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Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

Engineering News | June 06, 2019

As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco sink billions into plastic and chemicals assets. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total and Exxon Mobil are all ramping up investments in the sector. Renewed emphasis on recycling and the spread of local bans on some kinds of plastic products could cut petrochemical demand growth to one-third of its historical pace, to about 1.5% a year, said Paul Bjacek, a principal director at consulting firm Accenture.

Read More

Nanoscale Chemicals Market Historical Development and Analysis for Huge Growth by 2025 with Evolved Players

Thetactical Marketing | June 06, 2019

Global Nanoscale Chemicals Market research report covers the analysis about business overview, market size, share, trends, gross margin, opportunities, challenges and risks factors concerning the market up to 2025. This research report categorizes the Nanoscale Chemicals industry analysis data by top players, key region, product type, and application for Chemicals and Materials industry. The report also analyzes the growth rate, future trends, sales channels, distributors with market historical development and Analysis for Huge Growth by 2025. Global Nanoscale Chemicals market research report offers high-quality insights and in-depth information of Nanoscale Chemicals Industry.

Read More

Storage Tank Explosion Rocks Arkansas Chemical Facility

Powder & Bulk Solids | June 03, 2019

A 6000-gal storage tank exploded at the Org Chem Group chemical processing plant in Hot Springs, AR in the early hours of Friday morning, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported. The blast at the Blacksnake Road site was reported at about 2 a.m., drawing a response from area firefighters and a HAZMAT team, Bo Robertson, the director of Garland County Department of Emergency Management, told the newspaper. A lawyer for the chemical company said in the Sentinel-Record’s coverage that the storage tank was holding about 3000 gal of a liquid composed of 80% water and 20% sodium hydroxide when the explosion occurred. No chemicals were released into the air or the area surrounding the plant and no injuries were logged. The newspaper said operations at the Org Chem Group facility were uninterrupted.

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