September 24, 2020

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News roundup: Albemarle, SONGWON, SI Group, LSI Chemical
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Photo courtesy of Albemarle

Albemarle selected by U.S. DOE to be critical partner for two lithium research projects

Albemarle Corporation, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A., was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to be a critical partner for two lithium research projects over three years through a Battery Manufacturing Lab Call. Albemarle will work in conjunction with two U.S. DOE labs, Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on the following projects.

The first project is called “Advanced Brine Processing to Enable U.S. Lithium Independence.”

In collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, this research enables the development of a novel technology, which provides a new production route eliminating steps in the current state-of-the-art process by going directly from lithium chloride to lithium hydroxide.

The second project is called “Scaling Up of High-Performance Single Crystalline Ni-rich Cathode Materials with Advanced Lithium Salts.” In partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, this project will accelerate the commercialization of high-energy cathodes for extended battery life in the electric vehicle (EV) application.

“Successful execution of the first project will allow for more efficient utilization of the lithium brine resource in the Clayton Valley area of Nevada and a new pathway to a critical lithium material. The technology could also help make U.S. geothermal and oilfield brines more economical, including our brine reserves in Magnolia, Arkansas. Through the second project, we will learn how tailored lithium salts can further improve cathode performance, leading to more energy dense and longer life lithium ion batteries,” said Dr. Glen Merfeld, vice president and chief technology officer, Lithium.

To learn more about Albemarle’s lithium business, please click here

SONGWON and First Quality Chemicals enter distribution partnership for Mexico

SONGWON Industrial Co., Ltd. has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with First Quality Chemicals, a leading specialty chemicals distributor in Mexico, for the coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE) markets.

Under the new agreement, effective August 2020, First Quality Chemicals will be the exclusive distributor for Mexico of SONGWON’s comprehensive range of sustainable high-value, high- performance products, including SONGNOX® CS antioxidants, SONGSORB® CS Ultraviolet Absorbers/ Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (UVA/HAL) and SONGCURE® CS photoinitiators. First Quality Chemicals has been building its reputation as a reliable specialty chemicals distributor since 1998 and over the years has successfully solidified its leadership position in the Mexican market.

Commenting on the new distribution partnership, Sean Steres, sales manager, Americas, SONGWON Industrial Group said: “Joining forces with First Quality Chemicals in Mexico is another important step in advancing our footprint in the Americas and confirms SONGWON’s commitment to the coatings industry in this region. We are confident that the expertise and valuable experience of the First Quality Chemicals’ team will ensure that the needs of our Mexican customers are fully met and that the partnership will also open the door to new business opportunities for SONGWON.”

“Representing SONGWON aligns with our drive to bring extraordinary solutions from world class suppliers to this market,” said Sergio Chinas, CEO, First Quality Chemicals. “SONGWON’s high performance products and the expertise delivered by our great sales team is a recipe for success and we are delighted to play a key role in creating new business opportunities that enable us to continue growing together.”

About First Quality Chemicals

First Quality Chemicals, located in Naucalpan de Juárez near Mexico City, is a leading distributor of specialty chemicals of the highest quality from the world’s largest manufacturers. With 22 years of experience on the Mexican market and an exceptional team, First Quality Chemicals focuses on providing the most innovative and customised solutions with the best level of customer service possible.

About Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd.

Headquartered in South Korea, SONGWON is the second largest manufacturer of polymer stabilizers worldwide. With group companies and world-class manufacturing facilities across the globe, SONGWON provides customers in more than 60 countries with high-performance products that meet their individual needs and the best levels of service.

SI Group announces tackifier capacity expansion in China

SI Group, a global leader in the innovative technology of performance additives, process solutions, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and chemical intermediates, announced plans to expand capacity levels at its Nanjing, China facility. The expansion will increase production by more than 50%, propelling the site to become a regional hub for best-in-class tackifier and reinforcing resin production and technology.

SI Group’s Nanjing investment is in lock-step with the desire to reinvent its business model, addressing the emerging trends in the tire industry. “We have taken the appropriate steps necessary to grow our capacity in this key regional growth area,” said Robert Kaiser, vice president, Rubber & Adhesives Solutions, at SI Group, adding, “This expansion allows us to differentiate our offerings and position in the market, providing superior solutions to our customers.”

SI Group’s expansion in Nanjing will also address energy conservation initiatives and sustainability efforts in compliance within a highly-regulated Chinese chemical industry.

SI Group has a long history of manufacturing tackifier resins used to enhance the performance and durability of tires. In addition to tackifier resins, the company also has a robust portfolio of bonding, curing, and reinforcing resins, manufactured globally. The company is currently undergoing a thorough environmental and safety permit review for the Nanjing expansion, in accordance with all local Chinese government regulations.

About SI Group

Headquartered in Schenectady, New York, U.S.A., SI Group’s global manufacturing footprint includes more than 30 facilities on five continents, serving customers in 90 countries with approximately USD2 billion in annual sales and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. 

LSI Chemical introduces cold flow improver for diesel fuel

LSI Chemical says it is now offering a cold flow improver diesel fuel additive that can be added to any diesel or biodiesel blend to significantly improve cold weather performance. This diesel fuel additive is the first product to be launched by LSI Chemical, a newly organised division of Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), based in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, U.S.A.

According to LSI Chemical, ArcticArmor523 significantly improves the operation of any diesel engine in extreme temperatures by improving two crucial indicators of performance in diesel fuel – cold filter plugging point and pour point – to prevent gelling and icing.  

LSI Chemical formulated ArcticArmor523 using high-quality sourced base chemicals to significantly change how diesel fuel responds in winter weather. ArcticArmor523 solubilizes paraffin nuclei as they begin to crystallize and modifies the paraffin crystal’s growth as they precipitate. This process allows fuel lines and filters to stay clear and operational even with temps down to 45°F below zero.

In a third-party test performed in August 2020, a baseline fuel was pulled from a Marathon station in Fredericktown, Ohio. After adding ArcticArmor523, the fuel’s pour point was improved from -20°F / -28.9°C to -75°F / -59.4°C and the Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) was improved from -20°F / -28.9°C to -45°F / -42.8°C. This significant difference in CFPP and Pour Point ensures improved diesel engine operation in extremely cold climates, especially in relation to startability. 

“I am excited to share with customers some of the best results I have ever seen from a diesel additive over my 25-year career in the fuel industry. We are proud to say our ArcticArmor523 is now available, but we also understand refineries around the world use different crude slates and different additives, which causes the fuel to perform differently. For this reason, we also offer custom formulation and the option to develop packages specific to each customer’s own fuel needs. That is why we offer an extensive sampling program and laboratory to meet those needs,” LSI Chemical President Todd Cawley said.

LSI Chemical is now offering market-ready additives, like their ArcticArmor523, as well as bringing custom lab and formulation capabilities to diesel fuel jobbers, fleets, consumers and diesel refiners around the world. 

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