PRA Magazine December Issue

Page 1

AS l A’S LEAD l NG m AGA z l NE for th E p LAS t l c S AND rubb E r l ND u S try DIGITAL


Hymans is conducting a sale process on behalf of the property owner to clear all plant & equipment of the former Toyo Tyres manufacturing site located in Sydney, Australia. The sale will be conducted via private treaty. Serious offers for the assets to be sold in one line or for major sections of the plant will be considered.


3 x mixing lines & heavy duty mixing mills

Oil tank farm & storage

150mm extruder with cooling & cutter line

Calender lines

90mm extruder line

O-ring joining presses

Autoclave with boilers & steam generator


Air compressors Overhead cranes CNC machines Lathes & milling machines Chemical weigh stations Laboratory equipment Plus much, much more

137-149 Airds Rd, Minto NSW 2566, Australia

13.5% Buyers Premium + GST will apply to all lots sold. Hammer Price is exclusive of GST & Buyer’s Premium. Some lots may be subject to redemption. Payment by Cash, Bank Transfer/EFT, Mastercard, Visa & EFTPOS.
OFFERS OPEN Now OFFERS CLOSE 31st January 2023 For more information,
please visit – or email

7 Materials News – ExxonMobil and Scientex have commercialised the use of certified circular polymers in Asia Pacific

8 Materials News – More hard-headed solutions to eliminate plastic waste from the environment are needed, especially when recycling is not considered a real solution, according to Greenpeace

11 Sustainability – Collaborations are rife in the industry for sustainable solutions: Midea, GER and Ineos Styrolution create appliance from ABS Eco grades; TotalEnergies, W&H and Mitsubishi Chemical develop recyclable PE packaging; Sabic and Cabka collaborate on transport packaging solutions; SML/ Braskem work on PCR resin stretch film

14 Recycling – The tie-up between Coperion and machine manufacturer Herbold Meckesheim, allows Coperion to provide complete systems for industrialscale plastics recycling

16 Corporate Profile – Russian carbon black maker Omsk Carbon Group has grown into a dependable partner for the world's leading tyre, mechanical rubber goods (MRGs) and plastics manufacturers. Timofey Kucherenko, Executive Director, Commercial, speaks to PRA about the company

18 Country – Focus Asia’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) offers a bountiful of opportunities for the plastics/rubber and petrochemicals sectors, giving Asia's advanced and emerging markets a muchneeded economic boost

20 Masterbatches/Additives – With new additives and masterbatches, plastics are becoming more sustainable as a result of improvements in recyclability and durability


Arthur Schavemaker

Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:

Associate publisher/executive editor

Tej Fernandez

Tel: +6017 884 9102

Email: senior editor

Angelica Buan Email: circulation Stephanie Yuen Email: permits

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In this issue
Volume 37, No 266 publlshed slNce 1985
Regulars 2 Industry News supplements th LAS t S AND rubb E ND S try DIGITAL rubb Against the back of recycling challenges, plastics circularity has become an even more important agenda with solutions such as lowering of carbon and energy footprints; and biodegrading plastics via uV On the Cover Connect @
Recycling: Devulcanising crumb rubber from scrapped tyres to mould new products presents a solution to the growing issue of waste tyres and a way to a real circular economy for thermoset rubbers Sustainable carbon black made from renewable feedstock is becoming more in demand
Automotive: Collaborations in the sector are being pumped up for a circular economy Foaming Technology: Machine makers like Wittmann Battenfeld, Engel and materials suppliers like Borealis have upped the game in foaming technology 1 DECEMBER 2022


• Japan’s Teijin Limited , JGC Holdings Corporation and Itochu Corporation are to establish a joint venture company, RePEaT Co. to license technology for the chemical recycling of polyester products. Teijin will own 45%, JGC Holdings: 45% and Itochu: 10%.

• US materials firm DuPont has terminated the previously announced agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Rogers Corporation , as the companies have been unable to obtain timely clearance from all the required regulators. DuPont said it had all the country approvals that it needed except for one from the Chinese government. DuPont is paying Rogers a termination fee of $162.5 million in accordance with the agreement.

• With the sale of its TAA derivatives business to Italian chemical company Sabo, Germany’s Evonik says it is taking the next step in focusing

its portfolio on specialty chemicals.

• US materials firm Ascend Performance Materials has purchased a majority stake in California-based Circular Polymers , a recycler of polymers including PA6 and 66, PP and PET. The deal provides Ascend with a consistent supply of PCR materials for its ReDefyne sustainable PAs launched at K2022.

• Packaging company Walki Group is to acquire 100% of shares in flexo printing firm Folian GmbH

In 2021, Folian generated sales of EUR27 million. Employing some 94 employees, it is located in Stralsund, Germany.

• Swedish materials firm Hexpol is to acquire 100% of shares in McCann Plastics from the McCann family. The company specialises in niche thermoplastic compounds, with special focus on roto moulding applications. The acquisition price amounts to US$120 million on a cash and debt free basis

and is funded by a combination of cash and existing bank facilities.

• US investment firm KKR has completed the previously announced sale of Minnesota Rubber and Plastics ( MRP ), a provider of materials sciencebased elastomer and thermoplastic solutions, to Swedish polymer firm Trelleborg Group .

• Czech-based oil firm Orlen Unipetrol , owned by a Polish oil company PKN Orlen is expanding into the segment of mechanical recycling by acquiring Remaq , which operates in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

• Integrated chemicals firm Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad ( PCG ) has completed the acquisition of Swedish chemical firm Perstorp , from Financière Forêt , a company under European private equity firm PAI Partners .

• Swiss trader of petrochemicals and oil products, and producer of renewable fuels Kolmar Group is investing in Synpet Technologies

(Brussels, Belgium), a company with proprietary technology to manufacture circular naphtha, a circular feed for steam crackers.

• German PMMA specialist Röhm , which was bought by private equity firm Advent International from Evonik in 2019, is acquiring the Functional Forms business of Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), subject to customary consultation, with the transaction expected to close in the first half of 2024. Röhm will add PC sheets and films to its existing range of PMMA sheets and films, further expanding its position for its customers across a wide range of applications.

• Japanese chemical firm Asahi Kasei is investing in Circularise B.V. , a start-up company in the Netherlands that provides digital product passports and mass balance bookkeeping software, together with Brightlands Venture Partners , 4impact capital , and Neste

Industry n ews 2 DECEMBER 2022

Plant Expansions/Openings/Set-ups

• LyondellBasell Industries and Indian scrap recycler Shakti Plastic Industries are building a mechanical recycling plant in India by 2024. It will process rigid packaging postconsumer waste and produce 50,000 tonnes/year of recycled PE and PP, equivalent to the single-use plastic waste produced by 12.5 million citizens.

• South Korean PP producer SK Geo Centric (SKGC) has tied up with PureCycle Technologies to operate the first PP recycling plant

in Asia, in Ulsan, South Korea, with a capacity of up to 60,000 tonnes/year. The plant is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2025.

• Packaging firm Alpla Group and Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical are opening the Envicco joint venture recycling plant in Thailand, with a production capacity of 45,000 tonnes/ year of recycled PET (30,000 tonnes) and HDPE (15,000 tonnes), said to be one of the largest recycling plants for these plastics in Asia.

• Swiss chemical firm Clariant will add a second production line at its new CHF60 million facility for Exolit OP halogenfree flame retardants (FRs) currently under construction in Daya Bay, China. This additional CHF40 million investment will further expand access to FR solutions for applications in e-mobility and electrical & electronic segments.

• Synova, Sabic Global Technologies, an affiliate of Sabic, and Technip Energies are to develop a commercial plant

to produce olefins and aromatics from plastic waste. The plant will use a combined technology developed by Synova and Technip and will be integrated with one of Sabic’s steam crackers.

Sabic’s affiliate Sabic Ventures US Holdings has become an investor in Synova.

• Polyolefin catalyst technology provider

WR Grace & Co.’s Unipol PP technology will be used by PT Kilang Pertamina International’s 600 kilotonnes/year plant, which is part of the Trans-Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI) olefin

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Industry n ews

complex project in Indonesia.

• Japan’s Toyo Ink SC Holdings, the parent company of the Tokyo-based specialty materials manufacturer Toyo Ink Group, plans to double the laminating adhesives production capacity from the current level at its Malaysia-based subsidiary Toyochem Specialty Chemical. Full operation is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2023.

• The world's third-largest flexible packaging manufacturer Constantia Flexibles is investing EUR80 million to expand its Teich facility in Austria. The key elements are a new rolling mill and another lacquering line, allowing the group to capture growth opportunities in the aluminium market.

• Ineos O&P Europe is investing EUR30 million in the conversion of its plant in Lillo, at the Port of Antwerp, to enable its existing capacity to produce either monomodal or bi-modal grades of HDPE.

• Cyclyx International, ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell are to build a US$100 million plastic waste sorting and

processing facility in Houston, US, area, with commercial start-up in 2024. The facility will be able to produce 150,000 tonnes/year of feedstock, supplying ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell recycling projects as well as mechanical recycling markets.

• CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company Limited (CSPC), a 50:50 joint venture incorporated by CNOOC and Shell Nanhai, will use LyondellBasell’s Spherizone process for a 500,000-tonne/ year PP line in Guangdong, China.

Stavian Quang Yen Petrochemical has selected LyondellBasell’s Spheripol process for a world-scale production facility in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. The facility will include a 600,000tonne/year PP plant.

• Austrian chemical firm Borealis is designing a commercial-scale 60,000 tonnes/year mechanical recycling plant in Schwechat, Austria, by 2025, based on Borealis’ own Borcycle M technology. The decision was based on positive feedback from the market on recycled polyolefins delivered by a demo plant based on the same technology in Lahnstein, Germany,

and operated by Borealis, Tomra and Zimmerman.

• MMA manufacturer Röhm and OQ Chemicals have broken ground on a new world-scale MMA plant at OQ’s production site at Bay City, Texas. Once completed in early 2024, the new plant will produce 250,000 tonnes/year of MMA.

• Japan’s Teijin Frontier Co.’s polyester fibre manufacturing arm Teijin Polyester (Thailand) has launched an automated facility in Thailand for the production of polyester filaments. The facility is expected to produce 1,500 tonnes/year of polyester filaments by 2024.

• Spain’s GCR Group is to open a new recycling plant in Barcelona, Spain, enhancing the group’s capability to serve increased global demand for its range of recycled polyolefins (R-polyolefins). The 200,000 tonneplant will be fully operational in 2025.

• Materials firm Arkema has boosted its previously announced global Pebax elastomer capacity expansion at its Serquigny, France site, from +25% to +40% in two separate

phases, firstly in Q1 2023 by raising global capacity by 15%, the additional 25% starting in Q3 2023.

• Additives firm SI Group will add manufacturing capabilities and capacity to begin producing Ethanox 4757 aminic antioxidant at its Rasal, India facility.

• German materials firm Covestro has broken ground in Antwerp, Belgium, for a EUR300 million new world-scale production facility for the manufacture of aniline. The plant is scheduled to be operational in early 2025.

• Materials firm BASF has broken ground on its new Polyurethane Application Development Laboratory in Mumbai, India. The 2,000 sq m lab will be inaugurated in 2024.

BASF’s surface treatment global business unit, operating under the Chemetall brand, has opened its first regional innovation and technology centre for applied surface treatment technology in Shanghai, China. The 2,600 sq m centre will focus on developing advanced surface treatment solutions and product innovations for Asia.


• Ingevity Corporation has launched new Capa polyols production and produced the first commercial quantities of its caprolactone polyols at its facility in Louisiana, US, increasing its global capacity for producing polyols by 40%.

• South Korea’s Kolon Industries Inc. has completed the expansion of its tyre cord production plant in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam. It has increased by 19,200 tonnes/year capacity of PET tyre cord production from 84,000 tonnes to a total of 103,200 tonnes.

• Japan’s Kaneka Corporation is to increase production capacity for acrylic film resin used in LCD TVs by around 40% at its Osaka plant.

• Lummus Technology, a provider of process technologies, has licensed its Novolen PP technology to Lihuayi Weiyuan Chemical’s new unit in Shandong Province, China.

The new mixed feed cracker will produce 750,000 tonnes/year of ethylene, 500,000 tonnes/year of PE and 410,000 tonnes/year of propylene, among others.

• Saudi Aramco, through its S-Oil affiliate, is making its biggest investment in South Korea to develop one of the world’s largest refinery-integrated petrochemical steam crackers. Located at S-Oil’s existing site in Ulsan, the US$7 billion plant will have the capacity to produce up to 3.2 million tonnes/year of petrochemicals. The project is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.

• Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and QatarEnergy are proceeding with the construction of a US$8.5 billion integrated polymers facility in Texas, US. Chevron Phillips owns a 51% equity share in the joint venture and QatarEnergy owns 49%. Once operational, the plant will produce Marlex PE.

• UK companies Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe and Plastic Energy, are tying up to produce 100,000 tonnes/ year of recycled raw materials from plastic waste in Köln, Germany. This will be the largest use of Plastic Energy technology on the market.

• Shell Chemical Appalachia has commenced operations of its Pennsylvania Chemical project, Shell Polymers Monaca (SPM), the first PE manufacturing complex in Northeastern US with an output of 1.6 million tonnes/year.

• Indonesia’s PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional (PT-KPI) has selected Univation Technology's Unipol PE Process for two reactor lines located at PT-KPI's Tuban Complex, East Java, Indonesia. Each reactor line is designed to achieve nameplate capacities of 350,000 tonnes/ year for a combined PE production capacity of 700,000 tonnes/year.

Czech Republic to expand the Airlite automotive interior sound acoustic insulation business in Europe. It has a production capacity of 1,200 tonnes/year. Another subsidiary, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe, a European carbon fibre producer, is to invest EUR100 million to build a new production line at its plant in South West France.

• Japanese chemical firm Polyplastics has broken ground on a production facility in Leuna, Germany, for cyclic olefin copolymers (COC) to be run by local subsidiary Topas Advanced Polymers The EUR200 million plant is expected to come onstream in the third quarter of 2024 with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year.

• South Korean refiner GS Caltex Corp., a 50:50 joint venture between GS Energy and Chevron Corp, has completed the construction of a new olefin cracking facility in Yeosu.

• Austrian oil/gas firm OMV will build a chemical recycling demo plant, based on its proprietary ReOil technology, at its Schwechat refinery, planned for 2026.

• Japan’s Toray Industries’s subsidiaries Toray Textiles Central Europe and Toray Advanced Materials Korea have set up new facilities in the

• Thailand’s SCG Chemicals has invested in new technologies and machinery at Sirplaste in Portugal, following the acquisition of a 70% stake in Sirplaste through SCG Chemicals Trading Singapore this year. This investment is undertaken to expand the production capacity of rHDPE by 9,000 tonnes/year. As a result, Sirplaste will have a total PCR production capacity of more than 45,000 tonnes/year by 2023.


• Belgian chemical firm Solvay is increasing its Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA) resin capacity to 15% at its Augusta manufacturing site in Georgia, US, catering to the automotive sector.

• Thai chemical maker Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has completed a plant to manufacture nylon yarn for automobile airbags. The new plant in Rayong, Thailand, was constructed by Toyobo Indorama Advanced Fibers (TIAF), a joint venture between Indorama and Toyobo. The plant will deliver 11,000 tonnes/year of yarn with commercial production to start in 2023.

IVL has also opened its PETValue bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the Philippines, in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines. Located in General Trias in Cavite Province south of Manila, it is the country’s first food-grade recycling facility, and the largest in the Philippines. IVL will recycle about 2 billion/year additional used PET bottles in the Philippines. The plant will wash and shred post-consumer

bottles into flakes to produce rPET resin suitable for use in food-contact applications.

• US technology firm Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology will be applied by Turkey’s Biotrend Energy at its recycling factory in Turkey. It is expected to have the capacity to transform 30,000 tonnes/year of mixed waste plastics.

• French petrochemical firm TotalEnergies is constructing a new production line for rPP for automotive in its polymer plant in Carling, France. With commissioning scheduled for 2024, the flexible line will produce 15,000 tonnes/year of PP compounds containing up to 100% recycled plastic materials

• German materials firm Covestro recently started up the production of NaphthylenDiisocyanate (NDI) for the Vulkollan raw material at a newly built plant in its Map Ta Phut site in Thailand. The investment was in the high mid double-digit million Euro range and is part of several investments of the company into cast PU raw materials, for example at its Spanish site near Barcelona or at its

site in Caojing near Shanghai in China

• Invista Nylon Chemicals (China) has inaugurated its new adiponitrile (ADN) plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP). Being a critical part of Invista’s integrated nylon 6,6 value chain, the US$1 billion plant has a capacity of 400,000-tonnes/year and is the largest capital project in in the company’s history. Once in full operation, the new plant can support 800,000 tonnes/ year of nylon 6,6 production.

• ExxonMobil has started up its new PP production unit at the polyolefins plant in Louisiana, US. The unit increases PP production capacity along the Gulf Coast by 450,000 tonnes/ year. ExxonMobil maintained its investments in this advantaged project through the Covid pandemic and related economic downturn. The total capital investment was more than US$500 million.

• Johnson Matthey is expanding its manufacturing facility in Perstorp, Sweden, to meet growing demand for formaldehyde. It will be operational by the

end of March 2024 and will increase the site’s capacity by approximately 50%.

• UK’s Ineos and China’s Sinopec are in a new joint venture agreement that will see Ineos acquire a 50% share in the existing Tianjin Nangang Ethylene Project from Sinopec. The project is currently building a 1.2 million-tonne ethane cracker, expected to come on-stream at the end of 2023, and downstream derivative plants in Tianjin, China. A full suite of derivative units is being built at the complex, including the 300 kilotonnes/year ABS plant and the 500 kilotonnes/ year HDPE plant announced by Ineos and Sinopec in July.

• Alpla has opened a new headquarters for Sub-Saharan Africa in Lanseria near Johannesburg, South Africa. It is merging five previous locations in South Africa under one roof and the new plant will produce bottles, closures and special packaging for the food, personal and home care, chemical, cleaning agent and pharmaceutical industries – a total of around 3.5 billion pieces/year. It will start in 2023.

Industry n ews

ExxonMobil and Scientex commercialise use of certifiedcircular polymers in Asia Pacific

ExxonMobi l has made its first commercial sale of certified-circular Exceed PE polymers in Asia Pacific to Scientex , a leading player in flexible plastic packaging with headquarters in Malaysia and plants in Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and the US. The certified-circular Exceed polymers are formulated using ExxonMobil’s proprietary Exxtend technology for advanced recycling.

Certified-circular polymers using ExxonMobil’s Exxtend were first commercialised earlier this year, with sales made in the Americas and Europe.

The delivery of certified-circular polymers in Asia Pacific is significant as, up to now, there has been mostly discussion around plastic waste collection and the development of advanced recycling facilities, with few certified-circular products actually available in the region.

This sale builds on ExxonMobil’s commitment in the region, which includes the signing of two memoranda of understanding to assess large-scale implementation of advanced recycling in both Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We are excited to be among the first to make ISCC PLUS certified-circular PE polymers available to customers in Asia Pacific,” said Chan Kwee Lin, Asia Pacific Advanced Recycling and Sustainability Market Manager for ExxonMobil.

International Sustainability and Carbon Certification PLUS (ISCC PLUS) is a widely recognised global industry standard to certify products that result from advanced recycling using mass balance attribution of plastic waste.

ExxonMobil has obtained ISCC PLUS certification for many of its facilities, including at Baytown, Texas, where

the company has processed more than 6,700 tonnes of plastic waste as of September 2022. ExxonMobil plans to build capacity to process 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste by year-end 2026 across multiple sites around the world.

“Commercialising certified-circular polymers in our region is an essential enabler to help customers and brand owners realize their sustainability goals. By offering advanced recycling solutions, ExxonMobil is making it possible for a far broader range of products to be recycled. This puts us one step closer to a world where society can better capture the value of plastics,” Chan added.

Scientex will be among the first in Asia Pacific to use certified-circular performance PE polymers to produce films for high performance flexible packaging, including food-grade packaging applications, in collaboration with brand owners and other customers.

Choo Seng Hong, Chief Operations Officer, Scientex Packaging Division, shed some light on the motivation behind their initiative: “We recognise the importance of sustainability and believe that it requires the collective effort of the value chain. We have engaged with our customers to develop sustainable plastic packaging and assisted them to achieve their sustainability goals. Incorporating certified-circular resins into our packaging solutions is one concrete way we can support a circular economy and in turn, contribute to a better tomorrow. We are honoured and excited to be part of this incredible journey!”

ExxonMobil’s Exxtend technology for advanced recycling can help widen the range of plastic materials that can be recycled, turning difficult-to-recycle plastic waste back to its original building blocks to be used to make new products, and helping to maintain the performance of material over multiple recycling loops. Product quality and performance of the certifiedcircular polymers are identical to polymers made from virgin raw materials, so customers can be confident when using them in existing applications.

Some examples of flexible packaging applications produced by Scientex

Materials News

Finding a circular way out of the plastic waste mess

Weighing in on solutions to eliminate plastic waste from the environment has come to a head, especially when recycling is not helping, says Angelica Buan in this report.

In search of an all-in solution

Think tanks and experts all over the world agree that the volume of plastic waste continues to rise despite efforts to reduce it. Plastics will continue to overwhelm the environment unless an effective solution is successfully implemented.

Based on the OECD report, Global Plastics Outlook , plastic leakage to the environment is projected to reach 44 million tonnes/year in 2060, with marine waste potentially more than doubling to 1,014 million tonnes from 353 million tonnes in 2019. The OECD predicts that the amount of plastic waste produced worldwide would nearly triple, with less than a fifth being recycled and half ending up in landfills.

Low recycling rates of less than 10% of the 7 billion tonnes of waste produced, combined with poor quality recycled plastics, have called recycling into question

Several actions have been proposed, including the imposition of plastics taxes, the incorporation of recycled plastic content into new plastic products, and the adaptation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes, in which producers and even brand owners are assigned responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products; as well as the improvement of waste management infrastructure and the increase of waste collection rates.

The circular economy puts emphasis on recycling. In recent years, advanced recycling technologies that augment mechanical recycling, the de facto recycling method, have emerged, fuelled by policies aimed at increasing recycling rates and PCR content in products. However, the low recycling rates and poor quality of recycled plastics have called into question the viability of recycling.

Consider this: the world has produced approximately 7 billion tonnes of plastic waste, with less than 10% of this being recycled. The remaining million tonnes of plastic waste are discarded into the environment or sent to locations that lack proper recycling facilities and will eventually be burned or disposed of.

In its Global Assessment of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution report, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP ) estimated an annual loss in the value of plastic packaging waste during sorting and processing to be between US$80 and US$120 billion.

In the meantime, while incineration and landfilling will continue to account for approximately 20% and 50% of disposing plastic waste, respectively, the OECD report expresses optimism that successful recycling will nearly double to 17% in 2060 from 9% in 2019.

Recycling challenges: infrastructure lacking, high energy costs

Recycling is still seen as a solution to the plastic problem by businesses and consumers. A slew of consumer goods behemoths have publicly committed to using recycled materials in more of their products and packaging.

However, there is a significant investment barrier, particularly for emerging economies that need to build an efficient recycling infrastructure from the ground up.

Rising energy prices are increasing the recycling industry's operating costs


Consultancy McKinsey had made a bold estimate. It said that building a fully functional waste management system, including roads, landfills, waste-to-energy facilities, trucks, trash points, and recycling, along with a broad profile of supporting infrastructure, could cost between US$560 billion to US$680 billion over ten years. A system of this type would aim to manage approximately 850 million tonnes of waste/year, including, but not limited to, plastic waste.

Meanwhile, rising energy prices pose additional obstacles for the recycling industry. According to Plastics Recyclers Europe , high energy prices could drive recyclers out of business, with energy now accounting for up to 70% of operational costs.

It has been reported that energy prices in Europe have increased by 400%. Plastic recycling facilities operate 24/7, which means that energy utilities are one of the three major cost factors after labour and maintenance.

For plastic recyclers, energy typically accounts for 15-20% of total operating costs. Thus, the energy crisis may jeopardise the European Union's transition to a circular economy. This undermines recent EU policy and global developments that have increased investments into Europe's plastic recycling capacity. It is suggested that the European Commission and EU member states should intervene to keep recycling operations running.

Taking conventional recycling to the next level

The race to improving recycling techniques is on. South Korea, one of the many countries that have remarkable waste management systems, is also at the helm of recycling innovations.

GE Technology , a South Korean waste management company, will license Honeywell 's UpCycle Process Technology for its planned advanced recycling facility in South Korea. The plant will be able to convert mixed waste plastics into Honeywell recycled polymer feedstock (RPF), which will then be used to create new plastics.

Production is expected to begin in 2025 and the recycling plant will be able to convert 30,000 tonnes/year of mixed waste plastic.

Meanwhile, Aduro Clean Technologies , a Canadian developer of patented water-based technologies to chemically recycle plastics and transform heavy crude and renewable oils, says it has completed construction and mechanical assembly of its pilot-scale Hydrochemolytic continuous flow plastic (R2 Plastic) reactor.

Aduro says its hydrochemolytic technology is significantly more energy efficient than established alternatives because of the relatively low operating temperatures. The R2 Plastic unit is the company’s customer engagement unit and is designed to handle various plastic feedstocks such as PE, PP and PS as single-stream materials, followed by a mixture of these feedstock streams.

In 2022, the company undertook several projects, including the construction of both the plastic upcycling and bitumen upgrading reactor units, the construction of a flash drum unit for pre-processing bitumen feedstock, and the expansion of laboratory facilities and laboratory capabilities at its facility in Canada that will centralise the its resources for more efficient execution of R&D, scaleup and commercialisation plans.

Completion of these projects positions the company to execute in 2023 the R2 reactor research and testing optimisation program, the implementation of the customer engagement program and the delivery of reactor unit design, equipment procurement, fabrication, and commissioning of the scaled-up pre-commercial R3 Reactor unit.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Teijin Limited , J GC Holdings Corporation and Itochu Corporation are to establish a joint venture company, RePEaT Co . to license technology for the chemical recycling of polyester products. Teijin will own 45% of the jv, JGC Holdings: 45% & Itochu Corporation: 10%.

What will be different is that the partners will use a chemical-recycling technology called dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), which decomposes and converts polyester (PET) and then repolymerises it. Notably, the DMT method removes dyes and impurities, making it possible to manufacture recycled PET with the same quality as petroleum-derived PET. Teijin has extensive experience in using DMT technology for the commercial production of polyester products including coloured textile waste and coloured PET waste.

For its planned advanced recycling facility in South Korea, GE Technology will license Honeywell's UpCycle Process Technology to convert mixed waste plastics into recycled polymer feedstock

Materials News

Materials News

Recycling not a real solution, says Greenpeace

Given the above tie-ups, a recent report by Greenpeace USA depicts a different scenario with recycling. In its report, Circular Claims Fall Flat Again , the environmental organisation emphasised the inadequacy of recycling in reducing the amount of waste plastics in the environment.

It argued that most plastics could not be recycled. In the US, households generated an estimated 51 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2021, with only 2.4 million tonnes recycled. Plastic recycling was estimated to have dropped to around 5-6% in 2021, down from 8.7% in 2018.

Another interesting claim in the report is that no type of plastic packaging in the US meets the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 's New Plastic Economy (EMF NPE) Initiative's definition of recyclable.

But it is difficult to imagine a modern world without plastics. It is unsurprising that material science is called upon to tighten the reins. Thus, researchers are working on ways to make plastics more degradable, biodegradable, and compostable.

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK, for example, have developed a novel method for breaking down plastics using only ultraviolet (UV) light. When exposed to UV radiation, scientists found that adding sugar units to polymers increases their degradability. UV radiation has a wavelength ranging from 10-400 nm, which is shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays. It should also be noted that many biodegradable plastics can only be composted in industrial settings.

Meanwhile, polylactic acid (PLA), which is sometimes marketed as biodegradable, only dissolves in industrial composting conditions that require high temperatures and humidity and are impossible in backyard compost piles. Additionally, it is difficult to degrade in natural environments like soil or the ocean.

The above study, which was recently published in the journal Chemical Communications, demonstrated a method for increasing the rate at which these polymers degrade in the environment. Adding as little as 3% of sugar polymer units into PLA caused it to degrade by 40% in only six hours when exposed to UV light. By using this technique, the plastic weakens and disintegrates into smaller polymer chains that are more vulnerable to hydrolysis.

As a result, the biodegradability of plastic in natural environments such as the ocean or a garden compost heap improves.

According to Greenpeace USA, no type of plastic packaging in the US satisfies the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastic Economy Initiative's definition of recyclable

According to the report, the EMF NPE standards require an item to have a 30% recycling rate in order to be classified as recyclable. Two of the most common recyclable plastics in the US, PET and HDPE, typically bottles and jugs, fall far short of the EMF NPE threshold, with reprocessing rates of 20.9% and 10.3%, respectively. Every other type of plastic is reprocessed at a rate of less than 5%.

It went on to say that mechanical and chemical recycling of plastic waste is ineffective because plastic waste is difficult to collect and nearly impossible to sort for recycling. It is also unsafe for the environment to process because it is frequently made of toxic materials and contaminated with them.

Thus, Greenpeace USA suggests transitioning to reuse and refill systems as the effective means of getting rid of plastic waste.

Biodegrading plastics via UV a way forward

Since its discovery more than a century ago, plastics have driven innovations in numerous industries. However, today, this wonder material is viewed as a threat that must be eliminated.

The researchers also mentioned that because the technology is compatible with current plastic manufacturing procedures, the plastics industry may quickly test and adopt it.

One study showed that adding just 3% of sugar polymer units to PLA caused it to degrade by 40% in six hours when exposed to UV light

10 DECEMBER 2022

With all of these developments in recycling and plastics sustainability, is there real progress being made? Globally, recycling is still lagging, prompting some sectors to call for a complete halt in plastics production, which industry experts believe will harm economies.

According to a recent report released by the American Chemistry Council ( ACC ) Plastics Division, there is an improvement in terms of more environmentally friendly plastics production.

It says that the carbon and energy footprints of four common plastic resins, LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE, and PP have decreased, specifically in the US, over the last decade. Despite a combined increase in production of the four resins of more than 1.8 million tonnes between 2010 and

2020, a total reduction of 4.9 billion kg CO2 equivalent was achieved.

These improvements reduced CO2 emissions and the amount of energy required to produce the same amount of plastic resin. GHG reductions in plastics production, however, are attributed to factors, such as newer facilities (in the US) that use shale gas, as well as improved efficiencies that have reduced carbon emissions per pound of plastic produced.

The manufactured plastics offers advantages compared to other materials with its lightweight nature, durability, and versatility.

Overall, while drastically increasing recycling rates in a short period of time remains a difficult task, creating circular plastics may well be the silver bullet in combating the plastic waste problem.


Partnerships for sustainable solutions

Midea, GER and Ineos Styrolution create large-scale home appliance from ABS Eco grades Styrenics manufacturer Ineos Styrolution says that its ABS Eco grades, manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) ABS produced by GER, have been successfully validated by Chinese household appliances firm Midea for its range of household appliances, including air conditioners, refrigerators and water dispensers.

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Southern China, Midea is the global leader for household appliances and air conditioners, owning the most comprehensive white goods portfolio; while GER is a waste recycling enterprise based in China’s Jiangxi province. Recently, Midea demonstrated the production of the pilot product using the new recycled material provided by Ineos Styrolution.

This first step is an important milestone for the establishment of a closed-loop circular economy system, by which Ineos will produce ABS Eco and PS Eco grades using Midea’s products at their end-of-life, after being dismantled and recycled by GER. These grades, specially tailored made for Midea, will then be used as a drop-in solution to manufacture Midea’s home appliances.

The next steps are for Midea, GER and Ineos to validate the use of PS Eco grades on a commercial scale at Midea’s production facilities, finalising an integrated supply chain solution starting from Midea’s finished goods, to recycling after their end-of-life, and turning them into PS Eco and ABS Eco grades exclusively for Midea.

Alpla’s packaging for beauty products reduces emissions by 71%

Packaging and recycling specialist Alpla has realised a carbon-optimised prototype solution as a showcase for future products with its Canupak beauty care packaging. The ultralight packaging system has a bottle made entirely of recycled HDPE (rHDPE) sourced from the company’s own plants in the EU and produced using renewable energies.

The ultralight Canupak packaging system boasts around 71% less carbon consumption than with comparable packaging types, allows for complete recyclability of the bottle and cap, and a total weight of approximately just 14 g.

Alpla says Canupak is a prime example of how the potential to minimise emissions can be explored with packaging systems.

11 DECEMBER 2022
Lowering carbon and energy footprints a help for the future?
Material S n ew S
Midea’s pilot water dispenser using the new recycled material provided by Ineos

The carbon footprint was calculated in cooperation with ClimatePartner. The product carbon footprint (PCF) comprises all the emissions throughout a product’s life cycle, including its disposal. The areas of package contents, retail and use phase were not taken into account as these are not relevant to the climate impacts of packaging.

As no clear standards currently exist for climate-neutral products and offsetting certificates, Alpla adds it is focusing on reducing emissions within its own sphere of influence.

“We are focusing on further optimising our products and on maximum recyclability based on design for recycling, and are on the lookout for partners who wish to take the next step in reducing their carbon footprint together with us,” reports Project Manager Karina Pölzl.

Alpla’s latest ultralight packaging is a bottle made entirely of rHDPE

Alpla is also targeting all packaging to be fully recyclable by 2025, with PCR material accounting for 25% of the materials processed. The company is investing EUR50 million a year in recycling activities to this end.

TotalEnergies, W&H and Mitsubishi Chemical develop recyclable PE packaging Chemical firm TotalEnergies, German extrusion machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) and Mitsubishi Chemical have developed a fully recyclable high barrier packaging, to replace multimaterial structures (like e.g., metallised BoPP/PE or metallised BoPET/PE), in line with brand owners’ commitments to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

Composed of 98% PE and less than 2% EVOH, required for barrier properties, the new solution exhibits identical performances without any compromise on recyclability, allowing to enter available recycling streams and thus contributing to address the challenge of plastics end-of-life.

Three partners have jointly developed a recyclable packaging

It consists of a Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) film and a sealing film, laminated together by Dettmer Verpackungen GmbH

Machine manufacturer B&B Verpackungstechnik then transformed this structure into a stand-up pouch that

could be used for demanding applications, such as coffee packaging.

The MDO-PE film recipe, composed of TotalEnergies Supertough, and Lumicene HDPE together with Mitsubishi Chemical’s Soarnol, was running on a W&H Varex II equipment at the K2022 show.

Domenico De Angelis, General Manager Sales Soarnol, P&C MMA Business Group EMEA of Mitsubishi Chemical Group said that the combination of chosen barrier materials, together with machine technology, met the needs of high water-vapour, oxygen and aroma-barrier for the packaging. “Furthermore, the structure can be declared by definition as mono-layer solution, and it is also fully mechanically recyclable,” he explained.

Sabic and Cabka collaborate on transport packaging solutions

Chemical firm Sabic and sustainable and reusable transport packaging firm Cabka have collaborated to launch the CabCube 4840, said to be the next generation in foldable large containers and an alternative to traditional metal/ wooden cages for the transport of goods.

Cabka approached Sabic looking for a 100% recyclable lightweight polymer material solution to produce its CabCube 4840. Within less than six months, the two companies had collaborated to develop several high performance PP compounds.

These compound-solutions provide improved processability, high compression strength, high impact, and weight reduction. Some of these compounds are unique grades in Sabic’s foam and lightweight portfolio as they are flame-retardant, halogen-free and UL94-V0 certified.

“Sabic offers more than 20 innovative foam and lightweight solutions enabling customers and partners across the entire value chain to overcome the challenges they face to meet consumer demand for smarter, more sustainable solutions,” said Abdullah Al-Otaibi, ETP & Market Solution General Manager at Sabic.

Sabic and Cabka are also working together on polyolefin compound solutions containing mechanically recycled content. In addition, the two companies aim to join forces to improve Sabic’s logistical/ packaging systems – replacing ‘one way’ wooden pallets and cardboard octabins with lightweight, returnable plastic alternatives, starting at the Sabic compounding asset in Genk, Belgium.

Sabic and Cabka have collaborated to create a next generation transport packaging rsolution

12 DECEMBER 2022

SML’s C-PET light cup for hot-filling promotes recycling

At K2022, Austrian extrusion machinery firm SML presented the results of its joint R&D activities with Sukano AG and Kiefel Packaging a C-PET light cup that combines transparency and recyclability as well as suitability for thermoformed hot-filling or microwavable products. Further advantages include short cycle times during thermoforming and a high stiffness. The newly developed C-PET light can thus be a reasonable option for manufacturers looking for an economic and easy-to-recycle alternative to PP and PS.

“Because easy recyclability is becoming increasingly important, we opted for a transparent C-PET solution at an early stage of our joint research and development work,” says Max-Phillip Lutz, Product Manager at SML. Compared to coloured PET or PP and PS products, the recycling process of C-PET light is considerably easier.C-PET light products do not cause any problems in existing recycling streams and facilities of post-consumer or post-industrial PET materials.

In general, C-PET is temperature resistant up to 220°C. However, this is not necessary for many applications and limits the output in thermoforming. In contrast, C-PET light was developed to withstand a maximum temperature of 100°C. The new C-PET light enables the manufacturing of transparent thermoformed products for hot-fill applications up to 100°C at output rates comparable to those of conventional A-PET processes. Especially the shorter cycle times during thermoforming are an economic advantage compared to conventional C-PET.

SML’s latest stretch film was shown at K2022 processing 30% PCR resin from Braskem

with Brazilian materials firm Braskem into premium stretch film. Plus, a technical highlight of the PowerCast XL is its patented triple turret winder: said to be the first in the market for manufacturing 2” stretch film hand rolls on a 4.5 m wide line.

“SML PowerCast XL can be fitted with a 7 to 67 layer feedblock, and it comes with the biggest chill roll of 1,600 mm in the field. Nevertheless, it requires only 240 sq m floor space,” said Thomas Rauscher, Product Manager at SML.

The PowerCast XL was able to process 30% PCR material that came from mechanical recycling. The newly developed Wenew DL085C resin is a 100% PCR resin and allows the production of completely transparent stretch film with excellent mechanical properties on SML stretch film lines. SML adds that these films are highly resilient and withstand strong mechanical loads, i.e. in the area of transport safety or for automatic applications in the beverage industry.

SML worked with partners on its heat-resistant C-PET light cup that is a transparent alternative for hot-fill applications

All three project partners shared their specific expertise and their profound experience in their respective areas in order to improve every single step in all processes. The main technical challenges were to find the optimum dosage for the additives, to adjust the formulations and the process technology during film production, and to find the right parameters for the thermoforming process.

Key characteristics of C-PET light are that it is suitable for transparent applications; allows for short cycle times and high output compared with C-PET, has high stiffness compared with PP and is recyclable.

SML’s stretch film line processes Braskem’s PCR resin

At K2022, SML’s PowerCast XL, a 4.5 m-wide stretch film line with a net output capacity of up to 3,400 kg/hour, was processing a new type of PCR resin developed together

Rauscher speaking about the joint development works with Braskem said that at first it seemed impossible to find a sustainable and economical solution, especially when it comes to downgauged products. “Finally, after two years of very close collaboration, development work and countless trials together with Braskem, we are now in a position to offer the market a solution to the PCR demand in stretch film production which is certain to delight end users. And a satisfying answer on both the raw material side as well as the manufacturing side,” he added.

Furthermore, SML’s newly patented turret winder W40004S-3T, a “three-turrets-in-one-frame” concept supports significantly higher production speeds for maximum output quantities – especially at the lighter 2” rolls.

“The possibility to manufacture also 2” rolls on that 4.5 m wide increases the product diversity and productivity of our PowerCast stretch film line significantly,” added Rauscher.

Until now, it was only possible to run 2” hand rolls on lines up to 3 m width, thus the new development boosts the output of hand rolls by about 50 %. As before, 3” hand rolls, machine rolls and jumbo rolls an also be manufactured, with ease, with this new solution, according to SML.

13 DECEMBER 2022
Su S tainability


Coperion/Herbold present onestop recycling solutions

As a result of the completed merger between Coperion and machine manufacturer Herbold Meckesheim, Coperion presented complete systems for industrial-scale plastics recycling at the Germany-held K2022 show in October.

Specialist in extrusion and compounding, bulk material handling and feeding system Coperion brings its own expertise in the field of recycling together with that of Herbold Meckesheim, a specialist in the mechanical recycling of plastic and plastic waste, forming a new Recycling Business Unit.

The new business unit offers modular system and plant solutions that combine the complementary technologies of Coperion and Herbold to benefit customers. From mechanical processing – shredding, washing, separating, drying and agglomerating of plastics – to bulk material handling as well as feeding and extrusion all the way to compounding and pelletising, the systems that both companies have developed together cover the entire process chain for reclaiming plastics.

Moreover, the plastics industry will profit from this cumulative expertise thanks to their combined global sales and service network.

PET recycling

PET recycling is one example that illustrates how Coperion will be able to implement a complete system for plastics recycling in the future. As the plastics industry makes advances towards a circular economy, PET plays an ever more important role due to its increasing use in disposable and reusable bottles and its recovery through deposit systems, along with other factors. This material possesses outstanding recycling properties, regardless of whether it is to be recycled in bottle-to-bottle, bottle-to-film/sheet, or bottle-to-fibre processes, or whether it comes from other product streams.

Complete PET recycling solutions from Coperion offer throughput performance of up to 10 tonnes/hour. Coperion says that the quality of PET recyclate manufactured using its recycling technology and decontaminated in an SSP

(Solid State Polycondensation) reactor is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for direct contact with food.

One unique feature is that virgin material and various recyclates – such as regrind, agglomerates, or flakes –can be processed together, even if they exhibit different IV (Intrinsic Viscosity) values. Compared to conventional PET recycling procedures, Coperion adds that its solutions save on operation and energy costs and create less logistic efforts.

• SML 60/100 SB 2 Granulator

This is a granulator used for crushing PET bottles and operation. One that it offers is feeding using The granulator space-saving and easy material

Up to 2 tonnes of polyolefins or more than 1 tonne/ hour of film is processed.

• T

Coperion now is able to offer complete systems for plastics recycling from a single source

The SML 60/100 SB 2 Granulator crushes PET bottles into flakes

This mechanical dryer is suitable for various materials such as film, regrind, and mixed and rigid plastics. Thanks to its optimised design and the position of the exchangeable, wearresistant paddles, it achieves up to 50% higher drying performance than its predecessor.

• HV 70 Plastcompactor

The high-performance HV 70 Plastcompactor from Herbold Meckesheim processes material in continuous operation between one rotating and one fixed compactor disk, each equipped with screwed-on and

14 DECEMBER 2022

easily replaceable kneading bars. Since the material leaves the compactor zone within a fraction of a section, the thermal impact upon the plastic is very low. The process is regulated using two parameters –the screw speed and the distance between the disks.

• FLUIDLIFT ecodry The FLUIDLIFT ecodry process dries the regrind while it is being conveyed to the extruder. A flash dryer specially modified for recycling regrind removes the moisture remaining after the washing process. Moisture content is significantly reduced which optimises the energy consumption of the downstream process and leads to improved end product quality.

• Smart Weigh Belt (SWB) Feeder

For feeding flakes and fibre, a Smart Weigh Belt (SWB) feeder is used. This low-headroom gravimetric feeder can feed large quantities of bulk material into the extrusion process at high accuracy, even at low and variable bulk densities.

• ZSK twin-screw extruder Coperion ZSK twin-screw extruders are the heart of the plastics recycling process. With their highperformance processing properties and high devolatilisation performance, ZSK twin-screw extruders are suited to energy-efficient recovery of plastics of all sorts. The ZSK extruder features high end product quality with gentle product handling, short residence time, intensive devolatilisation, and dispersion with concurrently high throughput performance.

• Product Discharge Diverters, melt pumps, and screen pack changers follow the extrusion step. Depending upon whether pellets, fibre or film are to be manufactured from the PET, Coperion provides water baths and underwater pelletisers, fibre spinning pumps or film stretching lines as part of their complete solutions.

New recycling innovation centre

Coperion also has started building a new recycling innovation centre, located in immediate proximity to its existing test centre for bulk material handling at its Niederbiegen/Weingarten production facility in Germany. In the future, every major step of the plastics recycling process can be tested under production conditions and results can be examined by customers, prior to making an investment.

Coperion supplies complete system for PMMA recycling to Renov8

At the K2022, Nilesh Jain, founder of Renov8, a subsidiary of plastics

manufacturer just right based in Jafza, Dubai, visited Coperion at its booth to sign the contract for a complete system for recycling PMMA. The contract was preceded by extensive tests on the chemical recycling of PMMA at Coperion's test centre.

The Coperion system for the chemical recycling of PMMA will be installed at the Kezad Polymers Park in Abu Dhabi, which is among the most popular vertically integrated polymers downstream manufacturing ecosystems in the region. It will thermally convert PMMA into liquid rMMA in a continuous process.

The system includes material handling, two ARW discharge agitators with discharge screws and two SWB feeders, as well as a ZSK 92 Mc18 twin screw extruder with 92 mm screw diameter, a vacuum system and a condenser. Key components of the system are produced in-house by Coperion.

Coperion's process solution allows for the thermal recycling of PMMA to rMMA in an economical, continuous process.

The PMMA recyclate is conveyed via a discharge agitator ARW and a discharge screw to a SWB feeder. This low-headroom gravimetric feeder weighs large quantities of bulk material at high accuracy and feeds it reliably into a ZSK twin screw extruder.

In the Coperion ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder a great deal of mechanical energy is quickly introduced into the PMMA via the co-rotating twin screws thanks to the high torque of 18 Nm/cm³. The temperature of the melt rises energy-efficiently in a short time. The material depolymerises.

Gaseous MMA is produced, which is reliably extracted via the degassing domes of a vacuum system and then converted into liquid rMMA in a condenser.

Coperion says its solution for chemical recycling takes place with significantly lower energy consumption than pyrolysis processes without extruders or compared to recycling with single screw extruders.

The chemical recycling system for Renov8 will allow the processing of two separate product streams. Thanks to its very good self-cleaning properties, PMMA with different light transmittances can be recycled on the same ZSK 92 Mc18 twin screw extruder in a short time without any loss of quality.

Renov8 specialises in the recycling of PMMA, PS, ABS, PC, PP and PE. Its 30,000 sq m site is fully integrated with one of the fastest growing ports in the world, Khalifa port.

15 DECEMBER 2022
The ZSK twin-screw extruder is the heart of a plastics recycling line

Company profile

Omsk Carbon Group: catering to sustainable business globally

Since 1944, Russian carbon black producer Omsk Carbon Group (OCG) has had a rich history, demonstrating steady growth. Over the last 25 years, it has grown into a long-standing and reliable partner for the world's leading tyre, mechanical rubber goods (MRGs) and plastics manufacturers. Timofey Kucherenko, Executive Director, Commercial, tells PRA what Omsk Carbon Group has to offer its potential customers today.

PRA: Timofey, please tell us more about the company in general. What is its position in the carbon black market?

If you ask any major carbon black consumers whether they know any manufacturers from Russia, Omsk Carbon Group is the name that you are likely to hear. Omsk has become a generic name in the industry. Omsk is the name of the city from where the company started its history and where its headquarters are located. Founded by the government for its internal tasks, the company became a wholly private business late in the 1990s, and its management made a strategic decision to enter overseas markets.

OCG includes three production sites with capacities totalling 560,000 metric tonnes/year, an R&D centre in Omsk and five international distribution centres providing sales, logistics and aftersales services.

Omsk Carbon Group exports more than 80% of its products and ranks as the world’s seventh or eighth largest in terms of output. Our production technology meets the market’s best standards, and the company operates in the open international market and delivers its products to practically all key regions of the world: Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North and Latin America. Omsk Carbon Group ranks first in Russia’s and Europe’s markets in terms of installed capacity among the macro-region’s manufacturers.

Timofey Kucherenko, Executive Director, Commercial, says that Omsk Carbon Group has three production sites with capacities totalling 560,000 metric tonnes/year, an R&D centre in Omsk and five international distribution centres providing sales, logistics and aftersales services

The company owes its growth both to our key customers’ stringent quality requirements and their business sustainability and ambition pursued by our shareholders and senior managers who strive to continually strengthen our company’s presence in the global market, plough back profits, expand the company's capacities and product range and enhance quality.

PRA: What is the company’s share in the Russian market and how is this market expected to evolve in the next few years?

In Russia, our company is the largest carbon black manufacturer having a share of 55% of the overall installed capacity and the country's broadest range of grades. With a demand of around 250,000 metric tonnes/year, the Russian carbon black market has a low capacity. Three or four key players cover all of the tyre market’s needs. Nearly all local brands, both Russian ones and localized global tyre, purchase products from Omsk Carbon Group as an approved and regular supplier.

We expect that as imports decline, local tyre manufacturing within the Russian Federation will grow. Regrettably, this is likely to be accompanied by consumer demand being artificially forced into the B and C segments of lower quality.

PRA: What strengths Omsk Carbon Group has as a supplier?

Firstly, stability and long-standing cooperation. We not only offer our customers one-off spot deals meeting their current needs, but also can pursue a joint long-term supply strategy involving long contracts, guaranteed quantities and foreseeable formula-based pricing terms.

Our company has established well-developed supply chains and warehouse infrastructure across the globe, which enables us to get our products closer to customers so that they can be accessible without customers having to wait until they are finished at a production site.

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Omsk Carbon Group is flexible in its customer relationships and takes a personalized approach towards fulfilling quality and labelling requirements. The company operates on the basis of customized specifications and can deliver its products using any of the existing Incoterms options (from FCA to FOB/ CIF/DAP). The wide network of our own dealerships and entities is convenient when it comes to arranging contracts. It also helps us select the contract currency and jurisdiction that work best for our customers.

We also place emphasis on a multilanguage service. There are local region-specific teams working with our customers, for example:

- Omsk Carbon Singapore for Asian markets,

- Omsk Carbon Europe for European markets,

- Omsk Carbon Canada for American markets,

- Omsk Carbon Istanbul for the Middle East and Turkish markets

The teams operating in these branches are able to speak English, German, Polish, Turkish, Spanish and Chinese. Our English-speaking teams in sales, tech support and logistics at the Omsk headquarters are involved in processes too.

Our ultimate goal is to make our customer forget that our manufacturing facilities are located thousands of kilometers away, but always know that our products are available in stock right in the country of our presence or, at least, within a wider geography, that services are provided within the same time zone in a language convenient to it.

PRA: Please give us an insight into the key trends dominating the carbon black market today.

Since February 2022, key structural changes have been underway. These are based on both geopolitical factors and such factors as changes in competitive landscape and in the conditions forming product cost in various regions.

We are witnessing reallocation of supply. Russia, being historically one of the major exporters of carbon black, has redirected to Asia its flows previously going to Europe, while large quantities of Indian and Chinese

products are being shipped to Europe, leading to a shortage on their own domestic markets while at the same time raising prices in Europe. Amid much lengthier and more costly transport routes, products have become much more expensive in each and every one of the markets.

For Russian manufacturers, this is a painful process too, as it involves reshuffling and organization of a new logistics and sales network for Asian markets. But at the end of this journey, we will gain even more confidence and strength, and our customers in Asia will have an absolutely new strategic capability for raw materials purchasing.

PRA: How have Omsk Carbon Group’s exports changed?

Over a span of six months, we have fully reallocated our sales to new Asian markets. Our three plants are running at full capacity, and we are building strong ties with new customers, streamlining logistics processes and deploying our logistic infrastructure, new regional intermediate hubs for storing our products and local warehouses for last-mile deliveries.

We are also interested in the Middle East and Latin America markets where demand for our products is rising. Omsk Carbon Group stands ready to satisfy this demand too.

Despite the ongoing hardships, our distribution entities in Europe are working actively and have already established their contract base for 2023, including major customers. There are objectives to expand our European client pool to make our customer portfolio more diversified and sustainable.

PRA: What are the priorities in Omsk Carbon Group’s development for the short term?

We are following our investment programme that involves increasing our capacities to 830,000 metric tonnes/year while at the same time expanding our array of specialty carbon blacks (such as pigments, conductive and high-purity g rades). The company has continued to invest in extensive expansion and technology. Specifically, we are working on reducing our environmental impacts as part of the global trend and decarbonisation requirements.

The strategy for geographic reallocation of products will be a long-standing one for Omsk Carbon Group. Having entered the new markets, we are here to stay.

Finally, resources for carbon black manufacturing are expected to be scarce globally over the long term, production costs are growing in countries importing the raw materials, so the fact that we are a Russiabased company is a key long-term benefit for our manufacturing, thanks to our access to affordable and plentiful resources.

Contact: Team Singapore: +65 6670 6800 Email:

17 DECEMBER 2022 Company p rofile
In Russia, the company is the largest carbon black manufacturer having a share of 55% of the overall installed capacity

Country FoCus Industry opportunities for Asia abound from RCEP

Asia’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) offers a bountiful of opportunities for the plastics/rubber and petrochemicals sectors, giving Asia's advanced and emerging markets a much-needed economic boost.

Rebound of Asia’s economy

Asia's trade growth was severely impacted by the pandemic. Slower growth and rising prices, as well as lower demand from recession-ravaged United States, China, Europe, and other trade partners, have also affected growth in Asia. Nonetheless, the region's GDP is expected to grow by 4.9% in 2022 and rise to 5.1% by 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 2022 regional economic outlook data.

Thus, bolstering trade is a strategy that is expected to accelerate recovery. Free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by Asia's advanced and developing economies, as well as emerging markets, provide a much-needed economic boost for the region.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which represents a market of more than 600 million people with a total combined GDP of US$3.2 trillion in 2019, has seven trade agreements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which was signed in November 2020 and took effect in January 2022.

Currently the world's fifth largest economy, ASEAN is expected to become the world's fourth-largest economy by 2030, with a consumer market worth more than US$4 trillion. This expansion will be aided further by RCEP. For example, RCEP members account for 40% of ASEAN’s investments, while non-ASEAN RCEP members account for 24%.

RCEP: Breaking down barriers to easing trade flow Trade liberalisation is at the heart of the RCEP framework, and it will be accomplished through gradual tariff reductions with significant exemptions in sensitive and strategic sectors. Concessions under the RCEP are expected to eventually eliminate tariffs on more than 90% of goods traded among member countries.

Moreover, it is anticipated that RCEP tariff concessions will increase trade among members while diverting certain trade from non-member nations. Lower import prices are likely to lead to higher imports as a result of lower tariffs.

RCEP also aims to align ASEAN's existing FTAs and partnerships with the other six partner economies in a bid to reduce trade barriers and improve investment regulations.

As a result, the economic benefits of RCEP are expected to be immense. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), intra-RCEP trade was already worth approximately US$ 2.3 trillion in 2019, and the RCEP's tariff concessions would upsurge intraregional exports within the bloc by nearly 2% to an estimated US$42 billion.

Furthermore, the RCEP will have a favourable impact on nearly all major industries, ranging from manufacturing to chemicals. Chemicals, for example, are expected to gain US$1.9 billion, for a total increase of approximately US$6.4 billion, of which US$4.5 billion is due to trade diversion.

RCEP is a free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its five FTA partners (Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Korea). It is the world's largest FTA, covering 30% of the world's GDP and population, as well as approximately 30% of total global trade.

The plastics/rubber sector is expected to add US$0.5 billion in trade, resulting in a US$1.6 billion increase in trade, with trade diversion accounting for an estimated US$1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, beyond the RCEP, the global plastic and rubber trade has already shown strong growth from industries that rely on these materials, such as medical devices, automotive, construction, electronics, consumer goods, and others.

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Reinforcing the plastics value chain; a win for petrochemicals

The plastics value chain has been subjected to a number of disruptive events, prompting Asian companies and businesses to implement strategies to make their business models resilient to supply chain disruptions.

The RCEP's trade liberalisation and preservation of multilateral trading systems can generate different trade opportunities for ASEAN and non-ASEAN member countries, thereby accelerating the region's economic recovery.

Petrochemicals, which are essential in the production of raw materials such as polymers used in packaging, electronics, construction and other applications, are expected to trade strongly within the RCEP alliance.

Notwithstanding the supply disruptions and geopolitical volatility, the International Energy Administration (EIA) predicts that the petrochemicals sector will secure more than a third of global oil demand growth by 2030 and nearly half of demand growth by 2050.

China is one factor expected to influence this growth. The colossal country is expected to generate significant petrochemical demand, rising to 780 million tonnes/year by 2030, according to the NPC Economics & Technology Research Institute (ETRI).

Asia, the largest producer of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2022 to reach approximately US$225 billion in 2030, with Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia as revenue drivers and zones for investment and business opportunities.

The Indonesian medical device market is set to be among the fastest growing in Asia, with a market value of US$1.9 billion by 2026. Singapore remains Indonesia's most important medical device export market destination, accounting for 41.5% of medical device exports in 2020, while Japan is the country's fourth largest market, accounting for 3% of the market share.

Thailand, the largest exporter of medical devices in ASEAN, has an ample supply of raw materials such as rubber and plastic used in the production of medical devices, particularly single-use items. In 2020, Thailand’s medical devices sector generated an export value is US$13.9 billion, outpacing Singapore (US$13.08 billion), Malaysia (US$12.1 billion), Indonesia (US$4.1 billion), and the Philippines (US$0.83 billion).

Harnessing ASEAN's automotive competence

Because of the region's burgeoning consumer market, integrated supply chains and comparatively lower cost of labour, the ASEAN automotive sector has emerged as a manufacturing hotspot for both OEMs and vehicle parts suppliers.

The automotive sector’s inclusion in the RCEP is deemed to be complementary. According to the University of Duisburg-Essen’s CAR Institute, an estimated 41.8 million vehicles will be sold in RCEP countries by 2030, accounting to 46% of global market share, and counting.

The huge potential this presents bodes well for the plastics and rubber sectors, as the automotive industry is the third largest user of plastics after packaging and construction, and a major consumer of rubber.

Thailand, which is Asia's automotive node, plays a key role in the automobile value chain. Several global companies have established facilities in the country for development, design, and other production-related activities since the 2000s.

Meanwhile, Thailand's petrochemical industry, which is the largest in ASEAN, satisfies demand for petrochemical feedstock, such as naphtha and olefins, particularly in China, which is its largest export market, says Kungsri Research.

Healthy market growth for medical polymers

The global health crisis that affected the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and diagnostic health products in the previous years has brought access to medical devices to the forefront more than ever before. RCEP is envisioned to enhance market access and ease the flow of provisions like medical devices.

Today, Thailand is home to several major Japanese automobile manufacturers, as well as approximately six Chinese electric vehicle brands.

Meanwhile, Singapore is capitalising on its electronics and semiconductor capabilities, as well as its stronghold in advanced materials and equipment manufacturing, to serve the global and regional automobile markets.

To unlock the RCEP opportunities, Chinaplas 2023, Asia’s plastics and rubber trade fair, will bring together a host of plastics and rubber solutions and relevant market trends in one place with an exhibition area of 380,000 sq m. It will be held from 17-20 April 2023 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Centre (SWECC), Shenzhen, China.

19 DECEMBER 2022
C us


Creating a sustainable version of plastics


solutions benefit the environment

Despite criticism of plastics, the industry is working to create polymers that not only overcome the negative connotations associated with them -- such as their inability to be recycled or getting washed into the environment as microplastics -- but also support their sustainability goals.

With advances in material technologies, addressing the environmental impact of plastics while improving their properties to meet a wide range of industry requirements for the material is no longer rocket science.

Brands pivoting to more recycled content

Consumer brands want to see more recycled plastic content in their products and to enable multiple uses of their products to increase their sustainability.

Major global trade platforms, such as the recent K2022 Show in Germany, are championing this strategy. The former highlighted the most recent plastic masterbatches portfolios, whose increasing use is enabling plastic circularity.

US-based materials firm Milliken & Company showcased its new DeltaFlow viscosity modifier for recycled polypropylene (rPP). The company, which claims to be the only one offering this latest chemistry in an easy-to-handle, non-dusting, solid concentrate form for the recycling market, believes that DeltaFlow grades will benefit PP recyclers by increasing the melt flow rate of rPP for injection moulding processes.

According to Allan Randall, Global Product Line Manager, the technology also has lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and improved organoleptics, and it could complement the advances being made in recycling.

The product allows rPP to replace virgin resin in a wide range of end-use applications, and it allows brands to incorporate more rPP into their products, making it easier for them to meet their sustainability targets.

Global demand for masterbatches is expected to reach 5.5 million tonnes by 2031

Thus, incorporating masterbatches and additives into virgin polymers in the production of plastics can improve the properties of plastics such as the colour or modify the materials with stabilisers, antioxidants, antistatic agents, flame retardants, or other plastic additives that are compatible with different applications.

The masterbatch market is expanding. According to research company Ceresana , global demand for masterbatches is expected to reach 5.5 million tonnes by 2031, with colour masterbatches dominating the demand and plastics for packaging accounting for 36% of the demand share, followed by construction, transportation, electrical, and industrial applications.

20 DECEMBER 2022
Plastics are becoming more sustainable as a result of new additives that improve recyclability and durability while also raising the quality of post-recycled materials.
Milliken touts DeltaFlow's advantage of increasing the melt flow rate of rPP for injection moulding processes

Stabilisers to improve recycling

Recycling is central to the circular economy vision. Mechanical recycling, which has remained the most important and widely used recycling method, is being supplemented by advanced recycling technologies.

Mechanically recycled plastics will eliminate more than 1.7 million tonnes of virgin polymer feedstock by 2030, up from 688,000 tonnes in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics .

Songwon Industrial , a South Korean specialty chemicals manufacturer and exhibitor at K2022, is focused on mechanical recycling of PCR with its range of re-stabilisation antioxidants.

The primary and secondary antioxidants in the Songnox binary blends family have been “specially evaluated” for mechanical recycling of polyolefins (POs), Songwon said. The blends enhance processing as well as long-term thermal stability, enabling recyclers to provide better, more affordable recycled resins.

SI Group's Evercycle additives provide process stability, colour control, and lower acetaldehyde levels in PET recycling

Other Evercycle products on display at the show included the PET-102D for colour control in PET bottles, trays, and fibres (pellet form); PET-103D for colour control in PET bottles, trays, and fibres (liquid form); PP-101S for stabilisation in HDPE and PP flexible packaging, and LD-101S for stabilisation in LDPE rigid packaging.

According to Irfaan Foster, Market Development Director at SI Group, the formulated additive solutions encourage more plastics to be recycled back into the economy, resulting in a more sustainable industry.

At K2022, Songwon Industrial focused on mechanical recycling of PCR with its range of re-stabilisation antioxidants

Without stabilisers added during processing, the melt-flow characteristics of mechanically recycled PP changes quickly, sometimes drastically, leading to poor processing and the loss of mechanical properties. According to Thomas Schmutz, Leader Global Technical Service, Testing & Application Development at Songwon, using the company’s blends results in higher-quality, more cost-effective materials.

Also at the K2022, additives manufacturer SI Group rolled out its Evercycle additives brand for recycling. For PET recycling, it is said to provide process stability, colour control, and lower acetaldehyde levels. Benefits of polyolefin recycling include process stabilisation and improved performance, allowing for higher recycled content.

Extending reuse potential of plastics Longer use and reuse of plastics, according to Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant , contributes to sustainability. At the K2022, the company displayed its new anti-scratch additive based on renewable raw materials for PPs and thermoplastic olefins (TPOs). According to the company, the Licowax AS 100 TP allows moulded plastic goods in a variety of consumer applications to retain their original look and feel for a longer period of time. This has the potential to significantly increase service life while also improving property retention and part reuse.

The new additive helps to prevent scratches and mars on the surface of goods during handling, transportation, and end-use. This is particularly beneficial for otherwise scuff-prone applications such as interior automotive parts like dashboards and door panels, household appliance casings, cosmetics packaging, and lightweight luggage.

In addition, the company offered its new AddWorks AGC 970 light stabiliser solution for PE agricultural films, which is said to improve product durability. The granular additive, which can be dosed directly during conversion, allows converters to extend the service life of products by increasing UV resistance and resistance to high levels of agrochemicals.

21 DECEMBER 2022
Masterbatches/ a dditives

Masterbatches/ a dditives

Meanwhile, Clariant’s Licocare RBW 560 TP Vita is a bio-based wax that promotes easier mould release and improves surface quality. It also means fewer polyester parts get stuck in the mould, resulting in less injection moulding downtime.

Short shots and rejects are also reduced. Because of faster cycle times caused by shorter cooling cycles, it is possible to produce more parts per machine hour. As a result, energy consumption is reduced. Because of faster cycle times and shorter cooling cycles, it is possible to produce more parts per machine hour. Thus, energy consumption is reduced.

Along the same vein, German chemical firm BASF introduced as a premium service its Valeras plastic additives and the newest addition to the Valeras portfolio, Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) of various antioxidants and light stabilisers. This complements the recently launched solutions IrgaCycle and RegXcellence.

BASF introduced its Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) of various antioxidants and light stabilisers, the newest addition to its Valeras portfolio

Also featured was the tailored additive package from the Irgastab range designed specifically for PE rotational moulding resins to extend the service life of rotomoulded parts, while also saving time, energy, and costs during processing. Outdoor applications, such as water storage tanks, are common uses for rotomoulded products. Extreme weather is said to have a negative impact on the properties of these applications.

On the other hand, the Irgatec CR technology is the backbone of advanced meltblown nonwoven materials that can meet the growing demand for personal hygiene and filter applications. Irgatec CR 25 is intended for PP meltblown modification, which is of high interest for filtration materials, according to BASF. Plus, it can be implemented directly by meltblown producers without additional investments to existing lines, allowing specialty PP nonwoven products to reach the market faster.

BASF’s IrgaCycle solutions address specific quality issues associated with recycled resins to improve processability, long-term thermal stability and outdoor weathering protection

Similarly, BASF’s IrgaCycle range includes additives solutions that are specifically designed to improve the properties of mechanically recycled plastics for different target industries.

According to Dr. Achim Sties, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Europe, BASF, trends in plastics innovation are evolving fast, driven by regulations and increased consumer awareness across industries. And these changes are driving efforts to create new value for plastics.

In summary, improving the manufacturing, use, and recycling phases of a plastic's lifecycle can result in long-term gains for the industry and the environment.

22 DECEMBER 2022
Clariant’s new AddWorks AGC light stabiliser solution for PE agricultural films is said to improve product durability

Injection Moulding Asia

Collaborations bring results for circular economy

LyondellBasell/Audi tie-up for recycled material seatbelt buckle covers

Chemical firm LyondellBasell and car maker Audi have collaborated on the development of a closedloop process for mixed automotive plastic waste, the companies say. The project, part of Audi’s PlasticLoop project, will see the car maker installing plastic seatbelt buckle covers in its Q8 e-tron model that are made using chemically recycled plastic from LyondellBasell.

It is the first time the company is installing safety components made in this way from a stream of material which to date has been mostly only suitable for energy recovery.

With speed limited to 110 km/hour and acceleration close to the classic 2CV model, the concept car gains a wider range and significantly improved battery lifespan.

Various components have been radically reinterpreted and constructed by using materials in a different context. For example, the complete backrest is made of a flexible 3D-printed plastic material (Ultrasint TPU88A).

The open lattice structure provides natural air flow, replacing all ventilators in the seat. For this, as well as to produce about 20 parts the competence of the 3D printing service office, Sculpteo in France, a brand of BASF, was used.

Another striking feature is that many of the new components are designed and manufactured from materials from the same chemical product family. Bonded and welded components made from different materials are a challenge in mechanical recycling. For this reason, the designers created as many components as possible from a single material.

This principle of simplicity was also implemented during production. With the driver and front passenger doors being identical, this saves on pressing tools and reduces complexity. The same applies to all wheel arches and bumpers.

Audi has launched plastic covers for seatbelt buckles in its Q8 e-tron models that are partially manufactured from mixed automobile plastic waste using a chemical recycling process

Plastic components from customer vehicles that can no longer be repaired are dismantled, shredded, and processed by chemical recycler SynCycle - a joint project of the Austrian companies Next Generation Group and BDI-BioEnergy International - into pyrolysis oil.

The pyrolysis oil is then used as a raw material in LyondellBasell’s manufacturing process for the production of new plastics, replacing virgin fossil feedstocks. The recycled content is attributed to the Audi product via a mass balance approach.

Materials produced from pyrolysis oil are of the same high quality as virgin materials and have the same properties. Chemical recycling offers an alternative to energy recovery and complements mechanical recycling.

Citroën/BASF unveil all-electric concept car oli Meanwhile, Citroën and German materials firm BASF have unveiled their all-electric concept car oli [all-ë], a manifesto to how much can be saved by reducing weight and resource usage.

The colour of the body perfectly conveys the concept of the car. At first glance it seems to be a pure white colour, but mica particles have been added to emphasise the shape of the car. In contrast to the exterior, the materials of the interior – such as the seats and the flooring – have been coated with an intense orange colour.
Automotive Industry
Citroën and BASF’s electric concept car oli is fitted with solutions for saving resources and achieving a circular economy

Injection Moulding Asia

Automotive Industry

Many BASF automotive solutions have been used such as Infinergy, an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), also used in running shoes and sports flooring, can be found in the rear armrests and the interior floor of the car. The material provides a pleasant yet stable surface in armrests and floors. Plus, it dampens noise and vibrations. Additionally, a special coating is applied to ensure an extra long life span.

The water-based NovaCoat-P coating is ideal for protecting soft substrates against abrasion, UV radiation, dirt, and chemicals. And because the flooring is waterproof, it can be easily cleaned with water. This is where the integrated plugs made of Elastollan come in handy, as they can be removed to drain water and dirt.

The weight of the vehicle exterior was also considerably reduced, while at the same time increasing stability and durability. The hood, roof, and trunk are made of panels combining the Elastoflex PU system and the Elastocoat spray paint system. Thanks to the honeycomb sandwich structure, these panels are so stable that you can even stand on them.

Used for coating the car body, R-M AGILIS waterbased coating is another BASF product that provides sustainability with its low content of VOCs.

BASF CathoGuard 800 electrocoat, which protects the battery housing from corrosion, contributes to further resource savings. It stands out for its high performance and eco-friendliness as it is tin/HAPs-free and with low solvent content.

New materials create quieter EVs and lightweight hybrid vehicle fuel tank Ascend Performance Materials says it has developed two materials for electric vehicles that improve safety and passenger comfort. The company’s Starflam X-Protect and Vydyne AVS tackle two unique challenges automakers face when developing their EV platforms.

Starflam X-Protect is a flame-retardant PA66 that withstands exposure to 1,100°C direct flame for 15 minutes, surpassing standard flame-retardant materials and aluminium tested in accordance with SAE AS5127 (a test originally designed for aerospace applications).

Ascend says it created a novel solution to dampen noise, vibration and harshness in EVs, which produce vibrations at ten times the frequency of internal combustion engine vehicles. Vydyne AVS is a new engineered material effective at damping highfrequency vibrations from noise sources like motors and compressors, which translates into an 80% reduction in cabin sound pressure.

One of the applications where Vydyne AVS is being used is in the Cadillac LYRIQ, which has been dubbed “crypt-quiet” and “the quietest car I can remember driving” by the press. The LYRIQ sports an electric AC compressor mounting bracket made of Vydyne AVS, which effectively helps damp that component’s vibrations at the source while also providing structural support.

Meanwhile, DSM Engineering Materials has partnered with Renault to create what it says is an industry-first lightweight solution for hybrid vehicle fuel tanks. By using Akulon Fuel Lock, DSM’s lowcarbon-footprint PA6 material, the fuel tanks can be produced with a blow moulding monolayer construction that significantly reduces weight and cost without compromising safety or risking additional emissions. The fuel tank is designed and manufactured by DSM project partners RM Technologies and MTS France .

As e-mobility continues to develop, regulations and standards are evolving alongside the industry. European Union regulations set a maximum CO2 emission rate of 95 g/km for passenger cars, which 2 DECEMBER 2022
Ascend Performance has developed two materials for EVs that improve damping high-frequency vibrations from noise sources like motors and compressors, which translates into an 80% reduction in cabin sound pressure DSM Engineering Materials has partnered with Renault to create a lightweight and decomplexed Plug-in hybrid vehicle fuel tank

Injection Moulding Asia

necessitates a careful balance of materials and design to maximise fuel efficiency. Traditionally, fuel tanks were made of steel to prevent volatile compounds from escaping, but these tanks add significant weight to the vehicle. Hybrid vehicles enable the use of smaller fuel tanks, making a polymer solution more viable, but HDPE still requires multilayer structures with complex additional features to prevent permeation, and withstand the extended periods of internal pressure inherent to plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Following the successful development of the world’s first automotive fuel tank in PA commercialised on the Alpine A110, DSM continued its partnership with RM Technologies, MTS France and Renault to create once again an industry-first solution for the Renault CAPTUR E-Tech Plug-inHybrid, drawing on its portfolio of high-performance materials to complement Renault’s fuel systems engineering expertise. DSM’s Akulon Fuel Lock material enables a lightweight monolayer fuel tank with the low permeation properties needed to meet regulations.

Akulon Fuel Lock PA6 grades are designed for injection or blow moulding and extrusion, making them highly versatile for the rapid design innovation of the e-mobility sector. Extremely high parison stability enables very narrow wall thickness distributions, and robust performance at both high and low temperatures ensures that safety is always paramount.

Largest thermoplastic tailgate produced Austrian firm Borealis ’s Fibremod is used to produce what it says is the first and largest-ever all-thermoplastic tailgate for the new Volkswagen Multivan.

Automotive Industry

Fibremod PP fibre-reinforced compounds have a proven track record when it comes to lightweighting for interior, exterior, and under-the-bonnet automotive parts. The long glass fibre-reinforced PP (PP-LGF) technology offers excellent fibre impregnation, flexibility in the use of various PP matrices, and the production of grades in customised colours.

The compounds offer cost-effective alternatives to conventional metals and engineering plastics-based solutions, as they are highly suitable for injection moulding processes, plus boasting flowability for smooth processing and low warpage.

The most recent new addition to the Fibremod portfolio, GB416LF, was specifically tailored for use in tailgate carriers and visible structural parts. As a high-flow, 40% fibre-reinforced material, it fulfils stringent emission and mechanical performance requirements. It also offers surface aesthetics. Using Fibremod GB416LF can eliminate the need for additional surface finishing steps such as painting, making it an even more sustainable alternative.

The new Volkswagen Multivan is a model with many “firsts”: the first VW bus based on the brand’s MQB modular design construction platform; the first completely redesigned VW Transporter in nearly 20 years; the first Transporter variant available as a plug-in hybrid (in Europe); and the largest-ever visible interior tailgate structure made using PP-LGF.

Tier One supplier Magna used Fibremod GB416LF to ensure that a range of challenging demands on this part could be met. The tailgate consists of several components; the outer frame and the inner part made of Borealis Fibremod GB416LF, glued together to meet the design and load requirements. Painted exterior parts are glued to the tailgate structure as well. As a loadbearing part, the tailgate must be robust to withstand static and dynamic loads. Part of the tailgate also lies in the vehicle’s interior, meaning compliance must be assured for emissions, fogging, and odour.

Finally, to achieve overall weight reduction for the new Multivan –which weighs around 200 kg less than its immediate predecessor – the tailgate itself must also be lighter. Using Fibremod GB416LF enabled Magna to meet these challenges head-on. 3
Borealis Fibremod is used to produce largest thermoplastic tailgate for the VW multivan

Injection Moulding Asia

Automotive Industry

Large battery enclosures boast lower emissions/lighter weight

Technical plastics such as PA6 offer numerous benefits for the design of battery enclosures for EVs – in terms of sustainability, manufacturing costs, weight savings and economical functional integration, for example. However, there were previously lingering doubts as to whether these large and complex components are also able to meet demanding requirements in relation to mechanical strength and flame-retardant properties.

German companies Kautex Textron and Lanxess have now carried out a study using a jointly developed technology demonstrator made from PA6.

The tests on the technology demonstrator were carried out in accordance with internationally recognised standards for battery-powered EVs, such as ECE R100 from the Economic Commission for Europe or the Chinese standard GB 38031.

The large-format all-plastic enclosure, which measures around 1,400 mm in both length and width, demonstrated its performance in all relevant tests. For example, it meets the requirements of the mechanical shock test, which is used to examine the component’s behaviour in the event of severe shocks, and of the crush test, which the developers use to examine the resistance of the battery enclosure in the event of slow deformation.

The results of the drop and vibration tests were also positive, as were those of the bottom impact test. This test examines the stability of the batteries, which are mostly accommodated in the vehicle floor, in the event of a ground contact of the vehicle structure or of impacts from sizeable stones. The demonstrator also proved its resistance to external sources of fire underneath the vehicle in accordance with ECE R100 (external fire).

The demonstrator was developed based on the aluminium battery housing of a mid-size EV and designed for mass production. It is manufactured in a single-stage compression moulding process with a moulding compound based on the PA6 compound Durethan B24CMH2.0 from Lanxess and does not require any further rework.

Crash-relevant areas are specially reinforced with locally placed blanks made from the continuous-fibrereinforced, PA6-based composite Tepex dynalite 102RGUD600.

Compared with an aluminium design, there is a weight saving of around 10%, which is advantageous for the range and therefore the carbon footprint of the vehicle. The integration of functions – such as the fasteners, reinforcing ribs and components for the thermal management – reduces the number of individual components significantly compared with the metal design, which simplifies assembly and logistical effort and reduces manufacturing costs.

According to Felix Haas, Director Product Development at Kautex Textron, “We are currently jointly tackling the first series-production development projects with automotive manufacturers in order to implement the new technology in series production.”

He added that calculations revealed that the carbon footprint of the plastic enclosure is over 40% smaller compared to an aluminium design. The lower energy use in the production of PA6 compared with metal as well as other factors –such as the omission of time-consuming cathodic dip painting to prevent corrosion where steel is used – help to minimise the carbon footprint. The thermoplastic component design also makes recycling the enclosure easier compared with thermoset materials such as sheet moulding compounds (SMC), for example.

In the large battery enclosures made from plastic series-ready, according to Kautex, in the crush test in the y direction, the results of the simulation match those of the physical component test well


Injection Moulding Asia

Wittmann Battenfeld upgrades Airmould 4.0 internal gas pressure technology

Having been developing this technology for decades, Wittmann Battenfeld has upgraded its Airmould internal gas pressure technology to a more compact and user-friendly system.

Airmould technology is a process by which nitrogen is injected into a mould cavity either partly or completely filled with plastic melt to form an internal cavity structure. In this way, lightweight parts can be produced within a short cycle time and with high-quality surfaces, while also saving resources.

The upgraded Airmould 4.0 is said to be the only internal gas pressure system that functions without having a large control cabinet that takes up a lot of space on the production floor. The modules required are also about 15% smaller than previous versions; are compact and can be mounted and used flexibly on every type of injection moulding machine.

Another advantage of this system is that the technical expertise for the machine and the Airmould system both come from a single source. It adds that Airmould 4.0 can not only be integrated into the B8 control system of a machine for easier operation, but also into machines of other brands via the uniform operating panel of the Wittmann Group

An Airmould customer is packaging maker Oberland MV that has been using the system for decades to produce almost 80% of its reusable boxes, with more than 120 modules from Wittmann Battenfeld. Weight reductions, component stability and minimisation of sink marks are important arguments in favour of this technology, it adds.

Wittmann Battenfeld says it looks forward to opening up further market potential with Airmould 4.0, especially under present production conditions, and to convincing users of the advantages of this internal gas pressure technology.

Foaming Technology

Engel’s improved cost efficiency in structural foam moulding

Austrian machine maker Engel says it has improved the cost-effectiveness of structural foam moulding with its new e-foam XL multi central gas supply units. Another new feature is that parts do not require any additional overhead, but leave the injection moulding machine ready to fit with a structured class A surface.

Structural foam moulding is more popular than ever. It saves raw material, energy and weight, supporting the objective of producing and using plastic parts in a more sustainable way by doing so.

Wittmann Battenfeld launched its upgraded internal gas pressure Airmould technology at K2022. Seen here are the Airmould 4.0 pressure control modules, central unit and manual operating panel

Engel introduced its new e-foam XL multi central gas supply units able to produce parts that do not require any additional overhead, but leave the machine ready to fit with a structured class A surface

At K2022, Engel presented a new type of system technology for plastics processors who produce parts in parallel on several production cells using the structural foam moulding process. Where each injection moulding machine previously required its own gas supply, Engel now offers the e-foam XL multi, a central unit for supplying several injection moulding machines with highly compressed nitrogen for structural foam moulding.

Only the plasticising and control technology is still decentralised on the individual machines. This new solution sees significantly reduced capital outlay for structural foam moulding and makes a major contribution to reducing unit costs.

The new modular e-foam XL multi systems, based on US firm Trexel ’s MuCell technology, are offered exclusively by Engel.

Injection Moulding Asia

Foaming Technology

Together with automotive parts maker Faurecia , a Forvia Group company, Engel demonstrated sample parts produced at K2022, with a sophisticated surface structure, on an Engel duo 1000 injection moulding machine.

Furthermore, the new MicroJect Advanced process developed by Faurecia’s interior systems business unit, Faurecia Interiors , based in Hagenbach, Germany, and Eschmann Textures International (Gummersbach, Germany) was also used.

This makes it possible to produce lightweight visible components with a high-quality class A surface using only structural foam moulding.

Among other things, a new mould technology is responsible for this leap in development. Ceramic coatings in the cavities prevent the otherwise typical foam streaks, weld lines, tiger stripes or gloss differences appearing on the surface of the foam moulded part. Additionally, different surface structures can be created directly in the injection mould via the cavity coating.

In addition, the new materials developed by Faurecia Interiors for structural foam moulding contribute to the high surface quality. A talc-filled PP with a recycled material content of 30% of the IniCycle type was processed during the K show, for example. IniCycle is suitable for all physical and chemical foam moulding processes.

Structural foam moulded parts no longer need to be painted, and there is no need for additional energyintensive process technology, such as intermittent mould heating, for parts in customer-facing applications.

In general, structural foam moulding requires less energy and raw material, and uses lower clamping forces, than compact injection moulding. The dissolved blowing agent improves the flowability of the molten plastics. In addition, the foam moulding pressure, which is independent of the location, enables thicker ribs to be moulded. These effects can be used to reduce the wall thickness, which has a positive effect on the required cooling time and in turn on the cycle time.

Borealis/Bockatech use foaming technology for thinwall PP cups

Also at K2022, Austrian chemicals firm Borealis and Bockatech , inventor and licensor of the EcoCore manufacturing technology, showcased lightweight and ultra-lightweight reusable cups made of Borealis PP using the patented EcoCore plastic foaming technology.

These robust and fully recyclable cups represent the many thin wall and reusable packaging applications that can be developed using Borealis PP resins and the nextgeneration EcoCore foaming technology.

The cups are said to be even lighter than many conventional single-use paper cups. Yet they boast good insulation properties, with twice the thermal barrier of PP cups with solid walls of the same weight. Durable EcoCore mouldings can be microwave and dishwasher-safe. Because they are made solely of PP, they are easy to recycle once they have reached end of life after hundreds of use cycles.

EcoCore produces durable, monomaterial moulding walls with a composite skin-foam-skin structure in only seconds, and at low cost.

The companies say converters and brand owners benefit from:

- Up to 50% less plastic used in production when compared to solid wall mouldings;

- Improved recyclability of moulding and injection moulded labels (IML) thanks to monomaterial PP;

- Suitability for existing injection moulding machines, ancillary equipment, and processes;

- Shorter cycle times of 5 to 7 seconds;

- Design freedom for shapes, colours, transparency, high-precision details as well as for decorative elements such as in-mould labelling.

“With our partner Bockatech we’ve made unique progress in making thin wall and reusable packaging even more sustainable. The compatibility of the EcoCore platform with a variety of PP resins enhances its appeal to our customers,” says Peter Voortmans, Borealis Global Commercial Director Consumer Products.

He adds, “Our Bornewables portfolio of circular polyolefins, and our transformational Borcycle C family of chemically-recycled grades can be used as drop-in solutions for food and non-food. In addition to that, Borcycle M our portfolio of mechanically recycled grades enables production of non-food applications. All three solutions can further lower the carbon footprint of thin wall packaging whilst maintaining high performance.”

Chris Bocking, Bockatech Founder/Chief Strategy Officer also stated that EcoCore can be used for a broad range of more sustainable reusable and thin wall applications, including bowls for to-go food service, pots for foods such as noodles as well as soups, pails and even aerosol caps.

With Borealis’s PP and Bockatech’s EcoCore moulding technology, lightweight packaging can be produced at a reduced cost



Thermoset rubber circular economy

Devulcanising crumb rubber from scrapped tyres to mould new engineered products presents a solution to the huge and ever growing ecological issue of waste tyres and a way to a real circular economy for thermoset rubbers.

One of the biggest issues facing the transportation ecosystem is scrap tyre disposal. When no longer suitable for use on fleet because of wear or irreparable damage, used tyres can become a huge ecological problem. About half a billion tyres are scrapped each year in North America from passenger cars only; add to that trucks, buses, off-the-road (OTR) vehicles, heavy machinery, etc.

Traditionally, old tyres went to landfills (at times, offshore) or were burnt. Burning old rubber tyres releases dangerous toxins and pollutes the atmosphere. And since old tyres are not biodegradable (needing centuries to self-decompose), they take up more and more space in landfills over time, while becoming breeding grounds for rats and mosquitoes.

Before various states in the US and provinces in Canada began to pass scrap tyre laws in the 1980s, there were about 3 billion tyres stockpiled in landfills across North America. Over 80% of those stockpiled tyres have since been treated successfully. Old tyres have gone from an environmental nuisance to a processing industry over the last 25 years. According to the American Environmental Protection Agency, about 85% (some 340 million) scrap tyres now get recycled each year, but the demands to care for discarded tyres continue to rise.

Rubber recovering methods from waste tyres

Several processes to recover rubber from waste tyres were emerged throughout the years. They are divided into three groups: physical, chemical, and microbiological, and can be

used individually or combined to achieve efficient rubber recovery from waste rubber. While some processes can be operated at or near ambient temperature, others require high temperatures.

Waste rubber reclamation/devulcanisation

Method Processing Basis

Chemical Chemicals

Physical Thermal

Crosslink scission by devulcanising agents

Heat-induced crosslink scission

Ultrasonic Crosslink scission by ultrasound energy Mechanical Shear-induced crosslink scission Microwaves Crosslink scission by microwave energy

Microbiological Microorganisms Degradation by microbes



Targeted chemical reactions with heat

Thermo-mechanical Heat and shear-induced crosslink scission

Mechano-chemical Shearing and chemical devulcanisation

Compounding devulcanised rubber

An experimental programme was started at Windsor Industrial Development Laboratory (WIDL) to evaluate the technical specifications of devulcanised rubber from whole truck tyres ground to mesh 10 at a tyre processor in the US, using thermo-chemical devulcanisation in super critical carbon dioxide (scCO2) in an autoclave to speed up the process by providing the heat needed to activate the organic DPDS devulcanising agent used. Several equipment and the internal rheological laboratory were dedicated to the testing programme sponsored by Innovation Guelph in Ontario (cf:

Rheology of the devulcanised rubber was established to calculate the required curing agent and accelerator using mixture composition details of the devulcanised rubber. Moulded slabs and buttons of the newly mixed rubber defined mechanical properties. Samples were tested under tension and compression, and for density, hardness, abrasion, upon moulding and after ageing for 72 hours under 150°C.

Rubber Journal Asia
Tyre mountains build up quick: on average each driver scraps one tyre/ year every year


Rubber Journal Asia

Statistical mechanical and rheology properties of the devulcanised rubber with a curing package

Property Value Range

Tensile Strength D638 10 MPa +/-1.5

Elongation D412 250% +/-25.0

Mooney Viscosity D1646 45 +/-15.0 Density D297 1.13 +/-.03

Hardness D2240 55 +/-5.0

A series of solid tyre idlers were compression-moulded after inserting central hubs and preforming the rubber.

“The viscosity of the 100% recycled rubber was high,” said Dr. Ben Chouhaoui, the main investigator at WIDL, adding, “and this limited us to compression-moulding.”

A WIDL client, Wegu Canada, moulds idlers for Strongco Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nors SA, a major multiline mobile equipment dealer with operations across Canada.

Strongco sells, rents, and services equipment used in diverse sectors (construction, infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, utilities, municipalities, waste management, and forestry). It has approximately 500 employees serving customers from 25 branches in Canada.

Strongco represents leading equipment builders with globally recognised brands, including Volvo Construction Equipment, Case Construction, Sennebogen, Manitowoc Crane, including National and Grove, Fassi, Konecranes, Eco Log, and Rammer

Testing the fully recycled idlers proved satisfactory, hence Wegu and WIDL are teaming up to convert this first application into recycled rubber.

The R&D initiative enables WIDL to consider offering products made of devulcanised and compounded waste thermoset rubber.

“This marks an important step in WIDL’s mission to engage in real circular economy, as current practices of using waste rubber as mulch, in surfacing, as aggregates, etc., is perceived as a solution today but could very well be a problem tomorrow,” Dr. Chouhaoui said.

For the past 20 years, WIDL has successfully assisted North American rubber manufacturers and users develop products and assemblies involving rubbers through: material development and characterisation; design parameter definitions; product and process optimisation using FEA (finite element analysis) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics).

It also undertakes prototyping and validation testing with acceleration, as opposed to trial-and-error of testing variations of products to result in a working (not necessarily the best) scenario with which to move to production.

Dr. Chouchaoui says WIDL is in discussions with the Centrepolis Accelerator of Lawrence Tech University in Southfield MI to establish a pilot plant transforming crumb rubber from waste tyres into functional engineered products.

The tyre waste stream has been secured from Michigan that is being landfilled or incinerated. WIDL is also participating in NextCycle Michigan, an initiative of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to potentially qualify for an EGLE grant to help take the research to production.

According to Dr. Chouchaoui, the NextCycle support will be “a paradigm shift” by gearing up to producing recycled rubber parts and teaming up with parties interested in doing so, and a much better method of disposal of waste tyres that are currently being sent to landfills.

Rheology testing of rubber devulcanisates
Testing idlers made of 100% recycled rubber

Carbon black bound for sustainability

Sustainable carbon black made from renewable feedstock is becoming more and more in demand. But for technologies to fully produce lower cost, carbon neutral versions, they may still need to be finetuned, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Moving forward with eco-friendly carbon black technologies and medical industries

The carbon black market will grow at a CAGR of 9.9% between 2020 and 2026, reaching US$24.1 billion by 2026, according to a report by Lucintel, Four Trends Shaping the Future of the Carbon Black Market.

Against the growth expected, carbon black emits hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) including benzene as well as other organic HAP. Moreover, the furnace black process, which uses heavy aromatic oils as feedstock, has traditionally produced the majority of carbon black. The thermal black process, which uses natural gas as feedstock, is a less common method.

Growing awareness of the environmental and health risks associated with exposure to these toxic pollutants, as well as the urgency to use renewable feedstock and processes, are allowing for a shift to more renewable carbon black.

Carbon black sustainability is not a new topic, but discussion has increased in tandem with discourse about climate change, according to UK consulting firm Smithers.

In its report titled The Impact of Sustainability on Carbon Black to 2041, Smithers identified four key technologies that it claims will develop over the next two decades and be widely adopted by OEMs: recovered carbon black (rCB) from waste tyres via end-of-life tyre (ELT) pyrolysis process; methane pyrolysis; renewable carbon black, which will use organic materials instead of petroleum feedstock; and circular carbon black, which will also use ELTs.

By 2041, it is projected that all four platforms will produce 1.98 million tonnes of carbon blacks, which is equivalent to about 20 conventional carbon black furnace lines.

Meanwhile, rCB technology can be up to 85% less carbon intensive compared to furnace black. Thermal processing is necessary for the recovery and preparation of rCB, so “it will never be completely carbon neutral,” the report said, adding that

specifications and quality control still need to be established, and the current generation of rCB technology will need to be improved to produce harder blacks.

The report also said the high cost of producing rCB is a disadvantage from a commercial standpoint and that the cost and prices are five to ten times those of conventional carbon blacks.

Methane pyrolysis is a less energy-intensive alternative to furnace black manufacturing. While the pilot lines are set up to use natural gas as an input, the technology has the potential to be expanded to work with bio-gas or bio-methane. “Beyond scale up, the main requirement for end users is refinements that allow methane pyrolysis to produce harder, more durable carbon black grades,” the report said.

Popular option: rCB

Even with the higher cost of producing rCB, used in both rubber and specialty black products, Smithers reported that the rCB technology is becoming a more common choice for 65% of tyre OEMs seeking sustainability.

What makes rCB an even more environmentally friendly option is that producing and using more of it helps to prevent the consumption of various natural resources such as tonnes of feedstock oil, coal tar, and ethylene, as well as supporting carbon emission reductions.

Korean waste treatment and raw material recycling company LD Carbon signed an agreement with Japanese tyre manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber Industries for the commercialisation of rCB and pyrolysis oil.

Through this agreement, the two companies will jointly develop products so that LD Carbon’s GCB (green carbon black) can partially replace existing carbon blacks that use fossil fuels. Based on its patented technology, LD Carbon produces rCB by utilising the residue generated from the pyrolysis of waste tyres and supplies it to tyre and rubber product manufacturers.

The partners intend to commercialise the GCB-774G and GCB600 series, which are designed to replace existing carbon black (N660) by up to 20% to 70%, respectively. They also intend to promote the commercialisation of pyrolysis oil derived from waste

LD Carbon and Sumitomo Rubber Industries inked a deal for the commercialisation of rCB and pyrolysis oil

Carbon Black
3 Rubber Journal Asia DECEMBER 2022
The growing use of renewable carbon black is opening up significant opportunities in major industries

Rubber Journal Asia

Carbon Black

tyres. The two companies target to commercialise 3,500 tonnes/year of GCB and 4,000 tonnes/year of tyre pyrolysis oil by 2026.

Meanwhile, LD Carbon is investing more than US$38 million in the construction of a new plant with shredding, pyrolysis, and rCB facilities, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The plants will be able to produce approximately 20,000 tonnes/year of GCB and pyrolysis oil. When completed, LD Carbon’s new plant will be the largest in Asia.

Similarly, Klean Industries and City Circle Group (CCG) have partnered to build a fully integrated, continuous tyre pyrolysis plant in Australia for rCB and biofuels.

Earlier this year, US carbon-negative materials company Origin Materials and ATC Plastics, a manufacturer of black colour concentrates, forged a partnership to roll out 100% biocontent carbon black to the plastics industry.

As part of the partnership, ATC Plastics will be purchasing Origin’s patented sustainable carbon black made from 100% bio-content filler and pigment. The collaboration will focus on applications such as plastic masterbatch for plastic corrugated pipe, plastic extrusion, and moulding applications.

Origin also partnered with Intertex World Resources, a distributor of synthetic rubber, to bring sustainable carbonnegative carbon black to the rubber compounding and plastic masterbatch industries using Origin’s patented technology platform. Intertex will purchase sustainable carbon black from Origin as part of the collaboration.

The collaboration intends to manufacture carbon black for tyres with N660, N550, and N762 specifications, as well as belts, hoses, rubber seals, plastic extrusion, and all other mechanical rubber goods markets. Both companies will join forces to develop a carbon black for automotive seal customers that need high performance carbon blacks for rubber window seals.

Origin’s carbon black is made from non-food biomass like sustainable wood residues rather than petroleum, lowering carbon emissions and using fewer fossil resources while allowing the production of carbon-negative products.

Klean, a US-headquartered clean technology company and CCG, an Australian company that converts waste into new building materials, anticipate the project being financed before the end of the first quarter of 2023, with construction taking place in 2023 and operations starting in 2024.

Tyres, plastic masterbatch taking up renewables The carbon black market is expanding as a result of rising demand from the tyre and rubber industries. The growing use of renewable carbon black is opening up significant opportunities in the transportation, industrial, printing and packaging, building and construction, and other industries.

Speciality chemicals company Orion Engineered Carbons is the first to introduce rCB to the tyre industry. It commercially launched Evorax Nature in early 2021, with the grade derived from renewable feedstocks and suitable for critical tyre tread construction.

Recently, the company became the first to achieve International Sustainability and Carbon Certifications (ISCC Plus) for multiple carbon black grades made from different feedstocks at plants in two regions of the world.

Orion Engineered Carbons is the first to introduce rCB to the tyre industry, launching the Evorax Nature in early 2021

Along the same vein, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recently formed a partnership with Monolith, a next-general chemical and hydrogen company that uses 100% renewable electricity, for the development and use of carbon black produced from methane and/or biomethane for tyres. Goodyear has embraced this form of carbon black produced through a plasmabased methane pyrolysis process for use in its sustainable products.

Monolith is collaborating with Goodyear on the development and potential use of clean carbon black produced at its expanding Olive Creek facility in Nebraska

Monolith’s plasma-based process takes advantage of renewable electricity to complete methane pyrolysis and results in the output of only carbon and hydrogen.

A life cycle assessment completed for Monolith by a third party shows the plasma-based process should result in environmental benefits across the life cycle, including a reduction in carbon emissions, compared to traditionally produced carbon black.

In addition, it showed that this technology in the future has the potential for a carbon-neutral to carbon-negative impact, based on increased utilisation of biomethane feedstock versus natural gas.

Klean Industries and CCG have partnered to build a fully integrated, continuous tyre pyrolysis plant in Australia for rCB and biofuels



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