Green materials: Teijin to produce carbon fibre from sustainable materials; Aether/Fuller/Aramco jointly commercialise sustainable polyols tech

Teijin to produce carbon fibre from sustainable materials

Japan’s Teijin Limited has announced that it will begin production and sales of Tenax carbon fibre made with sustainable acrylonitrile (AN) using waste and residue from biomass-derived products or recycled raw materials that have received ISCC PLUS certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system. The ISCC Plus certified carbon fibre will be produced at Teijin’s Mishima plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, using the mass balance approach. With this method, materials are verifiably tracked through complex value chains, for example, when biomass-derived raw materials are mixed with petroleum-derived raw materials to create products.

The firm says the sustainable AN based on ISCC PLUS certification has the same physical properties as petroleum-derived AN, and the carbon fibre material delivers the same performance attributes and processing as equivalent fossil-based products. This similarity allows customers to easily drop in carbon fibre made with bio-based or circular materials, helping to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the product life cycle.

Teijin aims to expand its lineup of sustainable products, so the company is pursuing ISCC PLUS certification not only for carbon fibre including precursor but also for intermediate products such as prepreg and short fibre which use sustainable raw materials. Further, to strengthen production of sustainable products globally, the company is proceeding with activities to obtain ISCC PLUS certification at overseas locations. Teijin’s European facilities are expected to obtain certification in early fiscal 2024, and U.S. facilities should obtain certification during fiscal 2024.

Carbon fibre, a light and strong reinforcement material, is used in a wide range of markets, including aerospace, automotive and sporting goods. With growing pressure to reduce GHG emissions throughout the product lifecycle, the materials industry is striving to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes involving carbon fibre throughout the supply chain.

Under these circumstances, Teijin has switched the fuel for in-house power generation equipment at manufacturing sites from oil fired power generation to natural gas in 2017.Additionaly,Teijin has established life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluation for carbon fiber products related to its products in 2021 and 2022. Furthermore, in June 2023, it obtained ISCC PLUS certification for its carbon fibre and the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor fibre produced at Teijin’s Mishima Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

 Aether/Fuller/Aramco jointly commercialise sustainable polyols tech

In other news, speciality and fine chemical manufacturer Aether Industries announced the first commercialisation of its sustainable Convergeo polyols technology with US-based H B Fuller and Saudi Aramco.

This follows an announcement from India-based Aether about its licensing for developing, manufacturing, and commercialising the new Convergeo polyols technology, Aether Industries said in a regulatory filing.

Convergeo platform represents a cutting-edge technology for the manufacturing of more sustainable polyols that could contain up to 40% of carbon dioxide by weight, thus reducing overall Co2 emissions.

These are a differentiated series of polyols with applications in the CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers) industry.

The commercialisation and revenue potential of these novel polyols is significant, with a targeted market of 850 kilotonnes/year and a CAGR of 5%in the overall CASE industry polyol market size of more than 10,000 kilotonnes/year.

Aether Industries tied up with Saudi Aramco last year to commercialise the Converge polyols technology and the product line. The technology has been launched after a lot of research by adhesives manufacturer H B Fuller to incorporate the technology into a new product application.

"We are excited to announce the first commercialisation of the convergeo polyols, led by adhesives manufacturer H B Fuller. Together, we hope that this is just the start of our partnership with H B Fuller on advancing the Convergeo portfolio, as well as other business opportunities. We are confident that this successful product launch by H B Fuller is only the first of many in the future, aiming to serve multiple customers and partners," Aether Industries Senior VP Rohan Desai said.

Convergeo platform has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint compared to industry standard polyols, and this announcement builds on the joint work done so far to find performance enhancing and sustainable alternatives in the CASE industry, the company said.


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