A look at the evolving landscape shaping the chemicals industry
The Coronavirus outbreak is catalyzing innovations in the global chemicals industry. Customers are witnessing the influx of antiviral and antimicrobial materials, machine learning for better testing of chemicals and 3D printing amongst other trends. Manufacturers are increasing efforts to strike the right balance between innovation and the future for a circular economy to boost their credibility credentials.
Circular economy goals
Chemical companies are taking cues from the European Green Deal of 2019 to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. Growing e-waste from smartphones is suggested to be recycled. Since recycling also contributes for a large carbon footprint during production process, smartphone companies are bullish on increasing the lifespan of mobile devices. Repairable and upgradeable smartphones are becoming the new rage in forming a circular economy.
Deep Dive in Chemicals for Oil & Gas Industry
Production chemists are gaining cognizance about key aspects like improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery. However, the issue of greenhouse gas emissions is stifling market growth. Since increasing number of chemical companies are keen on adding value to their business operations, they are joining forces with researchers and technicians to adopt a proactive approach at knowing emission inventories, the emission sources and the parameters required to control individual emissions.
Hydrogen economy and the rising customer expectations
Hydrogen technology is gaining prominence in automobiles and the overall mobility sector. Proton exchange membrane cells are paving the way for emission-free vehicles with a long range and the advantage of having a quick refueling. But high implemention cost in the current early stages of fuel cell technology is inhibiting market growth. Thus, companies should maximize production of hydrogen using high temperature solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC), proton exchange membrane electrolysis (PEM) and alkaline electrolysis (AWE) to lower its cost during the coming years.
Increasing number of customers are willing to associate with environmental-conscious companies. Chemical companies are using strategies like improved waste recovery, water management and power to X technologies, where the latter is a method that uses CO2 to convert it into useful chemicals via biomass combustion & waste combustion techniques. Biotechnology holds potentials to produce useful industrial enzymes and remediate environmental pollution.
In all aspects, investment in R&D by partnering with think-tanks and technicians will help chemical companies to build a sustainable future for customers in the value chain.