The green blogger is in the middle of the Bio-Materials newsletter deadline so posting will be scarce or very brief. This one is from Solvay who won this year’s JEC Asia 2015 Innovation Award for its bio-based ECH in producing sustainable epoxy resins. JEC is the largest composites industry organization in Europe.
Both Solvay, owner of the Epicerol® technology and trademark, and Advanced Biochemical (Thailand) Co. Ltd. or ABT, the producer of Epicerol®, have been awarded in the Raw Materials category. Epicerol® is a 100% bio-based epichlorohydrin (ECH), a chemical intermediate mainly used in the production of epoxy resins, a key material for a wide range of industries namely composites, coatings and electronics. A recent partnership with customers saw Epicerol®-based epoxy resins being used in the composite matrix of a Belgian Solar Car, The Punch One, allowing for 45% bio content in the resin.
Epicerol® has been very competitive in price compared to petro-based ECH in Asia as well as compared to other glycerol-based ECH produced in China. ABT has been operating its facility in Thailand since February 2012. Tecnon OrbiChem has been reporting the bio-ECH market since September 2012. Unfortunately, the Chinese chemical market in general is not doing well and this has affected a lot of chemical producers both bio- and petrochemical-based materials.
Several glycerol-based ECH producers in China have been operating at around 50% or less capacity this year although ABT said it’s facility in Thailand has the competitive advantage of being more energy efficient and closer to cheaper feedstock and energy sources.