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The discussion about possible plagiarism in the book of the German Green Party chancellor
candidate has already almost disappeared from the headlines because of the terrible flood
disaster in Germany. In defence of Annalena Baerbock’s “writing”, lawyers argued, among
other things, that the criticized passages were not plagiarism because the book was not a
scientific work, but just a non-fiction book. This argumentation, which may be legally correct
but is morally highly dubious, has been tackled by the historian Julien Reitzenstein in a clever
“Hannah Arendt once said that it is not the case that the thief does not know the property right.
He allowed himself an exception in his favour. Baerbock did the same. She knew authors had
worked for the texts she copied. She allowed herself an exception in her favour.” *
The creation of texts is, as Reitzenstein very correctly points out, a laborious and usually not
particularly well-paid business. It must have been clear to the highly paid Green politician that
the text passages with which she and her ghostwriter filled the 240 pages by copy and paste
were created by people who do not belong to the top earners and that such impudence further
encourages theft of intellectual property that deprive the livelihood of many self-employed
authors. Would one want to put the fate of an entire nation in the hands of a person with such a
skewed understanding of property? Probably not. And now a second edition is to be published!
One is tempted to advise the publisher not to exacerbate the current shortage of paper with
another edition of “Baerbockiana”.
In my role as editor I am pleased to publish lot of guaranteed plagiarism-free content by renowned
experts in this issue of PU Magazine such as the findings of An Adams and her team from
Dow about the impact of the incorporation of recycle polyols on VOC emission, free aromatic
amines and odor of flexible PU foams (p. 178). Talking about recycling polyols. We look at
the results from the EU backed project Iceberg (p. 187). Make with us another step towards
a circular economy for polyurethane and read about the Danish consortium RePURpose and
their technologies for the recycling of PU products (p. 176). Or dive deep into the exciting
polyurethane markets in Middle East with our extensive interview of Martin Kruczinna of Pearl
Polyurethane Systems (p. 172).
*Julien Reitzenstein. Wie hältst Du es mit dem Eigentum? Cicero online, 12 July 2021 https://www.cicero.de/innenpolitik/baerbock-debatte-wie-halst-du-es-mit-dem-eigentum (last accessed, 19 July 2021)
In February 2021, Pearl Industries Overseas Ltd signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 51 % shareholding in Pearl Covestro Polyurethane Systems LLC from former joint-venture partner Covestro AG. Headed by incoming former-Bayer executive, Martin Kruczinna, who will take over the role of CEO, the newly independent company has been rebranded Pearl Polyurethane Systems LLC. Both parties have reconfirmed their ongoing partnership through a long-term supply and technical service agreement. Pearl Polyurethane Systems offers a comprehensive range of polyurethane formulations and prepolymers for the production of high-performance PU foams and elastomers. PU Magazine took the opportunity to talk to the new CEO, Martin Kruczinna, about the current challenges facing the PU industry in the Gulf region and the company's plans for the future.
Danish researchers have developed a chemical recycling method for polyurethane (PU) targeted at handling end-of-life products. The method breaks down polyurethane into chemical building blocks that serve as feedstock for new PU products. According to the researchers, the chemical recycling process is robust and will, for the first time, be able to convert a wide variety of different PU materials.
Evonik has reinforced its emission management position in the polyurethanes industry with a new spray foam emissions testing facility at its laboratories in Allentown, PA, USA. With its innovation focus on zero-emission and more environmentally preferred additive solutions, the facility demonstrates Evonik’s commitment to supporting the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry to meet its sustainability targets and maintain growth, said the company.
Carbon is the basis for a multitude of processes on our planet, many of them as parts of human economic activities. However, in a time, when “decarbonisation” is on everybody’s lips as the solution to the climate crisis, it seems almost ironical to run a project on “carbon economy”. What were the reasons behind this focus and what are the objectives achieved?
In order to raise the discussion on the topic of Circular Economy for plastics to a fact-based level, CreaCycle GmbH, EPC Engineering & Technologies GmbH and Lömi GmbH have developed a position paper that addresses all parties involved in this topic. They call for the improvement of the current terminology of the relevant waste directives, including the incorporation of the latest available technologies for plastics recycling, such as solvent-based purification/dissolution. They propose an EU directive specifically for plastic waste, allowing for a recovery hierarchy based on physical and chemical processes. In addition, the paper addresses the need for improved sorting capabilities for material recycling and a regulatory framework that ensures end-of-life costs are considered. Finally, the authors call for the recognition and inclusion of solvent-based purification/dissolution as material recycling for the purpose of calculating recycling quotas.
The European diisocyanate and polyol producers association Isopa has updated the environmental performance data for polyols and diisocyantes (TDI/MDI) using the established and widely applied PlasticsEurope ‘Eco-Profiles’ methodology. The new data allows polyols and diisocyantes users to make up-to-date estimates of the environmental performance of their products as a part of the full life-cycle assessment (LCA).
Huntsman has developed Irogran A 85 P 4394 HR thermoplastic polyurethane for technical extrusion parts and blown film applications. The material is said to offer improvements over previous generation technologies when it comes to durability, production efficiency and reducing manufacturing waste. The product is the latest addition to an established family of elastomer products from Huntsman, which are renowned for their performance in a diverse range of industrial and consumer applications.
Rampf Eco Solutions GmbH & Co. KG has been tasked to develop chemical solutions for the recycling of building materials in the EU backed project Iceberg. Using solvolysis, the company based in Pirmasens, Germany, is producing recycling polyols from post-consumer PU/PIR waste such as polymeric insulating foams.
German manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery can look back positively on 2020, a year marked by the coronavirus, and despite the exceptional overall situation. “After a difficult start, which was characterised by major challenges including a lockdown, incoming orders showed a rapid increase from the summer onwards,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association in the VDMA. This was particularly noticeable in those sectors where hygiene is important, i.e. mainly in the packaging and medical industries.
Haltermann Carless, a company of the HCS Group and a supplier of hydrocarbon solutions, will become one of the world's largest producers of cyclopentane and cyclopentane blends following the completion of its new hydrogenation plant at the Speyer site in Germany. The company anticipates to significantly increase its production capacity of cyclopentane by up to 70 % as of Q1 2022.
Alfa Klebstoffe AG announced that it has opened the world's first competence centre for water-based foam bonding, the Simalfa Competence Center, at its company headquarters in Rafz, Switzerland, on 2 June 2021. Due to the current Covid-19 regulations, the centre was only presented and officially open during an online event.
According to Messe Düsseldorf, now that the deadline for registrations for K 2022 has been reached, it is clear that the interest taken by exhibitors in the world’s most important trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, to be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 19 to 26 October 2022, continues unabated. “K 2022 will again occupy the entire fairgrounds,” said Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, and added: “When talking to exhibitors we feel that there is an enormous demand for personal exchange on a global level.”
The plastics technology centre Aimplas in Paterna, Spain, announced that it is now implementing the “Microplastics_2020 Project”, funded by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE). The aim of the project is to develop a standardised methodology to detect, identify and quantify microplastics (plastic fragments of 5 mm or less in size) to monitor their presence in the different stages of industrial processes.
As part of the global transition from a linear economy towards a circular economy, Dow Polyurethanes has been investigating the recycling of PU foam from end-of-life (EoL) mattresses. After optimization of the foam recipe, recycle polyols obtained after chemical recycling can be used to substitute 25 % of virgin polyol in new slabstock PU foam formulations without compromising physical-mechanical properties. For applications in indoor environments, it is important to understand the impact of the incorporation of recycle polyols in PU foams on resulting volatile emissions and odor. Therefore, PU foam samples with recycle content were analyzed with different standard methods to collect reliable data on volatile organic compounds (VOC), volatile aldehydes, and extractable free aromatic amines. In addition, foams with and without recycle content were presented to a human sensory panel for odor assessment.