Evonik begins marketing of natural refrigerants

With immediate effect, Evonik's customers can now purchase three new natural refrigerants: throughout Europe and delivered using a means of transport particularly suitable for this purpose. This was made possible by the further shift of Evonik's existing C4 Verbund in Marl toward petrochemical specialties, primarily by adapting production processes. The most recent result of these adaptations are three hydrocarbon-based gases: n-butane (DRIVOSOL® R600), isobutane (DRIVOSOL® R600a), and propane (DRIVOSOL® R290).

2021 01 11 142022These three products, all of which also occur naturally, can be used as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient refrigerants in various appliances. This gives manufacturers of refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and heat pumps a new alternative to existing products. Against the background of the climate debate, this constitutes a valuable contribution to greater sustainability in the field of refrigeration technology. Over the last few years, the use of high-quality hydrocarbons has proven its worth due to their good compatibility and miscibility with the most common cooling lubricants.

In this case, quality makes all the difference. "We have many years of experience in the production of odorless liquefied gas mixtures, which we offer under the brand name DRIVOSOL®," says Sarah Kranz, marketing manager at Evonik Performance Intermediates. "The most important characteristic is its high purity, which has so far been used primarily in aerosols for deodorants or shaving foam. We have now used our experience, particularly in reprocessing technology, to identify and exploit new applications."

Thanks to technical advances, refrigerants can now be used safely, efficiently and, above all, cost-effectively. This opens up new areas of application for refrigeration systems in both the private and commercial sectors, benefiting both manufacturers and end customers. The market therefore offers high growth opportunities.

"Clearly, we want to be part of that growth," explains Christian Bierhaus, head of marketing and sales at Performance Intermediates. "With the expansion of our specialties business, we are able to serve the increasing individual demand of our customers, while also making a small contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect. The latter succeeds above all through the higher energy efficiency that can be achieved with our products."

The technical background:
Propane (DRIVOSOL® R290) has high energy efficiency and excellent thermodynamic and refrigeration properties. As an efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant substitute, propane is particularly suitable for use in air conditioning systems that are also operated at high outside temperatures (>+50 °C). The natural refrigerants DRIVOSOL® R600 (n-butane) and DRIVOSOL® R600a (isobutane) are characterized above all by better operating performance with lower refrigerant charge when compared to conventional refrigerants.


DRIVOSOL® R290, R600 and R600a - Natural refrigerants for better energy efficiency

Evonik Performance Intermediates - Chemistry4People®

Company information
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €13.1 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion in 2019. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 32,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

About Performance Materials
The forever young classics of the Performance Materials Division stand for products and technologies that are continuously improved. They are the basis for many modern applications, for example in the areas of mobility, nutrition, pharmaceuticals or plastics. The division generated sales from continuing operations of around €2.04 billion in 2019 with about 1,600 employees.


SCIP duty kicks in: 5 million notifications received for harmful chemicals in products

Since 5 January, companies have had to submit data to ECHA on chemicals of concern in their products. Over five million notifications have already been received in the SCIP database, and the data will be published in the coming months.

Scip logo 01 200 transpThe obligation to submit data on substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in articles under the Waste Framework Directive applies as of 5 January 2021. The new requirements concern all companies placing articles containing SVHCs from the Candidate List on the EU market.

Companies have already submitted more than five million notifications to the database. ECHA will start publishing the data on its website in the coming months, and this function will be further developed. The increased transparency on chemicals of concern will help consumers make more informed choices and improve waste operators’ recycling processes.

Bjorn Hansen, ECHA’s Executive Director says: “Forward-looking companies have already sent the requested information to us and contributed to a safer circular economy. I encourage all companies to follow their example and play their part in increasing the knowledge we have on hazardous chemicals in products.”

ECHA’s IT systems are ready to continue receiving a large number of notifications. To support companies in ensuring successful submissions, ECHA has published manuals, webinars as well as tips for successful SCIP notifications and for the use of the system-to-system service. The Agency’s helpdesk is ready to help individual companies with specific issues.

Further information

SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the Waste Framework Directive. The database ensures that the information on articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) on ECHA’s Candidate List is available throughout the whole lifecycle of products and materials, including the waste stage.

SCIP database

Tools to prepare SCIP notifications

Tips to improve submissions

Tips for system-to-system submissions

More information about processing large dossiers

SCIP webinar


AkzoNobel unlocks more sustainable future for coatings after biomass breakthrough

A world of possibilities for paints and coatings has been unlocked by research being conducted by AkzoNobel, in collaboration with the Dutch Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC).

The breakthrough innovation involves the development of a more sustainable way of making resins, which could pave the way for the introduction of futuristic functionality – such as intelligent paint that uses controlled release of active ingredients, or the ability to add new functionality during the lifetime of a coating.

The new process uses bio-based monomers to make the resins, rather than the traditional oil-based. Requiring just UV light, oxygen and renewable raw materials, patent applications have already been filed for resins and coatings made with monomers derived from sugar derivatives isolated from biomass.

“There’s no doubt we’re on the verge of progressing to the next level of coatings technology, thanks to this fantastic example of collaborative innovation in action,” explains Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “We’re opening up a new future for paints and coatings by using sustainable building blocks that will enable us to explore and develop some really exciting functionalities for our customers.”

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The process uses bio-based monomers to make the resins. Biomass is cracked by using acid to produce the sugar derivative (furfural). Using light and oxygen and adding different alcohols produces monomers that can be polymerized into polymers which are used in coatings; the monomers can also be used in coating formulations which are cured by  UV-A light. CREDIT: GEORGE HERMENS AND PACO VISSER, UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN

AkzoNobel already produces many of its own resins, but in a bid to make the process more sustainable, the company has been working with the ARC CBBC, with most of this research taking place at the University of Groningen – where the team is led by professor in organic chemistry and Nobel Prize winner, Ben Feringa, and PhD student, George Hermens.

“Faced with the challenge of developing the sustainable chemistry of the future – a major goal of the ARC CBBC – I’m extremely pleased with these game-changing results,” adds Feringa. “They show that a material for coatings can be produced from biomass using a sustainable chemical process.”

Having started in 2018, the research project is still at a relatively early stage and a lot of work still lies ahead in order to optimize the monomers so they can be made in a more efficient way and on a larger scale. Estimates suggest it could be around five years before the first products start to emerge.”

“We’ve still got a long way to go in terms of exploring the scope of the technology, but it will almost certainly define the future of our products,” continues Kruithof. “By 2040 or 2050, there’s also a good chance we might only be using bio-based monomers in our resin production, which will help us to reduce the overall carbon footprint of our products.”

The biomass breakthrough is the latest example of the progress AkzoNobel is making in its search for sustainable solutions, having adopted a People. Planet. Paint. approach to sustainability. A detailed explanation of the science behind the development of the new process can be found in a research article which has just been published in the journal Science Advances.

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are active in over 150 countries and employ around 32,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect.


Keliber and Kokkolan Energia confirm agreement on the site of the chemical plant

Keliber and Kokkolan Energia have confirmed a 30-year lease agreement for a 12.5-hectare site of the Keliber chemical plant to be built in the Kokkola Industrial Park.

2020 11 12 103146“We are very pleased with the good cooperation with Kokkolan Energia. We have an excellent construction site in the chemical industrial area with a high level of infrastructure and service offering. The area's focus on the circular economy and safety as well as in port, rail and vehicle traffic will serve our needs excellently,” says Hannu Hautala, CEO of Keliber.

“We are pleased that we confirmed the agreement with Keliber. It serves the development of the Kokkola Industrial Park, the entire city of Kokkola and offers to develop forward-looking activities with Keliber. Personally, I see an interesting opportunity to utilize for example waste heat”, says Mikko Rintamäki, CEO of Kokkolan Energia.

The agreement will take effect from January 1, 2021.

More information:

Keliber Oy, CEO Hannu Hautala, tel. +358 40 712 2432
Kokkolan Energia, CEO Mikko Rintamäki, tel. +358 40 558 2289

Keliber Oy

Keliber Oy is a Finnish mining and chemical industry company with an objective of producing battery grade lithium hydroxide for the needs of the international lithium battery market.


Tracking chemicals of concern in products – SCIP database ready for use

Industry can now submit information on substances of very high concern in their articles to ECHA’s SCIP database. The aim is to make recycling of products safer and improve information about dangerous chemicals in products.

The SCIP database was launched today and companies can submit data on substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in their articles. The Waste Framework Directive requires companies to submit their data as of 5 January 2021. Consumers and waste operators can access and use the data from February 2021 onwards.

2021 01 21 120935“We need to know more about the hazardous chemicals in products so that they can be safely recycled. This is key for a better circular economy and essential to make the EU Green Deal work. The increased knowledge protects workers, citizens and the environment, helps consumers make safer choices and encourages industry to replace hazardous chemicals with safer ones. We call on industry to start submitting the data to us now and we stand ready to support them,” says Bjorn Hansen, ECHA’s Executive Director.

The database has been developed in close cooperation with stakeholders and a dedicated IT user group of more than 60 members. Based on industry feedback, the database includes mechanisms that simplify the work for companies. For example, a system-to-system submission function helps companies submit notifications in an automated way. It also allows them to work together so they can submit notifications by referring to data that has already been submitted. 

For support, companies can consult the material published on ECHA’s website or contact ECHA’s helpdesk. A webinar on SCIP, including a demo of the tools and new features, will take place on 19 November.

Further information

SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD).

The database ensures that the information on articles containing SVHCs on ECHA’s Candidate List is available throughout the whole lifecycle of products and materials, including the waste stage. The information in the database is made available to waste operators and consumers.


SCIP database

Tools to prepare and submit SCIP notifications


The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is an Agency of the European Union implementing EU chemical regulations. We, together with our partners, work for the safe use of chemicals.