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Chemical companies collaborate on low-carbon initiative

Ten major global chemical sector companies have agreed with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish what they called “a breakthrough, pre-competitive development platform to accelerate net-zero climate technologies”. They are BASF, Dow, DSM, Solvay, Clariant, Covestro, Mitsubishi Chemical, Air Liquide, Sabic and Sibur.

New skin sensitisation guideline

ECHA has published advice on how to use the OECD guideline to REACH registrants on how to reliably combine different sources of non-animal data on skin sensitisation properties of their substances. This is the first guideline outlining how to use in silico tools like the QSAR Toolbox for this purpose. Mike Rasenberg, ECHA’s director for hazard assessment, described it as “an important milestone for advancing the use of alternative methods to assess chemical hazards”.

Clariant opens Sunliquid plant

Clariant has announced the official completion of its first commercial-scale Sunliquid plant in Podari, Romania. This will be operational during Q4 and will produce about 50,000 tonnes/year of “almost carbon-neutral” cellulosic ethanol from 250,000 tonnes/year of agricultural residues sourced in the vicinity.

Elkem launches its climate roadmap

Silicon materials player Elkem has announced a new climate roadmap, detailing how it plans to develop its business in line with the aim of the Paris agreement of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, while also achieving revenue growth of 5-10%/year.

Verdant buys Baze Chemical

Verdant Specialty Solutions has acquired its US compatriot Baze Chemical from its founder, Curtis Baze. Terms were not disclosed. Baze is based at Odessa, Texas, employs 82 employees and mainly supplies ethoxylates for the oil and gas production, water treatment and mining industries.

Baze’s four facilities on the Gulf Coast include a 12,000 m2 surfactants manufacturing and custom alkoxylation facility in Palestine, Texas, which opened in 2016. This has six flexible reactors for EO and PO, abundant storage and significant capacity for growth, Verdant said.

Evonik to divest Lülsdorf site

Evonik has announced that it intends to divest its site in Lülsdorf, south of Cologne in Germany, and will draw up more detailed plans by spring 2022. The company would prefer an outright transfer to a single owner but will consider selling it in parts.

Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive board, said: “With our focus on high-margin speciality chemicals, further development of the site doesn’t make sense for us”. Some potential investors have already expressed interest.

Feature article - What are you DUIN?

A key deadline for UK REACH is coming this month. Andrew Warmington reports from ChemUK 2021

Not surprisingly, UK REACH was one of the big topics at the panel discussions and individual presentations given at the ChemUK show, which took place at the NEC near Birmingham on 15-16 September. UK REACH came into force on 1 January, the day after the UK left the EU.

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