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Celanese, Mitsubishi Chemical Collaborate on Recycled POM

Image: Alamy/Lea Rae plastic resins form chasing arrows recycling symbol
Recycled content acetal option adds to Celanese offering of bio-based POM.

Celanese Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM), a global manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic materials in the form of semi-finished products and finished parts, have announced a joint collaboration to further develop mechanical recycling solutions for both post-industrial and post-consumer sources of polyacetal (POM) copolymer. The aim is to meet requests from customers seeking recycled content options and carbon dioxide reductions while maintaining product consistency, quality, and performance.

Celanese and MCAM plan to work together to assess options to convert waste streams into marketable, end-product formulations so that Celanese can offer its customers sustainable options for scrap or end-of-life waste with assurances of closed-loop material reuse.

In November 2020, Celanese introduced a sustainable polyacetal product offering known as POM ECO-B, a mass-balance, bio-based option that allows customers to realize a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in their end-use products and advance toward renewable content goals. While POM ECO-B is commercially available now, not all customers or industries are ready to adopt bio-mass balance that comes with its carbon dioxide footprint reduction benefit.

The joint announcement with MCAM builds upon Celanese’s sustainable product offerings by initiating development of a recycled content option of the Celanese Hostaform/Celcon POM product that will be marketed as POM ECO-R. MCAM will conduct recycled feedstock collection, separation, and processing, while Celanese will provide the formulation, product technology, and production capability. Celanese expects to offer its POM ECO-R solution with up to 30% recycled content.

“Celanese is a leading, global producer of acetal copolymer, and our industrial-scale manufacturing capabilities for POM are ideally suited for helping customers in a range of industries — such as medical, automotive and consumer goods — to meet their strategic environmental goals,” said Tom Kelly, Celanese Senior Vice President, Engineered Materials. “Offering both bio-based POM content, which can be uniquely produced from waste products via bio-methane or from CO2 emissions, and recycled POM through a collaboration with MCAM, elevates the broad usability of POM as an ideal engineered material that can help our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

“MCAM has invested significantly in enabling closed-loop opportunities for post-industrial and post-consumer POM waste streams. In partnership with raw material supplier Celanese and its extensive capacities, we can now offer a wide range of new opportunities to our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals, support CO2 reduction, and work toward a climate-neutral economy,” said Markus Wehinger, Business Manager, MCAM Recycling Solutions.

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