PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES, MARKET OUTLOOK

Sinopec Uncovers High-Yielding Shale Gas Reserve in Sichuan Basin

SINOPEC | November 28, 2022 | Read time : 02:00 min

Sinopec Uncovers
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation's has announced that the first phase of the Qijiang shale gas field has uncovered a major discovery in Sichuan Basin with a proven geological reserve of 145.968 billion cubic meters. The discovery, delivered by Sinopec Exploration Company and Sinopec Southwest Oil & Gas Company, is a major breakthrough in Sinopec's "Project Deep Earth – Natural Gas Base in Sichuan and Chongqing."

The Qijiang shale gas field is the first shale gas field discovered in medium-deep and deep strata in a complex tectonic zone on the margin of the basin. Shale gas buried at the depth of over 3,500 meters is defined as deep shale, and the burial depth of Qijiang's shale formations ranges from 1,900 to 4,500 meters, with the majority being deep shale. With complex overlying strata, the project faced great challenges such as a significantly greater depth and variable ground stress.

To tackle the question of how a shale gas reservoir was formed in the basin margin with such complex surface and underground conditions, Sinopec's team conducted more than 10,000 lab analysis tests on the core at the depth of 1,320 meters. This revealed the development and maintenance mechanism of deep shelf shale pores and identified the deep shale can develop vast reservoirs with high porosity, and also revealed the "sweet spots" of projecting the deep shale targets.

The team collected high-precision 3D seismic data of deep shale gas covering an area of 3,662 square kilometers in the complex zone of the southeastern margin of the Sichuan Basin as well as drilling data of existing wells in southern Sichuan. After repeated discussion and screening, Sinopec has innovated a deep shale gas seismic prediction technology with pressure coefficient and gas content, fracture prediction and horizontal ground stress difference as the core – the equivalent of performing a CT scan of the strata to achieve the breakthrough in predicting the "sweet spots" of deep shale gas.

Sinopec also developed a three-dimensional fracturing technology with "precision cutting, pressurization and expansion, balanced expansion and guaranteed filling" for deep shale, which has improved the daily shale gas production of a single well to break the 300,000, 400,000 and 500,000 cubic meters marks in succession.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT, SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Braskem Joins Greentown Labs as a Gigawatt Partner

Braskem | December 01, 2022

Braskem the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, as well as a market leader and pioneer producer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, today announced it has joined Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, as a Gigawatt Partner. Making the announcement, Jake Harrison, Open Innovation Specialist, Braskem America, stated, "We are truly delighted to join the Greentown Labs partner ecosystem to expand our opportunity to engage and collaborate with emerging startups building solutions in the materials, chemicals, recycling, and energy arenas. This like-minded community shares our commitment to a more sustainable future and discovering innovative solutions that support our vision for a low-carbon circular economy. As a new Gigawatt Partner, Braskem will connect with a dedicated community of entrepreneurs and utilize our strength and expertise to bring essential technologies to more sustainable materials and chemicals markets." Greentown Labs offers more than 200 startups in Boston, MA, Houston, TX, and globally the expertise, resources, and support they need to change the world. Whether that involves introductions to strategic partners or high-end equipment or the community itself, less than a decade after its founding Greentown has buoyed hundreds of cutting-edge startups that are tackling climate change head-on. "The climate crisis urgently demands sweeping climatetech deployment across all sectors of the economy. While startups bring innovative solutions, partnering with corporations such as Braskem creates pathways to accelerate commercialization and scale. Braskem is uniquely positioned to help decarbonize the plastics sector and move us toward a truly circular economy, and we are proud to have them join our network of corporate partners. We look forward to seeing many fruitful engagements between their industry experts and our entrepreneurs." Greentown Labs CEO Dr. Emily Reichert Braskem's goal is to be a global leader in sustainable development in the petrochemical industry. As a Greentown Labs Gigawatt Partner, Braskem will participate alongside industry and sector peers in fostering new technologies that are aligned with its sustainability targets. Additionally, Braskem will participate in innovation days, forums, and other Greentown ecosystem events. From promoting plastic circularity to driving the bio-based materials revolution, Braskem is committed to diminishing the dependency on finite resources and reducing carbon emissions while generating a positive impact for a better society. Braskem has clearly stated targets for growing the company's recycled content product portfolio to sales of 300,000 tons by 2025 and 1 million tons by 2030. Braskem's transition to a circular economy is deeply rooted in mechanical and advanced recycling solutions. By engaging and investing in partnership with other value-chain players, the company is strengthening mechanical and advanced recycling, overcoming barriers, and ensuring the increased production of high-quality recycled material. All these initiatives are aligned with Braskem's feedstock diversification strategy and its macro goals of expanding the circular economy concept in the plastics chain and becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2050. ABOUT GREENTOWN LABS Greentown Labs is a community of climate action pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With incubators in Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas, Greentown Labs is home to more than 200 startups and has supported more than 500 since the incubator's founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 9,000 jobs and have raised more than $4 billion in funding. ABOUT BRASKEM With a global vision of the future oriented toward people and sustainability, Braskem is committed to contributing to the value chain for strengthening the Circular Economy. The petrochemical company's almost 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improve people's lives through sustainable chemicals and plastics solutions. Braskem has an innovative DNA and a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse segments, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, healthcare, and hygiene, among others. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and Germany, and exports its products to clients in more than 70 countries.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT, MARKET OUTLOOK

Inexpensive Catalysts and Syzygy Plasmonics Photoreactors Open the Door for Broader Hydrogen Adoption

Syzygy Plasmonics | December 07, 2022

Scientists from Syzygy Plasmonics have engineered a new kind of reactor designed to work with earth-abundant, light-activated catalysts created by a joint team from Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Syzygy Plasmonics, and Princeton University's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. The reactors use light instead of heat from combustion to power chemical reactions and can produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel from ammonia. Members from the photocatalyst development team include Syzygy co-founders and Rice professors Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander, Syzygy co-founder and CTO Suman Khatiwada, and Syzygy Lead Scientist Hossein Robatjazi. All four contributed to a recent publication in the highly prestigious journal of Science detailing the effectiveness of iron-based, earth-abundant photocatalysts. As reported by Rice, the inexpensive copper-iron catalysts tested in their labs maintained efficiency at a scale 500 times larger when tested in a Syzygy photoreactor. "Photon-driven chemistry represents a new frontier that is changing chemical engineering and manufacturing. It is still in its infancy. Which is why we had to build an entirely new kind of reactor to bridge the gap between research and commercialization. With the recent closing of our Series-C fundraise, we are taking Syzygy reactors to market to produce zero-emissions hydrogen from ammonia." Suman Khatiwada Some energy importing countries face serious challenges in achieving decarbonization goals. Rather than continuing to import liquid natural gas that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, some are considering transitioning to green ammonia. In liquid form, ammonia is a carbon-free molecule that is more easily compressed, transported, and stored than hydrogen. Upon arrival at port or inland locations, the ammonia can be converted to hydrogen as a clean fuel source. Traditional ammonia cracking requires combustion of fossil fuel or ammonia itself to heat a massive chamber to power the reaction. This is a long, slow, inefficient process that releases greenhouse gases when fossil combustion is used. Adding to the environmental impact, many effective ammonia cracking thermocatalysts currently use rare metals like ruthenium. Syzygy ammonia-splitting reactors use high-efficiency LED light to replace combustion. Not only does this dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but low-temperature, low-pressure reactions enable the reactors to be built of inexpensive materials like aluminum and glass. Shifting to widely available, affordable catalyst materials reduces dependency on rare metals and acts to further reduce costs. Combining Syzygy reactors and inexpensive catalysts has the potential to reduce production costs of lower-carbon hydrogen to the point where importing ammonia as an energy carrier is a competitive option. "The work we are doing at Rice and Syzygy combines leading research efforts, technology breakthroughs, and advanced engineering," said Hossein Robatjazi. "The thought of using earth-abundant catalysts with inexpensive, all-electric reactors wasn't even a concept a decade ago. With commercialization agreements already in place, we are accelerating our efforts to help decarbonize the chemical industry. And we're starting with low-carbon-intensity hydrogen." ABOUT SYZYGY PLASMONICS Syzygy Plasmonics is a deep-decarbonization company. It builds reactors that use light instead of heat to electrify chemical manufacturing and power a cleaner, safer world. Utilizing technology licensed from Rice University and advanced engineering, Syzygy is commercializing a universal photocatalytic reactor platform. When powered with renewable electricity, this tunable technology reduces both cost and emissions from many different chemical reactions.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT, SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Technip Energies Awarded a Proprietary Equipment Contract by Chevron Phillips Chemical and QatarEnergy for the Golden Triangle Polymers Ethane Cracker

Technip Energies | December 22, 2022

Technip Energies has been awarded a contract for the supply of proprietary cracking furnaces for the 2,000 kta(2) ethane cracker for the Golden Triangle Polymers project, a joint venture between Chevron Phillips Chemicaland QatarEnergy, along the Gulf Coast in Orange, Texas. This latest award is in line with our early engagement strategy with CPChem and QatarEnergy, which resulted in the selection of our proprietary ethylene technology and includes the successful completion of the ethylene license and Process Design Package (PDP). The modularized cracking furnaces will feature seven of the largest capacity furnaces that Technip Energies has ever designed. The cracker is designed using modern emissions reduction technology and processes that result in lower greenhouse gas emissions than similar facilities in the United States and Europe. “We are very pleased that CPChem and QatarEnergy selected our cracker technology and design for this mega-cracker project. Utilizing our extensive experience with ethylene cracker design and our latest advancements to reduce emissions will contribute to their efforts to help enable a lower carbon future. We thank CPChem for its continued confidence in T.EN’s cracking technology, having previously incorporated the technology at other facilities.” Bhaskar Patel, SVP Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Circularity of Technip Energies About Technip Energies Technip Energies is a leading Engineering & Technology company for the energy transition, with leadership positions in Liquefied Natural Gas hydrogen and ethylene as well as growing market positions in blue and green hydrogen, sustainable chemistry and CO2 management. The company benefits from its robust project delivery model supported by extensive technology, products and services offering.

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SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

BASF and StePac partner to develop sustainable packaging for shelf-life extension of fresh produce

StePac; BASF | December 15, 2022

BASF SE and StePac Ltd. have joined forces to create the next generation of sustainable packaging specifically for the fresh produce sector. Supplying StePac with its Ultramid® Ccycled™, a chemically recycled polyamide 6, BASF will provide its partner greater flexibility to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard within the circular economy. StePac, specialized in developing advanced functional packaging solutions, is pioneering the use of chemically recycled plastics for the packaging of fresh perishables. The company was recently REDcert2 certified to incorporate chemically recycled polyamide 6 into its flexible, modified atmosphere packaging products. Their two brands Xgo™ and Xtend® are based on MAP technology with built-in humidity control which effectively slows respiration inside the packaging, delays the ageing processes, inhibits microbial decay, and preserves the quality and nutritional value of the produce during prolonged storage and long-haul shipments. Ultramid Ccycled will make up 30% of the packaging material, with options for integration at a higher percentage. "This alliance will help strike a balance between creating plastic packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible to keep fresh produce longer through more prudent use of lean plastic films. These upgraded packaging formats will continue to maintain their role of significantly reducing food waste, a most important task considering that global food waste is responsible for about 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions." Gary Ward, Business Development Manager of StePac With ChemCycling™, BASF has been breaking new ground in the recycling of plastic waste. Chemical recycling primarily involves plastic waste that would have been used for energy recovery or landfilled. It complements mechanical recycling, accelerating a circular economy by yielding food-grade recycled plastic. "In a thermochemical process, our partners obtain recycled feedstock from these end-of-life plastics, which is then fed into the BASF Verbund. Using a mass balance approach, the raw material can be attributed to specific products, such as Ultramid Ccycled", explained Dr. Dominik Winter, Vice President of BASF's European polyamides business. "This helps to replace fossil raw materials and is an important step towards circularity. As chemically recycled plastics have the same quality and safety as virgin material, the scope of plastics that can be recycled for fresh produce packaging is widened." Colombian passion fruit exporters Jardin Exotics, S.A.S. will be the first to use the new packaging brand Xgo™ Circular™. Supplied as film for horizontal form fill-and-seal, the packaging's MAP properties will slow the ripening process and preserve the quality of the fruit during the long sea voyage from Colombia to Europe. Packing at-source in the final retail packaging format also eliminates the need for repacking after arrival. For passion fruit, the combination of the produce specific modified atmosphere properties of the film together with its high-water vapor transmission rate are what makes this film unique in its performance. About BASF At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. About StePac StePac specializes in functional packaging for fresh produce. Its globally recognized brands include Xtend®, Xgo™, Xflow™ and Xbloom™ modified atmosphere / modified-humidity packaging solutions. These solutions reduce weight loss, slow respiration and aging, and inhibit microbial decay, while prolonging storability and shelf life. They are supported by a wealth of post-harvest expertise for enhanced performance and sustainability.

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