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Chemical Industry at K 2013

Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Functional Materials and System Solutions Take Center Stage

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Additionally, biogas and shale gas provide viable alternative sources of raw material. Thomas argues that producers should find the basic materials and then build on them — in fact, there are many different sources of hydrocarbons. Bayer now plans to use CO2 from waste gas to produce plastics. Following initial trials, the economic feasibility of the technique will be demonstrated at a 2,000 MT/a polyol production plant. The company then plans to offer the technology to interested partners. “By sharing our dream, we share its value,” commented Thomas. The inventor of Aspirin granting licenses — is that the end of the road for the conventional chemical industry?

“Oil is not always the logical solution. Rather than merely a waste product, even CO2 can be a raw material. We should search for basic hydrocarbons and build on them.” Patrick W. Thomas, Chairman of the Board at Bayer Material Science
“Oil is not always the logical solution. Rather than merely a waste product, even CO2 can be a raw material. We should search for basic hydrocarbons and build on them.” Patrick W. Thomas, Chairman of the Board at Bayer Material Science
(Bild: PROCESS)

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The Chemical Industry Flexes its Muscles

No, there is more to come! Global megatrends will build on new technologies. Lightweight materials help to reduce energy and raw material consumption. Cooling and insulation systems safeguard the food supply for millions, and the growing middle class in emerging countries yearns for a more comfortable lifestyle. Materials, and plastics in particular, play a key role in these visions. At K 2013, the industry can show its strengths: Chemical companies will be presenting new materials, innovative applications and high-prestige projects.

As in previous years, suppliers and machinery manufacturers account for the lion’s share of the exhibition space, but plastics producers are the second largest group. On 38,000 m2 the industry will show how it intends to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. It is hardly surprising that spectacular exhibits take center stage, but also alternative materials and tailored system solutions for growth markets will demonstrate the potential for innovation.

Foaming or Blending? – New Polymer Materials

Wind energy, with an annual average growth rate of 7%, is such a growth market. The chemical industry hopes that new materials and coatings will be needed for rotors and towers which are getting bigger and bigger. BASF sees considerable potential for its Baxxodur two-component epoxy resins and for Kerdyn, a polyethylene terephthalate-based structural foam. Turnover could reach € 300 million by 2020, claims Brudermüller.That, however, are still dreams of the future.

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