IDTechEx | July 06, 2022
One of the major environmental issues facing the planet is the rising levels of plastic consumption and waste. According to a recent OECD study, the world produced 460 million tonnes (Mt) of plastics in 2019 and consumption will continue to rise despite an expected increase in recycling technologies deployment.
As carbon dioxide emissions also soar, the emerging carbon capture and utilization industry propose a solution for both issues: creating lower-carbon, degradable polymers using CO2 emissions as the feedstock. The recent IDTechEx report "Carbon Dioxide Utilization 2022-2042: Technologies, Market Forecasts, and Players" analyzes the opportunities and challenges of creating this proposed circular carbon economy.
How to make polymers from CO2?
There are at least three major pathways to convert CO2 into polymers: electrochemistry, biological conversion, and thermocatalysis. The latter is the most mature CO2 utilization technology, where CO2 can either be utilized directly to yield CO2-based polymers, most notably biodegradable linear-chain polycarbonates (LPCs), or indirectly, through the production of chemical precursors (building blocks such as methanol, ethanol, acrylate derivatives, or mono-ethylene glycol [MEG]) for polymerization reactions.
LPCs made from CO2 include polypropylene carbonate polyethylene carbonate and polyurethanes PUR being a major market for CO2-based polymers, with applications in electronics, mulch films, foams, and in the biomedical and healthcare sectors. CO2 can comprise up to 50% (in weight) of a polyol, one of the main components in PUR. CO2-derived polyols are made by combining CO2 with cyclic ethers The polyol is then combined with an isocyanate component to make PUR.
Companies such as Econic, Covestro, and Aramco Performance Materials have developed novel catalysts to facilitate CO2-based polyol manufacturing. Fossil inputs are still necessary through this thermochemical pathway, but manufacturers can replace part of it with waste CO2, potentially saving on raw material costs.
In the realm of emerging technologies, chemical precursors for CO2-based polymers can be obtained through electrochemistry or microbial synthesis. Although electrochemical conversion of CO2 into chemicals is at an earlier stage of development, biological pathways are more mature, having reached the early-commercialization stage. Recent advances in genetic engineering and process optimization have led to the use of chemoautotrophic microorganisms in synthetic biological routes to convert CO2 into chemicals, fuels, and even proteins.
Unlike thermochemical synthesis, these biological pathways generally use conditions approaching ambient temperature and pressure, with the potential to be less energy-intensive and costly at scale. Notably, the California-based start-up Newlight is bringing into market a direct biological route to polymers, where its microbe turns captured CO2, air, and methane into polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), an enzymatically degradable polymer.
Currently, the scale of CO2-based polymer manufacturing is still minor compared to the incumbent petrochemical industry, but there are already successful commercial examples. One of the largest volumes available is aromatic polycarbonates (PC) made from CO2, being developed by Asahi Kasei in Taiwan since 2012. More recently, the US-based company LanzaTech has successfully established partnerships with major brands such as Unilever, L'Oréal, On, Danone, Zara, and Lulumelon to use microbes to convert captured carbon emissions from industrial processes into polymer precursors – ethanol and MEG – for manufacturing of packaging items, shoes, and textiles.
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CITGO Corporation | June 16, 2022
CITGO Petroleum Corporation recently received three safety awards recognizing outstanding safety results in both its terminals and refining operations
CITGO terminals received the Safety Excellence Award from the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) in recognition of standout safety performance in 2021. This is the most recent such award from ILTA, which has recognized CITGO for safety performance multiple times over the past decade.
CITGO refineries in Lemont, Illinois and Corpus Christi, Texas both received the Safety Achievement Award from American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). The award recognizes excellent safety performance across the oil and gas industry. This was the third consecutive year AFPM has recognized safety performance at CITGO refineries.
"Safety is the cornerstone of our operational excellence. We are honored to receive these distinguished awards as testament to our efforts in maintaining the highest standards of operational safety at our refineries and terminals."
CITGO President and CEO Carlos Jordá
CITGO operates three refineries with a combined crude capacity of 769,000 barrels-per day and wholly and/or jointly owns 38 active terminals and six pipelines, one of the largest distribution networks in the country.
"We strive to build a resilient safety culture throughout our operations," added Shane Moser, CITGO Vice President of Health, Safety & Environment. "ILTA and AFPM are champions of our industry, and their continued recognition of our safety culture is tremendously gratifying."
ILTA, representing companies and partnerships that operate bulk liquid storage terminals worldwide, advocates on behalf of the liquid terminal industry and maintains close working relationships with other organizations that interact with the tank storage industry.
AFPM is the leading national trade association representing fuel and petrochemical manufacturers. AFPM members make and transport the fuels that keep Americans moving and the petrochemicals that are essential building blocks for modern life.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Lake Charles, La.; Lemont, Ill.; and Corpus Christi, Texas, and wholly and/or jointly owns 38 active terminals, six pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,300 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,400 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets, all located east of the Rocky Mountains. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc.
Evolve Lubricants, Inc. | February 23, 2022
Evolve Lubricants, Inc. maker of high-performance non-petroleum lubricants for passenger car motor oil and industrial applications, announced Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG tested Evolve's EvoSyn™ non-petroleum renewable and sustainable motor oil in July of 2021. Porsche AG has invited Evolve Lubricants, Inc.'s co-founder, President, & CEO Rick Lee to publish and present the results of the engine testing at the 9th International Engine Congress 2022 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Feb. 22-23.
"We are incredibly honored to have this new disruptive technology tested by Porsche AG, and the results presented in our paper to the 9th International Engine Congress," said Rick Lee. "We feel that this test has validated our EvoSyn™ lubricants performance with our results."
Rick Lee has published the paper Renewable Engine Oils Test at the invitation of Porsche AG at the 9th International Engine Congress. The paper outlines the performance characteristics results of the EvoSyn™ 0W-40 non-petroleum engine oil tested by Porsche AG. The paper is available on the Evolve Lubricants, Inc. website.
Evolve Lubricants EvoSyn™ non-petroleum motor oils are made with advanced technology that utilizes renewable synthetic hydrocarbon molecules. Derived from plant biomass, these motor oils significantly outperform petroleum-based products in a wide array of performance characteristics. These include volatility, oxidation, thermal breakdown resistance to maintain the original viscosity, shear stability, and the reduction of friction and wear, aiding in longer engine life.
Evolve Lubricants' high-performance renewable carbon-negative lubricants help organizations achieve performance and ESG goals while moving away from petroleum-based products. The EvoSyn™ non-petroleum motor oil portfolio meets and exceeds most manufacturer requirements and are drop-in replacements requiring no modification for use in new and older vehicles.
Evolve has the experience of being in some of the highest performing and iconic race cars in the world, including Porsche 917Ks, vintage Formula 1 cars, and modern race cars.
"EvoSyn™ non-petroleum motor oils, engineered using renewable synthetic hydrocarbon molecules, are a breakthrough in modern lubrication. Individuals and companies can begin moving away from petroleum without sacrificing performance."
EvoSyn products are currently available through Evolve Lubricants, Inc.'s website, www.evolvelube.com, and through an exclusive network of EvoSyn™ dealers. Products include 0W-40 European Car Formula, 5W-40 European Car Formula, 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, with more products in development.
About Evolve Lubricants, Inc.
Evolve Lubricants Inc. is a green technology company that has developed and manufactures high-performance non-fossil sustainable lubricant solutions for the consumer, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors.
Evolve Lubricants, Inc. is headquartered in Reno, Nevada. Full lines of lubricants are marketed through this organization. Brands include EvoSyn™ and ECORSA Motorsport™.
Piedmont Lithium Inc. | April 29, 2022
Piedmont Lithium Inc. a leading, diversified developer of lithium resources required to enable the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced that Piedmont’s partner, Sayona Mining Limited recently reported the discovery of a new southern lithium pegmatite zone at the Moblan Lithium Project in Québec. Assay results from two holes at the newly defined Moblan South Discovery have identified lithium mineralization at shallow depth, approximately 200m south of the main Moblan deposit. Results include 5m @ 1.85% Li2O from 3.5m and 35m @ 1.62% Li2O from 27.6m in hole DDH135 as well as 6.6m @ 1.69% Li2O from 2.1m and 27.2m @ 1.53% Li2O from 22.0m in hole DDH136. Additional drill hole results are pending.
“We congratulate our partners at Sayona on these very promising initial drill results from their Moblan deposit. The grade, thickness, and shallow depth of mineralization in these first two drill holes is very impressive. While Piedmont is not directly invested in the Moblan project, we are very pleased with our position as Sayona’s largest shareholder and as Sayona’s partner in the world-class Abitibi Hub lithium projects. Quebec is an ideal location for lithium hydroxide production in the future, given the province’s abundant mineral resources, low-cost hydroelectricity, and supportive provincial government.”
Keith Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont
The statements below were prepared by, and made by, Sayona Mining. The following disclosures are not statements of Piedmont and have not been independently verified by Piedmont. Sayona Mining is not subject to U.S. reporting requirements or obligations, and investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these statements.
Sayona Mining’s original announcement can be found here.
About Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont Lithium is developing a world-class, multi-asset, integrated lithium business focused on enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in North America. The centerpiece of our operations, Carolina Lithium, is located in the renowned Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt of North Carolina. Combining our U.S. assets with equally strategic and in-demand mineral resources, and minority equity investments in companies that own production assets in Quebec and Ghana, positions us to be one of the largest, lowest cost, most sustainable producers of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in the world. We will also be the most strategically located to best serve the fast-growing North American electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geology, geography and proximity of our resources, production operations and customer base, will allow us to deliver valuable continuity of supply of a high-quality, sustainably produced lithium hydroxide from spodumene concentrate, preferred by most EV manufacturers. Our diversified operations will enable us to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move toward decarbonization and the electrification of transportation and energy storage.