In the Ohio River Valley, with the pandemic’s help, the petrochemical boom is on hold

Stateimpact | September 21, 2020

At a marina in Moundsville, West Virginia, Dan Williamson looked out across the Ohio River at a quiet stretch of land on the other side. “There’s a little activity going on,” said Williamson, a spokesman for PTT — an oil and gas company based in Thailand that wants to build an ethane cracker on the far side of the river, in Dilles Bottom, Ohio. “But really we’re kind of in between phases right now.” The plant would turn the region’s plentiful natural gas into plastics. It’s taken years to develop, and a final decision on whether the company would build the plant was due this summer. But then came the pandemic. “It just kind of changed the game for all industries, including this one. And so they have had to put off their announcement of a decision,” Williamson said.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

HONEYWELL COLLABORATES WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN FOR INNOVATIVE CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE TECHNOLOGY

Honeywell | December 16, 2021

Honeywell announced an agreement with The University of Texas at Austin that will enable the lower-cost capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and heavy industry1. Honeywell will leverage UT Austin's proprietary advanced solvent technology to create a new offering targeted at power, steel, cement and other industrial plants to lower emissions generated from combustion flue gases in new or existing units. The solution provides these sectors with an additional tool to help meet regulatory requirements and sustainability goals. Honeywell has committed to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035. This new carbon capture technology builds on the company's track record of sharply reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of its operations and facilities as well as its decades-long history of innovation to help its customers meet their environmental and social goals. About half of Honeywell's new product introduction research and development investment is directed toward products that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers. The licensing arrangement with UT Austin expands Honeywell's leading carbon capture technology portfolio. Today, 15 million tons per year of CO2 is being captured and used in storage/utilization applications through Honeywell's CO2 Solutions process expertise. Honeywell currently has the capacity to capture 40 million tons per year through its installed projects worldwide2. UT Austin's patented solution utilizes an advanced solvent, which enables carbon dioxide to be captured at a lower cost through greater efficiency using smaller equipment, creating viable project economics today under current CO2 policy frameworks in North America and Europe. 1,3 For a typical power plant, applying advanced solvent carbon-capture technology would enable the capture of about 3.4 million tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing nearly 735,000 cars from the road each year.4 This point source CO2 removal technology can be retrofitted within existing plants or included as part of a new installation. In this process, carbon dioxide is absorbed into an amine solvent and then sent to a stripper where CO2 is separated from the solvent. This CO2 is then compressed for geological sequestration or used for other purposes. With thousands of power and industrial plants around the world, the opportunity for significant emissions reduction is enormous. "As the world proactively seeks technology solutions that limit greenhouse gas emissions, we recognize that carbon capture technology is an important lever available today to reduce emissions in carbon-intensive industries that have few alternative options, such as steel plants and fossil fuel power plants. By working with UT Austin, our advanced solvent carbon capture system will enable lower cost of CO2 captured post-combustion.1 Ben Owens, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions "UT Austin is a leader in carbon capture research, focusing in this area for more than 20 years through its Texas Carbon Management Program. Gary Rochelle, professor at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and leader of TxCMP at UT Austin, and his team have established an efficient, second-generation amine scrubbing system through years of research and analysis. The improved performance from this solution can unlock project economics for "hard to abate" industries such as steel, cement, and chemical plants, and coal, natural gas and bio-energy power plants. "We are thrilled that our decades of research has led to carbon capture technology that can significantly reduce carbon emissions.5 The licensing agreement with Honeywell enables us to commercially scale this in ways that can make major contributions toward zero emissions efforts to address global warming and to reduce pollutants in surrounding communities," Rochelle said. In 2020, carbon capture, utilization and storage projects worldwide were capturing and storing/using 40 million metric tons per year of carbon dioxide, according to the International Energy Agency. 6 In order to align with the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario, which demonstrates a pathway to limit global temperature rise by less than 1.65º C, CCUS project capacity must increase more than 20 times to enable capture of 840 million metric tons per year of CO2 by 2030.7 Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. The University of Texas at Austin collaborates with a diverse array of partners — including entrepreneurs, investors, technology incubators, and large enterprises — to bring campus innovations to the market to improve lives. UT Austin research generates more than 150 new technologies each year, providing abundant and varied opportunities for industry collaboration. Read the latest research news or learn more about technologies available for partnering.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Charter Next Generation Invests in Marine Plastic Pollution Clean-Up Efforts

Charter Next Generation, Inc. | May 30, 2022

2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste are generated in the Philippines each year with about 20 percent ending up in the ocean. An estimated 163 million pieces of single-use plastics known as multilayer sachets are consumed daily in the Philippines. Thanks to the generous new investment provided by Charter Next Generation, PLAF will continue to take on the challenge of collecting and recycling 100 tons per year of ocean-bound plastic waste over the next three years in the Philippines, resulting in the removal of over 300 tons of waste. This plastic waste consists of mostly flexible plastics and single-use multilayered plastic packaging which are considered the most difficult to recycle and have little to no value. Over the course of the three-year project, PLAF will gather sachets and other plastic waste from their various collection points throughout Metro Manila, focusing heavily on residential communities. The waste collected by PLAF will be recycled into eco-boards which can then be used for home and office construction, as well as furniture manufacturing. As a result of CNG's sponsorship, seven new factory jobs will be created for the duration of the 3-year project, as well as the construction of a new recycled material sorting area, that will include a sorting shed and various sorting lines that will serve as an upgrade to PLAF's current working conditions for local factory employees. Tackling marine plastic pollution is a global responsibility, that must be addressed at the source. With over 17 billion plastics being thrown away in the ocean every year, the Philippines represents the 3rd largest plastic waste-producing country in the world, after China and Indonesia. "As a global leader in sustainability, CNG takes our commitment to reducing plastic waste around the world very seriously. We are dedicated to supporting the efforts of organizations both in the U.S. and abroad to make a positive impact on the environment around the world. We continue to invest in numerous organizations dedicated to cleaning our waterways, and we are pleased to join and support PLAF's efforts in cleaning the waters around the Philippines". Scott Hammer, CNG's Director of Corporate Sustainability About Charter Next Generation Charter Next Generation is one of North America's leading independent producers of high-performance specialty film, flexible packaging solutions, and other end-use products that impact our local communities and beyond. We are committed to a sustainability-first approach that protects families, strengthens the global community, and facilitates a greener future for generations to come. Driven by a relentlessly green mindset, each of our thirteen facilities plays a vital role in the growth and innovation that has characterized our company since its beginnings. We pride ourselves on manufacturing the ultimate packaging protection — providing a sustainable solution without any sacrifice in performance. Our custom-engineered solutions keep food fresher for longer periods of time, better protect products from spoilage, and use cleaner manufacturing processes and recycled source materials to maintain the lowest carbon footprint of any major packaging supplier. Our unparalleled devotion to the environment also ensures our films allow for recyclability, compostability, and the use of post-consumer resin. As the leading producer of sustainable specialty film and flexible packaging solutions, we are dedicated to continuously working towards a more innovative and cleaner tomorrow, and actively facilitating a low-waste circular economy. About the Plastic Flamingo The Plastic Flamingo is a social enterprise that aims to tackle marine plastic pollution in the Philippines. With over 200 collection point partners, 16 public drop-off points for plastic waste, countless webinars that raise awareness and promote recycling efforts, and the successful production of eco-lumber, eco-boards, and pellets - The PLAF maximizes its social impact in a concerted effort to become a part of the solution and not the pollution. The PLAF is actively involved in each step of the recycling process, from collecting, sorting, and shredding to recycling and turning waste into new, durable products. Apart from this, The PLAF ensures that while addressing the plastic crisis, they are also addressing other key sustainable development goals – like giving opportunities and empowerment to women in the workplace, providing jobs to low-income families, and promoting equal pay. These principles have become deeply rooted in PLAF's organizational values.

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RISK AND COMPLIANCE

Umicore and Idemitsu to jointly develop high-performance solid-state battery materials

Umicore | June 23, 2022

Umicore and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd have agreed to jointly develop high-performance catholyte materials for solid-state batteries, combining their respective expertise in cathode active materials and solid electrolytes, and aiming to provide the technological breakthrough to extend the driving range and thereby propel e-mobility. Umicore brings its world-leading expertise in a variety of cathode active materials for lithium-ion batteries, while Idemitsu Kosan brings its know-how in solid electrolytes as a key material for all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries. Umicore has been working on solid-state CAM chemistries since 2017 and holds multiple key patents in this technology field. Idemitsu Kosan has an established method for manufacturing high-purity lithium sulfide, which it developed in its petrochemical business, and holds many patents for sulfide solid electrolytes that use lithium sulfide as their raw material. “Umicore laid its foundations in battery materials almost 30 years ago and thanks to our own research and strong global open innovation footprint, we are at the forefront of various lithium-ion battery technologies that help decarbonize transport. Our partnership with Idemitsu enhances our innovation and technology leadership to support our customers in their clean mobility transformation through solid-state battery power,” Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore “Based on more than 20 years of experience, Idemitsu has developed the technology of sulfide solid electrolytes and holds many patents related to sulfide solid electrolytes. Solid electrolytes will contribute as a key material for the “electrified society”, through ASSB. The joint development between Umicore and Idemitsu will play an important role in the acceleration of activities in this field,” said Hajime Nakamoto, Managing Executive officer of Idemitsu. Catholytes combine cathode active materials and solid electrolytes. The more intimate contact between these two components would enable the solid-state battery to achieve better performance. Solid-state batteries are the next-generation batteries with performance improvements on several fronts. In cars, for example, their higher energy density will increase the driving range and allow for faster charging. The replacement of today’s liquid electrolyte with a solid one will enhance the safety and lifespan of batteries, reduce their size, weight and ultimately, cost. Umicore profile Umicore is the circular materials technology company. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life. Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life. Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated revenues and employed 11,050 people in 2021. Idemitsu profile Idemitsu is one of Japan’s leading producers and suppliers of energy and materials. Our global operations, spanning 67 business bases across 20 countries and regions outside of Japan, encompass Petroleum, Basic Chemicals, Functional Materials, Power & Renewable Energy, and Resources.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

EY joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste, enhancing measurement through deep cross-sector experience

EY | April 28, 2022

The EY organization has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, alongside more than 90 companies, project collaborators, allies and supporters who are committed to ending plastic waste in the environment. EY experience across chemicals, manufacturing, supply chain and finance, will help the Alliance develop more effective environmental, social and governance (ESG) measurement criteria for its work on the ground, which will help the Alliance to catalyze funding for Alliance-led projects. Clear and consistent metrics will form the foundation of sustainable, commercially viable business models that can be scaled for greater impact. Along with its global network of members and partners, the Alliance has built a portfolio of over 35 ongoing projects in 29 countries to support the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The focus is on testing and accelerating solutions to improve the collection, sorting, processing, and recycling of plastic waste – because three billion people worldwide still do not have access to proper waste management services. EY work will contribute to developing innovative and self-sustaining infrastructure systems that can be owned and operated by the communities they benefit. Dr.-Ing. Frank Jenner, EY Global Chemicals & Advanced Materials Leader, says: "Ending plastic waste is a towering ambition that requires action across all segments of society. I believe that through innovation and collaboration with the Alliance community, lasting change can be achieved. One of the key next steps is going to be unlocking the necessary investment in circular, innovative, and viable solutions already adopted by the Alliance. If the right metrics are in place and project performance is consistently measured, it is possible to prove that success can be replicated, thereby attracting greater investment and accelerating progress toward ending plastic waste for good." Steve Varley, EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability, says: "Collective action is critical for tackling plastic waste, and EY people are well placed to help drive progress on this complex issue. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste is an important cross-industry group dedicated to real change and I'm proud that EY is joining this initiative to help scale truly innovative solutions that protect the planet." Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste "We are honored to work with world-class organizations like EY to develop solutions that help end plastic waste in the environment. Our growing network reaffirms the importance of collective action to address this complex challenge on multiple fronts, while keeping our eye on the goal of achieving full circularity, augmented by practical measures in the interim. We look forward to working closely with EY to accelerate scalable solutions that are economically self-sustaining." About EY EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

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The Chemical Business Simulator is a suite of business simulation games, which enhance the chemical engineering curriculum by requiring application of both engineering and financial principles to define successful commercial chemical processes.

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