How to meet the challenge of plastic waste

The successful conclusion of the UN meeting in Geneva on the reduction and management of plastic waste is a good step forward — even if the agreement reached by 187 countries is somewhat tarnished by the predictable abstention of the US. But there could be even better news to come. Plastic pollution has grown as the use of flexible, lightweight and readily available materials has become an integral part of economic activity across the world. It is impossible now to imagine life without plastics. But as well as the shocking scale of waste dumping in the oceans, highlighted by Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet films, there is growing evidence of the impact through the food chain of nanoparticles on human health.

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SAP

SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives.

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Chemical Technology

Closing the loop: Real-time measurement of oil in water for process facilities

Article | July 20, 2022

When an oilfield’s reservoir pressure is depleted during primary recovery, additional oil can be recovered by recycling the produced water and injecting it back into the reservoir. Water management is critical for such water and water-alternating-gas (WAG) floods. In its Permian basin operations, Occidental recovers, recycles, and re-injects large volumes of water for its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. With real-time monitoring of oil in water (OiW) delivering reliable and continuous data, Occidental identified a way to optimize the recovery process and is working with NOV to expand the use of OiW monitoring equipment.

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Chemical Management

The Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry: The Key Trends

Article | July 13, 2021

From novel process technologies to sustainable plastics— the chemical industry is scaling up its digital initiatives. This has opened new doors for organizations to explore opportunities to increase efficiency and streamline the process. Admittedly, the chemical industry has been a little slower in implementing digital transformation. But COVID-19 has vastly increased the momentum of digitization among chemical plants. According to a KPMG survey, 96% of industry CEOs saw digital transformation accelerate in their organizations, with 48 percent saying it advanced by a few years. In addition, according to a recent Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) survey, 82% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had "created a new sense of urgency" in driving investment in new technologies and digitalization. Digital transformation solutions offer tremendous potential in the chemical sector. It can play a significant role in driving more value. So let's dig deeper and look at key technologies in bringing digital transformation to the chemical industry. Circular Economy Chemical manufacturers cannot exist within their own four walls any longer. They recognize the importance of working with their customers and other businesses and organizations to conserve resources and protect the environment. Chemical companies may source raw materials from recyclers as part of a circular economy, which necessitates fool proof solutions to confirm their quality and availability. Circular economy consortiums may advocate for reducing environmental threats such as ocean plastics or exposure to hazardous chemicals, opening up new avenues for innovation. Customers are constantly looking for new ways to reduce waste and protect their ecosystems. For example, farmers may benefit from solutions that can instantly analyze soil quality, weather, and crops to determine the best products and schedule for applying fertilizers, crop protectants, or new seeds. Using this data, they use only what they need, generate less waste, and maximize output. Error-Proof Operations Chemical firms are also embracing technology to achieve operational excellence. They've discovered the benefits of using machine learning andIoT technologies to automate standard back-end processes. Technologies such as these reduce the need for human intervention — and thus the possibility of human error. Blockchain technology can also significantly reduce counterfeit chemicals' use, which is especially important for chemical manufacturers who supply products to the pharmaceutical or agricultural industries. In addition, blockchain technology can enable track-and-trace processes that require less work and waste while protecting the enterprise's reputation. Staying Sharp in the Dynamic Market Staying agile in an uncertain M&A environment is a top priority for some businesses. For example, chemical firms must be able to quickly divest assets, adjust portfolios, and adapt operations in response to market changes. Technology can provide executives with the visibility into operations, shipments, and market conditions required to make critical decisions and remain agile. Data Analytics The chemical industry is leveraging cloud-based storage systems to store and share confidential data anytime and anywhere. Additionally, data analytics solutions can analyze all the data effectively to provide valuable insights to the industry. This will help you make meaningful decisions in real-time.

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Chemical Technology

We can solve the plastic waste crisis but we don’t have much time

Article | August 2, 2022

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.

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Chemical Technology

Future-Proofing the Chemical Industry with Digitalization

Article | July 14, 2022

Over the next five to seven years, the chemical sector will place a greater emphasis on sustainability, and digitization will play a significant part in this. Reducing resource use, pollution, energy consumption, and waste are some of its main applications. Additionally, it will increase demand for a circular economy supported by IoT, AI, and other digital technologies. Some of the systems now in place or being used in the sector include autonomous solutions that enable lower energy usage, dispatching systems for effective logistics and strategies for sustainable power and fuel consumption. Chemical players making the switch to digital platforms have a chance to triumph if they move swiftly and update their operational models in accordance with a few common success characteristics. In fact, according to our study, making the correct decisions can increase total earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by 3 percent or more (EBITDA). The Next Step of Operational Excellence The same level of transformation is available with digital technology for optimal performance, together with success-enabling measures. The same level of corporate participation and realignment will also be necessary for the effective implementation of digital technology. Finance and telecoms were early leaders in adopting digital technology faster than the chemical sector, which has just recently started to move in more significant numbers toward digitalization. A circular economy in the sector is also being enabled by the use and evaluation of digital technology. The "Right to Fix" movement is being driven by governments and legislators in Europe and the US, and small and medium-sized businesses in the industry are expected to invest in technology that makes it easier to repair electronic items with the least amount of waste. On a side note, by enabling the re-use of resources and products throughout the supply chain, digitalization with lean manufacturing (LM) would enable businesses to improve operational excellence and create value, thereby supporting the circular economy goal. Conclusion Given its extensive safety and regulatory requirements, the chemical sector has evolved slowly. However, as the global economy changes, some skills will become obsolete and others essential. The interconnectedness of people, processes, and technology, as well as the requirement for real-time insight at the levels closest to the action, are among the basic principles of Industry 4.0. These values have existed for some time and are an extension of our teams' current operational excellence initiatives. Digital transformation is not a technology endpoint but rather the following stage in the process and business evolution as the chemicals industry advances continuously.

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Spotlight

SAP

SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives.

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Chemical Technology

With the Acquisition of Agiplast, Arkema Strengthens Its Commitment to the Circular Economy

ARKEMA | May 25, 2021

With the planned acquisition of Agiplast, a leader in the regeneration of high-performance polymers, especially specialty polyamides, and fluoropolymers, Arkema is going to be ready to offer a full service to customers in terms of materials circularity, addressing growing market expectations during this field. This project, which contributes to the sustainable development of the polymer industry, is perfectly in line with Arkema’s sustainable growth strategy. Arkema plans to accumulate Agiplast, a company specialized in the regeneration of high-performance polymers, and its historical partner in recycling operations. the company, with annual sales of around €15 million, operates a plant in Italy and has 32 employees. Agiplast’s strong know-how in mechanical recycling technologies will enable Arkema to supply top-quality recycled polymers to its customers. In October 2019, Arkema, the world leader in bio-based high-performance polymers, had already launched Virtucycle®, an ambitious program with Agiplast aimed toward developing loops for the gathering and regeneration of high-performance polymers while minimizing CO2 emissions. With this acquisition, Arkema is going to be the primary fully integrated high-performance polymer manufacturer offering both bio-based and recycled materials to deal with the challenges of resource scarcity and end-of-life products. This bolt-on acquisition is thus in line with Arkema’s CSR and sustainable growth strategy, and especially the transition to a circular economy. The deal is expected to close in June 2021. About ARKEMA Building on its unique set of experience in materials science, Arkema offers a portfolio of first-class technologies to address the ever-growing demand for new and sustainable materials. With the ambition to become 2024 a pure player in Specialty Materials, the Group is structured into 3 complementary, resilient, and highly innovative segments dedicated to Specialty Materials -Adhesive solutions, Advanced Materials, and Coating Solutions- accounting for a few 82% of Group sales, and a well-positioned and competitive Intermediates segments. Arkema offers cutting-edge technological solutions to satisfy the challenges of, among other things, new energies, access to water, recycling, urbanization, and mobility and fosters a permanent dialogue with all its stakeholders. The Group reported sales of around €8 billion in 2020 and operates in some 55 countries with 20,600 employees worldwide

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Chemical Management

Huntsman Completes the Acquisition of Gabriel Performance Products, Further Expanding its Specialty Chemicals Portfolio

Huntsman | January 20, 2021

Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) today announced it completed the acquisition of Gabriel Performance Products (Gabriel), a North American specialty chemical manufacturer of specialty additives and epoxy curing agents for the coatings, adhesives, sealants and composite end-markets, from Audax Private Equity. Huntsman paid $250 million, subject to customary closing adjustments, in an all-cash transaction funded from available liquidity. Gabriel had 2019 revenues of approximately $106 million with three manufacturing facilities located in Ashtabula, Ohio, Harrison City, Pennsylvania and Rock Hill, South Carolina. Based on calendar year 2019, the purchase price represents an adjusted EBITDA multiple of approximately 11 times, or approximately 8 times pro forma for synergies. Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2019 revenues of approximately $7 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets. We operate more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 9,000 associates within our four distinct business divisions. Certain information in this release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, volatile global economic conditions, cyclical and volatile product markets, disruptions in production at manufacturing facilities, reorganization or restructuring of Huntsman's operations, including any delay of, or other negative developments affecting the ability to implement cost reductions, timing of proposed transactions, and manufacturing optimization improvements in Huntsman businesses and realize anticipated cost savings, ability to achieve projected synergies, and other financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.

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Raw Materials

Conservation Groups Sue EPA for Failure to Adequately Protect against Oil, Methane Gas Industry

Conservation Groups | January 18, 2021

Two conservation groups have launched a lawsuit to fight the EPA’s “failure to require adequate pollution controls for the oil and methane gas industry” in Chicago and areas of California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Environmental Health point out that two Canadian provinces require that the oil and methane gas industry install zero emission pneumatic controllers. “There is no reason the EPA cannot adopt this readily available technology,” says Kaya Sugerman with the Center for Environmental Health. The EPA’s guidelines for oil and methane gas production recommend pneumatic controllers that emit volatile organic compounds, when pneumatic controllers that do not emit any of these compounds are in widespread use at production sites and compressor stations in both the US and Canada, the groups argue. “Taking action to increase the use of zero emission controllers has a co-benefit of reducing methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that is 87 times more damaging for climate change than carbon dioxide,” the groups say. They point out that, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, pneumatic controllers are the largest source of methane from the oil industry and the second-largest source of methane from the methane gas industry.

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Chemical Technology

With the Acquisition of Agiplast, Arkema Strengthens Its Commitment to the Circular Economy

ARKEMA | May 25, 2021

With the planned acquisition of Agiplast, a leader in the regeneration of high-performance polymers, especially specialty polyamides, and fluoropolymers, Arkema is going to be ready to offer a full service to customers in terms of materials circularity, addressing growing market expectations during this field. This project, which contributes to the sustainable development of the polymer industry, is perfectly in line with Arkema’s sustainable growth strategy. Arkema plans to accumulate Agiplast, a company specialized in the regeneration of high-performance polymers, and its historical partner in recycling operations. the company, with annual sales of around €15 million, operates a plant in Italy and has 32 employees. Agiplast’s strong know-how in mechanical recycling technologies will enable Arkema to supply top-quality recycled polymers to its customers. In October 2019, Arkema, the world leader in bio-based high-performance polymers, had already launched Virtucycle®, an ambitious program with Agiplast aimed toward developing loops for the gathering and regeneration of high-performance polymers while minimizing CO2 emissions. With this acquisition, Arkema is going to be the primary fully integrated high-performance polymer manufacturer offering both bio-based and recycled materials to deal with the challenges of resource scarcity and end-of-life products. This bolt-on acquisition is thus in line with Arkema’s CSR and sustainable growth strategy, and especially the transition to a circular economy. The deal is expected to close in June 2021. About ARKEMA Building on its unique set of experience in materials science, Arkema offers a portfolio of first-class technologies to address the ever-growing demand for new and sustainable materials. With the ambition to become 2024 a pure player in Specialty Materials, the Group is structured into 3 complementary, resilient, and highly innovative segments dedicated to Specialty Materials -Adhesive solutions, Advanced Materials, and Coating Solutions- accounting for a few 82% of Group sales, and a well-positioned and competitive Intermediates segments. Arkema offers cutting-edge technological solutions to satisfy the challenges of, among other things, new energies, access to water, recycling, urbanization, and mobility and fosters a permanent dialogue with all its stakeholders. The Group reported sales of around €8 billion in 2020 and operates in some 55 countries with 20,600 employees worldwide

Read More

Chemical Management

Huntsman Completes the Acquisition of Gabriel Performance Products, Further Expanding its Specialty Chemicals Portfolio

Huntsman | January 20, 2021

Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) today announced it completed the acquisition of Gabriel Performance Products (Gabriel), a North American specialty chemical manufacturer of specialty additives and epoxy curing agents for the coatings, adhesives, sealants and composite end-markets, from Audax Private Equity. Huntsman paid $250 million, subject to customary closing adjustments, in an all-cash transaction funded from available liquidity. Gabriel had 2019 revenues of approximately $106 million with three manufacturing facilities located in Ashtabula, Ohio, Harrison City, Pennsylvania and Rock Hill, South Carolina. Based on calendar year 2019, the purchase price represents an adjusted EBITDA multiple of approximately 11 times, or approximately 8 times pro forma for synergies. Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2019 revenues of approximately $7 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets. We operate more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 9,000 associates within our four distinct business divisions. Certain information in this release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, volatile global economic conditions, cyclical and volatile product markets, disruptions in production at manufacturing facilities, reorganization or restructuring of Huntsman's operations, including any delay of, or other negative developments affecting the ability to implement cost reductions, timing of proposed transactions, and manufacturing optimization improvements in Huntsman businesses and realize anticipated cost savings, ability to achieve projected synergies, and other financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.

Read More

Raw Materials

Conservation Groups Sue EPA for Failure to Adequately Protect against Oil, Methane Gas Industry

Conservation Groups | January 18, 2021

Two conservation groups have launched a lawsuit to fight the EPA’s “failure to require adequate pollution controls for the oil and methane gas industry” in Chicago and areas of California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Environmental Health point out that two Canadian provinces require that the oil and methane gas industry install zero emission pneumatic controllers. “There is no reason the EPA cannot adopt this readily available technology,” says Kaya Sugerman with the Center for Environmental Health. The EPA’s guidelines for oil and methane gas production recommend pneumatic controllers that emit volatile organic compounds, when pneumatic controllers that do not emit any of these compounds are in widespread use at production sites and compressor stations in both the US and Canada, the groups argue. “Taking action to increase the use of zero emission controllers has a co-benefit of reducing methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that is 87 times more damaging for climate change than carbon dioxide,” the groups say. They point out that, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, pneumatic controllers are the largest source of methane from the oil industry and the second-largest source of methane from the methane gas industry.

Read More

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