GAIA Report Highlights Challenges and Solution Need in Chemical Recycling Process

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives | July 16, 2020

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) recently released a report titled, “Chemical Recycling: Status, Sustainability, and Environmental Impacts.” In this report, authors Andrew Neil Rollinson and Jumoke Oladejo make a number of assertions regarding the viability of chemical recycling as a means to help address the current plastic waste crisis. Specifically, they target pyrolysis and gasification as prime examples of technologies that are being promoted for the sole purpose of enabling large plastics producers to continue business as usual while offering no benefit and, in fact, creating an array of liabilities.

For several chemical recycling companies, their conclusions are not accurate nor is their implied intent. Although there have been responses from ACC and others in the form of letters or blogs, at Nexus we felt it was important to address the claims and their conclusions directly, scientifically, technically, and operationally with current facts and data — in a bit more depth.

Spotlight

There are a number of biocides used in oil and gas operations today. In order to design an effective microbial control program, it is important to understand what their strengths and weaknesses are.


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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

TOMRA calls for closing the loop on plastics and beyond

TOMRA | June 01, 2022

TOMRA continues to play a key role in closing the loop on PET beverage containers but recognizes that there is more to be done. Now political framework, bold decisions and smart investments in collecting, sorting and recycling should be used to improve circularity across all material streams and to overcome today's supply chain bottlenecks. "We have an obligation to work with all stakeholders to reduce the mountains of waste and transform them into the valuable resources they are", TOMRA's CEO and President Tove Andersen stated at TOMRA's press conference held at IFAT. Although there has been considerable progress in recycling, the pandemic and the ongoing war in Europe have shown us that there is an urgency to decrease dependency on primary materials. "Today, we invest approximately 10% of our revenues in future-oriented activities to increase resource efficiency, advancing the market for circular solutions, which we are well-positioned to do. We have the technology capable of maximizing collection and recovery rates. We can act now, optimize waste management practices and fill existing gaps", concludes Andersen. Having established benchmarks for climate policy worldwide, the European Green Deal, coupled with binding regulations and guidelines for producers and manufacturers, drive the acceleration to a circular economy. TOMRA urges all participants in the value chain to see these specifications as an opportunity and to support their implementation. "We have learned that mandatory legislation is necessary in order to achieve goals and create markets," Dr. Volker Rehrmann, EVP, Head of Recycling/Mining & Circular Economy, explains. "However, before we can recycle larger volumes we need to collect as much as possible. There are well-functioning collection systems in place, but it is still not enough. Every day we lose valuable resources to landfill and incineration where they are buried and burned. This is low-hanging fruit and the material must be collected, recovered and recycled." Maximizing material circularity is not restricted to plastics. There are more material streams to close the loop on, such as metals and wood. "We must pay equal attention to these recyclables to support reaching the EU's climate neutrality goals set for 2050", said Tom Eng, SVP Head of Recycling. For example, the demand for aluminum is expected to grow by 40% by 2050, a challenge for aluminum producers with limited production capacities in Europe. The good news is that recycled aluminum plays a critical role on the way to a decarbonized world and supports producers' quest to increase recycled content and their environmental commitments. A similar scenario can be observed in the wood sector. Particleboard manufacturers are looking for a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to source materials of which availability is currently limited and that with sky-rocketing prices. Using recycled materials in the production of wood-based or metal-based materials help producers to overcome these challenges while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and resource depletion. "If we leverage the power of intelligent technologies and closely work with the industry, we can turn waste into value and reduce the dependency on primary materials. Recycling is a key climate mitigator and energy-efficient route to go when supporting a sustainable transition, keeping materials in continuous use. Whatever it takes to close the loop, we will get there", finished Eng. About TOMRA TOMRA Recycling designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the global recycling and waste management industry to transform resource recovery and create value in waste. The company was the first to develop advanced waste and metals sorting applications use high capacity near infrared (NIR) technology to extract the most value from resources. To date, more than 8,200 systems have been installed in 100 countries worldwide. TOMRA Recycling is a division of TOMRA Group. TOMRA was founded in 1972 and follows the vision to lead the resource revolution to transform how the planet's resources are obtained, used and reused to enable a world without waste. The company's other business divisions comprise TOMRA Food, TOMRA Mining and TOMRA Collection.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT,SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Imperial and E3 Lithium form strategic agreement on lithium pilot project in Alberta

Imperial | June 24, 2022

Imperial Oil Limitedand E3 Lithium announced a collaboration to advance a lithium-extraction pilot in Alberta, exploring the redevelopment of an historic oil field into a potential new leading source of lithium for Canada’s growing critical minerals industry. The pilot will support E3 Lithium’s Clearwater project, which will draw lithium from under the Leduc oil field, Imperial’s historic discovery that first launched major oil and gas development in Western Canada. E3 Lithium’s proprietary technology is designed to extract the critical mineral from the lithium-rich brine, with potential for commercial development of battery-grade products. “This exciting collaboration brings together Imperial’s long-standing commitment to research and technology to help test and scale E3’s lithium-recovery technology. We continue to advance the innovation and technologies needed to support the energy transition, working in collaboration with governments and industry to progress new opportunities from existing assets and sector expertise.” Jason Iwanika, director of commercial business development at Imperial “E3 Lithium and Imperial share an interest in the diversification of the Alberta economy, local job creation and sustainability,” said Chris Doornbos, CEO of E3 Lithium. “Leduc No.1, Imperial’s first well into this reservoir, was one of Imperial’s most prolific oil discoveries in Alberta and transformed the provincial and Canadian economies, much like lithium has the potential to do. Having Imperial now working with E3 Lithium in exploring the redevelopment of Leduc into a world-class source of lithium is an exciting new chapter in Alberta and Canada’s story.” The pilot project includes drilling Alberta’s first lithium evaluation wells, planned to be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year. Work will also focus on scaling up E3 Lithium’s proprietary technology, which brings the brine liquid to the surface where the lithium is removed and concentrated. This liquid is immediately returned underground as part of a closed-loop system. E3 Lithium’s PEA1 estimates the first phase of development could produce approximately 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year. Under the agreement, E3 Lithium will continue to operate the Clearwater project and retain its IP, with technical and development support from Imperial in areas such as water and reservoir management. The agreement also includes access for E3 Lithium to freehold lands in the area, which are operated by Imperial. As part of the agreement, Imperial has agreed to invest CAD $6.35 million into E3 at a pre-paid price of CAD $1.86/warrant and the issuance of 3,413,979 warrants. Each warrant provides the holder the option to exercise the warrant for one common share of E3. The warrants are immediately exercisable, non-transferrable, expire in 24 months and are non-refundable. About E3 Lithium E3 Lithium is a lithium development company with 7.0 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) inferred mineral resources1 in Alberta and an NPV8% on its Clearwater Lithium Project of USD 1.1 Billion with a 32% IRR pre-tax and USD 820 Million with a 27% IRR after-tax1. Through the successful scale up its DLE technology towards commercialization, E3 Lithium’s goal is to produce high purity, battery grade, lithium products. With a significant lithium resource and innovative technology solutions, E3 Lithium has the potential to deliver lithium to market from one of the best jurisdictions in the world. About Imperial After more than a century, Imperial continues to be an industry leader in applying technology and innovation to responsibly develop Canada’s energy resources. As Canada’s largest petroleum refiner, a major producer of crude oil, a key petrochemical producer and a leading fuels marketer from coast to coast, our company remains committed to high standards across all areas of our business.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Owens Corning to Acquire Spray Foam Manufacturer Natural Polymers

Owens Corning | June 22, 2022

Owens Corning announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Natural Polymers, LLC, an innovative manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam insulation for building and construction applications, based in Cortland, Illinois. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions and is anticipated to close in the third quarter. “This acquisition advances Owens Corning’s strategy to strengthen our core building and construction products and expand our addressable markets into higher-growth segments. Natural Polymers’ proven technology enables us to offer our customers a more diversified insulation product portfolio and solidify our commitment to provide long-term, sustainable solutions.” Todd Fister, president of Owens Corning’s Insulation business Natural Polymers is dedicated to the development of high-quality products and systems, offering some of the lowest-volatile organic compound products available in the spray foam industry today. Many of the business’ products are GREENGUARD Gold Certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories – a third party standard set to help reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure. “Over the last several years, we’ve seen many advancements in the overall spray foam industry, from standardized installer training to product enhancements that make the material a much more attractive solution,” said Mr. Fister. “Natural Polymers’ focus on product development provides Owens Corning with a foundation upon which we can use our material science knowledge to drive innovation and differentiate the business.” Natural Polymers expects to deliver sales of approximately $100 million in 2022. The business has demonstrated a strong track record of above-market growth and is expected to continue to achieve double-digit growth over the next several years. Benjamin Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of Natural Polymers, stated, “I am excited by this transaction and believe Owens Corning is best suited to accelerate the business’ growth, benefiting our customers and supporting our vision to build the best spray polyurethane foam brand in the industry. Together, I believe we have the best people, technology, and capabilities.” About Owens Corning Owens Corning is a global building and construction materials leader committed to building a sustainable future through material innovation. Our three integrated businesses – Composites, Insulation, and Roofing – provide durable, sustainable, energy-efficient solutions that leverage our unique material science, manufacturing, and market knowledge to help our customers win and grow. We are global in scope, human in scale with approximately 20,000 employees in 33 countries dedicated to generating value for our customers and shareholders, and making a difference in the communities where we work and live. Founded in 1938 and based in Toledo, Ohio, USA, Owens Corning posted 2021 sales of $8.5 billion.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Capra Biosciences Raises $1.8M in Pre-Seed Round for Renewable Chemical Innovations

Capra Biosciences | June 07, 2022

Capra Biosciences officially announced it has raised $1.8 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round to advance their continuous-flow bioreactor technology, which changes the economics of making sustainable petrochemical replacements using biology. Capra will use the funding to build their production-scale reactor and extend its capabilities to include the production of lubricants. Located in the Prince William Science Accelerator, the company works at the intersection of biology and hardware engineering to build a new kind of continuous flow bioreactor that leverages the unique features of their platform organism. Capra Biosciences emerged from the competitive IndieBio program backed by SOSV. Pre-seed investors include Prithvi Ventures; the E14 Fund; GS Futures; Antimo’s president – Wes Osbourn; Savantus Ventures; Asymmetry Ventures; the Decarbonization Consortium; and SOSV, among others. "Reaching this funding milestone is important because our production-scale reactor is modular. Much like a data center’s capacity grows as it adds individual hard drives, our platform’s ability to produce chemicals at scale grows with each bioreactor we add. This enables us to avoid many of the scale-up challenges experienced in traditional bioreactors. The funding allows us to move quickly into our production scale bioreactor." Dr. Andrew Magyar, Capra’s co-founder and chief technology officer "Capra Biosciences is the kind of bioscience success story the Prince William Science Accelerator was built to grow,” said Christina Winn, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “Congratulations on a tremendous pre-seed raise and we look forward to supporting Capra through their future expansions!" Capra’s first product is retinol, a highly lucrative cosmetic ingredient used in anti-aging products. Capra’s novel approach to retinol production uses biology rather than fossil fuels for production, unlike other products currently on the market. The company is also pursuing several aviation and industrial lubricants for future production phases. Like retinol, the $150B lubricant market is closely linked to petrochemicals. Capra is breaking the link to fossil fuels and providing a cleaner, more sustainable path for lubricant production. The company makes renewable products using sources of carbon that don’t compete with food sources or divert undeveloped land towards agricultural production. "Even most climate-focused VCs haven’t thought about the massive, $150B lubricants market. But they should. 20% of the world’s energy is spent overcoming friction," said Po Bronson, managing director of IndieBio and General Partner at SOSV. “All motors and all moving parts need lubricants – from robots to spacecraft, to machines and elevators. The secret is that biology can make sophisticated compounds that petroleum chemistry cannot, enabling performance characteristics that make machines last longer.” Capra's co-founder and CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Onderko, invented the company’s bioreactor technology as a postdoctoral associate at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) along with her advisor Dr. Sarah Glaven, federal employee Dr. Matthew Yates, and Dr. Magyar. The Capra team continues to support the development of this technology to address Department of Defense needs through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA). "This partnership is a prime example for how fundamental research can be developed, matured, and successfully transitioned from NRL benchtop to commercial partner. The Technology Transfer Office often facilitates these types of efforts through various mechanisms which aim to incentivize businesses and bring forth investment capital," said Dr. Stephen Deese, NRL Partnership Manager. "We’re excited to make products that create a positive impact on the world, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions," said Dr. Onderko. "Our production scale reactor empowers us to place samples of retinol, Capra’s first product, into customers hands for evaluation - our first step to decarbonizing the chemical industry. Next up we’re developing sustainable, high-performance lubricants and many other chemical products – allowing us to start reducing the more than three gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions from chemical manufacturing. The potential for our technology is massive, and we’re very thankful to our investors for sharing in our vision." About Capra Biosciences Capra Biosciences is venture-backed startup company focused on sustainable production of petrochemical replacements using their biofilm bioreactor platform. Capra Biosciences is located in Manassas, VA. About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel. About the Prince William County Department of Economic Development The Prince William County Department of Economic Development offers services to support and promote existing business expansion and attract new businesses to PWC. For more information, the Department of Economic Development can be reached via email at econdev@pwcgov.org, via phone at 703-792-5500, or via fax at 703-792-5502.

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Spotlight

There are a number of biocides used in oil and gas operations today. In order to design an effective microbial control program, it is important to understand what their strengths and weaknesses are.

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