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Issue 05/2022

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Highlights: Fibres / Textiles / Nonwovens Building & Construction Basics: Feedstocks K'2022 preview

Building & Construction

Building & Construction Low-carbon wastewater evacuation system made from bio-attributed PVC Vynova (Tessenderlo, Belgium), a leading European PVC and chlor-alkali company, and Nicoll (Herstal, Belgium), European leader in thermoplastic solutions for the building sector and part of Aliaxis Group, have sealed a commercial agreement to use bio-attributed PVC for Nicoll’s HOMETECH ® silent wastewater evacuation system. This will enable Nicoll to offer a low-carbon solution without any compromise on quality, durability, and performance. As part of the agreement, Vynova is supplying bio-attributed PVC marketed under its VynoEcoSolutions brand to Nicoll in France. The use of Vynova’s bio-attributed PVC is estimated to reduce the carbon footprint of Nicoll Hometech by 60 % compared to the conventional end product. As it already incorporates 20 % externally recycled plastic and is 100 % recyclable itself, Nicoll Hometech will become the first silent evacuation system made with 100 % low-carbon PVC. “We are delighted to work together with an industry leader like Nicoll to reduce the carbon footprint of their PVC pipe range, supporting our mutual sustainability goals and helping the construction sector shift towards a low-carbon future”, comments Rudy Miller, Vice President Vinyls Business at Vynova. “This new bio-attributed resin is a logical next step to further concretize our sustainability ambitions. As a market leader, we set the pace for innovative, sustainable solutions”, says Benoît Fabre, Vice President Aliaxis France. Vynova’s bio-attributed PVC is produced from biomass feedstock that does not compete with the food chain and is marketed under the VynoEcoSolutions brand. The VynoEcoSolutions portfolio also includes the company’s circular-attributed and renewable PVC ranges, renewable caustic soda as well as its low-carbon potassium derivatives offering. The bio-circular ethylene which is used as feedstock for Vynova’s bio-attributed PVC is supplied by petrochemical company SABIC (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) from its production facilities in Geleen (the Netherlands) and forms part of SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio for circular solutions. “Partnerships along the value chain, such as this collaboration with Nicoll and SABIC, are essential to realizing the transition towards a more sustainable and circular plastics industry. This cooperation underlines our strong commitment to being an industry leader in that transition”, concludes Vynova President Christophe André. AT 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17

Cellulose-based passive radiative cooler Heating and cooling account for large proportion of buildings’ energy use in many countries, such as China and the USA, which makes it the largest individual energy expenditure. As a result, passive radiative cooling has become an attractive approach to saving building energy efficiencies. To date, traditional cooling devices show poor daytime cooling performance in hot, humid regions because the cooling materials are heated up by the sun. Thus, designing tuneable daytime radiative cooler to meet the requirements of different weather conditions is still a big challenge, especially in hot, humid regions. In a recent study, a dual-function strategy of aerogel was put forward to construct tuneable cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) aerogel coolers with high solar reflectance, high infrared emissivity, and low thermal conductivity, which show great value in energy-saving buildings. Nanocrystal cellulose aerogel coolers were fabricated via facile freezing casting of crosslinked CNC suspensions. The CNC suspensions crosslinked by silane agent (MTMS) were poured into the desired moulds and frozen in liquid nitrogen, before they were freeze-dried to obtain the CNC aerogels. Finally, the obtained CNC aerogels were thermally treated in the oven drying at 80 °C. The resulting CNC aerogel coolers exhibit an ultra-white structure, which can reflect 96 % sunlight. Meanwhile, CNC aerogel coolers show a strong infrared emittance (92 %) and an ultralow thermal conductivity (0.026 W/mK). They can achieve a sub-ambient temperature drop of up to 9.2 °C under direct sunlight and promisingly reached the reduction of ~7.4 °C even in hot, moist, and fickle extreme surroundings. More importantly, the elasticity of aerogel coolers enables the dynamically tuneable cooling capacity by simply changing the compression ratio of aerogel coolers, which can meet the different cooling requirements in various regions all over the world. Meanwhile, compared with traditional cooling materials, such as PE fabric, PVDF coatings, photonics, and so on, the prepared CNC aerogel coolers are sustainable and eco-friendly – it can be easily isolated from wood and can be considered a nontoxic and biodegradable material. Most importantly, as-prepared CNC aerogel coolers can be used for many scenarios such as: 1. as cooling materials around building, outdoor construction or devices, 2. but also for small devices running outdoors in summer under direct sunlight, 3. or as protecting materials against sunlight or warm conditions, such as for fresh fruit in warm weather, e.g. during transport in summer. Specially, these aerogel coolers can be easily assembled into bulks with different sizes and geometries, which can meet the various requirements of applications. The aerogel cooler (thickness of 1 cm) can act as an envelope of baseline buildings to reflect sunlight, dissipate heat by infrared radiation and reduce thermal convection from the ambient surroundings to the inner space, thereby resulting in reduced cooling energy consumption. The energy-saving modelling process was conducted based on baseline wall and roof material (Traditional building materials) properties and aerogel cooler performance to predict energy consumption. Twenty-three cities in China were selected for this study (thermal zones in China), which can expand the results of energy savings to the whole country. Our cooling energy savings of the aerogel cooler on outer surfaces of buildings indicates Haikou (6.89 kW/m 2 ), Taipei (5.61 kW/m 2 ), Changsha (4.96 kW/m 2 ), Wuhan (4.91 kW/m 2 ), and Nanchang (4.89 kW/m 2 ) possess the highest cooling energy in the chosen 23 cities in China. Specifically, compared with the traditional building consumption, the aerogel cooler could save 35.4 % cooling energy on average in China. In the future, the research will focus on: (1) improving the net cooling power of aerogel coolers by optimizing the infrared emissivity; (2) optimizing existent freeze casting technology to produce large-sized aerogel coolers: (3) designing weather-adaptive CNC-based coolers to meet the requirement of different season conditions. Full research at: Cooling savings (%) 50 40 30 20 10 0 Average (one year) Percentage China Energy 4x10³ 3x10³ 2x10³ 1x10³ Cooling energy (W/m²) By: Fu Yu, Distinguished Professor School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering & Composite Materials Engineering Centre Nanjing Forestry University & Washington State University Pullman, WA, USA 0 Building & Construction bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17 29

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