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CVS Is Taking Chemicals Out of Its Makeup
DAVID OLIVER |
Guided by innovation and sustainability, Oxiteno is a Brazilian chemical company that operates worldwide, leading manufacturer of surfactants and specialty chemicals.
Article | May 6, 2021
BUYERS OF polypropylene (PP) and other polymers and petrochemicals have had an incredibly difficult pandemic.
Firstly, the converters and brand owners expected doom and gloom last March. At the time it seemed logical to expect a cratering of demand as the global economy pretty much imploded.
Just looking at forecasts for GDP, parallels were drawn with the Global Financial Crisis when collapses in growth led to a cratering of polymers demand. The US is a good example where PP demand declined by 12% in 2008 over 2007. Demand then fell by a further 5% in 2009 over 2008.But what we all missed was the complete dislocation of polymers and petrochemicals demand from GDP. As economies registered historic declines, consumption went up.
PP demand went through the roof, firstly for food packaging and hygiene applications.Then consumption for the durable goods made from PP also smashed through the rafters as we bought white goods (PP is used to make components of washing machines), consumer electronics (PP is used to make some electronic components) and carpets (PP fibres are used here).
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.
The U.S. chemical industry has a vital role to play in response to COVID-19. Following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, one of the first steps the American Chemistry Council took on behalf of its members was to secure federal designation of the U.S. chemical industry and its workers as “essential critical infrastructure.” This means that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified the chemical industry and its employees as an industry sector critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
Atoms are gregarious by nature, escaping a solitary existence by forming chemical bonds with their neighbors. Chemical reactivity, in turn, depends on the degree of atomic “isolation”; a lonely atom will more readily interact and form bonds with others, as compared to its more “coordinated” counterparts that are chemically engaged with other atoms. This coordination concept plays a central role in our understanding of chemical and catalytic activity. What has been lacking to date, however, is a direct and quantitative measurement of the variation in chemical reactivity of atoms having different degrees of coordination.
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