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2 Chemical Fibers International 1/2022 CONTENTS Leader 1 Circular Economy as a “game changer” in the global fiber industry F. Weninger Industry News 4 Markets count cost of Russian invasion (WoodMac) 5 Expansion of caprolactam-polyamide 6 production (Hengyi Petrochemical) 8, 17, 18 Company finances (Lenzing, Spinnova, Oerlikon, Rieter) 9 Start of new lyocell plant in Thailand (Lenzing) 11 New manufacturing facility for recycled carbon fiber (Apply Carbon) 13 New plant-based textile fiber (Norratex) 16 Study on global market for chemical recycling (ecoprog) 18 Nonwovens technology for manufacturing wipes (Oerlikon Nonwoven) 19 Decarbonizing yarn endorsed by Hugo Boss (HeiQ) 21 Positive outlook for composites (Composites Germany) 22 100 years Oerlikon Barmag Raw Materials 24 17th China International Recycling Polyester Conference & Exhibition U. Thiele 25 Polyester vs. natural fibers (Natural Fiber Welding) 27 PEF — from polymer to product T. Höhnemann, M. Steinmann, M. Dauner 1 Chemical Fibers International Fiber Polymers, Fibers, Texturing and Spunbonds March 2022 Volume 72
Chemical Fibers International 1/2022 3 CONTENTS Fibers 30 Wood-based cellulose fibers in view of the Single-Use Plastics Directive A. Russler 31 CarboBreak — releasing alveolar fibrous carbon fiber fragments D. Kehren, A. Große, N. Klemm-Zhao Fiber Production 33 Greater European synthetic fiber producers: Polyolefin fibers 38 Microbially produced silk fibers with high strength(Washington University) Fiber Industry 39 Recycling and circular economy in the textile industry S. Schlichter 40 Modification of PLA by reactive extrusion for industrial fiber applications C. Burgstaller, S. Riepler 42 Current challenges and solutions for the recycling of (mixed) synthetic textiles A. Becker, J. Thiel, C. Schöpe 45 A versatile approach to textile recycling and to handle feedstock heterogeneity in a circular economy M. Sanchis Sebastiá 48 Cellulose Fibre Innovations of the Year (nova-Institute) 9, 13, 17, 19, 21, 29 Management 26, 44 New books Inner back cover Imprint Inner back cover Company index
4 Chemical Fibers International 1/2022 INDUSTRY NEWS The Ukraine war rattled global markets and may leave lasting mark on world economy. The world’s dependence on Russia for certain commodities cannot be overstated ‒ from gas, coal, oil, iron ore, aluminium, platinum group metals and zinc to copper, lead, petrochemicals and fertilizers. Many major international oil and gas companies, utilities and miners are invested in Russia. A global team of Wood Mackenzie Ltd., Edinburgh/UK, has analyzed the risks to commodities and corporate exposure, as well as the wider economic fallout. War in the Ukraine is piling pressure onto a European gas market that was already going through its worst crisis on record. Russian pipeline imports account for 38% of EU demand, making sanctions on Russian flows prohibitive. However, if the EU was to stop all Russian gas flows, the long-term implications could be severe. Russia, too, would lose much. At current prices, it would give up US$ 7.5 billion of revenues a month, possibly more. In the tussle between Russia and the EU over gas imports, business as usual remains the most pragmatic, and likely, outcome. The invasion, though, will push the EU to question its dependency on Russian gas. New supply will take time to materialize and will see higher prices in the medium term. Nonetheless, liquefied natural gas (LNG) players in the USA, Qatar and beyond are starting to gear up; as are pipe suppliers from Azerbaijan, the East Med and Norway. The crisis will also push the EU to rethink the role of gas in its decarbonization strategy. Higher gas prices make a stronger case for renewables, as well as alternative gases such as bio-methane and green hydrogen. Russia’s economy is in a better position to withstand sanctions than it was in 2014 when it annexed the Crimea. The conflict hurts the Ukraine’s economy most. If energy flows are affected, the global impact could be severe. Neither Russia nor the Western allies will want to disrupt flows, but it cannot be ruled out. Russia has built a reserve cushion that could soften the impact of sanctions short term. Being frozen out of international bond markets means new sovereign debt needs to be financed domestically. Reserves cover the $ 50 billion due in principal repayments on government debt through 2025. In the Ukraine, the conflict risks disrupting economic activity and causing damage to capital stock. Its economy is likely to be back in recession in 2022 unless the situation de-escalates quickly. WoodMac Markets count cost of Russian invasion In response to rapid growth in the market for sustainable biomaterials, NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, MN/USA, will open a new headquarters and advanced biopolymer research facility in Plymouth, MN/ USA. Expanded laboratory capabilities will support research into the full circular lifecycle of Ingeo biopolymers from next generation fermentation technology to new applications, to increased functionality. The expanded research and development (R&D) capabilities will also support the construction and operation of NatureWorks’s new fully integrated Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex located in Thailand. With an expected opening in 2024, the facility will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades. The new space is designed to embody NatureWorks’s mission to create sustainable, high-performance materials by incorporating low environmental impact materials including lighting, flooring, and art made with Ingeo, as well as systems for reducing water and energy usage. A robust organics recycling collection system will divert food waste away from landfills to compost with compostable food service ware (single-use disposable containers and other products used for selling, vending, or serving food or beverages), coffee pads, and tea bags all available to visitors and employees. The move to the new headquarters and R&D facility began in February 2022. NatureWorks New HQ and advanced biopolymers R&D facility BASF Expansion of European production for HMD and PA 66 A new hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant will be built in Chalampé/France by BASF. The new plant is set to increase the company’s annual HMD production capacity to 260,000 tons. Production is expected to start in 2024. Furthermore, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen/Germany, will expand its polyamide (PA) 66 production in Freiburg/Germany starting 2022. The planned investments will further expand the PA 66 business that BASF acquired from Solvay in 2020. HMD is a precursor used in the production of high-quality PA 66 plastics and coating raw materials. Among other things, these products are used in the automotive industry as well as in the production of special fibers. Textile Intelligence Plant-based fabrics set to boom Environmental sustainability remains important in fabrics for the autumn/winter 2022/23 season. However, unlike in previous seasons when environmental sustainability often overshadowed design and aesthetics, collections for this season include environmentally sustainable fabrics which combine performance and higher added value. Fabrics made from plant-based materials are set to boom in collections for the autumn/winter 2022/23 season, according to “Survey of the European fabric fairs for autumn/winter 2022/23”, a 30-page report from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence Ltd., Wilmslow/UK. In particular, fibers derived from banana, pineapple and agricultural waste will prove to be especially popular. Furthermore, innovations in artificial leathers, linen fabrics and fabrics made using fibers derived from plant waste are plentiful in collections for the season and demonstrate the versatility of plant materials. The report “Survey of the European fabric fairs for autumn/winter 2022/23” is available for purchase [https://bit.ly/3HUeHxW] from Textiles Intelligence and costs £235 + VAT (UK), €435 (EMEA) or US$ 570 (Americas or Asia Pacific).
INDUSTRY NEWS Chemical Fibers International 1/2022 5 No. 1 on Regenerated Cellulosics www.maurer-sa.ch The fine and speciality chemicals industry will meet again on May 31 – June 1, 2022 during the 35th International Exhibition for Fine and Speciality Chemicals, the Chemspec Europe, in Frankfurt/Germany. Covid-19, sustainability, new trends, and digitalization – these aspects and the ongoing demand for innovations determine the industry. The choice of the right suppliers and the exchange of knowledge within international industry networks is more important than ever. With a highly specialized exhibition profile, Chemspec Europe organized by MackBrooks Exhibitions Ltd., St. Albans/UK, is a key event for buyers, traders and agents in search of bespoke solutions and innovative substances. Chemspec Europe 2022 A polyamide (PA) fiber that incorporates 100% bio-based synthetic polymer content has been developed by Toray. Ecodear N510, will be the first 100% plant-based PA fiber in Toray’s Ecodear portfolio. The company has created diverse potential applications for Ecodear N510 as a sustainable offering for high-end markets. While primarily for sports and outdoor fabrics they extend to lightweights, cut-and-sew fabrics through innerwear lace materials. Toray Industries, Inc., Tokyo/ Japan, already offers partially plant-based polyester (PET), PA, and other polymers. It developed Ecodear N510 by polymerizing Sebacic acid from castor-oil plant and Pentamethylenediamine from corn and spinning. Unlike other wholly plant-based PAs, the new fiber has a high melting point and outstanding dimensional stability. It is as strong and heat-resistant as PA6. Companies can thus create products that are sustainable without compromising performance. Toray 100% plant-based PA fiber The recognized international certification ISCC Plus has been acquired by Tongsuh Petrochemical Corp., Ltd. (TSPC), Ulsan/Korea, a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, for its acrylonitrile (AN) as a sustainable product. AN is used as a raw material to make ABS resin, acrylamide, acrylic fiber, and various other chemical products. Recent demand growth has been particularly robust in the applications of carbon fiber as a material to reduce the weight of wind turbine blades, etc., and nitrile rubber for medical gloves. The International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) is an international certification system that offers solutions for the implementation and certification of waste and residue raw materials, non-bio renewables and recycled carbon materials and fuels. ISCC Plus is a certification system that covers mainly bio-based carbon materials which are produced outside the EU and supplied globally, and to manage and ensure sustainable raw materials in the supply chain. TSPC was scheduled to begin producing AN using biomass propylene in February 2022. In order to contribute to society’s carbon neutrality, the Asahi Kasei Group, Tokyo/ Japan, will continue efforts to further reduce CO2 emissions by improving the AN catalysts and processes based on original technologies as well as the procurement of biomass raw material. Asahi Kasei Acrylonitrile using biomassderived raw material The petrochemical and chemical fiber manufacturer, Hengyi Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Beihai/China, will expand a caprolactam-polyamide 6 (PA6) vertical integration plant with an annual capacity of 1.2 million tons through its subsidiary Guangxi Hengyi New Material. This expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2 rounds, and the company plans first to complete an expansion of 600,000 tons/year. PA6 produced at the new plant is expected to be produced in various products such as highstrength polyamide fibers, engineering plastics, and films. The main production processes of caprolactam include Liquid Phase Backmann Rearrangement and Gas Phase Backmann Rearrangement. This process has less carbon emission and better production efficiency, and does not generate harmful by-products to the environment including ammonium sulfate. Hengyi has independently researched and developed the Gas Phase Backmann Rearrangement technology, and it is expected that the technology will be applied to new plants in the future. Currently, Sumitomo Group, Kyoto/ Japan, is the only company in the world producing caprolactam by applying Gas Phase Backmann Rearrangement technology to the production processwith an annual production capacity of 160,000 tons of caprolactam. Hengyi Petrochemical Expansion of caprolactampolyamide 6 production
6 Chemical Fibers International 1/2022 INDUSTRY NEWS With an investment in its next-generation polyamide (PA) technology B.I.G Yarns is stepping up its focus on developing and producing one-step 3-ply PA yarns. With these yarns, global carpet tile manufacturers meet the demands of the contract market. Total production capacity for onestep 3-ply yarns will increase by >20% through new lines installed at the plant in France, creating higher output and greater supply security by serving customers from all 3 of its global plants. The new lines use B.I.G. Yarns’ cuttingedge PA yarn technology which expands design, contrast and color freedoms for carpet tile manufacturers, and increases flexibility in lot sizes. These advances enable customers to respond quickly to developments in the contract market. In addition, the new technology features a higher level of automation which improves ergonomics for B.I.G. Yarns’ employees. Importantly, it also optimizes energy use which contributes in energy savings at the French site specifically. The new production lines will be deployed from mid-2022. To enhance support for a future of more sustainable automotive interiors, B.I.G. Yarns will enter into PET yarn production for the first time and offer a portfolio of PET yarns by the 3rd quarter of 2022. These will be available for automotive applications alongside its EqoCycle recycledbased PA6 yarns. B.I.G. Yarns is an independent entity within the Beaulieu International Group, Wielsbeke/Belgium. Beaulieu Investment in new yarn technology Shinkong Expansion of DTY plant in Vietnam Taiwan's producer of chemical fibers Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp., Taipeh/ Taiwan, will expand its DTY plant in consideration of the growth potential of the Vietnamese market. By investing 2.5 billion TWD (€ 80.6 million), the company plans to expand 10 to 20 DTY production lines by 2024, and the annual production capacity is expected to reach 20,00030,000 tons. In addition, the 30,000-ton annual recycled bottle flake production line, which the company originally planned to expand in Vietnam, is expected to begin construction within the 4th quarter of 2022. Global sustainable chemical producer IVL has reported a record performance in 2021 as the economic recovery drove demand across the company’s global footprint. In 2021, Indorama Ventures Public Company Ltd. (IVL), Bangkok/Thailand, delivered operational EBITDA of US$ 1.74 billion (+55% year-on-year) on production volumes of 14.72 million tons (+7%). Consolidated sales increased 38% to $ 14.63 billion as consumer confidence rebounded and the company’s resilient model benefited from rising inflation, energy price hikes and supply chain shocks. IVL’s combined PET segment posted a 39% increase in EBITDA to $ 1.1 billion in the context of strong demand and low inventories. The resetting of PET contracts in 2022 is expected to capture higher freight rates and the consequent beneficial impact on import parity. The segment is expected to enjoy improved margins in 2022. Fibers segment delivered a 37% increase in EBITDA of $ 268 million as volumes rose 11%. Margins widened due to tighter markets and a favorable product mix, with setbacks coming from energy and commodity price increases, while the ongoing semiconductor shortage impacted the Mobility vertical. IVL will continue to invest in its platform and its people. Disciplined capital allocaIVL Global recovery drove volume Tongkun Group/ Gulei Petrochemical Opening ceremony of Fujian Henghai New Materials Fujian Henghai New Materials has jointly been funded by Tongkun Group Co. Ltd., Hangzhou/China, and Fujian Gulei Petro- chemical Co. Ltd, Xiamen/China, with registered capital at RMD 3.5 billion. On December 28, 2021, Fujian Henghai New Materials Co. Ltd., Gulei/China, held the opening ceremony of the establishment of the company. It is mainly engaged in the production and sales of differential, functional, ultra-fine, highly simulated chemical fibers, the R&D of differential fiber, the import and export of commodities and technology etc. With an total investment of more than RMD 10 billion the company plans to build up production of 2.4 million tons/ year of new intelligent functional fibers and 200,000 tons/year of DTY differential fibers in Gulei. 8 sets of polyester production units and 100 sets of DTY machines will be installed. It will be supported by auxiliary packaging materials workshop, utilities and auxiliary facilities, using advanced technologies such as large-capacity flexible polymerization, polyester melting direct spinning, on-line addition of copolymer blending, intelligent manufacturing and green manufacturing. tion of about $ 5 billion of free cash flow will create opportunities to meet stakeholders’ expectations. Project Olympus, the company’s efficiencies and business transformation project, is tracking ahead of 2023 budget, and the company raised its expectation to more than $ 650 million in annual recurring EBITDA gains by 2024. The company committed to being an industry leader in sustainability under its new ‘Vision 2030’ strategy. Here, IVL plans to invest in technology to capture carbon from its operations, increase renewable energy consumption, and phase out coal. It will invest more in PET recycling and introduce bio-based feedstock in about a third of its polyester-based value chain. Additional measures to future-proof the company include developing leaders with a growth mindset and empowering them with the right tools to lead.www.textiletechnology.net