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Kraton on 30 October 2019 announced that it has agreed to sell its Cariflex isoprene rubber latex business unit to Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd. for a purchase price of USD 530 million. The transaction is expected to close in Q1/2020. Cariflex contributed USD 50.5 million of pro forma Adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018.

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Bridgestone Corporation has developed a new polymer to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The new polymer shows the high levels of durability and resistance found in conventional rubber coupled with substantially higher levels of performance with regard to difficulty of opening holes (puncture resistance), fixability (recyclability, repairability), and resistance to low temperatures (low-temperature impact resistance). The name that was chosen for this polymer is Susym.

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Biorizon co-initiator Vito, VMH and Worley Belgium have partnered to design and build a continuous pilot plant for the depolymerization of lignin into bio-based aromatics and are inviting companies to participate and/or invest in the project. The pilot facility, with a total budget of EUR 4.3 million, is expected to have an output of 250 kg/d of lignin oil. Operations are anticipated to begin in mid-2021.

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Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is a high-performance elastomer used in many markets and applications. New application trends require enhanced design flexibility, process efficiency and co-molding using combinations of different material types. In co-molding applications, the cure temperature of LSR is inherently limited by the thermal stability of the overmolded counterpart, and conventional high process temperatures often cannot be used. A new generation of low temperature cure (LTC) LSR materials that cure between 90 °C and 120 °C can overcome those co-molding challenges and enable new designs and applications.

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Together with a number of international producers, the Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates GmbH is participating in a project group that is collecting the standards-compliant material data of commercial composites in order to upload them to the Campus plastics database. The work of the project group is organized and coordinated by the Frankfurt-based AVK-Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V. (German Federation of Reinforced Plastics) and the Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH (Institute for Composite Materials) in Kaiserslautern.

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Teknor Apex has appointed Suresh Swaminathan as its new president. He succeeds William J. Murray, who is retiring after 41 years with the company. Swaminathan will be responsible for the worldwide custom compounding business.

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Saint-Gobain, through its French subsidiary Placoplatre, has reached an agreement with HIRSCH Servo Group and BEWiSynbra Group to sell its expanded polystyrene (EPS) business in France. Saint-Gobain previously sold its German EPS business to HIRSCH.

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LG Chem announced Thursday (7 November 2019) it has opened a technical service and development center in Osan, Gyeonggi Province, marking the country’s largest petrochemical technology center. The chemical affiliate of LG Group invested KRW 110 billion (USD 94.8 million) in establishing the center, it said. The center will be used for developing technical solutions and offering other forms of support for the company’s contractors and clients.

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Winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (from left): U.S. engineer John B. Goodenough (Source: University of Texas/Shutterstock/European Press Photo Agency), Japan’s Akira Yoshino (Source: Shinji Kita/Kyodo News/Associated Press) and M. Stanley Whittingham of the U.K. (Source: Jonathan Cohen/Binghampton Unitversity/Associated Press)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 rewards the development of the lithium-ion battery.

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Arlanxeo, a leading synthetic rubber producer, is strengthening its market position by investing in its high-performance elastomer products CR (chloroprene rubber) and NBR (nitrile butadiene rubber), laying the foundation for the further increase of production capacity in order to meet the increasing global demand of these polymers.

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Daelim Industrial Co., a major construction firm in South Korea, said Wednesday it has won a KRW 535.4 billion (USD 462 million) order to build a petrochemical plant in South Korea. Under the deal with Hyundai Chemical Co., Daelim Industrial will build the heavy-feed petrochemical complex in Daesan, some 120 kilometers south of Seoul.

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