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Hexion Names Innovation Challenge Winner

COLUMBUS, OH – Jurgen Van Holen, UV cure expert, has received the Open Innovation award from Hexion’s epoxy business after submitting the winning proposal as part of Hexion’s “Create the Future with Lower Yellowing, Renewable Resins and Raw Materials” innovation challenge.

“We believe that this idea will create the most value to develop innovative sustainable technologies and formulations for novel coatings, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions through longer service life and single layer coatings,” said Dr. Gab Badini, Global Research and Development Director. “These developments will help paint manufacturers meet, or exceed, the requirements of their customers with more sustainable, lower yellowing coatings.”

The Innovation Challenge generated strong interest across the globe, leading to innovative submissions from industrial suppliers, research institutes, thought leaders and inventors. During the selection process, Hexion experts contacted the submitters to further nurture their concepts. The winning proposal identified specific chemical structures that can be used to develop new epoxy resins or to modify an epoxy/amine system in an effort to reduce or eliminate yellowing. The selected approaches leverage bio-based materials, which are intended to increase the overall sustainability of epoxy resin systems.

“This winning submission offers the potential to help meet customers’ needs, protect the environment and benefit society,” said Ann Frederix, Senior Vice President, Coatings and Composites. “Our innovation challenge provided a unique opportunity for thought leaders to accelerate innovation and commercial development of more sustainable, higher-performance resins for anticorrosive coatings. We look forward to partnering with Jurgen van Holen and were pleased to introduce innovative industry thinkers to this open innovation approach for technology development.”

“The open innovation challenge has been a unique opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field and identify additional ways chemistry can contribute to a more sustainable world,” said van Holen.

Following this event, Hexion plans to work closely with selected participants to accelerate commercial development of the concepts identified in the Innovation Challenge proposal.

Photo: ALotOfPeople, iStock/Getty Images Plus, via Getty Images

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Cypris Materials and BASF Collaborate to Develop Structural Color

BERKELEY, CA – Cypris Materials recently announced its partnership with BASF Corp. The partnership will focus on the development and applications of brilliant, paintable, structural color.

Photo: cosmin4000, iStock/Getty Images Plus, via Getty Images

BASF is uniquely positioned to commercialize disruptive technologies and is committed to working with companies at the leading edge of materials innovation. “The high chroma, tuneability and accessible formulation makes this a leader and among the most exciting structural color platforms we have seen. It offers a new tool in engineering novel concepts that extend the aesthetic potential of coloration,” said Christopher Hewitt, Innovation Network Manager at BASF.

The benefits of this new partnership include: developing, producing and marketing innovative, next-generation sustainable color technologies; and collaboration to develop scalable formulations that enable field application.

“Our partnership with BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, is an exciting opportunity to advance and showcase Cypris’ next generation color technology,” said Ryan Pearson, CEO of Cypris Materials. “Historically, structural color has been limited to small, expensive production runs of a few select colors – Cypris’ technology enables our customers to customize color on-site.”

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PROTEX INTERNATIONAL Opens Factory in China    

LEVALLOIS-PERRET, France – PROTEX INTERNATIONAL recently announced that it has completed construction of a new production site at an industrial park in Sihui, China, which is located about 50 kilometers from Guangzhou. The site is entirely dedicated to chemistry. The company has been established in the Gaoyao district in China since the early 1980s with its subsidiary, Guangdong Prox-Chem Specialty Chemicals.

The Class A workshop at the new site in Sihui, China. Photo courtesy of PROTEX INTERNATIONAL.

In order to meet the specific needs of its customers in China and other Asian countries, the industrial site has a development laboratory and an application center that benefit from the company’s technologies. The site is currently serving the paint and ink industries, as well as the textiles industry.

For the paint industry, the facility offers a complete range of additives for aqueous paints – without VOCs – with applications for the metal, wood and residential industries. The company reports that these products achieve the same performance as their solvent-based counterparts.

With its state-of-the-art equipment, Guangdong Prox-Chem Specialty Chemicals aims to meet the increasing environmental demands of the Asian market, which include rigorous selection of renewable raw materials, a desire to reduce water and energy consumption, and optimization of production times and costs. For the group, which is already well established in Southeast Asia, where nearly 30% of its business is carried out, this project aims to establish a new industrial base in China with the latest equipment, guarantee of quality, and competitiveness, all while serving its customers in the Asia region.

The new production site, with an area of 20,000 m², offers a capacity of 20,000 tons/year, and PROTEX INTERNATIONAL has a land reserve allowing for further expansion.

The construction and installation of the equipment at the new facility, which meets the highest Chinese environmental standards, took place in 36 months. The facility includes a workshop where units are able to use hazardous products; a Class A storage facility and store are also operational. Some of the staff at the Gaoyao site have already relocated to the new plant.


Richard Baker Harrison Acquires Geniechem and Geniechem (Europe) Ltd.

MANCHESTER, UK – Richard Baker Harrison Ltd (RBH), a supplier of specialty functional materials, additives and chemicals to the polymer and related industries, recently announced the acquisition of privately owned Geniechem Ltd. and Geniechem (Europe) Ltd. The acquisition adds expertise in the CASE and high-end composite sectors to RBH’s product portfolio.

Martin Kaufman, owner of Geniechem Ltd. and Geniechem (Europe) Ltd., (left), and Martin Cicognani, Managing Director of Richard Baker Harrison Ltd., (right). Photo courtesy of Richard Baker Harrison Ltd.

Kaufman said, “We are very excited by RBH’s acquisition and the opportunity it creates to deliver on our customers’ requirements. I am delighted to be part of a team whose entrepreneurial spirit and ambitions for the future will enable us to work together in offering a wider portfolio of materials and more efficient supply chains.”

Martin Cicognani, Managing Director of RBH said, “This investment provides us with a wider scope for future-focused development and a strong customer base for our products and services that will help to inspire change across our specialist markets. We are excited to launch Geniechem as part of the RBH Group and look forward to its immediate contributions to our success together.”

Geniechem will be an independent member of RBH Group. It will retain the experience of Martin Kaufman, owner of Geniechem Ltd and Geniechem (Europe) Ltd., in a wider capacity, underlining the commitment of both organizations to create added value for customers and stakeholders.

RBH has a long history of growth and investment in people, products and principals within the chemical distribution sector. The decision to include Geniechem into the family of RBH companies represents an important strategic investment for RBH as the company continues to broaden its portfolio of products and resources to further support customers and principals.

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Diamond Vogel Marks Groundbreaking of New Innovation Center

ORANGE CITY, IA – Diamond Vogel recently celebrated the groundbreaking of its Innovation Center with a ceremony on Oct. 13, 2021. The $15 million facility is the latest phase of Diamond Vogel’s Building on Success Initiative that started in 2018, which includes several improvements to its Orange City, Iowa, campus.

Leading the groundbreaking were Diamond Vogel’s Chairman of the Board, Drew Vogel, and President and CEO, Jeff Powell. They were joined by Orange City Mayor Deb De Haan, Orange City Development Corporation President Daryl Beltman, and members of the Diamond Vogel team.

“My family has been blessed with a great and long history of partnership with the Orange City community. We love being a part of Orange City and the state of Iowa, and we are excited to continue to invest in this community and provide opportunities for ongoing growth and success,” said Drew Vogel, Chairman of the Board.

Jeff Powell, President and CEO, said, “The Innovation Center fulfills the need for additional effective and efficient space to continue to explore cutting-edge advancements in paint and coating technology for our customers. In addition, the Innovation Center will provide the capacity to meet our current and future strategic objectives.”

Construction of the new facility is now underway, with project completion anticipated by the end of 2022.

The Innovation Center will add 36,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space, allowing up to 60 research and development scientists to collaborate on improvements and advancements to Diamond Vogel’s extensive line of paints and coatings. Diamond Vogel partnered with the architectural firm CMBA Architects, based in Sioux City, Iowa, to design the project, and selected Hoogendoorn Construction, from Canton, South Dakota, to manage the project’s construction.

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Photo courtesy of Diamond Vogel.

PPG Powers Carrollton Manufacturing Plant with Renewable Energy

CARROLLTON, TX – PPG recently announced an agreement with Constellation, an energy and energy solutions provider, in which PPG will power its Carrollton, Texas, paint manufacturing facility with clean, renewable energy from the 200 MW Big Star Solar Project, currently under development in Bastrop County, Texas.

Image courtesy of PPG.

PPG will procure approximately 4.6 million kilowatt hours of energy per year from Big Star, avoiding more than 3,200 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 700 cars off the road, according to U.S. EPA estimates.

“At PPG, one of our 2025 sustainability goals is to increase renewable energy to 25% of total electricity usage, exclusive of greenhouse gas reductions,” said Diane Kappas, PPG Vice President, Global Sustainability. “Our collaboration with Constellation will allow us to contribute to that goal, with the intent to expand renewable energy at other PPG locations across the U.S.”

To simplify the purchase, PPG will use the Constellation Offsite Renewables retail power product, which increases businesses’ access to renewable energy projects by removing the hurdles associated with traditional offsite power purchase agreements.

“We commend PPG on taking proactive measures to reduce its carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment,” said Mark Huston, President of Constellation’s National Retail Business. “We’re pleased to offer this clean energy solution as a means to enable major commercial customers like PPG to deliver on their sustainability goals.”

Through a 10-year agreement, PPG will receive energy and project-specific renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Big Star as a part of its retail electricity supply contract with Constellation. The deal is made possible by a separate long-term agreement between Constellation and project developer RWE Renewables under which Constellation will purchase a 140-megawatt portion of the energy generated by Big Star to supply several large commercial customers. The solar project is expected to achieve commercial operation by the second quarter of 2022.

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