BASF opts for sustainable glass fiber in its Ultramid A&B portfolio

BASF has set itself the ambitious goal of reducing its Scope 3.1 emissions by 15% across its entire portfolio by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. This will only be possible by procuring raw materials with reliable PCF (Product Carbon Footprint) primary data and, furthermore, raw materials with a... Read more →


NSF and industry partners announce $9.5M sustainable polymer research funding opportunity; SPEED

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched a $9.5-million research funding opportunity in partnership with BASF, Dow, IBM, PepsiCo Inc. and Procter & Gamble. Sustainable Polymers Enabled by Emerging Data Analytics (SPEED) is part of NSF’s Molecular Foundations for Sustainability program and seeks to accelerate the discovery and manufacture... Read more →


BASF Chemovator invests in startup Heartland; hemp-based materials for additives within plastic compounds

Chemovator, the business incubator and early-stage investor of BASF, has successfully finalized an investment in Heartland. The Detroit-based startup is a frontrunner in the production of hemp-based materials that can be used as additives within plastic compounds, and is the latest addition to Chemovator’s external-facing Elevate program. Hemp was likely... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a method that demonstrates how fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials used in the automotive, aerospace and renewable energy industries can be made stronger and tougher to better withstand mechanical or structural stresses over time. Composites are strong and lightweight... Read more →


Study finds that up to 11M tonnes of waste plastic is on the ocean floor

New research from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and the University of Toronto in Canada, estimates up to 11 million tonnes of plastic pollution is sitting on the ocean floor. Every minute, a garbage truck’s worth of plastic enters the ocean. With plastic use expected to double by 2040, understanding... Read more →


Kraiburg TPE introduces range of thermoplastic elastomer products with at least 73% recycled content for automotive market

Kraiburg TPE recently released a new range of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) products that contain at least 73% recycled content. The new Recycling Content TPE for Automotive series has been designed to fulfill a variety of technical applications. Kraiburg TPE also announced an agreement with Tessi Supply, which will use the... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed a closed-loop path for synthesizing an exceptionally tough carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and later recovering all of its starting materials. A lightweight, strong and tough composite material, CFRP is useful for reducing weight and increasing fuel efficiency of automobiles,... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Bath and University of Surrey have developed a way of introducing degradable bonds into thermoset polymers to make them more easily recyclable. An open-access paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Polymer Chemistry. The team made a series of polymer gels with... Read more →


Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) have genetically engineered a marine microorganism to break down plastic in salt water. Specifically, the modified organism can break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a plastic used in everything from water bottles to clothing that is a significant contributor to microplastic pollution in oceans.... Read more →


Japanese technology company Asahi Kasei will showcase diversified material solutions for safe and compact EV batteries, improved connectivity and lightweighting, as well as circular economy at Fakuma, the world’s leading trade event for industrial plastics processing, from 17 - 21 October 2023 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Thermoplastic composites for EV battery... Read more →


New Sandia Labs molecule could improve durability of polymers

A team at Sandia National Laboratories has developed a molecule that helps change the way some polymer materials react to temperature fluctuations, which makes them more durable. It’s an application that could be used in everything from plastic phone cases to missiles. Polymers, which include various forms of plastics, are... Read more →


SABIC launches new PCR-based NORYL portfolio to help customers reduce carbon footprint

SABIC recently announced its new PCR-based NORYL resin technology, formulated using 25% or more post-consumer recycled (PCR) content and aimed at providing additional, sustainable material options for customers. The technology was validated through the commercialization of several grades, including NORYL NH5120RC3 resin containing 30% PCR content, which helps to lower... Read more →


In partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), researchers from the University of Missouri (MU) Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab (MAPIL) recently created a real-world test road using recycled materials such as scrap tires and plastic waste along a portion of Interstate 155 in the Missouri Bootheel. By... Read more →


SABIC Launches two PP-based, intumescent FR materials well suited for extruding and thermoforming large, complex EV battery pack components

SABIC, a global diversified chemicals company, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has introduced SABIC PP compound H1090 resin and STAMAX 30YH611 resin, two materials well-suited for sheet extrusion and thermoforming that offer a unique alternative to traditional sheet metal forming, compression and injection molding, allowing customers to form large, complex... Read more →


EPA proposes rules for chemicals and fuels made from plastic waste-based feedstocks

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 18 chemicals made from plastic waste-derived feedstocks that would ensure they are free from unsafe contaminants before they can be used to make transportation fuels. The proposed Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) would... Read more →


Neste has made the final investment decision to commence construction of upgrading facilities for liquefied plastic waste at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. With the investment of €111 million, Neste will build the capacity to upgrade 150,000 tons of liquefied waste plastic per year. Upgrading is one of the three... Read more →


Dow and New Energy Blue announced a long-term supply agreement in North America in which New Energy Blue will create bio-based ethylene from renewable agricultural residues. Dow expects to purchase this bio-based ethylene, reducing carbon emissions from plastic production, and using it in recyclable applications across transportation, footwear, and packaging.... Read more →


Braskem evaluating production of bio-based polypropylene in US

Brazil-based Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, as well as a global market leader and pioneer producer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, announced a project to evaluate an investment in producing carbon-negative bio-based polypropylene (PP) in the US. The project would utilize Braskem’s proven, proprietary technology to... Read more →


Synova, SABIC Global Technologies B.V., an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), and Technip Energies recently signed a Joint Development and Cooperation Agreement to collaborate on the development and realization of a commercial plant which will produce olefins and aromatics from plastic waste. The plant will use a combined... Read more →


DSM Engineering Materials has partnered with Renault to create an industry-first lightweight solution for hybrid vehicle fuel tanks. By using Akulon Fuel Lock, DSM’s high-performance low-carbon-footprint PA6 (polyamide 6) material, the fuel tanks can be produced with a blow molding monolayer construction that significantly reduces weight and cost without compromising... Read more →


Technical plastics such as polyamide 6 offer numerous benefits for the design of battery enclosures for electric vehicles in terms of sustainability, manufacturing costs, weight savings and economical functional integration, for example. However, there have been doubts as to whether these large and complex components are also able to meet... Read more →


In a first for the automotive industry, the models of the NEUE KLASSE due to be launched from 2025 onwards will feature trim parts made of plastic the raw material of which contains around 30% recycled fishing nets and ropes. This raw material is proactively sourced at ports all around... Read more →


BASF and Sulzer Chemtech sign MoU to collaborate to reduce the carbon intensity of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel production

BASF and Sulzer Chemtech (GTC Technology) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the goal of advancing technologies for renewable fuels and chemically recycled plastics that will further expand the partners’ portfolio of sustainable solutions. The companies agreed to enter a strategic partnership to reduce the carbon intensity of renewable... Read more →


Teijin and Fujitsu launched a joint project to realize a blockchain-based commercial platform for enhancing the environmental value of recycled materials for manufacturers. The collaboration will promote environmentally conscious design by leveraging Teijin’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Calculation Method for measuring the environmental impact of manufacturing processes across the value... Read more →


DSM Engineering Materials launches 100% bio-based Stanyl with halved carbon footprint, same high performance

DSM Engineering Materials has launched of a new, more sustainable version of its flagship product Stanyl: Stanyl B-MB (Bio-based Mass Balanced), with up to 100% bio-based content. Using the maximum possible levels of biomass-waste feedstock, it enables DSM Engineering Materials to halve the carbon footprint of this product line and,... Read more →


Nouryon launches Expancel HP92 microspheres to reduce weight and withstand high pressure in underbody coatings and sealants

Nouryon has introduced HP92 microspheres, a new innovation in thermoplastic microsphere fillers in high-pressure manufacturing processes for the automotive industry. Lightweight materials are in high demand from automotive manufacturers to meet increasingly strict emission regulations and strong consumer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles that do not compromise on performance or passenger... Read more →


Rice University chemists working with researchers at the Ford Motor Company are turning plastic parts from end-of-life vehicles into graphene via the university’s flash Joule heating process (earlier post). The Rice lab of chemist James Tour introduced flash Joule heating in 2020 to convert coal, petroleum coke and trash into... Read more →


LanzaTech, Danone develop method to convert carbon emissions directly into MEG, a key building block for PET

A consortium, including LanzaTech and Danone, has developed a new route to monoethylene glycol, (MEG), which is a key building block for polyethylene terephthalate, (PET), resin, fibers and bottles. The technology converts carbon emissions from steel mills or gasified waste biomass directly into MEG. The carbon capture technology uses a... Read more →


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 →