Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, Avantium has announced a partnership for the development of a reference plant and Evonik has transformed into a successful coating additives supplier by virtue of three mergers. NEI announced that the USPTO has issued a notice of allowance on two patent applications and AkzoNobel has announced that it is launching “Imagine Chemistry” program. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away…
Newag SA Tests Bio-based Railcar Coatings Using Covestro’s Hardener
The transportation industry is always looking for ways to enhance sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint. Vehicle manufacturers use lightweight construction concepts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Railway system operators contend that the mass transportation of people and goods by rail is significantly more sustainable to begin with. But these factors are not enough in the long run. Polish railway vehicle manufacturer Newag SA broke new ground in resource-efficient coatings when he coated two diesel locomotives with a paint based on renewable resources. Lankwitzer Lackfabrik of Berlin supplied the coating, which it developed in close collaboration with Covestro using the bio-based coating hardener Desmodur® eco N 7300. Project Manager at Newag, Mateusz Fedko said, “With a new product, a coating manufacturer’s first priority is, of course, to fulfill the customer’s specifications. If the coating offers added value on top of that, as is the case here with the renewable raw materials, it gives us a very good opportunity to set ourselves apart from the competition.”
Nexeo Solutions to Distribute Solvay’s Defoamers
Solvay and Nexeo Solutions have announced that effective March 1, 2017, Nexeo Solutions will be channel-to-market for the Rhodoline® Defoamer product line in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This decision comes as a result of consolidation and rationalization efforts that will help Solvay focus on the continued development of solutions for the Coatings and Emulsion Polymerization markets. Solvay will continue to supply with the same manufacturing location, process and sales specifications. "The Rhodoline® Defoamer product line is highly complementary to our product offering as well as our customer base. We are looking forward to both servicing and growing this important product line," said Joey Gullion, Vice President of Specialty Chemicals at Nexeo Solutions.
New Method for Water-based & Inkjet Printable 2D Inks Production
Researchers at The University of Manchester have developed a method of producing water-based and inkjet printable 2D material inks, which could bring 2D crystal heterostructures from the lab into real-world products. Examples include efficient light detectors, and devices that are able to store information encoded in binary form which have been demonstrated, in collaboration with the University of Pisa. Graphene is the world’s first 2D material: 200 times stronger than steel, lightweight, flexible and more conductive of copper. Since graphene’s isolation in 2004 the family of 2D materials has expanded.
On Your Coatings Radar
So who says the coatings industry never made anybody rich? In this issue on your coatings radar, your old editor noted while skimming Bloomberg on Monday that the industry has its second official Southeast Asian coatings billionaire. Apparently the latest benchmark has put TOA Group founder Prachak Tangkaravakoon’s net worth at 1.4 Billion, give or take a trip or two to McDonald’s in downtown Bangkok. TOA Group is a closely privately held organization that was founded in 1957 and maintains 8 manufacturing facilities in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and India, along with several joint ventures with other coatings manufacturers. Keep an eye on this company, because rumors are that they may be planning an IPO, according to Bloomberg. Truth be told though, regular readers of this newsletter know that Prachak is the second billionaire to emerge from the paint industry in Southeast Asia. We reported two years ago that Singapore’s Goh Cheng Liang, the largest shareholder of Nippon Paint Holdings Co., was identified as a billionaire in January 2015 and has a $7.3 billion fortune.
Also on the radar, a new method for printing on paper using light promises to be much cheaper, and easier on the environment than the traditional ink-based printing we're used to. Scientists have developed a special nanoparticle coating that's easy to apply to normal paper and changes color when ultraviolet (UV) light shines on it. The color change can be reversed when the coating is heated to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), and allows for up to 80 rewrites. The team of researchers from the US and China say that their new high-resolution light printing technique could be used everywhere from newspapers to labels, saving on the cost of ink and paper, and on the environmental cost of their recycling and disposing.
Two types of nanoparticle are combined for the new coating: Prussian blue, a blue pigment used in paints that turns colorless when it gains electrons, and titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photocatalytic material that speeds up chemical reactions in response to UV light. Mix these two substances together and you get a coating that's solid blue. Add some UV light, and the TiO2 particles are excited, releasing electrons that turn the Prussian blue pigment colorless. The method essentially 'prints' the blank parts of the page. The findings have been published in Nano Letters.
AkzoNobel Unveils Global Chemicals Challenge for Start-ups, Imagine Chemistry
AkzoNobel has announced that it is launching Imagine Chemistry, an exciting opportunity to partner with start-up firms, students, research groups and career scientists from across the world.
It will help to jointly exploit the knowledge of chemistry and solve several real-life chemistry-related challenges.
The challenge is part of an integrated approach to further deploy AkzoNobel’s innovation capability in support of its growth ambitions. The company believes there is tremendous potential even in mature chemistries, and the challenge aims to tap into that as well as uncover new opportunities.
Imagine Chemistry, launched in conjunction with KPMG, aims to address a number of specific societal challenges as well as finding new sustainable opportunities for AkzoNobel businesses.
“Our world is made of molecules and we believe that chemistry, mastering the elements, is essential to making the world a better place,” explained Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business.
“To get there, we believe open innovation will be vital, seeking ideas both internally and externally to advance our technology and mutually gain from creative thinking. Imagine… with all of our knowledge of chemistry, we can work together to solve some of life’s biggest problems. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get involved.”
Imagine Chemistry focuses on finding solutions within the following five areas: Revolutionizing plastics recycling, Wastewater-free chemical sites, Cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics, Bio-based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners, Bio-based sources of ethylene
In addition, there are “open challenges” for broad ideas in two further areas: Highly reactive chemistry and technology and Sustainable alternatives to current technologies. All challenges are business-driven and should go commercial in a 3-5 year time horizon.
A dedicated online challenge platform has been launched, operated by KPMG, where participants can submit their ideas and solutions. Anyone who registers will get feedback from AkzoNobel chemicals experts.
The challenge will give the winners the chance to see their ideas become a commercial reality. “We will provide access to customers, investors, subject matter experts, mentorship and an accelerator program, along with additional support. The collaboration could take on many forms: a joint development agreement, having AkzoNobel as a launch customer, organizing partnerships, or investing in your startup. Our ultimate goal is to innovate together,” Nieuwenhuizen added.
“Imagine Chemistry is just the latest example of the commitment of AkzoNobel to fostering innovation, and also to doing innovation differently,” he added. It follows a recent decision by the company to participate in a €50 million collaborative venture capital fund, run by Icos Capital that will focus on investing in early stage chemical and clean technology innovation start-ups, as well as plans to establish an Open Innovation Center at the AkzoNobel Chemicals Research Facility in Deventer, the Netherlands.
ChemQuest Appoints its Director, Dr. Michael A. Lucarelli
The ChemQuest Group, Inc., one of the leading business strategy firms in specialty chemicals, has announced the addition of Dr. Michael A. Lucarelli as Director.
With over 30 years of experience in organometallic, organic, inorganic, polymer and specialty chemicals, Dr. Lucarelli is a recognized subject matter expert and inventor in chemistry applications ranging from silicones, silanes, fumed silica, urethanes and epoxies to acrylics, particle technology and catalysis.
Dr. Lucarelli possesses in-depth knowledge in coatings, adhesives, sealants and composites.
It includes the chemistry of resins, additives and plastics and is accomplished at developing new chemistries within the Specialty Chemicals value chain.
Most recently, Dr. Michael Lucarelli served for 7 years as Vice President of Product Development and Commercialization for Novinda Corporation, a startup producer of a mineral-based sorbent primarily used for removing mercury and pollutants from flue gases.
From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Lucarelli was Wacker Chemical’s Director of Technology where he had primary responsibility in the fumed silica and silane businesses. He has had diverse roles in marketing & sales support, technology & innovation, and manufacturing & distribution for new and existing end-products such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, and composites.
Prior to that, Dr. Lucarelli made significant contributions in various senior R&D, application and technical service roles at Valspar, Cabot Corporation, GE Silicones and formerly the Mobay Corporation (now Covestro).
As co-inventor, Dr. Lucarelli has an array of 63 patents and applications, while additionally authoring and co-authoring several technical papers.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Michael Lucarelli to our practice,” said Dan Murad, president/CEO of ChemQuest. “We feel confident that Mike’s ‘customer-centric’ approach to R&D, product development, commercialization and cross functionalization of businesses – combined with his extensive background in business strategy, technical marketing, manufacturing, innovation and team building skills – will nicely complement the ChemQuest Technology Institute’s technical team.”
In 1976, Dr. Lucarelli earned his Bachelor of Science chemistry degree from Adelphi University, followed by a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the State University of New York in 1986, after serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Of his new position at ChemQuest, Mike said "I am excited to be putting my product development knowledge in multiple technological disciplines as well as my personal coaching and team building skills to work for The ChemQuest Group, Inc. to help solve problems in the chemicals industry. I look forward to my association with ChemQuest’s Technology Institute in South Boston, VA, and working with my new colleagues and clients.”
Oxiteno Reinforces Commitment to the U.S. Market
As part of the investment plan announced in November 2015 to expand its activities and increase its capacity to serve clients in the region, Oxiteno appointed Timothy Earl Madden as COO of Oxiteno USA. Mr. Madden has a solid track record of building global businesses, most recently with the Lubrizol Corporation, which is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Group. His previous experience includes overseas leadership positions with Noveon, BFGoodrich and Dow. Mr. Madden worked in Europe, China and India, as well as in the U.S. In each location, he implemented plant sites and labs, in addition to forming and leading business teams. He is joining Oxiteno to implement the company’s aggressive growth plan for the United States.
To offer better and nimbler services to our American clients, Oxiteno also opened a new commercial office. The new office is centrally located in Houston and will bring Oxiteno’s U.S. management team closer to its customers and local business partners.
Oxiteno’s U.S. investment plan also includes the construction of an Alkoxylation plant in Pasadena (Texas). Scheduled for completion towards the end of 2017, it will have a production capacity of 170 thousand tons per year. The company also opened a new R&D center in Hattiesburg in partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi.
"With the new plant and lab facilities, and our market-based approach, we needed to put in place a senior-level leader to allow for faster decision-making and to consolidate all the investments we are making into a unified effort. We are confident that Timothy will provide the leadership we will need to take these efforts to the next level”, explains Joao Parolin, Chief Executive Officer, Oxiteno.
BASF Acquires Rolic AG
On February 7, BASF acquired the private company Rolic AG headquartered in Allschwil, Switzerland. Both companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The transaction includes Rolic’s affiliates in Allschwil, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and Shanghai, China. Regulatory approvals are not required.
Rolic is an innovative high-tech company with worldwide operations. The company’s 110 highly-skilled employees develop and sell ready-to-use formulations and functional film products for the display and security industry against forgery as well as barrier materials and films.
Rolic is a market and technology leader in photoalignment materials. Panel makers use Rolic’s technology to meet the needs of end consumers looking for products featuring optimum image quality with high contrast and brilliance, as well as very low energy consumption.
“We are excited to have the Rolic team join BASF. The acquisition is a further step that reflects BASF’s strategic and long-term commitment to grow in the electronics industry,” said Dr. Markus Kramer, President of BASF’s Dispersions & Pigments division.
“Our ability to deliver best-in-class technology solutions for next generation electronic devices and our local presence in all major markets are key success factors to respond to customer needs in this fast-moving, innovation-driven industry. We are convinced that bringing Rolic’s strong technology know-how and customer relationships together with BASF’s market reach will create new opportunities for co-developing next generation LCD and OLED displays featuring higher resolution, more brightness and deeper contrast,” said Dr. Lothar Laupichler, Senior Vice President of BASF’s Global Electronic Materials Business.
The Dispersions & Pigments division of BASF develops, produces and markets a range of high-quality pigments, resins, additives and polymer dispersions worldwide. These raw materials are used in formulations for coatings and paints, printing and packaging products, construction chemicals, adhesives, fiber bondings, plastics, paper as well as for electronic applications such as displays. With its comprehensive product portfolio and its extensive knowledge of the industry, the Dispersions & Pigments division offers its customers innovative and sustainable solutions and helps them advance their formulations.
Huntsman Joins American Chemistry Council
Huntsman Corporation has joined the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and President and CEO Peter Huntsman has been appointed to ACC’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. ACC is the chemical industry's leading advocacy organization.
As a global leader developing some of the world's most innovative products, Huntsman's membership in the ACC is consistent with the company's values, including stakeholder engagement, sustainability, sound science and technology leadership.
Peter Huntsman said, "We are enthusiastic about joining the ACC and look forward to working with them to address many of the challenges facing our industry. Under the leadership of ACC President & CEO Cal Dooley, the organization has a proven track record of success and has been an effective industry advocate for the critical role we play in the lives of people around the world."
Cal Dooley added, "Huntsman Corporation is an iconic American company and we are thrilled to welcome them to the ACC family. ACC has achieved great success and I look forward to working alongside Peter and his team as we build on our momentum in 2017 and beyond."
Perstorp Launching Cationic Curing Boosters at European Coatings Show
At the European Coatings Show Perstorp will launch Curalite™, their range of boosters for cationic UV curing formulations that can increase reaction speeds up to 15 times. Cationic UV curing technology is the perfect choice for printing on challenging surfaces such as plastic substrates or containers, where other technologies could fail.
The spotlight on the Perstorp stand (7A-603) will also be pointed at the comeback of alkyd resins technology offering low carbon footprint and superior wood protection, in both cases superior to acrylics. With Perstorp’s Voxtar carbon footprint of the Alkyd formulation can be reduced up to 80%
Other foci will include intumescent paints, where Perstorp’s Charmor™ is used to provide more time to escape from burning buildings, Capa™ 4101, a high performance polyol for tough conditions in two component polyurethane coatings, and Polyurethane Dispersions and Perstorp broad portfolio of building blocks for durable and flexible leather protection.
The Chemours Company Settles Indemnification Claims by DuPont
The Chemours Company, a global chemistry company with leading market positions in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, today announced an agreement with DuPont to address the costs of the global settlement of the multi-district PFOA litigation between DuPont and the plaintiffs. The agreement resolves all indemnification obligations between Chemours and DuPont for all of the approximately 3,500 claims in the Ohio multi-district litigation.
Under the terms of the agreement, DuPont and Chemours will each pay $335.35 million of the $670.70 million global settlement amount. DuPont’s payment will not be subject to indemnification or reimbursement by Chemours.
The global settlement between DuPont and the plaintiffs provides an agreement to settle PFOA personal injury claims associated with Ohio multi-district litigation. The settlement is not in any way an admission of liability or fault by DuPont or Chemours.
To address potential future PFOA costs not covered by the global settlement, during each of the five years following the effectiveness of the settlement, Chemours and DuPont have agreed that Chemours will annually pay the first $25 million of any potential future PFOA costs. If that amount is exceeded, DuPont will pay any additional amount up to $25 million, annually. Additional details are included in the Form 8-K filed on February 13, 2017.
ACA Presses Infrastructure Investment with President, Congress
On Feb. 1, ACA along with some 400 organizations sent a letter to President Trump and members of Congress, urging investment in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. ACA, as part of the coalition, maintained that new investment is required to improve upon the stopgap efforts of the last decade, and urged passage of a balanced infrastructure investment plan that will lift our nation’s economy and improve our transportation network.
ACA support for Congressional action to modernize the nation’s infrastructure is one of its top federal priorities. Paints and coatings protect the surfaces to which they are applied, and as such, will significantly contribute to any effort to improve our infrastructure including, but not limited to:
Coatings for water transmission, which improve the pipeline infrastructure and serve as an internal lining and a corrosion-resistant external coating, for both potable and non-potable water transmission pipelines;
Coatings applied to steel structures that slow or delay the corrosion process and significantly extend the life of the steel by 15 or more years, even in offshore environments;
Coatings for the railroad industry that reduce the potential for derailments; prevent shifting or movement from the force of passing trains; and permanently protect rail structures from corrosion and abrasion by strengthening existing metal structures; and Traffic marking paint, which provides safety to millions of motorists.
“We can no longer afford to underinvest in the infrastructure that Americans rely on in our daily lives,” the letter stated. “Any responsible proposal must provide improvements to all types of infrastructure throughout the country and address large important projects that make our businesses more competitive by reducing shipping, commuting, water and energy costs.”
“At the same time, your administration and Congress must restore solvency to the Highway Trust Fund to ensure that the federal government can maintain a state of the art infrastructure system. This will require a commitment to a long-term, reliable, dedicated, user-based revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund and the effective surface transportation programs it supports…Failure to resolve the issues facing the trust fund prior to the expiration of the current law in 2020 will require you to make a decision to either pass additional short-term stopgap measures or find a $110 billion off-set to pass a long-term bill that will at best maintain current funding levels that do not meet our transportation infrastructure needs. Absent long-term stability for the Highway Trust Fund, many projects critical to the efficient movement of people and goods have the real potential to be backlogged or never built. Further, mounting deferred maintenance could cause current infrastructure to fall into an even greater state of disrepair.”
The coalition letter underscored that an infrastructure plan must not only encourage greater participation from the private sector in infrastructure projects and reduces needless red tape, but also provide real revenue for the Highway Trust Fund that will help the users and beneficiaries of America’s transportation and freight network. Private financing, while important and needed, cannot replace the role of public funding and federal leadership.
Clariant Expands Partnership with Lintech
Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announces an expanded partnership with Lintech International LLC for the Plastics and Rubber Pigment Product lines in North America. In these market segments, Lintech will become the sole regional distributor in North America for products under the Clariant trade names Graphtol®, Hostaprint®, Hostasin®, Hostasol®, Polysynthren®, PV Fast®, Solvaperm® , and Telalux®.
Headquartered in Macon, Georga, Lintech has 13 warehouses across the nation and has been the authorized distributor for Clariant Pigments for 4 years in the southeast, southwest, and west regions for the coatings and inks markets.
Avantium Collaborates to Develop Reference Plant for Wood to Chemicals Transformation
Avantium, one of the leading chemical technology companies and forerunner in renewable chemistry, has announced a partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl. This important step marks the next stage of a collaborative effort to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemicals biorefinery in Delfzijl.
The new reference plant in Delfzijl will be based on a new technology that has been developed by Avantium. This Zambezi process aims for a cost-effective process for the production of high-purity glucose from non-food biomass such as forestry residue, pulp, agricultural by-products and second generation feedstock.
The technology converts woody biomass into sugars and lignin. It is particularly suited for making high purity glucose required for the production of a wide range of bio-based chemicals and materials for the chemical industry. This glucose is suitable for both catalytic and fermentation processes for the production of a new and growing generation of sustainable materials (such as PLA, PEF, PBAT, PHA). And the lignin is an excellent feedstock for renewable bioenergy applications, as its energy content is significantly higher than that of woody biomass.
Each partner brings their core strength to the project; from feedstock, throughout the supply chain to end products. The main feedstock of the plant will be locally sourced forestry residue coordinated by Staatsbosbeheer. The planned reference plant builds on the strong synergies of the infrastructure, utilities and expertise of the AkzoNobel site in Delfzijl. RWE will supply feedstock and use bio-lignin residue from the Zambezi process for the generation of renewable energy. Chemport Europe brings strategic support from the Northern Netherlands Region working via a range of initiatives to facilitate the project. Further synergistic partnerships and collaborations are currently under development.
The partnership expects, together with the geographical, technical and logistical benefits of the Delfzijl area, to enable the cost competitive production that will help accelerate the roll out of the biobased economy. The reference plant will be constructed with an expansion-ready footprint enabling rapid increase of capacity after demonstration.
Avantium is one of the leading chemical technology companies and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. Together with its partners around the world, Avantium develops efficient processes and sustainable products made from biobased materials. Avantium offers a breeding ground for revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions.
Dow's PARALOID™ Edge Technology Persists as Winning Coatings Innovation
The Business Intelligence Group (BIG) recently named Dow Coating Materials, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, a winner of its 2017 Innovation Awards for PARALOID™ Edge Technology – a novel offering which continues to blaze trails inside and out of the coatings industry.
“The unceasing acknowledgement of this innovation speaks to both our commitment to industrial coatings innovation – as well as the reaching impact PARALOID™ Edge has had in such a short amount of time,” said Mary Rose Correa, North America marketing manager for Industrial Coatings, Dow Coating Materials.
The BIG Innovation Awards seek to recognize companies and technologies which bring new ideas to life, solve real problems and drive rapid progress across various industries. PARALOID™ Edge Technology was also named a 2016 R&D 100 Award Finalist.
PARALOID™ Edge ISO-Free1 Technology offers a simple solution to a common coatings challenge – minimizing the trade-off between performance and ease of use. Offering similar product characteristics expected from traditional 2K polyurethane (PU) systems, PARALOID™ Edge Technology goes a step further to expand the short window of workability to remain fluid longer, depending on conditions, without increasing dry time after application.
The novel ambient cure capability offered by PARALOID™ Edge Technology can allow for faster return-to-service, while extending pot life can facilitate once per shift make-up and potentially less material waste. This solvent-borne offering also features application flexibility and is isocyanate1 and formaldehyde2 free.
“PARALOID Edge stretches significant value across multiple industrial coatings applications,” said Dave Pierce, new business development, Dow Coating Materials. “Specifically in automotive refinish and wood applications where excellent scratch resistance, hardness, weatherability, and chemical resistance are critical.”
Applied as a primer surfacer in automotive refinishing, PARALOID™ Edge Technology can offer a dry-to-sand time in as few as 40 minutes under ambient curing conditions without sacrificing pot life, allowing body shops to notably increase their throughput. The isocyanate-free1 aspect of the product can also provide an environmental, health and safety (EHS) benefit for the body shop.
When used as a clear or pigmented primer or as a topcoat for interior wood applications, such as cabinetry and furniture, potential benefits to the applicator include shorter dry time, less material waste, and faster property development, while being both isocyanate- and formaldehyde-free1,2. Formaldehyde is currently a regulated raw material in the wood market, so having a coating that does not contain formaldehyde, is not only advantageous, but a requirement in some segments of the market.
“The cutting edge benefits of this latest PARALOID™ product family offer a more convenient, cost efficient solution while facilitating an improved environmental, health and safety profile,” said Correa. “It truly represents our ongoing dedication to furthering an impactful, sustainable portfolio which extends benefits across the entire value chain.”
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Universal Display will invest USD 15 million in PPG’s Barberton, Ohio, manufacturing facility to double commercial production capacity for Universal Display’s proprietary UniversalPHOLED®...more about this
BASF and Grolman strengthen their exclusive collaboration in Europe in the marketing of amine-based curing agents for the professional processing of epoxy resins. The products are used in the...more about this
And finally, Galactic has announced the appointment of two distributors of its 100% natural origin raw materials and active ingredients for the HI&I, CASE and Cosmetics industries in Poland. HSH Chemie becomes...more about this