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Global Impact Coalition: Net-zero Chemical Industry


Charlie Tan has his work cut out for him. The 30-something, London-born Brit/Malay last November became CEO of the newly reconstituted Global Impact Coalition (GIC). The GIC has the stated aim of transforming the global chemical industry to net-zero by 2050.
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Photo: a girl in a raincoat with braces stands in nature under a scattered jet of water and laughs; Copyright: envato


A brief history of the raincoat


When the rain is pouring down from the sky, put on your raincoat and get out into the fresh air. Dry feet, figuratively speaking, thanks to the British chemist Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), who knew how to use the water-repellent advantages of polymer materials effectively and profitably in the clothing industry.
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Closing the loop: turning old tires into new car parts


In an ambitious move towards sustainability, Covestro, Neste, and Borealis have joined forces to revolutionize the recycling of discarded tires into high-quality automotive parts. This collaboration marks a significant step in driving circularity within the plastics and automotive industries.
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World's First Electrically Heated Steam Cracking Furnace


BASF, SABIC, and Linde have inaugurated the world's first large-scale electrically heated steam cracking furnace at BASF's Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. This demonstration plant, which consumes 6 megawatts of renewable electrical energy, is designed to test the technology's potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 90% compared to conventional steam crackers.
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SABIC Introduces EXTEM™ RH Resins for Micro-Lens Arrays


SABIC, a leader in the plastics and rubber industry, is set to launch its latest innovation, EXTEM™ RH resins. These high-performance resins are designed for use in the production and assembly of micro-lens arrays (MLAs), offering advanced scalability and manufacturability in commercial onboard and co-packaged optics.
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Stretching Machine for Masterbatch Development


LyondellBasell, a prominent player in the chemical industry, has recently integrated the state-of-the-art KARO® 5.0 laboratory stretching machine from Brückner Maschinenbau into its research and development facilities in Ohio. This strategic enhancement is set to significantly advance the company's ability to develop and test masterbatch solutions tailored for various oriented film applications.
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The rediscovery of plastics in the textile industry


The textile industry is in the midst of a green transformation, with sustainability and recycling taking centre stage. This change is being driven by a growing awareness of the environmental impact of textile production and consumption. Plastics, particularly synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, are ubiquitous in the industry due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness.
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SABIC: Advancing PFAS-Free Material Solutions


SABIC unveils an expansion of its LNP™ LUBRILOY™ portfolio with innovative internally lubricated compounds, offering high-performance alternatives to PTFE-lubricated materials. This development addresses regulatory and health concerns over PFAS, positioning SABIC as a leader in sustainable material solutions.
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Plastic waste gasification: a future without landfill sites?


Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste are produced that are not recycled. The gasification technology from the start-up Waste-to-en offers a promising solution to this problem. The method efficiently converts waste into valuable resources while reducing both landfill fees and electricity consumption, providing a sustainable alternative in waste management.
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Enzyme-Powered Recycling of Bioplastics


Scientists at King's College London have unveiled a novel chemical recycling method, leveraging enzymes found in laundry detergents, to break down single-use bioplastics in record time. Published in Cell Reports Physical Sciences, this innovative approach promises a more sustainable cycle for plastics, traditionally seen as a challenge due to their long degradation period.
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Gasification of plastic waste at low temperatures


The specific requirements and high purity of plastic waste from life science research laboratories make recycling it a particular challenge. Re:Lab AB is tackling this problem with a chemical recycling process based on low-temperature conversion, which is a special form of gasification.
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World's First PET Biorecycling Plant


In a significant advancement for sustainable materials management, CARBIOS has teamed up with De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), renowned for its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services in the biotech and agro-processing sectors. This collaboration aims to launch the world's first PET biorecycling plant in Longlaville, France, set to be operational by 2025.
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Fluoroplastics in focus


The debate about fluoroplastics and their environmental impact is reaching new heights. While environmentalists are calling for a ban on PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds), industry associations are warning of the far-reaching consequences for numerous areas of application. A look at the arguments and challenges.
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Heat resistant medical polycarbonate from Covestro


Covestro, a leading developer of polymers and high-performance plastics, presents Apec® 2045, an advanced copolycarbonate. This material combines outstanding features such as biocompatibility, heat resistance, transparency and durability, making it the ideal solution for the manufacture of medical devices.
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BASF and Inditex promote sustainable fashion with loopamid®


The textile industry is facing major changes in sustainability, led by BASF and Inditex through the launch of loopamid®, a new technology for textile-to-textile recycling. This initiative represents a significant step towards a Circular Economy by offering a sustainable solution for the reuse of polyamide 6 (PA6), also known as nylon 6, from textile waste.
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Innovative bioplastic from KraussMaffei and Synergy Horizon


KraussMaffei and Synergy Horizon have jointly developed a new type of bio-based reinforced thermoplastic that prioritises functionality and sustainability.
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KORE Low Carbon EPS insulation using Neopor® BMB by BASF selected for major housing project of Braidwater


KORE Insulation has introduced an environmentally friendly EPS insulation with a reduced carbon footprint to be used in a major housing development in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland. The decision to use KORE's Low Carbon EPS was made by the Braidwater Group. KORE Low Carbon is made from Neopor® BMB by BASF.
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Market launch of Impranil® CQ DLU: Innovation for more sustainable textile coatings


Covestro presents Impranil® CQ DLU, a new aliphatic polyester carbonate polyether polyurethane (PU) dispersion for textile coating in which around 34 percent of the carbon contained is of plant origin. This enables a sustainable textile coating as a replacement for the popular Impranil® DLU, without compromising on quality.
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Image: Symbolic representation of the decomposition of a PET bottle (left), which is broken down into its basic building blocks by suitable enzymes; Copyright: HZB/Frank Lennartz, Gert Weber

Boosting PET recycling with higher standards for laboratory experiments


In a study, Gert Weber, Uwe Bornscheuer and Alain Marty have identified standards for laboratory experiments with enzymes for PET recycling. It emphasizes difficulties in upscaling and highlights the promising enzyme LCC-ICCG, which converts 98% of PET in 24 hours, is economically more efficient and proposes new standards for laboratory research on PET recycling.
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Photo: The founding team of Polytives GmbH (from left): Oliver Eckardt, Viktoria Rothleitner and Prof Dr Felix Schacher in a laboratory; Copyright: Susann Nürnberger

Saving energy in plastics production: Polytives wins 2nd place in the Lothar Späth Award 2023


Polytives GmbH, a spin-off of the University of Jena in the field of plastics technology, was awarded second place in the Lothar Späth Award for its cooperation partnership with the university on 16.11.2023. The company, which emerged from Prof. Schacher's working group, develops innovative plastics solutions for energy optimisation in production.
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Formative, fascinating, sustainable: Working in the plastics industry


The plastics industry offers a wide range of career paths in various disciplines. Each has its own focus and gives the opportunity to promote sustainability in the industry.
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LANXESS expands its range for PFAS removal from water


LANXESS is presenting its new anion exchange resin Lewatit MonoPlus TP 109, which can be used for the efficient removal of contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from water. In addition to Lewatit MonoPlus TP 109, the company is also presenting other selective resins that can also be used in combination for pre- and fine cleaning.
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Recyclable, repairable and robust: New epoxy resin for the circular economy


Epoxy resins are used in combination with glass or carbon fibres to make components for aircraft, cars, trains, ships and more. Empa researchers have now developed the first fire-resistant epoxy resin-based plastic that is recyclable.
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Start-up recycles plastic lab waste into new test tubes and petri dishes


LabCycle, co-founded by a University of Bath graduate, opens the UK's first pilot plant for recycling plastic lab waste into new lab consumables and aims to scale the technology for healthcare and research labs. Their process turns plastic waste into high-grade pellets, reducing energy and water use and promoting recycling in a circular economy approach.
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Chemical recycling: the supreme discipline for the Circular Economy in the plastics industry?


Almost 90 % of all plastic packaging today still consists of virgin material. If we want to change this, we have to focus on chemical recycling in addition to mechanical recycling. According to the WWF study "Verpackungswende jetzt", a system change could save more than 20 million tonnes of new plastic by 2040. SÜDPACK is therefore investing in innovative chemical recycling technology.
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Bayreuth researcher develops high-performance digital system for tailoring polymers


Prof. Dr. Christopher Kuenneth at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, together with research partners in Atlanta, has developed a digital system that filters out those materials best suited for targeted applications from among some 100 million theoretically possible polymers. The system, called polyBERT, treats the chemical structure of polymers like a chemical language.
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Fraunhofer LBF develops new approach for rapid process stabilization of plastics


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF see online rheological investigations as a promising method to accelerate the development process by determining the optimal amount of antioxidants more efficiently.
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Global chemical companies sign agreement on R&D Hub for plastic waste processing incubated by World Economic Forum


Seven member companies of the World Economic Forum’s Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies (LCET) initiative have signed a collaboration agreement with the independent research organization TNO to establish an R&D Hub for Plastic Waste Processing. The seven companies include BASF, Covestro, Dow, Mitsubishi Chemical, SABIC, Solvay and Lyondell Basell.
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Luminescent solar collectors: Silicone makes power generation more flexible and colourful


Plastics contribute to climate protection. As fibre-reinforced plastics for wind turbines or films for solar cells, they already play an important role in power generation from renewable energies. But the conventional solutions are not equally suitable for every area of application. This is where a new type of material comes into play that was developed at Saarland University.
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Enzyme that breaks down PET plastic: Leipzig scientists increase efficiency


A research team at the University of Leipzig has further improved the functioning of an enzyme that can degrade PET plastic. Through computer simulations and experiments, they were able to rationally improve the enzyme and are now working on developing the third generation of the enzyme.
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Chemists redesign biological PHAs, 'dream' biodegradable plastics


Colorado State University polymer chemists have created a synthetic Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) platform. These newly designed PHAs are mechanically tough, even outperforming the two most common commodity plastics. Among other things, this is intended to address the thermal instability of conventional PHAs and is a major step toward sustainability.
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Better recycling of plastic packaging: New process extracts fragrances


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed an environmentally friendly process to remove fragrances from plastic packaging. The process is based on pressurized water extraction and removes the fragrance limonene from HDPE packaging. By evaluating the data using machine learning methods, it was possible to optimize the extraction parameters.
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BluCon Biotech welcomes strategic investment by major chemical group LG Chem


The two companies BluCon Biotech GmbH and LG Chem Ltd entered into an investment agreement. Together, they plan to work on a novel process to convert lignocellulosic non-food raw materials into high-purity lactic acid.
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Image: Erlenmeyer flask filled with water polluted by microplastics in a laboratory; Copyright: microgen

First comparative study on automated analysis methods of large data sets in microplastics research


The lack of standardized analytical procedures for microplastic data has led to significant deviations, especially for small particles with high hazard potential. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute have compared two automated analysis procedures and called for standardization to improve the comparability of data.
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Researchers use light to convert abundant lignin into plastic that can be continually recycled


Boston College chemists have developed an approach that uses light to transform lignin into sustainable plastics. The findings advance a potential strategy for the waste-free system of polymer manufacture and re-use known as the circular plastic economy.
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LANXESS software calculates carbon footprint for Group's own products


With the "Product Carbon Footprint Engine" developed by LANXESS, the CO2 footprint can be calculated automatically for the Group's products. With this innovation, the speciality chemicals company aims to help its customers achieve their sustainability goals.
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LyondellBasell and KIRKBI invest in APK to develop recycling technology


The two companies LyondellBasell and KIRKBI signed an agreement to make an investment in the company APK. APK has developed the unique solvent-based Newcycling® process, which separates the different polymers of multi-layer packaging materials and produces recycled materials with a high degree of purity suitable for new packaging materials.
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Degradation of Plastic Waste using newly Developed Biocatalysts


A research team from the University of Greifswald, together with scientists from Covestro AG, has identified enzymes capable of degrading polyurethanes and polyvinyl alcohol. The research helps to establish a sustainable and environmentally-friendly process to recycle these polymers.
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Stable yet degradable: researchers develop chemical pre-determined breaking points in polymer chains


We encounter high-density polyethylene (HDPE) every day, for example as detergent packaging or films. HDPE is particularly stable and resistant. In terms of sustainability, however, it still has a long way to go, because its high stability is often accompanied by poor degradability.
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LANXESS and TotalEnergies to cooperate on sustainable styrene


Specialty chemicals company LANXESS and French energy group TotalEnergies have entered into a cooperation on the supply of biocircular styrene. Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production.
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Covestro and Lanxess cooperate to produce more sustainable raw materials with reduced CO₂ footprint


Chemical companies Covestro and LANXESS are cooperating in the energy-intensive production of basic chemicals at their Lower Rhine sites in Germany and make them more climate friendly. LANXESS procures chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from the ISCC PLUS-certified sites of Covestro in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen.
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Automated simulation software creates a world map of polymer properties


"Materials informatics (MI), a new branch of materials research that combines materials data with data science, is gaining traction," said co-corresponding author Yoshihiro Hayashi, assistant professor, Institute of Statistical Mathematics in the Research Organization of Information and Science (ROIS).
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Image: Granules and filaments made of plastic; Copyright: Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

Bio-based flame retardants for bioplastics in electrical engineering and electronics


Fraunhofer researchers, in collab with industrial partners, have achieved initial success in the development of bio-based flame retardants in bioplastics. In the future, it could therefore be possible to utilize plastics in electronics and electrical engineering that consist of 100% bio-based materials. Processing was tested by means of compounding, injection molding and additive manufacturing.
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Turning plastic waste into a valuable soil additive


University of California, Riverside, scientists have moved a step closer to finding a use for the hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste produced every year that often winds up clogging streams and rivers and polluting our oceans.
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Silicone sponge captures unknown bacteria


Microorganisms populate nearly any habitat, no matter how hostile it is. Their great variety of survival strategies is of huge potential in biotechnology. Most of these organisms, however, are unknown, because they cannot be cultivated. To make better use of this "microbial dark matter", the KIT) has now developed a "sponge" made of porous, formable silicone.
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From old to new: Evonik produces PEBA from used tires


Many raw materials deserve a second life, and especially in view of resource conservation and the circular economy, the reuse of raw materials is particularly important. Evonik shows how it's done: The company produces PA-12 elastomers from old tires.
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Orthopaedic insoles made of Elastollan® – more comfortable, sustainable and individual


Shoe insoles made of Elastollan®, BASF's thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), offer a high degree of individualization freedom. The production of shoe insoles in 3D printing enables smooth transitions between soft and hard structures.
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Plastics of the future will live many past lives, thanks to chemical recycling


A research team at the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered how durable plastics used in the aerospace and microelectronics industries broken down into their most basic building blocks and then formed again into the same material. In the process, they do not lose their physical properties.
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Sustainable face masks: recyclable and climate-friendly


With the development of the first 100 percent recyclable FFP2 mask, the Austrian Grabher Group is taking an important step towards sustainability. The sustainable FFP2 masks made of polypropylene are not only fully recyclable, but also cause significantly fewer CO2 emissions during their manufacture than conventional protective masks.
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Researchers develop plastic film that can kill viruses using room lights


Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a plastic film that uses room light to kill viruses that land on its surface. The technology used to manufacture the film also ensures that it is degradable. This self-sterilizing film is inexpensive to produce, easy to scale and could be used for disposable aprons, tablecloths and curtains in hospitals.
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Shining light on why plastics turn yellow


A research team has investigated whether intended nanostructures formed by UV light could be the cause of yellowing of polyethylene. The result was that chiral chemical structures form on the surfaces of polyethylene films during exposure to UV light and are a possible cause of the yellow color of old plastics. These findings could help researchers develop plastic products that last longer.
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Lessons from natural photosynthesis: conversion of CO2 to raw materials for plastic


A research team at Osaka Metropolitan University has succeeded in producing fumarate from pyruvate and CO2 through artificial photosynthesis. Fumarate can be used to produce biodegradable plastic such as polybutylene succinate. In this process, the carbon is stored in a compact, durable and solid form.
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Researchers find a new method for recycling polystyrene


A research team led by Guoliang "Greg" Liu implemented the goal of making the current main method for recycling polystyrene profitable. By exposing the material to ultraviolet light and adding a chemical catalyst this method creates diphenylmethane (DPM), which has a high economic value. This new recycling method would create an incentive for polystyrene to be collected and recycled.
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BASF and ARCUS sign agreement on the production and procurement of pyrolysis oil from mixed plastic waste


ARCUS plans to start up first commercial pyrolysis plant for mixed plastic waste in Germany and will supply the company BASF SE with pyrolysis oil. This will enable further expansion of BASF's ChemCyclingTM business. The Agreement foresees take-up of up to 100,000 tons of pyrolysis oil per year.
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Covestro invests in the production of more sustainable polycarbonates in Asia Pacific


Covestro plans to set up its first dedicated mechanical recycling (MCR) plant for polycarbonates at its integrated site in Shanghai. The company also plans to convert an existing compounding facility in Thailand into a mechanical recycling plant.
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LANXESS: Entire value chain to become climate-neutral


The chemicals company LANXESS aims to make its upstream and downstream supply chains climate-neutral by 2050. In order to achieve the so-called Scope 3 targets, LANXESS has launched the Net Zero Value Chain Program. The focus is on sustainable raw materials, green logistics and climate-neutral products.
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Borealis introduces a portfolio of circular base chemicals


The Borvida™ portfolio introduces sustainable base chemicals to Borealis' range of product offering. The range will initially be based on non-food waste biomass, and chemically-recycled waste. In the future it will also draw from atmospheric carbon capture. The traceability of the content will be based on Mass Balance, which is ISCC PLUS certified.
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TRINSEO introduces sustainable ALTUGLAS™ R-Life Acrylics


The Trinseo company has launched a new series entitled: ALTUGLAS™ R-Life Acrylics. This comprises chemically and mechanically recycled, reused and bio-based polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) for cast and extruded sheets, resins and compounds.
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LyondellBasell helps to close the loop on Polypropylene by joining NEXTLOOPP initiative


LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is participating in the NEXTLOOPP initiative, which aims to produce circular recycled food-grade polypropylene (FGrPP) from used packaging. NEXTLOOPP is able to close the loop of polypropylene (PP) by means of a combination of cutting-edge technologies. Polypropylene is separated from the rest and the polymer is decontaminated.
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A unique catalyst paves the way for plastic upcycling


After developing the first process inorganic catalyst to break down polyolefin plastics into molecules, a team led by Ames Laboratory scientists has now developed a strategy to accelerate the conversion without losing the desired products.The result is that larger platinum particles reacted more slowly with the long polymer chain, while the smaller ones reacted faster.
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Photosynthesis-inspired process makes commodity chemicals


A Northwestern University research team used a new method to convert acetylene to ethylene, a widely used, highly valuable chemical that is an important component of plastics. They use a process similar to photosynthesis that is much less expensive and less energy intensive.
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New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass


Scientists from EPFL's School of Basic Sciences have successfully developed a biomass-derived plastic. Similar to PET, it meets the criteria for replacing several current plastics while being more environmentally friendly.
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Reusing odor-contaminated plastics


In the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy (CCPE), the four Fraunhofer institutes are researching odor barrier skins for polymer compounds made from recycled materials. With special additives, odor barrier skins with a skin thickness of 0.25 mm can be effectively realized. The odor-contaminated plastic can be "packaged".
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Sabic launches new upcycled resin made with ocean bound plastic waste


The company SABIC introduced LNP™ ELCRIN™ WF0061BiQ resin, a novel material that uses ocean-bound polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles as a feed stream for chemical upcycling into polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin. The company has added many different and innovative grades to the LNP ELCRIN iQ portfolio, including glass- and mineral-reinforced products and flame-retardant formulations.
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New method to convert plastic trash into clean hydrogen fuel


To convert plastic waste into hydrogen, researchers at the Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new method. The new method is based on pyrolysis, a high-temperature chemical process. The project is also investigating the potential of other new technologies for decentralized waste management.
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Made up out of thin air


Innovations always emerge from something existing, something tried and tested. Approaching them in terms of their content requires a look at the fundamentals. This is also true for the question of how carbon dioxide (CO2) from exhaust gases can be used for the production of plastics.
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Treated plastic waste good at grabbing carbon dioxide


Researchers at Rice University have developed a technique to turn plastic waste into an effective carbon dioxide (CO2) sorbent for industry.
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Photo: Sorting plastic bottles ; Copyright: AnnaStills

New enzyme discovery is another leap towards beating plastic waste


Scientists have characterized an enzyme that has the ability to degrade terephthalate (TPA), one of the chemical building blocks of the plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make disposable beverage bottles, for example.
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A previously unknown bacterial enzyme makes new type of biodegradable polymer


Researchers have identified a bacterial enzyme that can produce a new type of polysaccharide similar to the biopolymer chitin. The new molecule could be useful for drug delivery, tissue engineering and other biomedical applications. It is also biodegradable.
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BASF and NEVEON cooperate on mattress recycling


The first trials on chemical recycling of mattresses by BASF and NEVEON were successful. BASF is developing a wet chemical recycling process for used mattresses made of flexible polyurethane. Mattress take-back pilot is an important step towards circular economy.
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Creating sustainable material from waste


University of Delaware researchers demonstrated that it is possible to efficiently turn industrially processed lignin into high-performance plastics, such as bio-based 3D-printing resins, and valuable chemicals. The research team replaced methanol, a traditional solvent used in lignin deconstruction, with glycerin so the process could be done at normal atmospheric pressure.
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Chemists develop radical way to make it easier, more profitable to recycle plastic


By modifying carbon-hydrogen bonds, chemists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill transform plastic trash into tougher, stronger material. They started with plastic foam packaging used to protect electronics during shipping that otherwise ends up in landfills.
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Plastic snowfall in the Alps


To study how much plastic is trickling down on us from the atmosphere, Empa researcher Dominik Brunner, together with colleagues from Utrecht University and the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics, have developed a chemical method that determines the contamination of the samples with a mass spectrometer.
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New lignin based material to replace fossil plastics and adhesives


Researchers at Stockholm University have developed a resource-efficient method to produce new lignin-based materials that can be thermally reprocessed and used to substitute thermosetting resins and adhesives.
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Self-healing 3D printed plastic can repair itself by using only light


Research by UNSW academics shows that special treatment of liquid resin used in 3D printing can cause the material to mend itself if it becomes damaged.
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Polymer discovery gives 3D-printed sand super strength


Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed a novel polymer to bind and strengthen silica sand for binder jet additive manufacturing, a 3D-printing method used by industries for prototyping and part production.
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Air Liquide and BASF welcome support from European Innovation Fund for joint CCS project


Air Liquide and BASF are planning to develop the world's largest cross-border Carbon Capture and Storage value chain. The goal is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions at the industrial cluster in the port of Antwerp. The joint project has been selected for funding by the European Commission through its Innovation Fund, as one of the seven large-scale projects out of more than 300 applications.
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Covestro receives the German Design Award for its CMF Aesthetics Toolkit


As announced by the German Design Council, Covestro's CMF Aesthetics Toolkit will receive the German Design Award 2022 in the category "Excellent Product Design – Material and Surfaces." The toolkit is designed to inspire designers to explore the many aesthetic and functional possibilities of polycarbonate in the field of color, material and finish (CMF).
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Elastic polymer that is both stiff and tough, resolves long-standing quandary


Polymer science has made possible rubber tires, Teflon and Kevlar, plastic water bottles, nylon jackets among many other ubiquitous features of daily life.
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Scientists develop films with tunable elongation and fracture for various uses


Elastomers, or elastic polymers, materials with high elasticity, are widely used for applications in industries, such as automotive, manufacturing, and oil and gas.
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Effective deconstruction of polyurethane by catalyst based on earth-abundant metal


Polyurethane (PU) is one of the most versatile thermoset synthetic polymers which through careful choice of monomer and formulation, can be seen in a myriad of different forms ranging from rigid-, flexible and molded foams to adhesives and elastomers just to name a few.
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A new approach for recycling plastics


Two EPFL engineers have come up with a revolutionary new method for tackling plastic pollution by harnessing the inner workings of proteins. The result? A whole new way of looking at plastic recycling.
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Simple thermoset plastic recycling using a peptide solution


Epoxy resin is a type of thermoset resin commonly used in glue, paint and composite materials. NIMS and ISMA have developed a new thermoset plastic recycling system capable of easily decomposing epoxy resins in an aqueous solution of a naturally derived peptide.
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Fraunhofer IGB

Greenhouse gases headed for sustainability: How CO2 is turning into plastic


Carbon dioxide is driving climate change. To combat it, emissions must be reduced. Fraunhofer researchers have developed an approach to use the climate gas as a raw material for plastics.
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Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling


New research from Cornell University aims to ease the process of chemical recycling – an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.
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Electrosynthesis: preventing cathodic corrosion


Sustainability is an important issue in business and industry these days. Many companies recognize the need to find the best possible climate-neutral solutions for manufacturing their products and reduce their output of pollutants. This means they are looking for manufacturing options that do not require the use of fossil raw materials.
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Degradation of biobased plastics in the soil


The idea of biodegradable plastics sounds good at first. However, very little is known about how they are degraded in the soil and how this is influenced by climate change. In two recent studies, soil ecologists have shown which microbial community is responsible for degradation, what role the climate plays in this process, and why biodegradable plastics could still be problematic.
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Sunlight can break down marine plastic into tens of thousands of chemical compounds


Sunlight was once thought to only fragment plastics in the marine environment into smaller particles that chemically resemble the original material and persist forever. However, scientists more recently have learned that sunlight also chemically transforms plastic into a suite of polymer-, dissolved-, and gas-phased products.
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Michael Davies

Michael Davies


Technical and Marketing Manager, Dover Chemical Corporation
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New tool to predict polymer properties


An interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed a powerful mathematical modelling tool that will allow researchers to predict the properties of polymer networks before they are even created.
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Material development: getting there faster with co-pilot AI


General conditions for chemical and materials companies are changing rapidly. But the thorough research, development and commercialization of new materials can be lengthy. AI can accelerate this process.
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Walmir Soller

The Brazilian plastics market and Braskem's contribution to the Circular Economy


While the Corona pandemic initially had a negative impact on almost all markets, the plastics industry benefited in the course of 2020 due to the increasing demand for personal protective equipment, to-go packaging for food and household items. The chemical company Braskem is also noticing this development in Brazil.
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Bacteria serves tasty solution to global plastic crisis


Scientists have devised a novel way of tackling the mounting issue of plastic pollution – by using bacteria to transform plastic waste into vanilla flavoring
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New light on making two-dimensional polymers


An international research team led by members from the Technical University of Munich, the Deutsches Museum, Munich, and the Swedish Linköping University has developed a method to manufacture two-dimensional polymers with the thickness of a single molecule. The polymers are formed on a surface by the action of light. The discovery paves the way to new ultrathin and functional materials.
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Bacteria-sized robots take on microplastics and win by breaking them down


Small pieces of plastic are everywhere, stretching from urban environments to pristine wilderness. Left to their own devices, it can take hundreds of years for them to degrade completely.
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Enzymes successfully embedded in plastics


In general, plastics are processed at way over a hundred degrees Celsius. Enzymes, by contrast, cannot usually withstand these high temperatures. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IAP have managed to reconcile these contradictions: They are able to embed enzymes in plastics without the enzymes losing their activity in the process. The potentials this creates are enormous.
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Historical experimental studio © PantherMedia/Klanneke

Do it Yourself plastic anno 1530


Instructions for the production of artificial cow horn. Almost 500 years old is the recipe for the production of artificial horn and thus currently the oldest known German recipe for plastic.
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It's snowing plastic


The snow may be melting, but it is leaving pollution behind in the form of micro- and nano-plastics according to a McGill study that was recently published in Environmental Pollution. The pollution is largely due to the relatively soluble plastics found in antifreeze products (polyethylene glycols) that can become airborne and picked up by the snow.
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A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products


Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy.
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Milliken & Company announces acquisition of Zebra-chem


Milliken & Company, a global diversified manufacturer with more than a century and a half of materials science expertise, has formally acquired Zebra-chem GmbH, a global chemicals company known for its peroxide and blowing agent masterbatches.
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Image: toilet; Copyright: stock / Rocco-Herrmann

Do not flush this down the toilet!


The toilet may be inside the house, but it directs everything that is disposed in it, eventually, into the environment. Therefore, the toilet is not part of the municipal waste collection system.
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Protective polymers


Restrictions have been imposed to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Wearing a mouth and nose mask is part of this, as is avoiding and reducing social contact and maintaining safe distances up to more far-reaching quarantine measures. Where it is difficult to keep a distance, plastics fulfil a key barrier and protective function.
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