CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY, MARKET OUTLOOK
BASF and Moleaer Inc. | November 10, 2022
Global chemical company BASF and Moleaer™ Inc., the global leader in nanobubble technology, announced an exclusive partnership. This partnership will combine expertise in mineral processing, hydrometallurgy, gas transfer, and nanobubble technology to develop innovative processes for mining. The initial aim is to target the copper leaching process and improve extraction rates of copper ores containing high levels of chalcopyrite, which have historically been difficult to leach.The demand for copper is expected to increase significantly, as it is an essential raw material for driving the electric revolution. This will play a key role as an enabler to decarbonizing the global economy. According to a report released in July by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the annual demand for copper is projected to reach 50 million metric tons by 2035, from the current 25 million metric tons today. The study also finds a potential copper deficit of as much as 10 million metric tons.
As existing mines deplete their resources, higher demand will require new mines. In addition, ore grades are declining, ore mineralogy is becoming more complex, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) responsibilities are increasing. The result is that new mines are taking longer and longer to come to fruition. Therefore, maximizing the recovery of copper from existing reserves has never been more crucial.
Copper is extracted from primary sulfide ores through a flotation process and low-grade ores are traditionally discarded because they are too costly to process. Currently, an alternative hydrometallurgical heap leach process is employed for low grade oxide and secondary sulfide ores. It is, however, very difficult to leach primary sulfide ores, such as chalcopyrite, which leads to low recovery efficiencies.
Based on test work conducted by BASF, Moleaer’s nanobubble technology improves the extraction process of valuable metals such as copper. When combined with BASF’s LixTRA™ reagent, the mineral recovery rates and efficiencies are compounded, especially in sulfide-based ores such as chalcopyrite, which have historically been challenging to leach effectively.
“Technological improvements and collaborations like the one we announced today are essential if the industry is to maximize the recovery of copper at existing mines. By combining BASF’s LixTRA reagent, allowing greater ore-lixiviant contact, together with Moleaer’s nanobubble technology to facilitate a higher oxidative environment, we offer technology to the industry to significantly increase copper recoveries.”
-Caren Hoffman, who leads the global mining solutions business at BASF
Nick Dyner, CEO of Moleaer, added: We look forward to working with BASF, a global leader in mineral extraction chemistry, to improve the recovery of copper and help support the green economy. This important collaboration comes at a time when the ability of mining copper is only getting more costly and challenging. Moleaer’s nanobubble technology will allow the mining industry to improve the efficiency and efficacy in existing mines and narrow the gap between supply and demand of copper.
About BASF mining solutions
With innovative products, global field support and industry leading technical expertise, BASF mining solutions provides sustainable solutions which increase productivity, recovery and flexibility throughout the hydrometallurgical process of mining operations in leaching, solvent extraction, flotation, solid/liquid separation and tailings management. Further information can be found at www.mining-solutions.basf.com BASF mining solutions is part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. The division’s portfolio also includes fuel and lubricant solutions, plastic additives, as well as oilfield chemicals. Customers from a variety of industries including Chemicals, Plastics, Consumer Goods, Energy & Resources, and Automotive & Transportation benefit from our innovative solutions. To learn more, visit www.performancechemicals.basf.com
Moleaer™ is the leading nanobubble technology company with over 2,000 nanobubble generator installations in 42+ countries. Deploying the unique power of nanobubbles, Moleaer enhances and improves the performance and productivity of some of the most critical industrial processes, unlocking the power of water to help farmers grow more food, empower businesses to manage their water needs more effectively and efficiently, and restore aquatic ecosystems sustainably without chemicals. Nanobubbles, which are 2,500 times smaller than a grain of salt, allow the scarce resource of water do more with less. They supersaturate water with oxygen, form natural oxidants for disinfection, improve plant health, and increase water’s ability to permeate soil and rock. Moleaer’s patented nanobubble technology provides the highest oxygen transfer rate in the aeration and gas infusion industry, with an efficiency of more than 85% per foot of water. Its nanobubble generators are a cost-effective, chemical-free solution proven to increase sustainable food production, reduce chemical usage, restore aquatic ecosystems, and improve natural resource recovery. Moleaer technology has been validated by extensive research and renown universities.
TotalEnergies and Air Liquide | November 23, 2022
TotalEnergie and Air Liquide are innovating to produce and valorize renewable, low carbon hydrogen at the Grandpuits zero crude platform. Under a long-term contract committing TotalEnergies to purchase the hydrogen produced for the needs of its platform, Air Liquide will invest over €130 million in the construction and operation of a new unit producing hydrogen. This unit will partly use biogas from the biorefinery built by TotalEnergies and will be delivered with Air Liquide’s carbon capture technology CryocapTM. These innovations will prevent emissions amounting to 150,000 tons of CO2 a year compared to current processes. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery will use the unit’s hydrogen to produce sustainable aviation fuel.
In line with the two companies’ shared ambition to get to net zero by 2050, the project includes sustainable and circular innovations
The new hydrogen production unit, with the capacity to produce over 20,000 tons a year will produce hydrogen that is partly renewable, thanks to the recycling of residual biogas from the Grandpuits biorefinery, in place of the natural gas that is normally used.
This unit will be delivered with a carbon capture technology, allowing it to help reduce the platform’s carbon footprint, by capturing over 110,000 tons of CO2 a year for reuse in food and industrial applications.
Most of the unit’s renewable, low carbon hydrogen will be used by the biorefinery itself, to produce sustainable aviation fuel, but it could also be used to support sustainable mobility in the Ile-de-France region.
"By recycling the biogas produced by the biorefinery into renewable hydrogen, this innovative project makes full use of the conversion of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero crude platform harnessing the potential of biomass, especially in the production of sustainable aviation fuel,” said Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals, TotalEnergies. "Combined with the production of low carbon hydrogen and the capture of CO2, this project contributes to TotalEnergies’ ambition to decarbonize all of the hydrogen used by its European refineries by 2030."
"This innovative project is characterized by the combination of several solutions in order to produce renewable and low-carbon hydrogen,and contribute to the decarbonization of TotalEnergies’ Grandpuits site. It also provides the opportunity to recycle CO2 as part of a circular economy approach while securing its supply for agri-food applications. This project illustrates Air Liquide’s expertise in working with its customers on customized solutions to help them reduce their carbon footprint and actively participate in the fight against global warming. It provides yet another example of the key role that hydrogen will play to succeed in the energy transition"," added Pascal Vinet, Senior Vice President and member of the Executive Committee, Air Liquide, in charge of Europe Industries activities.
About TotalEnergies in Grandpuits
Commissioned in 1966, Total's Grandpuits-Bailly-Carrois refinery was for a long time the only refinery in the Paris region. In September 2020, TotalEnergies launched a project to convert the site, in line with its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050. This zero-crude project, with a total investment of more than 500 million euros, is based on the development of several future-oriented activities in the field of biomass, renewable energies, and the circular economy: chemical recycling of plastic waste, production of biosourced and biodegradable bioplastics, production of biofuels for the aviation sector, construction of a solar farm and electricity storage by batteries. The start-up of these new units will begin in 2022, and they should all be operational by 2025.
TotalEnergies and renewable & low-carbon hydrogen
TotalEnergies is convinced that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will play a major role in the energy transition. The Company is working with its suppliers and partners to decarbonize all the hydrogen used in its European refineries by 2030. This represents a reduction in CO2 emissions of 3 million tons per year. Further out, TotalEnergies aims to pioneer the mass production of renewable and low carbon hydrogen to meet demand for hydrogen fuel as soon as the market takes off, notably to help decarbonize heavy transport. The renewable hydrogen production capacity currently under development in Europe and India will contribute to TotalEnergies' ambition for new molecules - biofuels, biogas, hydrogen, and e-fuels- to reach 25% of its energy production and sales mix by 2050.
TotalEnergies and Sustainable Aviation Fuels
TotalEnergies is developing Sustainable Aviation Fuels. These are biofuels produced from waste and residues from the circular economy and "e-jets", synthetic fuels for aviation. These sustainable aviation fuels will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from air transport
TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Our more than 100,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, cleaner, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.
About Air Liquide
A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 75 countries with approximately 66,400 employees and serves more than 3.8 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.
PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES, RAW MATERIALS
OnPoint Industrial Services and Capstreet | November 29, 2022
Capstreet, a Houston-based lower middle market private equity firm, announced that it has sold OnPoint Industrial Services a specialized provider of safety, logistics and planning services designed to support complex maintenance projects in the refining and petrochemical industries, to MML Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Through acquisitions and organic growth, OnPoint has assembled a comprehensive suite of support services that allow its customers to manage complex maintenance projects more efficiently and safely. Based in Deer Park, Texas, OnPoint's services include project planning and coordination, transportation and logistics, materials management, and safety services.
Capstreet's relationship with OnPoint began in 2015 when it acquired Creative Resource Group (CRG). Subsequently CRG acquired Inotek Safety Consultants and WTMC, eventually rebranding them together as OnPoint. Under Capstreet's ownership, the Company would go on to make three additional tuck-in acquisitions and merge with Certified Safety, expanding its services and footprint under the leadership of a newly created management team.
"When Capstreet made its initial investment, we identified a need for a large-scale, single-source service provider of support services for industrial maintenance projects. We recruited an incredible leadership team to the business and together we successfully sourced and integrated several acquisitions and drove organic growth to create one of the recognized leaders in our industry. This has been a tremendous journey, and we believe OnPoint is positioned for ongoing success with its new owner."
Paul De Lisi, Partner at Capstreet
"OnPoint has transformed over the last few years, adding the services and skills demanded by an evolving industry," said Liz Clark, CEO of OnPoint. "It has been a pleasure working with the Capstreet team to drive this change and expand the Company, and we are excited about what lies ahead."
"Thanks to OnPoint's management team and the hard work of its employees, we were able to create value and grow OnPoint from a small industrial services business to what the Company is today," said Walker Kahle, Senior Vice President of Portfolio Operations at Capstreet. "Congratulations to all involved."
Willkie Farr & Gallagher served as legal counsel and BlackArch Partners was the financial advisor for Capstreet.
About OnPoint Industrial Services
OnPoint Industrial Services' offerings are designed to facilitate the safe and efficient flow of people, materials, and equipment during turnarounds and capital projects. By applying people, process, and technology, OnPoint satisfies the logistics requirement of these complex events.
Founded in 1990, Capstreet invests in lower middle market software, tech-enabled services, and industrial business services companies. With over 45 platform investments and over 200 add-on acquisitions since inception, Capstreet's investment strategy is focused on utilizing its Capvalue Framework™ to help accelerate growth and profitability, and help create long term sustainable businesses. The majority of Capstreet's investments have been with founder- or entrepreneur-owned businesses.