The plastics industry is changing – because it has to

That’s the general consensus among some of Europe’s leading plastic industry commentators – the very people working to re-shape the industry. While plastic, in its myriad forms is ingrained in every aspect of our life, ‘plastiphobia’ has entered the vernacular as a condition, and the regulators are cracking down hard on an industry that already faces a number of complex challenges. That move to smaller, local chemical recycling plants – which are more efficient and effective at separating out the different types of plastic to help better achieve the dream of a circular economy – is certainly on the horizon, yet still only a nascent industry. Richard Daley, Managing Director of ReNew ELP, is at the cutting edge of chemical recycling. ReNew ELP are in the final stages of development on the first of four chemical recycling processing lines, with each line processing 20,000 tonnes a year.

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EKIUM

COME TO EXPRESS YOUR TALENT THROUGH OUR AMBITIOUS PROJECTS EKIUM continues its development in France and abroad in the fields of industrial and tertiary Engineering and Automation. We are committed as a partner with the leaders of the chemical, pharmaceutical, energy, oil & gas, aeronautics, food processing industry...

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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

Petrochemical buyers, after a very difficult pandemic, can gain from China-driven deflation

Article | June 6, 2022

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).

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Chemical Management

Key Trends in the Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry

Article | July 13, 2021

The chemical business is intricate, with numerous sub-sectors dealing with various challenges. Thus, there are some differences in the sector's main areas of digitalization. For instance, while specialty chemicals with smaller batches but larger profit margins are concerned with improving quality, large factories are concentrated on accelerating throughput speed. To be able to react to quick and repeated changes in demand, supply, and working circumstances, however, every plant must optimize output, reduce waste, improve safety and sustainability, and become more nimble. Therefore, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing are expected to be the three most popular applications for digital transformation during the coming two years. Key Trends Production Optimization The first and most valuable use cases of digitalization in chemical plants center on production optimization through improved equipment performance, process automation, remote and predictive monitoring, and simplified maintenance. Chemical factories, which often provide basic chemicals for use as end products in other sectors, have a special responsibility to maintain consistently high product quality. However, doing so can be challenging given the significant variations in raw material supply and quality. In addition, as process engineers can change the mix on the fly in reaction to fluctuations in quality, feedstock, or ambient temperatures, better data and analytics enable finer and more frequent adjustments. Lowering Waste The main advantage of digitally transformed plants so far has been cost reduction. The price volatility of raw materials is a problem for the chemical production sector because customers naturally want constant low prices. Minimizing waste is critical since facilities must contend with rising energy costs. Analytics tools that monitor fluctuating raw material prices aid factories in negotiating the best deals with suppliers and preparing in advance for price spikes. The risk of oversupply is reduced since plants can prepare the proper quantities of various products thanks to more precise demand predictions. Sustainability, Compliance, and Safety The chemical industry is heavily regulated as a result of the quantity of hazardous chemicals and the number of end-use industries that rely on it. Businesses are adopting digital transformation to boost safety awareness, reduce emissions and dangerous flare incidents, and guarantee a transparent and accurate audit trail. Plants that quickly adopt digital solutions for remote monitoring, supply chain visibility, waste reduction, production optimization, raising their safety profile, and opening up new opportunities will profit from higher profits and increased revenue, whereas those that hesitate for too long risk failing in the long run.

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Chemical Technology

Organic Oil Recovery improves productivity of existing reservoirs

Article | May 10, 2021

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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COME TO EXPRESS YOUR TALENT THROUGH OUR AMBITIOUS PROJECTS EKIUM continues its development in France and abroad in the fields of industrial and tertiary Engineering and Automation. We are committed as a partner with the leaders of the chemical, pharmaceutical, energy, oil & gas, aeronautics, food processing industry...

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Chemical Technology, Raw Materials

NOVA Chemicals and Plastic Energy Launch Feasibility Study on Advanced Recycling Plant to Further Canadian Circularity Aspirations

Webwire | July 05, 2023

NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) and Plastic Energy have entered into an agreement to explore the feasibility of developing a pyrolysis-driven advanced recycling facility in the Sarnia, Ontario region. If constructed, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Canada with a potential initial capacity of 66kt per annum. “Post-use plastics offer tremendous value to furthering the circular economy, and our teams at NOVA Chemicals work daily to innovate new and collaborative ways to extend the lifecycle of our products and plastic packaging,” said Greg DeKunder, VP, NOVA Circular Solutions. “This agreement with Plastic Energy is a prime example of two companies working together to create timely, effective, and sustainable solutions that will help us make progress towards our 2030 recycled plastics ambitions while diverting hard-to-recycle segments of plastic waste away from landfills.” Plastic Energy is one of the world’s leading advanced recycling technology companies through use of its patented TAC™ process to treat post-consumer plastic waste. Recycled polyethylene manufactured using Plastic Energy-produced feedstock, called TACOIL™, has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications, helping manufacturers and packagers achieve their recycled content goals. Plastic Energy has two commercial recycling plants in Spain that have been in operation for seven years, alongside new projects in Europe and Asia. “We are pleased to sign this agreement with NOVA Chemicals to explore the scope for our first advanced recycling project in Canada,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “Advanced recycling will continue to be important for the North American market by providing a solution for incorporating recycled content into food-grade packaging. Together with NOVA Chemicals, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills, incineration, or as leakage into the environment, which is important for the circular economy in Canada.” NOVA Chemicals recently announced its aspiration to reach 30 per cent recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales by 2030 in its Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, including its commitment to build a state of the art mechanical recycling business and continue exploring world-leading and proven advanced recycling technologies. If built, this new facility would see NOVA Chemicals build on its already CAD 2 billion investment into Ontario to inject additional new technology, jobs, and long-term viability into the local and Canadian economies. About NOVA Chemicals Corporation NOVA Chemicals aspires to be the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. Our driving purpose is to reshape plastics for a better, more sustainable world by delivering innovative solutions that help make everyday life healthier and safer and acting as a catalyst for a low carbon, zero-plastic-waste future. NOVA Chemicals’ innovative and quality product offerings, value chain collaboration, and unique customer experience is what sets us apart; our customers use our products to create easy-to-recycle and recycled content films, packaging, and products. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security, and environmental stewardship through our commitment to Sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has nearly 2,500 employees worldwide and is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. About Plastic Energy Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven advanced recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics. Learn more on our website at www.plasticenergy.com.

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Risk and Compliance, Products and Technologies

Quantix Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste

PRnewswire | May 26, 2023

Quantix, North America's leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry, announced today it has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance), a global non-profit organization that brings together government, companies and communities to end plastic waste in the environment. Quantix is the 31st member in North America to join the Alliance, which has over 70 members including founding member companies such as BASF, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Procter & Gamble and Shell. "We understand that no viable solution to ending plastic waste can come from any individual company alone, but rather a combination of all of us working together," said Chris Ball, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantix. "Solving the challenges of reducing plastic waste and redefining how it can be used and repurposed is complex, and we are committed to working with the Alliance and its members to take action toward these goals and more." As a member company, Quantix will participate in projects with other Alliance members to brainstorm and push initiatives forward to create opportunities within the circular economy. Those initiatives will focus on plastic collection, sorting, processing and recycling. Quantix is uniquely positioned to support these efforts with its vast infrastructure of supply chain assets located where plastics are both made and produced. "The Alliance has been a catalyst for more than 50 projects across 30 countries," said Natalie Stirling-Sanders, Chief Advisor, Head of Americas, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. "The solutions that are being supported are often ground-breaking and enabled by strong collaboration amongst all players across the plastic value chain. We are delighted to welcome Quantix to the Alliance, and are pleased we now have a logistics company in North America helping to end plastic waste in the environment." Quantix is committed to being a sustainability leader in the supply chain and logistics industry including helping build the new circular supply chain. The company has several active sustainability initiatives including multi-year environmental goals such as converting 25% of its last mile and drayage fleet to alternative fuel by 2030. To learn more about the company's commitment to sustainability, visit https://quantixscs.com/about/sustainability/. About Quantix Quantix is the leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry. It provides the world's largest chemical providers with end-to-end support through a nationwide network and comprehensive suite of services including transportation, 3PL solutions, distribution centers, export/import and Eco-Recovery. Headquartered in The Woodlands, TX with over 80 locations across the U.S., Quantix is committed to providing the highest level of safety, quality, compliance and integrity across its entire operation. Learn more at www.quantixscs.com.

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Products and Technologies, Raw Materials

DayGlo Announces Introduction of Elara Luxe Cosmetic Colorants

DayGlo | March 16, 2023

DayGlo Color Corp., one of the world's leaders in manufacturing daylight fluorescent pigments, has recently announced the introduction of Elara Luxe, its latest innovation in fluorescent color technology for the personal care and cosmetics industries. The Elara Luxe product range, which includes seven new plant-based fluorescent pigments, was created with the notion that clean beauty should never have to sacrifice brilliance. It empowers formulators and transforms the conventional way of thinking about color in the sector. For the very first time, clean beauty products can have the robust and rich palette that clients demand. Elara Luxe pigments provide new opportunities for creating vibrant colors with unprecedented color breadth and intensity. Customers are driving demand for environmentally friendly products that are free of toxic substances. The new product range has no microplastics, which benefits both consumers and the environment. Elara Luxe exemplifies clean beauty standards and establishes a new class of cosmetic colorants derived from all-natural rice protein, a potent union of nature and technology. All pigments are plant-based, naturally biodegradable, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and halal-approved. Elara Luxe colorants are compatible with oil-based, solvent-based, and water-based formulations. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications when utilized in compliance with the usage and restrictions specified in 21 CFR Part 82 Subparts B and 21 CFR Part 74 Subpart C, C, and D. These include cosmetics, temporary hair color, lotions and soaps, lip gloss and lipsticks, face paint, and nail polish or nail lacquer. Will Wooten, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at DayGlo, said, "The Elara Luxe range is a key element of DayGlo's growth strategy." He added, "As America's leading fluorescent pigment manufacturer, we are ecstatic about our latest innovation. Here is a product with the power to revolutionize the palette available to formulators." (Source – Business Wire) About DayGlo DayGlo, founded in 1946, is the world's leading manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments, and it creates technology to improve and enhance colors. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company manufactures pigments, inks, toners, coatings, and fluorescent dispersions for a range of applications, including food and beverage, plastics, safety equipment, and consumer goods. Moreover, DayGlo markets the Radiant, Swada, and Sterling fluorescent colorant brands in Europe and other regions.

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Chemical Technology, Raw Materials

NOVA Chemicals and Plastic Energy Launch Feasibility Study on Advanced Recycling Plant to Further Canadian Circularity Aspirations

Webwire | July 05, 2023

NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) and Plastic Energy have entered into an agreement to explore the feasibility of developing a pyrolysis-driven advanced recycling facility in the Sarnia, Ontario region. If constructed, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Canada with a potential initial capacity of 66kt per annum. “Post-use plastics offer tremendous value to furthering the circular economy, and our teams at NOVA Chemicals work daily to innovate new and collaborative ways to extend the lifecycle of our products and plastic packaging,” said Greg DeKunder, VP, NOVA Circular Solutions. “This agreement with Plastic Energy is a prime example of two companies working together to create timely, effective, and sustainable solutions that will help us make progress towards our 2030 recycled plastics ambitions while diverting hard-to-recycle segments of plastic waste away from landfills.” Plastic Energy is one of the world’s leading advanced recycling technology companies through use of its patented TAC™ process to treat post-consumer plastic waste. Recycled polyethylene manufactured using Plastic Energy-produced feedstock, called TACOIL™, has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications, helping manufacturers and packagers achieve their recycled content goals. Plastic Energy has two commercial recycling plants in Spain that have been in operation for seven years, alongside new projects in Europe and Asia. “We are pleased to sign this agreement with NOVA Chemicals to explore the scope for our first advanced recycling project in Canada,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “Advanced recycling will continue to be important for the North American market by providing a solution for incorporating recycled content into food-grade packaging. Together with NOVA Chemicals, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills, incineration, or as leakage into the environment, which is important for the circular economy in Canada.” NOVA Chemicals recently announced its aspiration to reach 30 per cent recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales by 2030 in its Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, including its commitment to build a state of the art mechanical recycling business and continue exploring world-leading and proven advanced recycling technologies. If built, this new facility would see NOVA Chemicals build on its already CAD 2 billion investment into Ontario to inject additional new technology, jobs, and long-term viability into the local and Canadian economies. About NOVA Chemicals Corporation NOVA Chemicals aspires to be the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. Our driving purpose is to reshape plastics for a better, more sustainable world by delivering innovative solutions that help make everyday life healthier and safer and acting as a catalyst for a low carbon, zero-plastic-waste future. NOVA Chemicals’ innovative and quality product offerings, value chain collaboration, and unique customer experience is what sets us apart; our customers use our products to create easy-to-recycle and recycled content films, packaging, and products. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security, and environmental stewardship through our commitment to Sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has nearly 2,500 employees worldwide and is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. About Plastic Energy Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven advanced recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics. Learn more on our website at www.plasticenergy.com.

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Risk and Compliance, Products and Technologies

Quantix Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste

PRnewswire | May 26, 2023

Quantix, North America's leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry, announced today it has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance), a global non-profit organization that brings together government, companies and communities to end plastic waste in the environment. Quantix is the 31st member in North America to join the Alliance, which has over 70 members including founding member companies such as BASF, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Procter & Gamble and Shell. "We understand that no viable solution to ending plastic waste can come from any individual company alone, but rather a combination of all of us working together," said Chris Ball, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantix. "Solving the challenges of reducing plastic waste and redefining how it can be used and repurposed is complex, and we are committed to working with the Alliance and its members to take action toward these goals and more." As a member company, Quantix will participate in projects with other Alliance members to brainstorm and push initiatives forward to create opportunities within the circular economy. Those initiatives will focus on plastic collection, sorting, processing and recycling. Quantix is uniquely positioned to support these efforts with its vast infrastructure of supply chain assets located where plastics are both made and produced. "The Alliance has been a catalyst for more than 50 projects across 30 countries," said Natalie Stirling-Sanders, Chief Advisor, Head of Americas, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. "The solutions that are being supported are often ground-breaking and enabled by strong collaboration amongst all players across the plastic value chain. We are delighted to welcome Quantix to the Alliance, and are pleased we now have a logistics company in North America helping to end plastic waste in the environment." Quantix is committed to being a sustainability leader in the supply chain and logistics industry including helping build the new circular supply chain. The company has several active sustainability initiatives including multi-year environmental goals such as converting 25% of its last mile and drayage fleet to alternative fuel by 2030. To learn more about the company's commitment to sustainability, visit https://quantixscs.com/about/sustainability/. About Quantix Quantix is the leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry. It provides the world's largest chemical providers with end-to-end support through a nationwide network and comprehensive suite of services including transportation, 3PL solutions, distribution centers, export/import and Eco-Recovery. Headquartered in The Woodlands, TX with over 80 locations across the U.S., Quantix is committed to providing the highest level of safety, quality, compliance and integrity across its entire operation. Learn more at www.quantixscs.com.

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Products and Technologies, Raw Materials

DayGlo Announces Introduction of Elara Luxe Cosmetic Colorants

DayGlo | March 16, 2023

DayGlo Color Corp., one of the world's leaders in manufacturing daylight fluorescent pigments, has recently announced the introduction of Elara Luxe, its latest innovation in fluorescent color technology for the personal care and cosmetics industries. The Elara Luxe product range, which includes seven new plant-based fluorescent pigments, was created with the notion that clean beauty should never have to sacrifice brilliance. It empowers formulators and transforms the conventional way of thinking about color in the sector. For the very first time, clean beauty products can have the robust and rich palette that clients demand. Elara Luxe pigments provide new opportunities for creating vibrant colors with unprecedented color breadth and intensity. Customers are driving demand for environmentally friendly products that are free of toxic substances. The new product range has no microplastics, which benefits both consumers and the environment. Elara Luxe exemplifies clean beauty standards and establishes a new class of cosmetic colorants derived from all-natural rice protein, a potent union of nature and technology. All pigments are plant-based, naturally biodegradable, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and halal-approved. Elara Luxe colorants are compatible with oil-based, solvent-based, and water-based formulations. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications when utilized in compliance with the usage and restrictions specified in 21 CFR Part 82 Subparts B and 21 CFR Part 74 Subpart C, C, and D. These include cosmetics, temporary hair color, lotions and soaps, lip gloss and lipsticks, face paint, and nail polish or nail lacquer. Will Wooten, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at DayGlo, said, "The Elara Luxe range is a key element of DayGlo's growth strategy." He added, "As America's leading fluorescent pigment manufacturer, we are ecstatic about our latest innovation. Here is a product with the power to revolutionize the palette available to formulators." (Source – Business Wire) About DayGlo DayGlo, founded in 1946, is the world's leading manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments, and it creates technology to improve and enhance colors. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company manufactures pigments, inks, toners, coatings, and fluorescent dispersions for a range of applications, including food and beverage, plastics, safety equipment, and consumer goods. Moreover, DayGlo markets the Radiant, Swada, and Sterling fluorescent colorant brands in Europe and other regions.

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