Toyoda Gosei has developed a cellulose nanofiber (CNF)-reinforced plastic with the aim of reducing CO2 over the lifecycle of automotive components, from raw material procurement and production to recycling and disposal. Toyoda Gosei is developing materials that raise the environmental performance of its products by leveraging the features of CNF:... Read more →


Bcomp, a leading manufacturer of high-performance components made from natural fibers, has closed its oversubscribed Series B financing round of CHF 32.4 million (US$35 million) with commitment from a range of mobility, financial, and impact investment companies. The strategic group of investors consists of automotive venture capital from BMW i... Read more →


A study by three French institutes—Ifremer, the University of Bordeaux and the IRD (a public research institution)—has found that the surface water of the Atlantic Ocean is twice as polluted by cellulose fibers as it is by microplastics. This study, based on measurements taken from an offshore race boat, also... Read more →


BASF has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Zhejiang REEF Technology Co., Ltd. to develop state-of-the-art recyclate formulations for applications used in the automotive, packaging and consumer industries. The plastics industry is seeking ways to incorporate higher content of recycled polymeric material in all major applications to meet sustainability goals,... Read more →


DSM Engineering Materials expands production of high-performance polymers in China for EVs and E&E

DSM Engineering Materials is expanding its high-performance materials production capacity at its Jiangyin plant in Jiangsu Province, China. Work on an additional compounding line began in February 2022, with completion expected in 2023. The new line will help DSM to meet growing demand for high-performance polymers used in a wide... Read more →


Virgin Group and Agilyx form strategic partnership to produce lower carbon aviation fuel from plastic waste

Virgin Group and chemical conversion technology company Agilyx (earlier post) are forming a strategic partnership to research and develop lower carbon fuel facilities to help address plastic pollution and the global transition to net zero. Virgin Group and Agilyx aim to reuse plastic waste to produce synthetic crude oil that... Read more →


Researchers at Stanford University have shown that porous polymer encapsulation of metal-supported catalysts can drive the selectivity of CO2 conversion to hydrocarbons. Using this technique, they report orders of magnitude higher turnover frequencies for hydrocarbon formation compared to conventional catalysts. A paper on their work is published in Proceedings of... Read more →


Using a novel polymerization process, MIT chemical engineers have created a new two-dimensional polymer that self-assembles into sheets, unlike all other polymers which form one-dimensional chains. Until now, scientists had believed it was impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets. The new material is stronger than steel and as... Read more →


The VETERIA21 Project, funded by the Valencian Regional Government and implemented by AIMPLAS, will develop new, more efficient transformation processes for thermoplastic composites so they can be used to replace the metal content of electric vehicle batteries. These materials ensure a major reduction in vehicle weight, which extends battery life.... Read more →


Ford has become the first automaker to use 100% recycled ocean plastics to produce automotive parts. Wiring harness clips in Ford Bronco Sport models are made of ocean-harvested plastic—commonly referred to as “ghost gear.” The strength and durability of the nylon material equals that of previously used petroleum-based parts but... Read more →


A team of researchers from the US NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers based at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has demonstrated the use of a dual cellular–heterogeneous catalytic strategy to produce olefins from glucose. Wang et al. These renewable liquids could serve as a more sustainable replacement for today’s... Read more →


Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a carbon-supported platinum nanoparticle catalyst that can achieve complete hydrocracking of polypropylene into liquid hydrocarbons (C5–C45). With tuning, the catalyst can achieve a selectivity of 80% toward motor oil (C21–C45). A paper on their work is published... Read more →


Researchers in the EU RECOTRANS (Integrated manufacturing of REcyclable multi-material COmposites for the TRANSport sector) have used microwaves and laser welding to obtain recyclable composites for automotive and transport. The project, led by AIMPLAS, is intended to help produce lighter and, therefore, less polluting vehicles without increasing costs. RECOTRANS researchers... Read more →


SABIC has introduced NORYL GTX 9500 resin, a new addition to a range of unfilled NORYL GTX resin grades, which delivers excellent dimensional stability under hot and humid conditions, addressing the challenge for highly demanding automotive applications. SABIC’s NORYL GTX 9500 resin retains a better balance of mechanical properties when... Read more →


Solvay adds new thermoplastic composite capacity in the US to meet growing automotive and aerospace demand

Solvay announced the installation completion of its new thermoplastic composites (TPC) manufacturing facility at its Greenville, South Carolina site. At full production capacity, the new line will add more than 30 positions at the 27,000-square-foot facility. The project represents a major milestone in Solvay’s efforts to industrialize its TPC capacity.... Read more →


SABIC introduced the company’s first automotive grades containing mechanically recycled content within the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio of circular solutions and services. The new resins are SABIC T2E-3320EH PP compound, a high-flow, low-emission, talc-filled polypropylene (PP); XENOY T2NX2500UV resin, an unfilled, UV-stabilized blend of polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET); and... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Delaware have shown that ruthenium deposited on titania is an active and selective catalyst for breaking down polypropylene into valuable lubricant-range hydrocarbons with narrow molecular weight distribution and low methane formation at low temperatures of 250 °C with a modest H2 pressure. They were able... Read more →


Origin Materials launched its Net Zero Automotive Program with Ford Motor Company. The Net Zero Automotive Program is a sustainable automotive supply chain initiative focused on industrializing new materials to drive decarbonization in the automotive industry. Origin Materials has developed technology which turns sustainable wood residues into cost-advantaged, carbon-negative materials... Read more →


Audi researching industrialization of chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste from manufacturing

As part of the THINKTANK Industrial Resource Strategies, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have been working with Audi on the pilot project “Chemical Recycling of plastics from automotive manufacturing.” The results of the project indicated that the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste is both technically feasible... Read more →


Borealis, a leading supplier of polyolefin plastic materials for engineering applications in the automotive industry, announced the availability of Borcycle, its polyolefin-based solution composed of both virgin and post-consumer recyclate (PCR) for the North American automotive market. The Borcycle family of products have been conceived for interior, exterior and under-the-hood... Read more →


Washington State University researchers have developed an innovative way to convert waste polyethylene plastic to ingredients for jet fuel and other valuable products, making it easier and more cost-effective to reuse plastics. The researchers in their reaction were able to convert 90% of plastic to jet fuel and other valuable... Read more →


Heat resistance, good long-term use properties and weld resistance are the basic prerequisites for components in current and future powertrains. Whether in the internal combustion engine or in the hybrid or electric vehicle, reliable and technically flawless materials are indispensable in a demanding environment. BASF is expanding its product portfolio... Read more →


Royal DSM will start a strategic partnership with Neste to enable the production of high performance polymers made from sustainable feedstock. This enables DSM and its customers to reduce the carbon footprint of their own products while supporting the industry to transition to a circular economy. In the new strategic... Read more →


Global automotive Tier 1 manufacturer Motherson Group is collaborating with Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials. The companies are joining efforts to implement the carbon-negative UBQ thermoplastic (earlier post) into auto parts manufactured by Motherson Group for the automotive industry. UBQ is a patented material converted from 100% unsorted household waste,... Read more →


A large number of components in automobiles are made from plastics; these have to meet exacting safety, heat-resistance and quality requirements. That is why, so far, only petroleum-based materials have been suitable for manufacturing plastic components in automobiles that are subjected to particularly intensive wear. Such materials are not recyclable... Read more →


Gruppo Maip, Eastman partner on sustainable polymer automotive materials; bio-based and recycled

Eastman and Gruppo Maip, a leading international plastics formulator and compound producer based in Turin, Italy, will partner to formulate new sustainable polymer solutions for automotive interior applications. This will enable an exclusive portfolio of formulations based on Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technology, offering a range of both bio-based and... Read more →


Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel and a forerunner as a provider of renewable and circular solutions for the petrochemical industry, and LG Chem, South Korea’s largest diversified petrochemicals company and a world’s leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for energy solutions, aim to build... Read more →


Neste, Recycling Technologies and Unilever combine expertise to test and validate systems to recycle waste plastics chemically

Recycling Technologies, a specialist plastic recycling technology provider; Neste, the leading provider of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and a forerunner in drop-in renewable and circular chemical solutions; and Unilever, the consumer goods manufacturer, will collaborate to develop further and to harness chemical recycling to recover and to reuse plastic... Read more →


DOE to award more than $27M to 12 plastics recycling R&D projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $27 million in funding for 12 projects that will support the development of advanced plastics recycling technologies and new plastics that are recyclable-by-design. As part of DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, these projects will also help improve existing recycling processes that break... Read more →


Nuvera Fuel Cells, a US-based manufacturer of heavy-duty fuel cell systems, is now using BASF’s polyphthalamide (PPA) Ultramid Advanced N to manufacture several components in its latest generation of 45 kW fuel cell engines. The fuel cell engines will be integrated into transit buses and delivery vehicles in China over... Read more →


BASF SE is investing €16 million into Pyrum Innovations AG, a technology company specialized in the pyrolysis of waste tires, headquartered in Dillingen/Saar, Germany. With the investment, BASF will support the expansion of Pyrum’s pyrolysis plant in Dillingen and the further roll out of the technology. Pyrum is currently running... Read more →


Nissan reports developing a new process that speeds up the development of car parts made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). Lightweight yet extremely strong, the material can be used to make cars that are safer and more fuel efficient. It can also lower a car’s center of gravity when... Read more →


BASF and Toyota Motor North America Research & Development partnered on lightweighting with the new 2021 Toyota Sienna. The vehicle, scheduled to launch later this year, just won the prestigious Altair Enlighten Award for achievements in vehicle weight savings for reduced mass of the third row seat. In the previous... Read more →


Borealis, a supplier of polyolefin plastic materials for engineering applications in the automotive industry, announced the availability of Fibremod, its innovative carbon and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) technology, for the North American automotive market. The Fibremod family of products enables automotive manufacturers to achieve weight-saving and process cost-saving targets. In... Read more →


BASF develops engineering plastic with optimized sliding friction properties; for automotive parts in contact with hot oil

BASF is launching an engineering plastic that is particularly suited for automotive parts that come into contact with hot oil. The new polyethersulfone (PESU) Ultrason E0510 C2TR shows very good tribological properties, high oil resistance and excellent dimensional stability also with broad ranges of temperature fluctuations. The injection-molding grade with... Read more →


DOE announces $25M for plastics recycling R&D, launches upcycling consortium

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding for plastics recycling research and development (R&D). The funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002245) is part of the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in plastics recycling technologies. The Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies... Read more →


BASF is launching the pilot platform reciChain in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada, as a response to plastic waste. The scalable blockchain solution will support the track and trace and monetization of plastics within the value chain, through innovative Digital Badge and Loop Count technology. According to a... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


Pierburg (Rheinmetall Automotive), Swoboda, BASF and General Motors (GM) have developed the first all-plastic fuel vapor pump assembly in series production. It is currently produced at Pierburg’s facility in Fountain Inn, South Carolina and placed on the 2019 Cadillac XT4. The assembly is mounted on the engine and directly transfers... Read more →


Researchers in the US have developed a catalytic upcycling process using platinum nanoparticles supported on perovskites to convert single-use polyethylene (PE) (such as grocery bags) into value-added high-quality liquid products (such as motor oils and waxes). An open-access paper on their work is published in ACS Central Science. Hundreds of... Read more →


Researchers have developed a new catalytic method for upcycling abundant, seemingly low-value plastics (polyethylene) into high-quality liquid products, such as motor oils, lubricants, detergents and even cosmetics. The discovery also improves on current recycling methods that result in cheap, low-quality plastic products. Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratory and Ames Laboratory... Read more →


REMONDIS and Neste partner to develop chemical recycling of plastic waste; targeting >200 kilotons/year

Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel, renewable jet fuel, and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, and REMONDIS, one of the world’s largest privately owned recycling, service and water companies, have signed an agreement to collaborate in the development of chemical recycling of plastic waste. The... Read more →


Borealis and Neste begin strategic co-operation for production of renewable polypropylene

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative polyolefin solutions; and Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel, renewable jet fuel, and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, are entering into strategic co-operation for the production of renewable polypropylene (PP). The co-operation will enable Borealis to start using Neste’s... Read more →


In a joint project, BASF and STR Automotive have brought components for premium vehicles into series production for the first time using the new material Elastolit R 8819 Lightweight. In comparison to conventional processing with polyurethane reaction injection (PU-RRIM) materials, the new process provides significant weight reduction. The usual component... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover is testing an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. The amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for... Read more →


Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China report a two-step method for the synthesis of jet-fuel-range high-density polycycloalkanes from polycarbonate waste under mild conditions. An open-access paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Plastics are a family of organic polymers which are widely... Read more →


BASF to build engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethanes plants at new $10B Verbund site in Zhanjiang

BASF plans to build an engineering plastics compounding plant and a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plant at the company’s proposed integrated chemical production (“Verbund”) site in Zhanjiang, China. These will be the first production plants to come onstream at the site. The Verbund site in Guangdong would be BASF’s largest investment,... Read more →


Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China have selectively synthesized gasoline- and jet-fuel range C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics by the methanolysis of poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) waste, followed by the solvent-free hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO). The C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics can be used as gasoline or additives to improve... Read more →


U of I team uses frontal polymerization for rapid energy-efficient manufacturing of polymers; saving 10 orders of magnitude of energy

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process. The findings, reported in Nature, state that the new polymerization process uses 10 orders of magnitude less energy and can cut two orders... Read more →