Lanxess combines rubber and colourant additive businesses

COLOGNE, GERMANY: Lanxess AG has revised its organisational structure, following its latest acquisition of US firm Chemtura. The two business lines rubber additives business (RAB) and colourant additives business (CAB) now both belong to the Rhein Chemie business unit. Lanxess’s goal with this restructuring is to adopt a more targeted approach with an even stronger customer focus. The unit will in the future cover speciality business with active ingredient compounds, speciality chemicals and processing aids for the rubber, plastics and colourants industries.


Lenzing plans new world-scale lyocell fibers plant in Thailand

PRACHINBURI, THAILAND: Lenzing AG said that it plans to build a state-of-the-art facility to produce lyocell fibres in Prachinburi, Thailand. The company aims to significantly increase its share of speciality fibres as a proportion of total revenue. Following the expansion drive already underway in Lenzing and Heiligenkreuz (both in Austria), Grimsby (Great Britain) and Mobile, Alabama (US). For this purpose, Lenzing is establishing a subsidiary in Thailand and purchasing a commercial property in Industrial Park 304 located in Prachinburi near Bangkok. A definitive decision on constructing the new production plant will be made in the first quarter of 2018. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2020.  Read more.

Natural dye garden promotes a greener fashion supply chain

College of Human Ecology faculty and student efforts to advance sustainable approaches to textile and fashion design has led to the development of the Cornell Natural Dye Garden after a successful crowdfunding campaign that ended in fall 2016. The project raised $10,365 for the development and cultivation of a dye garden, which will produce a variety of colours that come from the natural world and have a lower environmental impact. “We know that synthetic dyes cause incredible environmental harm and pollute waterways. Human health is also impacted, particularly for labourers in the textile dyeing industries,” said Denise Green, assistant professor of fibre science and apparel design. Read more.

Govt studies hiking import duty on sugar to 60 percent

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The government of India is considering raising import duty on sugar to 60 percent from the current 40 percent to restrict cheap shipments and maintain domestic prices. In view of lower sugar output estimated during the current 2016-17 marketing year, the government had in April allowed import of 5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at zero duty to boost domestic supply. “We are monitoring global price movement closely. Prices in the international market are falling and some traders are keen to import even at high customs duty. So, we are considering raising import duty,” a senior Food Ministry official told PTI.

Cosmetic complaints rise but products available in market

CHICAGO, US: A new study by Northwestern University has revealed that the consumer complaints of adverse health problems related to cosmetic and personal care products have doubled from 2015 to 2016. The study is published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The majority of those complaints stemmed from hair care products. Northwestern University researchers looked at complaints collected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2004 to 2016. The information came from the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Adverse Event Reporting System, which allows consumers or health care professionals to submit complaints about the harm caused by using cosmetic products.


BASF, Nornickel to cooperate on battery materials production

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY/ MOSCOW, RUSSIA: BASF SE and PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and entered exclusive negotiations to cooperate on the supply of raw materials for future battery materials production for lithium-ion batteries in Europe. BASF intends to invest up to €400 million in a first step to build industry-leading production plants for cathode materials in Europe. Through the prospective agreement, BASF would receive the raw materials from the Nornickel metal refinery in Harjavalta, Finland. Nornickel would also provide a secure supply of nickel and cobalt feedstock from its Russian mines at market prices.


AkzoNobel makes dual acquisition; strengthens performance coatings portfolio

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: AkzoNobel NV has acquired UK-based Flexcrete Technologies Ltd and has entered into an agreement to acquire French manufacturer Disa Technology (Disatech). The deals will further strengthen AkzoNobel’s global leadership position in supplying innovative industrial coatings and aerospace and automotive coatings. Flexcrete Technologies manufactures products primarily used for the protection and repair of concrete substrates. The acquisition will allow AkzoNobel to expand its offering in several key industrial markets, including downstream oil and gas and chemical processing, commercial infrastructure, power, water and wastewater, and mining and mineral processing. Read more.

Covestro launches expanded film production facility in Germany

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY: Covestro AG said that it is ready to start operations in a new production facility for high-quality, multilayered flat films at the Dormagen site. The total investment of around €20 million also includes the associated infrastructure and logistics. The films are used in security cards, automotive interiors, medical devices and displays. Some 15 new jobs will be created to operate the coextrusion plant.  “This investment represents a significant expansion of our films business and a boost to Dormagen’s position as a competence centre.