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Energy Leader
Merck’s DOZN Green Chemistry Tool Named Top Product of the Year

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Chemicals

Merck announced that it won a Top Product of the Year award from Environment + Energy Leader for its DOZN system, a quantitative tool that evaluates the relative greenness of chemicals and chemical processes against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.

“Our DOZN™ system is enabling the global scientific community to make data-driven decisions to increase the environmental sustainability of the sector,” said Jeffrey Whitford,  head of sustainability and social business innovation and branding at the Life Science business of Merck. “This recognition further confirms the importance of quantitative tools that make data actionable.”

The Environment + Energy Leader Awards celebrates excellence in environmental, sustainability and energy management. The win is an indication that the program’s judges consider Merck’s DOZN™ tool a top example of the exemplary work being done in the environmental management field.

Merck’s DOZN™ system has more than 300 active, registered users representing some of the most prestigious names in the academic world, government institutions and business-to-consumer companies. The tool has been cited in 17 papers since its May 2019 launch.

Chemists and scientists look for sustainable options in the lab, such as recycling gloves and using greener packaging. However, they may not think about the impact of green chemistry and often face the challenge of evaluating the sustainability of a chemical or process. Merck’s DOZN™ tool provides a consistent and reliable framework for measuring the greenness of chemicals and processes. It also raises awareness for scientists and communicates the environmental improvements for products labelled as greener alternatives. Products receive an aggregate score based on a scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desired.

The DOZN™ system instructs customers how to calculate scores for products that the company does not offer and allows customers to  carry out meaningful research while positively contributing to their own environmental impact goals.

Merck plans to expand the applications of the tool, including the implementation into curricula at academic institutions to further increase the adoption of quantitative metrics in green chemistry.

Chemicals

Digitalization
IChemE launches new online Knowledge Hub

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Image: IChemE

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has today formally launched its Knowledge Hub, a virtual library for process engineers to access thousands of resources developed across IChemE.

The Knowledge Hub brings together over 9,000 pieces of technical content in one central location, accessible through a single searchable index.

Featuring information from a broad range of sources, content on the Knowledge Hub includes historic journal papers, incident reports, good practice guides from the IChemE Safety Centre as well as articles from The Chemical Engineer and the Loss Prevention Bulletin.

Also included are selected online training courses, proceedings from previous Hazards events as well as IChemE submissions to policy consultations.

Viewers can browse by industry, topic, author or date, or alternatively use the handy search bar. With the comprehensive search functionality, this extensive library of IChemE technical information is now available at the click of a button.

Jarka Glassey, Vice President Learned Society said:

“IChemE has historically produced and continues to produce an exceptional amount of technical content helping to inform, advise and provide guidance to chemical and process engineers around the world. The Knowledge Hub is a fantastic resource that enables members and others involved in the chemical engineering profession to access the full extent of this information with just a few clicks of the mouse.

“Over time we will continue to add more and more content to the Knowledge Hub, ensuring that all of IChemE’s technical information and guidance is easily accessible in one place.”

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Chemicals

SoFormTM of the Thermylene brand
Asahi Kasei introduces new engineered resin series

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SoForm for automotive interior surfaces

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America (APNA) introduces SoFormTM, a new engineered resin series as part of their diverse Thermylene® family – Asahi Kasei’s portfolio of specialty chemically coupled glass fiber reinforced polypropyl-enes. SoFormTM is a cost- and process-optimized material for automotive interior sur-faces and industrial durable goods.

SoFormTM features excellent scratch resistance with haptic surface feel and improved durability compared to competitors. It also offers key benefits such as low gloss, low emissions, chemical re-sistance, and structural performance. “Durability coupled with low gloss and improved haptic surface feel are key to interior performance and customer end use criteria now more than ever; SoFormTM provides an attractive solution to meet these demanding requirements” states Jane Horal, Marketing and Business Development Manager at APNA. The material is available in 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% glass fiber filled grades. All are commercial-ized and available in either natural or pre-colored for injection molding.

Automotive application areas for these novel grades include, but are not limited to, instrument panels, door panels and associated touch points (map pockets, console sides, mirror surrounds and seat trim). SoFormTM also excels in the industrial segment with applications such as furniture armrests and durable wear surfaces. The durability and haptic surface finish enable both automotive and industrial segments to provide customers with improved longevity and luxury.

“SoFormTM has unique performance compared to traditional talc reinforced thermoplastic elastomers due to the increased scratch and mar properties” says Todd Glogovsky, VP of Sales and Technology at APNA. “For applications that have higher durability requirements, SoForm will be a key product”.

Currently, soft touch paint, over-molding or a foam in place with skin has been required to meet these customer demands. SoFormTM is an alternative to improve the design, manufacture, logistics and value chain of the production process. As the material eliminates the needs to paint, over-mold or foam in place, it can provide additional cost-savings and eco-friendly options for the manufacturer.

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Biotechnology Chemicals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Biogas Plant for Greek Abattoir
Efficient Bioenergy Generation from Animal Waste

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Efficient Bioenergy Generation from Animal Waste Weltec
Picture: Weltec

In the summer of 2020, the German plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower will start building a biogas plant in Veria, northern Greece. The main investor and operator of the project is one of the largest abattoirs for cattle and pigs in Greece. The 500-kW plant – which Weltec has planned in collaboration with its Greek partner Tetoros Machinery in Megara – is set to go live as early as mid-November 2020.

For many years, a lot of animal waste has accumulated in the north of Greece. According to the Greek research institute CRES, the waste from animal husbandry and slaughtering throughout Greece amounts to 17.5 million t/year. This corresponds to a potential biogas capacity of approximately 370 MW. The capacity currently installed in Greece is only about 83 MW.

The new Weltec plant in Veria will make use part of these resources for the generation of energy. The anaerobic digestion process will mainly use cattle manure and meat processing leftovers. Apart from these substrates, the 4,903-m3 stainless-steel digester will also be fed with production wastewater and fats. The input substances will come from the operator’s own abattoir and farms as well as from farmers in the vicinity.

The highly efficient digestion will start with a customised input process. For this purpose, the substrates will first be loaded into a 60-m3 moving floor feeder. The feeder will transport solid substrates, such as orange peels, to the Multi-Mix unit, where they will shredded and then pumped to the digester. Liquid substrates will be pumped directly into the digester from two storage units. “Following the digestion process, the entire digestate will be treated in a downstream hygienisation unit”, explains Alain Priser, International Sales Manager at Weltec Biopower.

Meanwhile, Greek investors are looking for such custom-tailored plants in order to make profitable and climate-neutral use of the wide variety of raw materials. This is the only way how the share of renewable energies in the power generation can be doubled from the current level of 30 percent to 60 percent in 2030. This target was defined in National Energy and Climate Plan 2021 to 2030 (NECP) adopted by Greece. An intermediate step will be to shut down 14 coal-fired power plants in the next five years. Besides natural gas, renewable energies are to play a key role in closing the resulting power supply gap.

In the coming decade, Greece will invest some €9 billion in such plants. During this period, the installed biogas and biomass utilisation capacity is expected to triple. In this process, new laws are to provide investment security. “The Greek power grid operators will be required to preferentially connect these plants to the grid, purchase their electricity and pay defined minimum prices”, explains Weltec’s Greek partner John Tetoros. Tetoros Machinery and Weltec Biopower have collaborated in the Greek energy reform since 2007. With a portfolio of 18 plants and extensions that they have set up, they are the market leader for biogas plants in Greece. Based on the concept of the latest plant in Veria, more plants are likely to be added to the portfolio.

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