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Issue 05/2022

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News daily updated News at Mass-balanced raw materials for PC plastics Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany) will now be supplied with the two mass-balanced raw materials phenol and acetone from INEOS’ (London, UK) INVIRIDIS product range. Covestro uses these CO 2 -reduced products to manufacture its high-performance polycarbonate plastic. It is used in headlights and other automotive parts, but also in housings for electronic devices, light guides and lenses, medical devices, and many other high-value applications. "By switching to mass-balanced renewable raw materials, we aim to significantly reduce our indirect emissions in the supply chain and offer products with a reduced carbon footprint", says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. "In doing so, we’re helping our customers to meet their climate goals and advance the transition to a circular economy". New label for circular intelligent solutions Lily Wang, global head of the Engineering Plastics segment, emphasizes the further benefits for customers: "We offer them a drop-in solution that they can quickly and easily integrate into existing production processes without requiring any technical changes. The products show the same good quality as their fossilbased counterparts". As part of the CQ family of circular intelligent solutions, Covestro offers them under the names Makrolon ® RE, Bayblend ® RE, Makroblend ® RE, and Apec ® RE. With its new CQ concept, Covestro highlights the alternative raw material basis in products and thus gives a clear indication to customers who are looking for such products. Certification by ISCC Plus and RSB underlines Ineos’ strong commitment to working with the bioeconomy and reflects the strong sustainability of Inviridis. Gordon Adams, Business Director of Ineos Phenol, said, "As part of our sustainability strategy, we have developed these more sustainable phenol and acetone products, which we have named Inviridis. This new product range provides our customers with drop-in product options that meet their stringent quality and performance requirements. At the same time, we’re moving the industry toward a more climate-friendly economy for phenol and acetone without compromising its unique product attributes". AT | Technip acquires Biosuccinium technology from DSM Technip Energies (La Défense, Nanterre, France) announced the purchase of Biosuccinium ® technology from DSM (Heerlen, the Netherlands), adding a technology solution to its growing Sustainable Chemicals portfolio. This technology synergizes with recently developed proprietary biopolymer technologies and provides a commercially referenced production of biobased succinic acid (bio-SAc) that serves as feedstock for the production of polybutylene succinate (PBS). The purchase includes a wide range of patent families and proprietary yeast strains, which have been demonstrated in production facilities of licensees at large scale. Biosuccinium technology will be the only technology for the production of biobased succinic acid to be licensed on the market. MT | LG Chem and ADM launch joint ventures for lactic acid and PLA Production LG Chem (Seoul, South Korea), a leading global diversified chemical company, and ADM (Chicago, IL, USA), a global leader in nutrition and biosolutions, held a signing ceremony in mid-August launching two joint ventures for US production of lactic acid and polylactic acid to meet growing demand for a wide variety of plant-based products, including bioplastics. Pending final investment decisions, the joint ventures have chosen Decatur, Illinois, USA, as the location of their intended production facilities. The first joint venture, GreenWise Lactic, would produce up to 150,000 tonnes of high-purity corn-based lactic acid annually. ADM would be the majority owner of GreenWise and would contribute fermentation capacity from its Decatur bioproducts facility to the venture. The second joint venture, LG Chem Illinois Biochem, would be majority-owned by LG Chem. It would build upon LG Chem’s expertise in bioplastics to build a facility that will use the product from GreenWise Lactic to produce approximately 75,000 tonnes of PLA per year. The joint ventures, which are subject to required regulatory approvals, hope to make final investment decisions around the Decatur projects in 2023. Pending final investment decisions and approvals, construction would be targeted to begin in 2023, and production in late 2025 or early 2026, with the two joint ventures supporting more than 125 jobs in the Decatur region. MT 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17

Toray invents 100 % biobased adipic acid Toray Industries (Tokyo, Japan) recently announced that it has developed the world’s first 100 % biobased adipic acid, a raw material for nylon 66 (polyamide 66), from sugars from crop residues and other inedible plant resources. This achievement came from using a proprietary synthesis technique combining the company’s microbial fermentation technology and chemical purification technology that harnesses separation membranes. The company has started to scale up its capabilities in this area. It will test polymerization of nylon 66, develop production technology, conduct market research, and take steps to commercialize applications for this biobased adipic acid by around 2030. Nylon 66 has been used for many years in fibres, resins, and other applications due to its exceptionally durable, strong, and rigid properties. Pressures to develop eco-friendly nylon 66 have risen in recent years amid a growing awareness of the need to realize a sustainable society. One challenge is that conventional chemical synthesis for producing adipic acid, the raw material of nylon 66, generates a greenhouse gas called dinitrogen monoxide. Toray was the first in the world to discover microorganisms that produce an adipic acid intermediate from sugars. The company reconfigured metabolic pathways within microorganisms to enhance production efficiency by applying genetic engineering technology, which artificially recombines genes to streamline synthesis in microorganisms. It also employed bioinformatics technologies to design optimal microbial fermentation pathways for synthesis. Quantity of the intermediate synthesized by microorganisms has increased more than 1,000-fold since the initial discovery, and the efficiency of synthesis has improved dramatically. AT News daily updated News at Plants (Inedible biomass) Microbial fermentation Membranebased purification CO 2 Sugars Adipic acid Nylon 66 Hexamethylene diamine New bioplastics research centre in Australia A new University of Queensland-led training centre is set to become a hub for world-leading research in green plastic. The USD13 million Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, based at UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering, aims to make large-scale plastic pollution a problem of the past. Centre director, Steven Pratt, said scientists will work toward developing biobased and biodegradable plastics that have a minimal environmental impact. According to Pratt, there was a rapidly growing local and international market for better bioplastics. “But we need to consider their full life cycle, from the sustainable resources to make them right up to their end of life”, he said. The training centre is a partnership between The University of Queensland and The Queensland University of Technology, alongside the Queensland Government, Kimberly-Clark Australia, Plantic Technologies, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, Minderoo Foundation, and City of Gold Coast. Kimberly-Clark Australia Managing Director Belinda Driscoll said the company had set an ambitious goal to halve its use of fossil fuel-based plastic in the next eight years. “This partnership with the University of Queensland takes an important step toward creating more sustainable products and reducing our environmental footprint”, said Driscoll. Plantic Technologies Chief Technology Officer Nick McCaffrey said the company looked forward to further expanding the science and engineering behind its unique products. “The research outcomes could further improve biobased materials and extend the shelf life of packaged foods”, McCaffrey said. The training centre will also focus on training to develop industry-ready researchers in chemical and materials engineering, polymer chemistry, environmental science, social science, policy, and business. AT bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17 7

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