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Celanese Launches blueridge™ Cellulosic Pellets as Home Compostable Alternative to Single-Use Plastics

Wood pulp and vinegar-based material works as potential replacement for hard-to-recycle, single-use plastic applications

Displaying a commitment to sustainable product developments and initiatives, Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE), a global chemical and specialty materials company, has just launched a breakthrough cellulose-based material that aligns with ESG and circular economy objectives with a product that is both bio-based and broadly compostable.

To advance this effort, Celanese announces the commercial availability of its BlueRidge™ Cellulosic Pellets, a sustainability-inspired product intended to be an alternative to conventional plastics, both transparent and opaque, in difficult-to-recycle consumer applications. This material is both economically and technically viable, as well as rooted in sustainability from its raw materials to end-of-life compostability.

“We’ve studied how developments in sustainability impact the markets we serve and how we can better meet these growing demands; and we see the challenge of single-use plastic waste as one we are uniquely positioned to potentially tackle in a novel and significant way,” said Lori Ryerkerk, Celanese Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Today Celanese welcomes the launch of BlueRidge™ Cellulosic Pellets as the Company’s next leap forward with a sustainable and compostable alternative to plastic.”

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Part of the BlueRidge™ material’s elegance is in the simple and sustainable chemistry that makes it work. It is based primarily on cellulose acetate, which is produced using cellulose from sustainably forested trees. The resulting BlueRidge™ material is recognized as being home and industrial compostable as well as broadly biodegradable in a range of environments, ultimately breaking down into glucose and vinegar, which are readily consumed in nature.

Production Capacity & Strength

Celanese is one of the world’s leading producers of cellulose acetate, with an annual production capacity of more than 300 kilotons globally. Celanese is also a leading global producer and supplier of engineered polymers with worldwide production capability providing local material supply to all regions of the world. This combined strength in cellulose acetate and polymer compounding capability enables Celanese to support the largest-scale demand for BlueRidge™ Cellulosic Pellets.

Consumer End Use Product Application Opportunities

Although its chemical composition is more that of paper than plastic, BlueRidge™ Cellulosic Pellets are designed to be processed on conventional plastics machinery to efficiently produce many of the products on which society depends. Additionally, the material can offer improved mechanical and temperature performance relative to other common bio-based and bio-degradable polymers, particularly as a fully transparent material. It is proving to be a material with potential value in many rigid single-use products, such as straws, cutlery, lids, containers and packaging, among many other uses. BlueRidge™ material provides new options for consumers to have more sustainable choices without having to sacrifice functionality and features.

Product Availability and Contacts

For additional information regarding BlueRidge™ Cellulosic Pellets, visit https://www.celanese.com/en/engineered-materials/products/blueridge to download the Company’s latest resource document on cellulosic pellet product development. To discuss end-use consumer product opportunities, contact a Celanese commercial representative at BlueRidge@celanese.com.

About Celanese

Celanese Corporation is a global chemical leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Our businesses use the full breadth of Celanese's global chemistry, technology and commercial expertise to create value for our customers, employees, shareholders and the corporation. As we partner with our customers to solve their most critical business needs, we strive to make a positive impact on our communities and the world through The Celanese Foundation. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2019 net sales of $6.3 billion. For more information about Celanese Corporation and its product offerings, visit www.celanese.com or our blog at www.celaneseblog.com.

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Emerson Launches Unique Heat Staking Technology to Meet Growing Demand for Complex Plastic Parts

Branson™ GPX platform provides greater design freedom by enabling high-quality joins and superior aesthetics in a range of challenging applications

Emerson has introduced new heat staking technology designed to give manufacturers greater design freedom by enabling them to join more complex, delicate and sensitive components to plastic moldings. Using a unique pulse staking technology that optimizes the heat staking process, the Branson™ GPX platform produces high-quality joins, superior product aesthetics and energy savings in increasingly challenging applications.

Electronics, automotive and medical device manufacturers must produce more creative designs to meet rapidly changing market demand. This has led to an increase in challenging heat staking applications involving parts with more complex 3D geometries, closely aligned features and fragile or heat-sensitive components, such as soldered components or sensors, and using a greater number of blended, glassreinforced, chromed and metallicized plastics.

The Branson™ GPX platform, with its unique heat-staking technology, provides greater design freedom by enabling high-quality joins and superior aesthetics in a range of challenging applications.The Branson™ GPX platform, with its unique heat-staking technology, provides greater design freedom by enabling high-quality joins and superior aesthetics in a range of challenging applications.

The Branson GPX platform uses PulseStaker technology to provide instantaneous heating and cooling, with adjustable cycle times for optimized, low energy heat staking. The process creates no particulates or burn marks, and enables more delicate and sensitive parts, such as those with embedded electronics, to be joined with consistently high-performance finishes.

The advanced technology is suitable for all heat staking applications, including those with thermoplastic materials and metalized coated parts. A wide range of heat staking tip designs, which can be adapted to meet any stake welding requirement, and the ability to stake multiple points simultaneously provide manufacturers with greater design freedom.

“The automotive, electronics and medical industries require more complex, delicate and sensitive components to be joined to plastic moldings,” said Priyank Kishor, global product manager for Branson products at Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “The unique heat staking process that the Branson GPX platform provides helps to meet this demand and offers manufacturers a broad range of benefits, such as superior product aesthetics and reduced energy use.”

For more information on the Branson GPX platform, visit www.Emerson.com/Branson.

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com

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New AkzoNobel powder coatings plant rises up in digital transformation

More advanced powder coatings solutions will be available to customers in Taiwan now that a state-of-the-art and sustainable plant is being built by AkzoNobel in Chungli.

The fully automated plant, which represents a €20 million investment, will have the increased production capacity to fulfill growing demand in the architecture, auto accessories, telecommunications, electronic components, furniture, domestic appliances, sports equipment and machine tools markets.

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Once operational, the new plant will bring the company closer to its overall energy and water sustainability ambitions. It’s expected to reduce energy consumption by 30%, increase the water reuse rate to 60% and achieve zero VOC emissions – in addition to creating a safer and healthier working environment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainties to global markets,” said Fred Moreux, Director of Manufacturing for Asia at AkzoNobel. “Investing in a new plant in Taiwan at this critical time will help us streamline our supply chain while setting a new benchmark in the local paints and coatings industry.

AkzoNobel’s multisite in Chungli already consists of manufacturing plants for powder coatings, decorative paints, packaging coatings and specialty coatings. The addition of this new powder coatings plant is leading Taiwan’s industry upgrade process to create significant production leverage and value.

“AkzoNobel has been in the Taiwan market for more than 40 years and is a known leader of its paints and coatings industry,” said Karen Yin, Director of Commercial Powder Coatings at AkzoNobel. “The new plant is driven by growing customer demand for tailored solutions and will consolidate our leading position.”

The powder coatings plant in Chungli is expected to start operating in the third quarter of 2021.

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 33,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect.

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AkzoNobel puts on a brave face with coatings from ColorSurfaces Edition 16

Automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics coatings customers are discovering the latest color trends and finishes with the launch of ColorSurfaces Edition 16.

This edition of ColorSurfaces is firmly planted in AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2021, Brave Ground. A warm, neutral shade, it gives us the courage to embrace change. The shade is both empowering and calm, grounding and reconnecting us to the simple things in life.

“Every year, our creative team gets together with leading external design experts to discuss the global consumer trends that are expected to influence our color and material choices over the next 12 months, including an overall Color of the Year,” says Stephie Sijssens, Global Color Design Manager. “The result is ColorSurfaces, our visually stunning color trends collection. Combined with in-depth color analysis, comprehensive material research and inspiring visuals, ColorSurfaces provides unique insights to feed the inspiration of our customers.”

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Four palettes – Me, Us, Time and World – have been designed around Brave Ground to show how the color can be combined to create different effects. For example, achieving a comforting look with tone-on-tone arrangements, or a sporty expression by juxtaposing Brave Ground with contrasting bright tones.

Going well beyond color, the design team explores structures, finishes, textures and patterns which they can translate into inspiring coating solutions for the automotive and consumer electronics markets. Inspiration for this year’s palettes came from natural materials like soil, clay and quartz, as well as the smooth and soothing finish of a seashell.

Brave Ground has been translated into different finishes for each of the four trend themes: refined pearls, structured terra-coat, smooth anodized effects and natural interference. Each version of Brave Ground stands strong on its own but also provides a base for other shades to shine and stand out against.

Adds Sijssens: “Our customers can use ColorSurfaces as a source of inspiration, a confirmation of design choices or as a starting point for new color development – where our design partnership with them begins.”

For more information about ColorSurfaces Edition 16, visit the ColorSurfaces web page

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 33,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect. 

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Stora Enso invests in cross laminated timber (CLT) production in Czech Republic

Stora Enso has decided to invest approximately EUR 79 million in a new production line for cross laminated timber (CLT) at its Ždírec sawmill in the Czech Republic. The investment will further enhance Stora Enso’s position as a global provider of high-quality engineered wooden elements and as a market leader in CLT.

Production is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2022. The estimated annual production capacity will be approximately 120 000 m³ after ramp-up. The investment is expected to generate annual sales of approximately EUR 70 million when run at full capacity and to meet the Wood Products division’s profitability target of 20% operational return on operating capital (ROOC).

“This investment enables us to accelerate our growth within the mass timber construction market. It is well in line with our strategic integrated mill concept. It will further improve our capabilities to offer a high-quality range of building solutions for our customers around the world. CLT is showing significant growth potential in the market, with characteristics that make it possible to build higher, lighter and yet stronger than ever before. With our well-proven building concepts and supporting digital tools, we intend to inspire and drive the construction industry towards a more sustainable future, built on renewable materials,” says Lars Völkel, Executive Vice President, Stora Enso Wood Products division.

Cross laminated timber (CLT)Cross laminated timber (CLT)

Construction is expected to start during the first quarter of 2021. Stora Enso invests in the latest technology, which, together with fully integrated production at the Ždírec sawmill, will provide customers with cost-efficient solutions and premium products. Integration with the existing sawmill will also add benefits in, for example, raw material and energy supply, and logistics. The Ždírec sawmill is favourably located close to the European markets of Stora Enso.

The investment is estimated to increase the number of employees at the mill by approximately 110 FTEs. Stora Enso has received all required permits for the project.

Currently, Stora Enso has three CLT production units with a total capacity of 270 000 m3: Gruvön in Sweden and Ybbs and Bad St. Leonhard in Austria.

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has some 25 000 employees in over 30 countries. Our sales in 2019 were EUR 10.1 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). storaenso.com

The Wood Products division is a leading provider of innovative wood-based solutions. The product range covers applications for construction and the window and door industry, as well as for the packaging and decoration industries. Biocomposites offer plastic replacement opportunities in, for example, consumer goods, industrial components, cosmetics and packaging. Pellets provide a sustainable solution for heating. The offering includes service concepts such as Building Solutions and e-business. Our solutions meet strict requirements regarding safety, quality, design and sustainability.