THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, we will focus on a particular U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

Goal 6 has several targets for 2030 – including to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all; to improve water quality by reducing pollution; eliminating dumping and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials; to increase water-use efficiency across all sectors; to protect and restore water-related ecosystems; and to improve water and sanitation management.

According to the World Bank, water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030. In order to fill the gap, more than conservation alone is needed. Advances in technology in the chemical industry will enable not only conservation, but the recycling of wastewater into clean, safe drinking water.

“UNICEF reports that 1.5 million children die each year from a lack of clean water and sanitation.”1 Dow is one company working to make a difference in this area. The company has provided a $30 million-dollar loan guarantee to WaterHealth International. This loan will help finance 2,000 water treatment systems for over 11 million people in rural India and Africa. Dow is also working to make a difference with its technologies, like their plastic resin for lightweight water purification devices. One of these devices can provide water to a household for 10-15 years at only $1 per year, per person. Dow also has reverse osmosis technologies for desalination in areas where fresh water is limited. They are also involved in creating “bricks” that can transport food and water, then be used to build homes, schools, or medical facilities. Dow’s resins allow these bricks to be so lightweight and durable that they can be air-dropped to remote regions when necessary.

Chemistry is essential to safe drinking water and sanitation – from disinfectants that prevent disease, to polymer membrane filters that remove water impurities, to materials for pipes that protect water from its source to the tap, and many more. With continued innovation, chemistry will continue to enable more efficient use of our natural resources and play an essential role in providing safe drinking water to all communities globally.

Rick Tabor
Chief Technology Officer

 1.https://www.icca-chem.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Global-Chemical-Industry-Contributions-to-the-UN-Sustainable-Development-Goals.pdf

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION

 

For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, each month will focus on a different U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 4 includes several 2030 targets including ensuring that all boys and girls have access to quality childhood development and care, building and upgrading education facilities, and substantially increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills for employment. (Globally, 264 million children and adolescents do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school. If you would like to support this effort, here is a link to the U.N. Children’s Fund.)

Companies in the chemical industry, like PPG and Covestro, are trying to make a difference in this space. One example is a bilingual picture book published by Covestro Taiwan to create awareness for waste management principles through a children’s adventure story. PPG is committed to advancing STEM education through partnerships and has funded 4.26 million dollars in education grants.

There are endless opportunities to support these efforts on a global scale, but today I would like to discuss how the chemical industry can influence quality green chemistry education that provides students with the skills and knowledge for a career in the future of chemistry.

As environmental concerns, social consciousness, and a focus on sustainable development continue to drive demand for green chemistry solutions, it is essential that we prepare tomorrow’s chemists for the paradigm shift occurring in the chemical industry. We cannot approach the same problems with the same traditional solutions, we must arm future generations of chemists with a new toolbox and mindset, so that they arrive in the workforce with fresh perspectives. This mindset will help the development of future materials evolve into innovative designs and choices based on the 12 Design Principles of Green Chemistry

The University of Michigan, where I attended graduate school, is already recognizing the importance of a focus on green chemistry and have established a Green Chemistry Bachelor of Science program. Programs like these utilize the principles of green chemistry to evaluate the ecological and economical sustainability of chemicals and chemical processes on top of traditional training and education in a chemistry curriculum. This program includes courses like Sustainable Design of Products and Systems, Environmental Law, Life Cycle Assessment, and Industrial Ecology on top of the core chemistry courses.

Supporting these universities are chemical industry leaders like The Dow Chemical Company. One example is the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge which brings together eighteen universities (including University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Penn State, University of Cambridge, Brazil’s University of São Paulo, and China’s Peking University) to recognize innovative student projects. Also supporting universities and the industry on this mission are associations like the American Chemical Society which has several educational resources, a listing of green chemistry academic programs, and an ACS Student Chapter with an award program. The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council has established a policy statement on green chemistry in higher education, I encourage you and your company to sign on as we have at Resinate!

Slowly but surely the entire chemical industry is embracing the concept of sustainability and is taking a hard look at environmental impacts of their materials and processes.  There is no turning back, nor is there any desire to do so. The path forward is in the hands of the next generation of researchers.  As they slowly infiltrate the chemical industry over time, it will be easy to recognize the impact that their training and education has had on the choices they make and the materials they design.  We should catalyze this process any way we can and accelerate our evolution toward greater sustainability.

Dr. Gary Spilman
Research Fellow

The Chemical Industry and UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-Being

I am happy to launch Resinate’s 2019 blog series, where each month we will focus on a different UN Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

The chemical industry is essential to sustainable development, and green chemistry is its path forward. Human health and well-being is a prime example of the impact green chemistry innovations can have.  The EPA gives several human health benefits of green chemistry including cleaner air and water, increased safety for workers in the chemical industry, safer consumer products of all types, and safer food.

Goal 3 includes several targets, with target 3.9 stating, By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.” This target is right in line with several of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry (including design less hazardous chemical syntheses; design safer chemicals and products; use safer solvents and reaction conditions; design products to degrade after used; analyze in real time to prevent pollution, and minimize the potential for accidents.)

Chemical industry leaders like Covestro are already recognizing the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Covestro has a goal to align their R&D project portfolio with them- and appears to be well on its way to achieving it. As an example, they have products for the medical industry that are improving human health, like the biocompatible polycarbonate resin, MAKROLON®. The company also works to prevent air, water and soil pollution by partnering along the value chain to create processes to strengthen a circular economy. In 2017, they established a central coordinating office for the circular economy.

Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer, uses a materials chemistry practice to assess materials in their supply chain and understand their potential impacts on human and environmental health. To date, they have assessed over 1,600 materials. This allows them to identify materials of concern, eliminate them, and work with their supply chain to develop sustainable alternatives.

At Resinate, our number one goal is always safety. This is why we have invested to create a strong safety culture that encourages and empowers employees to identify and eliminate hazards before they cause harm. We also consistently seek to use and create safer materials; as well as develop partnerships across the entire value chain that allow us to prevent waste and pollution by creating a circular economy.

90% of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry.1 It is our collective responsibility to ensure that as industry and the population continue to grow, it does so in a sustainable way that improves the lives and well-being of all.

Mark Maxwell
Business Director

 

1. An Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry, Strategies for Innovation, Research and Adoption by the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council

New Year, New Paradigm – What’s on the Horizon for Green Chemistry Innovation?

New Year, New Paradigm – What’s on the Horizon for Green Chemistry Innovation?

 

The role of sustainability has shifted from initiatives aimed at increasing goodwill and reducing costs to a business imperative shaping future-proof portfolio and driving strategic decision making. While industry can boast significant progress in reducing its environmental impact, increasing public and regulatory scrutiny around plastic waste has emerged as a critical issue.
– Rebecca Coons, December 2018 Issue of Chemical Week

 

Pike Research estimates that the green chemistry market will grow to $98.5 billion by 2020, which is staggering growth considering the market was just $2.8 billion in 2011. It’s no surprise that as the green chemistry market continues to grow, so does our definition of it.

The American Chemical Society traces the start of Green Chemistry back to Rachel Carson’s book from 1962, Silent Spring. Her book served as a wake-up call, inspiring the modern environmental movement that eventually led to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Scandals like the Love Canal Tragedy have sometimes caused the public to view the chemical industry as villains. However, thanks to work done by the EPA and a multitude of other chemical industry leaders and innovators; the world is beginning to see that the chemical industry not as the villain – but instead, a key to solving some of the world’s biggest problems.

Increased use of biorenewable plant-based intermediates has been an invaluable improvement for the environment over petroleum feedstocks based on carbon footprint.  A Scientific American article quotes Frederic Scheer as saying, “it takes 77 million years to make fossil fuels and 45 minutes to use as a coffee cup” (or water bottle).  Companies like NatureWorks are building from feedstocks we never thought possible, transforming greenhouse gases into PLA for use in everything from 3D printing to packaging and construction. NatureWorks states that if you replace a single average PET baby wipe with one made from their product; it saves non-renewable energy equal to running a lightbulb for 10 minutes.

The first of The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry is waste prevention. This is a core focus at Resinate, plastic waste prevention, in particular. Plastic contains valuable molecules that already have a significant energy history and environmental footprint paid to that point. With our patented innovative technology, we harvest and build upon the inherent performance properties of these molecules, complement them with biorenewable materials, and ultimately upcycle them into higher value applications. As an example, one wooden gym floor, fully protected with a coating made using a Resinate® polyol, can contain up to 400 PET water bottles. However, new outlets for plastic waste are desperately needed – as McKinsey & Company estimates that only 16% of plastic waste is collected for recycling; with 4% as process losses; 12% going to mechanical recycling; and less than 1% currently going to chemical recycling.  We can and must find ways to improve these numbers.  Resinate takes this challenge very seriously and continues looking for innovative ways of using materials at the end of their linear life cycle; transforming them into a circular model which enables their inherent value to be captured at its highest possible point for decades to come- a trend that is steadily building momentum.

Resinate technology creates new pathways for otherwise wasted resources; validated by performance, while trailblazing a parallel path alongside biorenewable materials in support of the projected 2020 green chemistry market growth.  A win-win for everyone involved- and especially our beloved planet.

Dr. Gary Spilman
Research Fellow

Resinate Materials Group® Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

Resinate Materials Group Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

PRESS RELEASE

Plymouth, MI. (December 5, 2018) — Resinate Materials Group® announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label on five additional products. 13 Resinate® products are now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content.

The following Resinate products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label:

  • Resinate C3851-100 Low Viscosity Building Block Polyol
    • 53% biobased content
  • Resinate C1181-100 High Flexibility Modifying Polyol
    • 60% biobased content
  • Resinate C1182-100 Mid-Flexibility Modifying Polyol
    • 48% biobased content
  • Resinate C2052-60 Mid Viscosity Polyol for Floor Coatings
    • 62% biobased content
  • Resinate C2051-50 Low Viscosity Polyol for Floor Coatings
    • 52% biobased content
  • Resinate A0352-73 High-Performance Polyol for RHMA
    • 71% biobased content
  • Resinate A0353-75 Multi-Purpose Polyol for RHMA
    • 67% biobased content
  • Resinate A2553-76 Multi-Purpose Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 50% biobased content
  • Resinate A2551-100 Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 51% biobased content
  • Resinate A2552-100 High Recycled Content Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 28% biobased content
  • Resinate F0651-81 Flex Foam Polyester Polyol
    • 67% biobased content
  • Resinate F0701-79 Polyol for Flexible Foam Applications
    • 60% biobased content
  • Resinate F0702-82 Polyol for Flexible Foam Applications
    • 59% biobased content

Third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.

The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change.

Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.

“We applaud Resinate Materials Group for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. “Products from Resinate are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”

According to a report that USDA released in 2015, biobased products contributed $369 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013 and support, directly and indirectly, 4 million jobs. The same report found that biobased products also displace approximately 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road. The increased production of renewable chemicals and biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy – where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials.

About Resinate Materials Group
Resinate Materials Group is committed to advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, the backbone of materials such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams. Since 2007, Resinate has been innovating ways to divert landfill waste, extend the lifecycle of finite resources, and upcycle used molecules into valuable green chemistry solutions.

For more information, contact Resinate at +1 (800) 891-2955, or visit www.resinateinc.com.

From Medical Packaging Waste to High-Performance Coatings; A Case Study

From Medical Packaging Waste to High-Performance Coatings; A Case Study

The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council states that healthcare facilities in the United States generate approximately 14,000 tons of waste per day, most of which is being disposed of in landfills or by incineration. It is estimated that 25% of this is plastic packaging and plastic products.1 In fact, according to BCC Research, more than 10 billion pounds of plastic healthcare packaging was placed on the market in 2013 and only 14% of that was collected for recycling.2

Hospitals say the waste is stockpiling because balancing patient safety, cost and sustainability is difficult. It doesn’t help that haulers and recyclers often have concerns about and shy away from healthcare waste – even though the World Health Organization estimates that 85% of hospital waste is noninfectious.3  Concerns grew at the beginning of 2018, when China placed an import ban on 24 types of recyclable materials, including plastics used in soda bottles, as part of an environmental reform movement designed to deal with its own growing waste problems.4

As we have seen in other markets, creating a successful circular economy for healthcare plastics will require educating and collaborating across the entire value chain. Hospital environments are busy and intense, so it needs to be simple and easy for employees to properly dispose of and sort the recyclable materials. Training may be needed on this subject, and champions are critical. Antea Group suggests starting with a few items and gradually adding other materials.2 However, the hesitation from some recyclers and haulers mentioned above will need to be addressed, and we must continue to seek new outlets for this and other recycled material.

Because of our commitment to the circular economy and solving the broader plastic waste problem, the team at Resinate was willing to help when the Plastics Industry Association and the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council reached out to us with a project.5

The overall goal of the project was to determine if PETG scrap from healthcare facilities, which have a significant embedded energy history and environmental footprint, can be upcycled into valuable assets. The data from this project showed promising performance from the resulting recycled PETG polyols. While much work remains to streamline this process across the value chain, it is now believed that this material could be used to create high-performing polyols for adhesives, sealants, elastomers, foams, and melamine-based coatings.  

To learn more about this project, view the recycling today article here.

Rick Tabor
Chief Technology Officer

 

1. https://www.hprc.org/about-hprc   2. https://www.plasticstoday.com/medical/healthcare-plastics-recycling-project-identifies-challenges-opportunities/91876758547448   3. http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/health-care-waste   4. https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/turning-chinas-ban-of-recyclable-imports-into-americas-opportunity   5. https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/petg-medical-packaging-recycling/

From Automotive Scrap to Automotive Feedstock; A Circular Economy Case Study

From Automotive Scrap to Automotive Feedstock; A Circular Economy Case Study

In 2017, 73.5 million cars were produced worldwide, with sales expected to reach 81.6 million units in 2018.1 Not surprisingly, the impact this industry has on our human and physical resources is significant on a global scale.

As certain resources dwindle and become more finite in nature – and consumers increasingly seek greener products – it is becoming clear that a move towards a more sustainable, circular economy will be essential to our collective success as time goes on. As highlighted in a 2016 study by Accenture, “the circular economy could redefine competitiveness in the automotive sector in terms of price, quality, and convenience and could double revenue by 2030 and lower the cost base by up to 14%.”2

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs for the circular economy with an approach that “addresses the full spectrum of opportunities” in the design, production, use, end-of-life, and evaluations stages.3 This includes selecting bio-based, recycled and recyclable materials in addition to conducting Life-Cycle Assessments for their vehicles. Due to operational improvements, FCA has been able to reduce “water consumption by 27.6%, energy consumption by 2.9%, waste generated by 18.7%, and CO2 emissions by 9.4%” since 2010.

Ford Motor Company (Ford), a company that Resinate has been fortunate enough to work directly with, is a passionate and innovative leader of sustainable materials and manufacturing design. With the introduction of soy-based polyols for seating foam in the 2008 model year Mustang – Ford was an early entrant into the use of high performance, sustainable content; and continues on that path today.

Resinate is constantly seeking opportunities to advance the circular economy via collaboration across multiple sectors – including automotive. Thus, we were thrilled to partner with Ford on a project to prove the viability of closed-loop recycling of post-consumer PET for use in automotive foam. Through this joint work, we collectively demonstrated the use of automotive PET scrap – such as trunk liners and dunnage trays- to create high performance, recycled PET-containing polyols that were formulated into polyurethane foams that were mechanically stronger, stiffer, and more thermally durable than the traditional foams.

Through these and many other examples; it is clear that the benefits of a more sustainable and circular economy can be felt throughout the entire value chain. However, there is still much to learn and more gains to be made. Therefore, we’d love to hear your thoughts and insights into how else we can further support and “drive” this work together.

Brian Chermside
Chief Executive Officer

1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262747/worldwide-automobile-production-since-2000/  2. https://medium.com/@ECONYL/riding-the-wave-of-change-in-the-automotive-industry-with-circular-economy-5c0428df5cc2  3. http://reports2016.fcagroup.com/sustainability/2016/design-for-the-circular-economy/

Resinate Materials Group® Awarded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SBIR Phase One Grant

Resinate Materials Group® Awarded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SBIR Phase One Grant

 

PRESS RELEASE

Plymouth, MI. October 1, 2018 Resinate Materials Group, Inc. (Resinate) has received a 6-month SBIR Phase One grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund process development related to lignin polyols for use as flame retardant (FR) polyols for rigid insulating foam applications.

The grant will allow Resinate to continue development of its patented lignin polyol process and composition technology (US 9,481,760; US 9,751,978; US 9,988,489) which provides improved intumescence and FR performance in rigid foams while at the same time utilizing sustainable content materials such as bio-renewable lignin and recycled polyethylene terephthalate. 

A number of halogenated flame-retardants have been banned in recent years due to a variety of health and environmental concerns, leaving a potential performance gap in the rigid foam market,” said Rick Tabor, Resinate Chief Technology Officer.  “The development of greener, less hazardous materials that can serve as an effective replacement is therefore an important safety need for modern society.

 

About Resinate Materials Group

Resinate Materials Group is committed to advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, the backbone of materials such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams. Since 2007, Resinate has been innovating ways to divert landfill waste, extend the lifecycle of finite resources, and upcycle used molecules into valuable green chemistry solutions.

For more information, contact Resinate at +1 (800) 891-2955, or visit www.resinateinc.com.

Cross-Industry Collaboration, A Disruptive Force

Cross-Industry Collaboration, A Disruptive Force

As government regulations become increasingly strict and consumer awareness continues to drive demand for greener, safer products, the pressure to innovate is mounting. The chemical industry, in particular, feels a great deal of this pressure with countless downstream industries depending on it as the foundation for their greener products. (90% of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry.1)

Developing and implementing these greener products and practices is no small feat – as Joel Tickner of GC3 states, it “will require strategic thinking, coordinated and collaborative activities, careful planning, resources, and time.”

Green chemistry innovation requires a unique set of expertise and resources – and it takes more than chemical manufacturers alone to fully acquire and harness this disruptive force. Businesses, NGOs, government and academic sectors must collaborate in support of one goal – to advance the adoption of green chemistry. Governments can support and provide resources with legislation and funding (e.g. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge). The academic sector can create strong programs to train the next generation of green chemists and can collaborate with businesses to conduct pivotal research (sign on in support of GC3’s policy statement on green chemistry in higher education). Non-profits advocate for change, enhance information flow, support informed decision making, connect firms across sectors, and support funding. Businesses must be willing to take calculated risks and invest time and resources for the purpose of being a leader in the future of chemistry. Just one of these pieces missing creates a roadblock for innovation and implementation.

As a company on a mission to advance green chemistry, Resinate has partnered with companies like Ford Motor Company and organizations like the Plastics Industry Association to explore how we can partner along the value chain to advance green chemistry adoption. These partnerships have confirmed what we already knew to be true – that green technologies will only be adopted if they are high performing and competitive in price. The results show that green chemistry innovation and collaboration can deliver performance, value, and sustainability in one package, but work to engage the entire value chain remains. Look out for more on this subject in the coming months.

For those of you who have not yet attended, I strongly encourage you to look into the GC3 Innovators Roundtable. The Resinate leadership team has been attending for several years now and has found great value in the unique opportunity to connect with so many people across supply chains and sectors, all in one place.

If we continue to collaborate and innovate, green chemistry can transform the industry and the world.

Mark Maxwell
Business Director

1. An Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry, Strategies for Innovation, Research and Adoption by the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council

Rick Tabor to Present at 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference

PRESS RELEASE 

Rick Tabor to Present at 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference

Resinate Materials Group, a company advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, is pleased to announce that Rick Tabor, Chief Technology Officer, will present at the 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference.

Mr. Tabor’s presentation, titled Non-Halogenated Reactive Flame Retardant Additive Polyols, will review how Resinate has achieved polyol and foam additive innovations using recycled and renewable content.

Polyurethanes Technical Conference, the longest-running polyurethanes conference in North America, will bring chemists, formulators, and R&D personnel together October 1-3, in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Tabor is scheduled to present at 3:00 p.m., on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. For more information, or to register, visit https://polyurethane.americanchemistry.com/2018-Polyurethanes-Technical-Conference.html.

 

About Resinate Materials Group

Resinate Materials Group is committed to advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, the backbone of materials such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams. Since 2007, Resinate has been innovating ways to divert landfill waste, extend the lifecycle of finite resources, and upcycle used molecules into valuable green chemistry solutions.

For more information, contact Resinate at +1 (800) 891-2955, or visit www.resinateinc.com.